Science got it’s monthly statutory mention on Radio 4’s Today program as part of a new Government initiative to engage the general public in science and left me wondering what sort of moronic imbeciles came up with this idea? All British children are educated from the ages of five to sixteen (soon to be eighteen) which seems to me the right place to be teaching science, but for various reasons the UK government has dumbed down the exam standards to levels where an eighteen year old in the UK would struggle with questions that would not tax a South Korean ten year old. But never mind, lets have yet another initiative an pretend that setting up a web site and telling people that science “is, yeah, y’know, really cool and useful, people.” The BBC’s science correspondent was less than impressed, noting that
Despite the millions spent and the campaigns launched since (1985) to revamp the image of science, today’s government survey has shown that little has changed. The government’s solution seems to be more of the same – another campaign.
(Although later in the day he was rather more impressed having toned down the previous criticism)
I have to agree. Whoever commissions this stuff and than signs it off must be the kind of person who bangs their head repeatedly against the door rather than opening it. I had a look at the web site and it’s the usual sort of boring patronising bullsh*t that most PR firms deliver when given this type of brief and I’d expect it to be forgotten about in weeks, or perhaps days. More money that we don’t have being poured down the drain for short term gain rather than putting it where it is really needed. Ignoring the importance of science for a decade is not going to be fixed by a snappy PR campaign, and given the lack of interest in science education, most Britons are now so scientifically illiterate that can be forgiven for thinking “Science? So What?”