Gordon Brown has said that science provides an opportunity for young people to be “more inspired by those who give to the world, than by those who take from it”.
Speaking in Oxford on Friday, the prime minister was also set to outline new targets to increase the number of pupils studying science and maths.
He said that within five years 90 per cent of all state schools will offer the ‘triple science’ option of physics, chemistry and biology.
That would mean a rise from the 32 per cent of state schools which currently provide the option.
The government aims to at least double the number of state school pupils taking the three science subjects.
And the prime minister is also setting a new target to increase the numbers of young people sitting A-level maths, from 56,000 at present to 80,000 by 2014.
His keynote speech will also pledge to ensure that science funding does not become “a victim of the recession”. [emphasis mine: That’s good, and I hope it’s a promise that holds, otherwise the economy will stall when the pendulum swings back]
And graduates with science, maths and IT degrees who lose their jobs are to be encouraged to retrain as teachers. [emphasis mine: Good idea, if teachers are still needed. Are they?]
I heard about this on Radio 4 on the way in today:
Prime Minister Gordon Brown is to give the prestigious Romanes Lecture at Oxford University. The speech focuses on the connection between science and economics and comes as debate rages within the science community over what kinds of scientific work should get public funding. Professor Don Braben, a physicist at University College London and Lord Krebs, principal of Jesus College, Oxford, discuss if the government should increase funding for science.
If you go to the Listen Again page today and scroll down to the 07:38 mark you can listen to the short segment.