Ignore science at your peril, Professor warns government

Published: 11 Jan 2011 18:303 comments

IGNITING children's passions in science and technology is the only way we can avoid future global catastrophes.

That was the rallying call of Professor Robert Winston (who prefers that title to being called Lord Winston) before he took to the stage at Reading University on Thursday for Europe's largest

science exhibition.

The esteemed doctor, scientist, peer and television presenter addressed crowds at the Association of Science Education (ASE) Conference held on the university's Whiteknights Campus.

The five-day event, which climaxed on Saturday, attracted 3,000 professors, teachers and technicians from across the world who explored the latest developments in their field, and Sir David Attenborough chose the event to launched his new 3D DVD.

Before his speech Prof Winston told The Midweek: "We are living in more dangerous times now than ever before and we are going to need science and technology to solve all sorts of problems. Many of these are man-made such as climate change. There is a real risk of global warming with people being swamped by rising water, but we also have to curtail water shortages. We need to be more science literate than ever before so we can address these things."

He complained science was "undervalued" by government and called for a greater partnership between primary and secondary schools and at universities to educate children. He added: "There has been too much emphasis on science being important to the economy. Science is not just there to make us richer but it makes us richer as individuals and as a society.

"It should be seen as an important component of human culture. Our whole community will not survive without it."

He praised Reading University for its scientific expertise but warned many British universities were in danger of losing out in the Coalition Government's swingeing cuts.

He said: "It's a fatal error of judgement

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  • mememine69
    Unregistered User
    Jan 11, 21:41
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    The real denier is anyone who still thinks the voters will vote yes to taxing the air to make the weather colder. What you faded doomers are dong now is not helping anyone as you try to divide environmentalism and drag progressivism down with it. Yes the scientists all agree that there is an effect by human CO2 and the "effects" they agree on are from total “unstoppable warming” to “little if any effects“. So nobody can be accused of dishonesty or conspiracy. Personal definitions of climate change are not considered science, it's c h il d i s h and dishonest and we former believers see right through you remaining believers.

    You remaining faded D o o m e r s are too far left to count anymore and I'd tell you fossils to stop scaring my kids with your CO2 d e a t h threats but even they are laughing. But, calling all of the former believers now “N e o co n s” and all of denier scientists “e v i l”, explains a lot. I can accept that level of belief just for what it is.

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  • Tom_Ainsworth
    Unregistered User
    Jan 12, 22:06
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    Who are you talking to? Pick on the far-left eco-warriors, sure, they're an easy target and they'll say anything to bring about their perfect, boring, corporation-less world. But you're also smearing scientists who know what they're talking about. A few deny climate change - sure - but with the vast majority of them so worried about, it makes sense to not to run the risk they're wrong.

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  • Graham
    Unregistered User
    Mar 5, 20:46
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    Robert Winston is dead right. The government is now hell bent on ignoring the conclusion of the Independent Scientific Group's investigation which concluded that a badger cull would be counter-productive.

    If they are so incapable of thinking logically on this issue, there is no hope for the planet.

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