Anorak News | Chain Reaction

Chain Reaction

by | 1st, December 2004

‘ONE chemistry department closes, then another, then another…

”Wanted – self-righteous prig to fill shoes not big enough for previous owner”

Among chemists, this is called a chain reaction, but of course very soon there won’t be any chemists left in Britain to discuss such things.

They will all be forensic scientists – or, at least they will at Anglia Polytechnic University, which yesterday became the 28th university to close its chemistry department since 1996.

The Telegraph says the catalyst (ask a chemist, kids) for the change has been TV dramas like CSI, Silent Witness and Waking The Dead.

A spokesman for Anglia Polytechnic explained that the decision to rebrand its chemistry department as forensic science was a response to market needs.

”I suspect that some students are inspired by the swathe of forensic based crime dramas on television,” he said.

However, as the Royal Society of Chemistry points out, there is only room for so many Gil Grissoms, Quincys and Sam Ryans.

”Motivated students who choose forensic science degrees may struggle to find employment in forensic science,” a spokesman says, ”but most from the courses in chemistry departments do find employment in science-based industries.”

And there they do useful things like coming up with the world’s first biodegradable mobile phone.

Scientists at the University of Warwick have designed a phone case made of a biodegradable polymer, which (says the Guardian) looks smart, feels cool and breaks down on the compost heap.

And then it flowers…

Engineers have embedded a seed in a tiny transparent window in the phone case such that, when the phone is thrown out and starts to decompose, the seed will germinate and bloom.

And immediately start playing Waltzing Matilda or an excerpt for the William Tell Overture…’

Posted: 1st, December 2004 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink