A Resource to Support Decolonization of the Undergraduate Chemistry Curriculum

Kelechi O. Uleanya*, Samantha K. Furfari, Leonie C. Jones, Kgato P. Selwe, Amelia B. Milner, Caroline E.H. Dessent*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In our taught chemistry curricula, the majority of individuals who are used to illustrate historical aspects of chemistry topics are white, western chemists. Decolonizing the undergraduate chemistry curricula is increasingly recognized as an important step toward developing a more inclusive higher-education environment for students from minoritized ethnic backgrounds. Here, we provide the first openly accessible resource that provides examples of both individual scientists and groups that can be used to illustrate chemistry teaching, and hence provide role model examples of scientists from different cultures. More generally, the resource provides a significant body of examples for chemistry educators to use as they begin working toward decolonizing their curricula.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Issue number7
Early online date14 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society and Division of Chemical Education, Inc.

Funding Information:
This work was conducted with support from the Royal Society of Chemistry Diversity and Inclusion Fund, project 164690329 ( Development of a New Resource to Support Decolonization of the Undergraduate Chemistry Curriculum). We thank all members of the Department of Chemistry, University of York, who have supported this project, along with Department’s “Decolonizing and Diversifying the Curriculum” Steering Group for their suggestions and enthusiastic support. In particular, we would like to thank Dr. John Slattery for sharing his use of the resource in his lecture course on Main Group Chemistry. We also acknowledge Jess Penn and Jan Ball-Smith of the University of York’s Inclusive Learning Team for useful discussions.


  • Chemistry
  • Curriculum
  • Decolonization
  • Ethnic Minority
  • Undergraduates

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