Feeds

Blair: science is not just for boffins

PM says Brits must stand up for science

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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 Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.