John Murrell and friends

Private publication 2009 | 112pp | ?10.00 (+ ?1.00 p&p) from (SB)
(profits to support chemistry students for summer research experience)

Reviewed by Hamish Kidd


This small book gives a brief account of the history of MOLS (school of molecular sciences) at the University of Sussex, UK, commemorating the 30 years of its existence from 1965 to 1995. 

The book is split into sections on people, teaching, research and finally some lighthearted extracts from MOLS cabarets and pantomimes.

This book would obviously be of most interest to former chemistry staff and students of the University of Sussex, but it does give interesting information on such staff as Harry Kroto, Colin Eaborn and Kappa Cornforth, and insights into life at one of the new postwar UK universities during the revolutionary 1960s and The History Man 1970s (Malcolm Bradbury’s novel was set in the fictional seaside town of Watermouth, said to bear some resemblance to Brighton). 

Chemistry has been reorganised several times at Sussex since 1995, even facing closure in 2006 (see Chemistry World, April 2006, p6). But despite its turbulent past, it is interesting to note that Sussex was placed top for UK undergraduate chemistry in the Guardian University Guide 2010