Laurie Taylor Column

May 2, 2003

"The Royal Society of Chemistry is encouraging chemistry departments to broaden their portfolios - in order to survive." THE THES, April 25

University of Poppleton
Department of Chemistry

Hey, don't be put off by that word "chemistry". Of course, no one wants to spend three years messing around with nasty chemicals. Ugh! But here at Poppleton we have degrees in chemistry that are FUN. Just take a look at the way we've broadened our portfolio.

Chemistry and War Studies
Interested in explosions and bombs? This course not only tells you how to make small-scale domestic bombs but also gives you a chance to watch movie footage of some of the big bombs in action from theatres of war around the world. (On this course, you won't get Bohr'ed!)

Chemistry and Furniture-Making
Learn how to assemble your very own hard-wearing and eminently practical left-to-right and top-to-bottom Periodic Table.

Chemistry and Medieval Studies
An introduction to the basic principles for changing base metals into gold.

Students will study the properties of the four classical elements - earth, air, water and fire - and explore the three principles of salt, sulphur and mercury. (Remember if you're not part of the solution you're part of the precipitate!)

Chemistry and Popular Music
Among the musical groups to be considered will be: X-Ray Spex; the Chemical Brothers; 10cc; Anthrax; and Megadeth. Students will also be introduced to the role of chemistry in such popular songs as Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds , Boom Bang a Bang and All Shook Up .

Chemistry and Crime
An introduction to the basic principles of forensic chemistry with special reference to the manner in which Amanda Burton (Dr Sam Ryan) can examine corpses without showing a shred of emotion.

Q. Is chemistry the right subject for me?

A. You're a chemist if you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom.


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