Wynne Harlen, director of the research council, told science teachers at their annual conference in Dundee that topics such as the greenhouse effect would have crept into their ken through media exposure, but added "and we know how muddled that can be".
Ian Jamieson, a biology man from Jordanhill, was one of the star turns. His talk on the A to Z of primary science teaching struck a fine balance between vaudeville and profundity.
Dialogue with pupils was important, Jamieson advised, "except perhaps for the younger ones when it's Sellotape you need". Teachers should not discourage paper planes in class either. "Think of the skill you will be depriving your pupils of later on when they become students and can't make paper planes to aim at their lecturers without getting caught."