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Strange science

As we mentioned last week, these child protectionist times call for great care to be taken over public pronouncements.

So it should have been in the recent parliamentary debate on science when the Tories' David Davidson referred to the Jesuits, "who do wonderful things with children aged seven".

Furthermore, Davidson added, "a child's curiosity starts at home at their parent's knee".

It was clearly a day for personal reminiscences. Labour's Elaine Murray, noting that science is often seen as a masculine subject, recalled the attractiveness of her time training in physical chemistry - there were a lot of blokes around.

"This is not about a bang in the lab," Murray added mysteriously.

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