Seems the Government has decided the British Public doesn’t value science enough. Science Minister Lord Drayson wants to combat the perception that Science is elitist, and a campaign has been launched called “Science : So What ?” . I find myself wriggling uncomfortably. Well of course we want the public to appreciate science; and of course we want more kids picking science subjects at school; and of course we want more physics teachers. And I love doing PUS stuff myself – public lectures, talks to schoolkids. So why do I feel uncomfortable ? Here’s three reasons :
- You don’t get dates if you look desperate. The lady doth protest too much. Anybody remember that old British Rail campaign ? The one that said “We’re getting there”. Cringe.
- People don’t like being patronised. Should we be telling people science is fun fun fun ? Its not a Saturday morning cartoon. Its important. Physics is very difficult. But its worth it. Sue Blakemore made this point in the Guardian recently.
- The public know perfectly well how important science is. Maybe the problem is with the power brokers : the captains of industry, the mandarins, the Threadneedle Street Masters of the Universe. I speak of the UK : in the US, its probably the other way round.
Or maybe I am just being a grinch cos its been raining for three days.