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Does Chemistry Have an Image Problem?

Posted on October 6th, 2017 by in Chemistry


The results of a recent study on chemistry research, conducted by Elsevier’s Reaxys team, suggest that chemistry might need to work on its image. The discipline suffers from negative associations with bad or harmful chemicals that consumers read about, but a lack of positive media coverage may even be affecting the willingness of young scientists and researchers to go into the field. Almost 80% of the respondents, felt that potential chemists choose other careers because medical research innovation and breakthroughs are linked to biology more often than chemistry.

The study, which surveyed the opinions of 186 chemistry professionals and students, also showed that chemists believe that an emphasis on applied research over basic research is hurting innovation. A large majority of the respondents also affirmed that they believe that to progress in a career in chemistry it is important to be technologically savvy. While just over one-fifth of respondents (21%) felt that there aren’t enough opportunities to collaborate with researchers in other fields.

To learn more about the study, check out this piece in Chemical & Engineering News.

All opinions shared in this post are the author’s own.

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