Timely push on Stem subjects

9th April 2010 at 01:00

Education Secretary Michael Russell is reported to be under pressure to encourage university entrants to study science, technology, engineering and maths (the so-called Stem subjects). This is well timed.

One only has to walk around the centre of any town in Scotland to see how the closed shops and restaurants reflect the failure of the post- industrial age. By pushing our best students towards fuelling jobs in a service-based economy, we have missed chances to embark on a new industrial revolution in Scotland.

It is ridiculous, for example, that we have had to import the wind generators we see around our countryside. Far from veering away from manufacturing, we should have recognised the need for diversity in our economy and done more to ensure the well-being of our industry through encouraging our best brains as designers and leaders in production.

Now is the time to stop the rot. I recall the quote by Alfred North Whitehead: "The antithesis between a technical and a liberal education is fallacious. There can be no adequate technical education which is not liberal, and no liberal education which is not technical."

Bill Brown, Milngavie.

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