The Relevance of Radiochemistry: Perceptions of Future Radiochemists
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CitationPernaa, Johannes. Law, Gareth TW. Ranjan, Sanjeev. (2021). The Relevance of Radiochemistry: Perceptions of Future Radiochemists. Journal of chemical education, 98 (2) , 426-433. 10.1021/acs.jchemed.0c01216.
Radiochemistry faces a well-documented training and recruitment crisis. Older radiochemists are retiring, and fewer young people are studying radiochemistry. In turn, this is leading to a shortage in newly qualified radiochemists, as well as a loss of historical knowledge (as know-how is often not passed-on). Here, we analyzed the relevance of the study of radiochemistry in higher education through future radiochemists’ perceptions. Our objective was to provide insights into future radiochemists’ thinking and provide some clear examples on how to support relevance. A qualitative study was conducted through a research question: What perceptions of relevance do future radiochemists experience about radiochemistry studies and radiochemistry as a field? We used the relevance model of Stuckey et al. (2013) as the relevance framework. This was selected because it offers a comprehensive definition of relevance including individual, societal, and vocational dimensions. The data were gathered from postgraduate radiochemistry students (masters and Ph.D. level) through use of a qualitative questionnaire that was designed using the selected relevance framework. In total, 15 future radiochemists participated in the study. The data were analyzed through theory-based content analysis using the selected relevance framework. According to our data, future radiochemists experience their university study and the chemistry field as being highly relevant. They experienced that radiochemistry topics are interesting (individual relevance), the field has great societal impact through radiopharmaceuticals, energy solutions, and environmental problem-solving (societal relevance), and that their professional future was clear, for example, a job in the nuclear industry (vocational relevance). These results can be used in student recruitment and in developing radiochemistry teaching toward a more relevance-oriented direction.
Subjectssecond-year undergraduate upper-division undergraduate graduate education nuclear/radiochemistry
Link to the original itemhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jchemed.0c01216
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society (ACS)
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