May 16, 2006
The decline in UK chemistry departments has been staved off at least partially with a vote to save the department a Sussex University on the south coast that spawned two Nobel chemists.
According to The Guardian, ‘The University of Sussex has abandoned its controversial plans to axe its chemistry department following intense criticism from scientists across the country.’
Vice-chancellor, Alasdair Smith, originally suggested chemistry teaching be scrapped and a new bio-merged department take its place, but, the paper reports that an extraordinary university council meeting held on May 15 saw members adopting a recommendation that will see the incredibly well-respected department retained and expanded to include biochemistry.
Sussex has produced two Nobel chemists Sir John Cornforth (1975, for stereochemistry of enzyme-catalyzed reactions) and Sir Harry Kroto (1996 winner for fullerene co-discovery) with a former professor of physics, Anthony Legget, being awarded a share of the 2003 Nobel Prize for Physics, for his work at Sussex on the theory of superfluids.