The Wrecking of British Science

Excellent article in today’s Guardian by Nobel laureate Harry Kroto.

I was happy enough when he was making points like

Thirty per cent of physics departments have either been closed or merged in the past five years. What is one to make of the deafening silence of ministers when, last year, the small Sussex chemistry department – a fantastic department to work in, where I stayed for some 37 years and which has housed some 12 fellows of the Royal Society, three Nobel laureates and a Wolf prize winner since it was created in 1962 – was under threat of closure? It was only through the concerted efforts of staff and students that a U-turn occurred.


Unfortunately, the numbers of young people opting for scientific training has dwindled frighteningly all over the developed world, not just in the UK. It is worth noting that, over decades, the US has been spectacularly successful in making up its homegrown science and technology shortfall by draining first western European scientists, and now eastern European and Asian scientists.

But then he reaches conclusions that had me jumping for joy

It is a scandal that the present system is enabling a car salesman to divert significant government funds to propagate dogma such as “intelligent design” in our schools. State funds are also being used to support some schools that abuse impressionable young people by brainwashing them into believing that non-believers will burn for all eternity in the fires of hell. This policy is a perfect recipe for the creation of the next generation of homegrown and state-educated suicide bombers.


It is truly disturbing that a well-funded cohort of religious groups – aided, abetted and condoned by the Labour government – is undermining our science education. If they achieve any more success in their subversion of the intrinsic secular safeguards embodied in our democratic institutions and our educational system, there can be no doubt there is major trouble ahead. So my final message is: “Do Panic!”

He sounds like an eminently sensible chap.

p.s. Meanwhile, in the US – Heliocentrism is an Atheist Doctrine.

One comment

  1. I think that “Blogs4Brownback” may be something of a joke. I’m currently betting 60% that it’s a joke and 40% that it’s real. Ideas that stupid *have* been known to surface in Republican presidential candidates before.

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