Changes afoot in the teaching of undergraduate chemistry across the country are designed to dispel its reputation as a rigid, "dismal science." While enrollment has risen over the years in some science fields, the demands on earning a degree in chemistry have sent would-be majors looking elsewhere for STEM careers. In writing about efforts to retool the major to be more appealing and relevant, Wall Street Journal reporter Melissa Korn focuses her attention on Davidson College.
Professor Erland Stevens talks about how Davidson and some other institutions are "ditching their traditional chemistry programs in favor of interdisciplinary foundational courses and an array of electives that might woo students with broader interests." Last fall, Davidson debuted a curriculum that requires students to take one course each in five foundational areas, and then lets them choose higher-level classes on subjects including medicinal chemistry and immunology.