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Chemistry Professors Arrested in Meth Probe

One had said 'Breaking Bad' was a boon to recruiting
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2019 9:45 AM CST
Walter White, played by Bryan Cranston, teaches a chemistry class in the pilot episode of "Breaking Bad."   (AP Photo/AMC, Doug Hyun)

(Newser) – Two chemistry professors in Arkansas have been accused of breaking bad, and have been arrested on suspicion of making methamphetamine. Terry David Bateman, 45, and Bradley Allen Rowland, 40, have been on administrative leave since Oct. 11, the Democrat-Gazette reports, days after a chemical odor was reported in the science center at Henderson State University. Both men are associate professors of chemistry there. The university said it's investigating what happened at the science center, which was reopened Oct. 29 after being cleared by the EPA, to cause the odor. Tests found that benzyl chloride, which can be used to synthesize methamphetamines, had been spilled in the lab, per Newsweek.

In a 2014 interview with the Oracle, a campus site, Rowland said he was a fan of Breaking Bad. The TV series was about a chemistry teacher, Walter White, who gets a former student to help him make and sell meth. "It was spot on and accurate when it came to the science, and, it has gotten a younger, newer generation interested in chemistry," Rowland said. "I feel like it was a wonderful recruiting tool." (Read more methamphetamine stories.)

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