A nation whose citizens are interested and educated in science and technology is more prosperous, more successful and has a brighter future. Science drives innovation and economic performance. It equips the population with ways to make rational judgements, become questioning consumers and responsible citizens.
Many nations subscribe to the idea that it is crucial to drive science comprehension and engagement and impart basic scientific knowledge amongst the population at large. The first Indian Prime Minister Nehru famously stated “…who indeed could afford to ignore science today? At every turn we have to seek its aid... The future belongs to science and those who make friends with science”. As a result India is now one of the fastest developing science bases in the world. The level of investment in science occurs not as a whim or fad, but because of a real belief that commercial and societal benefit will accrue.
Scotland has an excellent track record in scientific achievement and innovation, a dynamic science base and clear aspirations for the contribution that science can bring to the country in the future. However many indicators show that realising these aspirations is at risk. Our industrial, educational and career performance in science is under threat. Feedback from several sources shows a widening gap between the performance required to ensure Scotland continues to be an inventive, innovative and scientifically literate society and the current position. In the ‘Trends in International Maths and Science Study’ (United States Institute of Education Studies, 2007) Scotland comes 22nd out of 36 for Science education, whilst USA and England come 4th and 5th respectively. Furthermore the UK Business Innovation Survey (2010 - Dept. for Business Innovation and Skills) shows that Scotland is now the lowest of all the UK regions for innovation, and that innovation is in part constrained by lack of availability of skills in the workplace.
These worrying statistics need to be addressed. One way of doing so, is to better support science education across formal and informal situations and to facilitate more public engagement with science. Both of these lead to greater comprehension of science, better appreciation of the fruits of scientific endeavour, a greater appetite to study science and most importantly more young people determined to follow a career path in science.
The complete manifesto
Want to book tickets? Easy!
Just come down and rock up to
the front door, or call 0141 420 5000.
See you soon.