University chemistry buildings opened

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New undergraduate teaching laboratories and new research facilities at the University of York will be officially opened today.

The facilities are part of a £29m redevelopment of the university’s chemistry department. The event also coincides with the launch of the Chemistry 50 Fund, a new campaign to help to develop the next generation of scientists to find solutions to some of the global challenges facing society.

Dame Ellen MacArthur will open new research facilities for the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence’s new headquarters while the teaching labs will be opened by the first female President of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Professor Lesley Yellowlees, of Edinburgh University and by Professor Sir John Holman, senior education advisor to the Wellcome Trust.

Professor Richard Taylor, head of the department of chemistry at York, said yesterday: “This exciting new development gives us more scope to undertake a wide range of practical chemistry with supporting instrumentation, office and support areas providing outstanding professional-standard training facilities for the scientists of tomorrow.”

Graduates will be asked to support the fund and all donations will be matched £1 for £1. Gifts over £500 will be matched £2 for every £1 given.

Mary Haworth, the university’s director of development and alumni relations, said yesterday: “The fund will support masters, PhD and post-doc students as well as encouraging undergraduates considering research careers through the department’s innovative summer vacation bursary programme.”