Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 05:31:15 EST
Reply-To: Labsafe**At_Symbol_Here**AOL.COM
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Jim Kaufman <Labsafe**At_Symbol_Here**AOL.COM>
Subject: Re: Students not selecting chemistry
What does the ACS data show for the last 10, 20, 30, 40 years on the number  
of chemistry major grads, masters, and PhDs?   ... Jim 
In a message dated 11/11/2005 12:02:43 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
LISTSERV**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU writes:

Further  back on the education chain, though, the worry is that young  
people  are not being attracted to chemistry because of the draconian   
application of Health and Safety rules.  The sort of experiments  that  
we did in labs with Bunsen burners and mixing things and hoping  for  
bangs and liking to see fermentation and bubbling and grizzling,  has  
now been banned.  A teacher stands behind a glass screen  and  
demonstrates.  In other words, all the three of them  agreed, it seems  
to be no fun at all for students who are peeling  away from chemistry  
en masse.  The worry is not only that fewer  students are taking up  
chemistry, but that even those who are taking  it up cannot be hands  
on and, therefore, cannot begin to be  innovative at the start of  
their careers.  There was worry that  this would lead to a drop off of  
real interest in pushing chemistry  forward into areas where it is now  
so important, to do with research  into fuels into the atmosphere and  
so on.

It seems that,  again and again, when we bandage people against  
reality we save some  things but seem to lose at least as much and  
perhaps far more  important things.  As this country has been so  
fantastically  effective in its studies of chemistry over the past two  
centuries,  it would be a pity if over-fierce regulation were to crush  
the life  out of it, which seems to be the case.

James A.  Kaufman, Ph.D.

The  Laboratory Safety Institute (LSI)
A Nonprofit International Organization  for
Safety in Science and Science Education

192 Worcester Road,  Natick, MA 01760-2252
508-647-1900 Fax: 508-647-0062
Cell: 508-574-6264  Res: 781-237-1335

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