Leading article: Chemistry lesson

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The position of chemistry in our universities has been turned round remarkably swiftly. Where, only a year or two ago, vice-chancellors were seeking to shut down the subject at degree level to cut costs or to re-engineer their institutions, they are now looking to restart the subject. This shows how much can be achieved by politics. When a select committee gets its teeth into an issue and embarrasses both the universities and the Government, change can happen quickly. And, of course, the Royal Society of Chemistry played a critical role behind the scenes in fighting to keep its subject alive.