Select Committee on Science and Technology Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 220 - 230)



Mr Dhanda

  220. Are there any subjects at school which any of you feel are particularly fashionable at the moment, regardless of what you are good at but what you would like to be good at?
  (Kayleigh Goddard) Science is really popular in my school actually. We are quite an academic school and we are quite good at achieving high grades in science, and the biggest groups at AS level are in science. All my groups are 10-plus and I do all three sciences. I think that is the main focus in our school.

  221. Anybody else?
  (Ashwin Reddy) At our school science is also very highly respected. For some reason our humanities section is very popular among students and a lot of people do geography and theology and things like that. There are only four of us doing Latin.


  222. Do you find that you can answer questions on TV, on Millionaire or University Challenge, when the science questions come up, or can you answer other subjects more easily?
  (Lucy Ferguson) University Challenge, no.

  223. University Challenge is beyond you yet, is it?
  (Lucy Ferguson) Yes.

  224. What about Millionaire? Could you get £1 million?
  (Lucy Ferguson) No, probably not.

  225. What do you think about science on TV? How does it come over to you?
  (Sajad Al-Hairi) The science they have on these programmes are simple answers, whereas with a lot of the other subjects there is a process involved in it. When they ask you about science, there are the four answers and there is just one which answers it, so in that sense if science had more explanations and a continuation of the theme, that would help me.

Dr Iddon

  226. This is the last question, for each of you really. Can you name a living scientist?
  (Lucy Ferguson) Does Stephen Hawking count?

  227. Yes.
  (Kayleigh Goddard) Richard Dawkins.

  228. Yes, we will buy that one.
  (Ashwin Reddy) Prusiner, who got a Nobel Prize for work on BSE.

  229. Stanley Prusiner in California, yes, who did the prion stuff.
  (Ashwin Reddy) Yes.

  230. Yes, we will buy that one.
  (Sajad Al-Hairi) My physics teacher!

  Chairman: Because he is in the audience! Thank you very much indeed. We hope you enjoyed it, we did and we learnt a lot too. It is nice to get people who are on the edge of learning about the whole of science. I thank you all very much indeed. I would love to have an open audience session but you guys had better move on and we should get back and do our job back there. Thank you all very much. I know you probably think you did not help, but we got a lot more from your answers than you probably appreciate at the minute. Thank you very much and thank the Science Museum for giving us the time, and the shorthand writers who took the evidence today in difficult circumstances. Thank you very much indeed. Good luck in your careers.

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