The study focuses on university student numbers since 1996 and shows that while there has only been a six per cent drop in the number of full time undergraduates studying physics in that time, there has been a twenty per cent decline in the number of chemistry students and a 24 per cent decline in the number of students on materials-based courses.
Dr Hywel Jones, of the Materials and Engineering Research Institute at Sheffield Hallam University and author of the study explains, "It is not only undergraduate numbers that are dropping across these three subjects. There is evidence of a decline in postgraduate numbers too, especially in Chemistry. Modest increases in postgraduate numbers in Physics and Materials-based subjects do represent a recovery and do not keep pace with the overall trend of an increase in postgraduate study"
"This puts the future of scientific research in the UK in real jeopardy, as well as affecting industry, who are struggling to recruit suitably qualified science graduates.
"The decline in materials subjects is particularly worrying as there was such a small number of these students to begin with. If numbers keep dropping then courses will not have enough students to be considered financially viable and may close altogether.
"On a positive note, while there has been serious decline in traditional materials subjects, there does appear to be growth in other materials based courses such as forensic engineering, sports materials, bio-materials and aerospace materials. However, we have yet to see if these students will go on to use their degrees in a relevant graduate job."
Lorna Branton | alfa
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The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
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Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
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Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
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