Leading article: Chemistry test

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The Independent Online

As university rows go, the proposed closure of chemistry at Sussex University could not be more controversial. First, chemistry at Sussex has a history of excellence, having sprouted two Nobel Prize winners and a long list of fellows of the Royal Society. Second, it scored a 5 out of 5 in the 2001 research assessment exercise. It could have gone one better and scored a 5*, which would probably have made it impossible for Alasdair Smith, the vice-chancellor, to have proposed closure.

As it is, the university has had to back down and allow more time for the subject to be examined. The pharmaceutical industry should put its money where its mouth is and support a subject that it needs and that is essential to the economic health of the nation.

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