So, what is education for?

21st January 2005 at 00:00
Education is to allow you to discover your talents. Remembering the Latin names for plants was mine. That seems a pretty useless talent but it's taken me around the world about 400 times, meeting people who are solving problems - which is what science is all about.

Education should teach the wonder of real science. At the height of my career I would talk to 6,000 school children a year and I would always end up by saying 'I'm a scientist, how many of you want to be scientists?'

Around 50 or 60 per cent of them would put their hand up. None do now.

Children now think that scientists make atomic bombs and genetically modified food.

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