In 1940, CHEMISTRY was the "Queen of Science" in the UK, the central science tying Physics to Biology to Engineering to Geology and Metallurgy and on and on.
ICI was one of the biggest employers in the UK and judged the most crucial single industrial firm in the country - as Du Pont and IG Farben were for its competitors , the USA and Germany.
But by 2010, mid-level University Chemistry Departments are rapidly disappearing across Great Britain and more and more chemist professors are going public about their fears that declining undergraduate interest in Chemistry in Britain and around the world was permanent.
By contrast, anything with the word 'bio-" in it seems to be what kids want to make a career in - while Chemistry remains associated with plastics that break and pollution that poisons.
Explaining what went wrong with Chemistry, 1940 -2010, is partly why I am writing MO goes PO....