I think there has long been the rift between the applied and theoretical schools of different fields. Yes, there are those who bounce between the two.
I disagree with one thing here. Biology is not just applied chemistry. Why? Evolution.
Yes, but what is evolution but the result of errors in a chemical process (DNA replication and/or RNA transcription) and unintended changes in a chemical structure? (reductionist perspective yes, but as a chemist, or former chemist, I have to poke in good fun. And I am tired and it is early and I do not know better)