Anyone who has taken it will tell you that organic chemistry is hard. It's widely recognized as a "weed out" course, and many argue that it's an effective way to keep certain students from entering professions, like medicine, that they probably shouldn't.

Not everyone agrees with that sentiment. They argue that the courses are difficult for the sake of it. The New York Times reported that a notable chemistry professor at New York University was recently let go after some of his students filed a petition against him.

"We are very concerned about our scores, and find that they are not an accurate reflection of the time and effort put into this class," the petition reads. The chemistry department has failed to make students' learning and well-being a priority due to the high percentage of withdrawals and low grades in the class.

This is a complex issue. The disgruntled students' complaints have been met with swift and harsh backlash by supporters of Dr. Jones, who wrote a course-changing textbook before moving to NYU. This is a course that many believe should separate those who should make and prescribe medications from those who should probably pursue something other.

"I don't want you to be a good doctor and I don't want you to treat patients," said Kent Kirshenbaum, a professor in Dr. Jones' department.

Some of Dr. Jones' allies think that NYU's decision to fire a renowned faculty member at the request of its students is more of a business decision than anything else. Failing grades don't make students very happy and colleges are profit-seeking enterprises. In an email detailing his firing, the university explained that they were giving a "gentle but firm hand to the students and those who pay the tuition bills."

The deans want happy students who are saying great things about the university so more people apply and the US News rankings keep going, according to a chemistry professor.

There's a lot to be said for the challenges presented by online learning, especially during the anxiety-triggering global trauma of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Students and teachers were made to adapt very quickly to the crisis, both in life and in school, and course matter didn't always translate in this new and often accessible mediation.

It is said that Dr. Jones is old fashioned. According to the petition, his teaching style may no longer connect with younger generations.

James W Canary, a former NYU department chairman, told the NYT that he hasn't changed his methods in a long time. The students now expect more support from the faculty when they are struggling.

It's possible that NYU's decision to fire Dr. Jones may be sending the wrong message because universities need to work with a post-pandemic, younger generation of students. Organic chemistry is difficult at the end of the day. Is that something that should change?

When the goal was to teach at a very high and rigorous level, Dr. Jones was able to learn to teach. It is our hope that students will see that rigor is doing them well.

The students were failing organic chemistry. Who was to blame for what happened?

The study on room temperature superconductors was re-tracted in the journal.