UK Business Inspiring The Next Generation Of Chemists

Asynt, a global provider of innovative technologies and services for scientific research, is inspiring the next generation of chemists through its multiple partnerships with Great British Bake Off Finalist and Chemist, Dr Josh Smalley.

UCAS figures show 4,900 students were accepted to chemistry courses for the 2022/23 academic year – a 12% drop from 2019 and part of a pattern across this period. 

With Asynt, Dr Smalley has been combining his culinary and chemistry skills to show Chemistry in a different light. 

By creating sticky toffee pudding using Asynt’s DrySyn® range of oil-free laboratory heating blocks, Josh has shown Asynt equipment can be used beyond laboratories. Using regular cake batter, the DrySyn® Reaction Vial Inserts, which can be used for up to 27 parallel heated reactions simultaneously using just one hot plate, turns the mixture into a sponge. Following this, the DrySyn® Multi-S kit can be used to infuse cream for flavoured ganache. 

Asynt has also provided Josh with some of the equipment needed for the new Science Kitchen, located at the University of Leicester. The kitchen is a space for food-related scientific demonstrations, talks, research and outreach activities to raise awareness of the opportunities a career in chemistry can offer students.

Commenting on the partnership, Josh said: “As a chemist by trade and avid baker, I’m extremely passionate about sharing the many ways chemistry influences our daily lives, particularly its parallels with baking. I’ve always hoped to use my platform to showcase how exciting chemistry can be and inspire the next generation of scientists.

“It’s important to demonstrate to the younger generation that science isn’t just about memorising elements and reading textbooks — it’s about creativity, experimentation, and the excitement of transforming simple ingredients into delicious creations.  By combining chemistry with a particular subject area, such as baking, I’m hoping more people are encouraged to get involved themselves and learn more about the science. I’m thrilled to be partnering with Asynt to bring this to life using their DrySyn heating block range. And who knows, maybe this could be the future of baking!”

Dr Kerry Elgie, Commercial Director at Asynt, said: “The collaboration between Asynt and Dr Smalley is truly unique. Working with Josh to blend the world of chemistry and culinary arts is a testament to our commitment to innovation, education, and sharing the joy of science.

“It is important to foster the younger generation of chemists. At Asynt, we’re lucky enough to be able to offer younger people the opportunity to see the world of Chemistry from a different perspective through work experience and apprenticeship opportunities. By sparking their curiosity and nurturing their passion today, we lay the foundation for breakthroughs which will drive progress and improve our world in the future.”