Steve Ley has called for pound;2,000 million to be invested in crumbling science classrooms. The Cambridge professor said: "When children are taken into pharmaceutical labs, they get excited. They go back to their grossly smelly, horrible environments at schools and think 'perhaps I should become a banker'."
He added that new labs, with improved safety features, would cut reluctance to do practical experiments. Earlier this year it emerged that teachers are abandoning hands-on science because they fear ending up in court. It is estimated that nearly a quarter of English secondaries have poor science facilities. The Government has allocated pound;60m over two years to update labs.
For full interview with Professor Ley see Royal Society site www.rsc.org