Chemistry research is not an essential component of a science-based university. Discuss.

A  The chemical sciences are fundamental to a study of the physical, life and medical sciences. It is hard to imagine a science-based university that does not engage in chemistry research. Chemistry teaching at the higher education level is stimulated by lecturers who are involved at the cutting edge of pure and applied research; at the very least they should be engaged in scholarship activities. 

Brian Iddon, UK member of parliament

It is simply impossible to conduct multi- and interdisciplinary science without a thriving chemistry research community to draw upon. Without the research chemist, who is going to make the new molecules needed to cure disease, to learn how to harness the sun’s energy for use in place of fossil fuels, to understand the processes of the upper atmosphere or clean up the polluted world around us?

Guy Orpen, head of chemistry, University of Bristol, UK

A  Chemistry and physics form the foundation of any student’s understanding. Chemical under-standing is critical to much of engineering and biology. Lack of basic chemical education will create an inferior workforce that will not understand critical aspects of the problems they face. Schools like Exeter, UK, are destined to become third rate science schools without chemistry departments. 

Timothy Swager, head of chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US