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Chemistry departments try to attract more students by retooling the major

from The Wall Street Journal

Forget economics. Chemistry might be the real dismal science. Undergraduate programs have been characterized for decades by rigid, yearlong sequences of organic, physical and biochemistry classes that emphasized rote memorization and taught about reactions in isolation. They left little room to pursue side passions — and attracted few students, policy makers say. As business and biology majors get a reboot, chemistry professors find themselves waging a fierce battle to appeal to undergraduates who might want a scientific grounding to pursue careers in forensics, molecular gastronomy or politics, but who are turned off by the degree's onerous demands. more

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