Feeds

Blair: science is not just for boffins

PM says Brits must stand up for science

A new approach to endpoint data protection

Tony Blair is set to deliver a speech in Oxford today calling for Brits to "stand up for science", in a bid to make scientific careers more attractive to young people.

He says although kids are interested in science, they only see it as leading to a career as a boffin, rather than as a way into corporate life.

He will point to the increases in funding for science since Labour took office as evidence of his government's commitment to the disciplines, the BBC reports. He will also reiterate that a strong science base is fundamental to the economic success of the country.

The speech is just one in a series outlining the Blair-vision of the future.

He told The Guardian: "We've got to understand the importance of science to the future of the economy and to the future of society. In my view, for the next generation, development of science is as important as economic stability for future prosperity."

He said failure to engage in rational debate was behind scientists being blamed for the BSE crisis, and contributed to the scare over the MMR vaccine.

Having a scientifically literate population would be vital, he explained, for the public to understand and debate complex issues such as genetic modification.

His remarks will inevitably attract criticism, set as they are against a background of falling numbers of science students, closing science departments, and a dearth of good science teachers.

Speaking to the BBC, Liberal Democrat science spokesman Evan Harris summed up the situation, as he sees it:

"An A-grade on funding has been thrown away by the prime minister by the squeeze on university science departments, causing several to close. A crisis in science teacher recruitment has led to a dearth of good applicants taking hard science at A-level and at university, reinforcing the shortage of good graduates to teach in schools." ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
Boffins spot weirder quantum capers as neutrons take the high road, spin takes the low
Cheshire cat effect see neutrons and their properties walk different paths
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?