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#SC-02-22 Discovering Science: Global Challenges

  • Categories Science
  • Duration 22h
  • Total Enrolled 0
  • Last Update July 27, 2021

About Course

University of Leeds


Find out how the Penicillin class of antibiotics has been a major breakthrough in the treatment of patients. However, with bacteria developing efficient ways of resisting antibiotic treatment, discover how scientists are treating patients with infections resulting from resistant bacteria.

The world’s population is approaching eight billion people, putting increasing strain on our ability to feed everybody. Explore the strategies currently being developed, and the role that chemistry plays in finding solutions to food security.


What topics will you cover?

  • The origins of penicillin and the research behind antibiotic development.
  • The way in which pencillins kill bacteria.
  • Introduction to the molecular structure of the penicillins and how their structure underpins their antibacterial properties.
  • The ways in which some bacteria types are able to become resistant to antibiotics.
  • The clinical research of a consultant in infectious and travel medicine.
  • The challenges behind educating people in the proper use of antibiotics.
  • The ways in which chemists are making contributions to overcoming the problem of bacterial resistance.


Who will you learn with?

Paul Taylor

I’m from Holmfirth in Yorkshire. I’m a Professor at the University of Leeds. I’m a Pro-Dean and research cancer & evolution https://physicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/staff/210/professor-paul-taylor



Martin McPhillie

I’m a research scientist/Teaching Fellow within the School of Chemistry at the University of Leeds, interested in the structure-based design of novel medicines for infectious diseases.

Who developed the course?

University of Leeds

As one of the UK’s largest research-based universities, the University of Leeds is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and a centre of excellence for teaching.

What Will I Learn?

  • Explore the origins of antibiotic development and how some bacteria are able to become resistant to antibiotics.
  • Explore the challenges behind educating people in the proper use of antibiotics.
  • Identify uses of chemistry in addressing the challenges of feeding a growing population.
  • Explore the uses of natural crops and their genetically-modified alternatives.

Topics for this course

16 Lessons22h


Welcome to Discovering Science: Global Challenges. This course explores two topics related to global challenges: the fight against bacteria, and feeding a growing global population.
Welcome to the course ARTICLE
Introduction from Paul VIDEO (01:46)00:00:00

Historical perspectives?

In this activity, you are introduced to the history of penicillin and the research behind antibiotic development.

Science in action?

In this activity, you hear from a consultant in infection and travel medicine regarding her clinical research, and hear reflections on the case study.

Future perspectives?

In this activity, through the use of scenarios, you consider the ethical issues associated with powerful medicines, and reflect on the appropriate uses of them.


This revision activity provides further opportunity to explore the topics covered this week. It is recommended that you join this activity if you have signed up for the program and are working towards academic credit.


To close this lesson of the course you have the opportunity to reflect on it.

Material Includes

  • Official Certificate

Target Audience

  • The course is suitable for anyone with a general interest in chemistry; no previous knowledge or experience is required.
  • If you are working in the field of science and would like to practice and improve your science writing skills, this course is designed to support you as a professional. By completing all aspects of the course you will have achieved 14 hours of CPD time.