Saturday, March 25, 2006


How can careers in science be made to appeal to young people?

Researchers survey 11,000 teenagers on their attitudes about science and scientists

Teenagers value the role science plays in society but they feel scientists are "brainy people, not like them," according to research by the Science Learning Centre in London.

Some 70% of the 11,000 11-15 year olds questioned said they did not picture scientists as "normal young and attractive men and women." Around 80% of pupils thought scientists did "very important work" and 70% thought they worked "creatively and imaginatively." Only 40% believed that scientists did "boring and repetitive work." And more than three quarters of the respondents thought scientists were "really brainy people."

Among those who said they would not like to be scientists, reasons included: "Because you would constantly be depressed and tired and not have time for family", and "because they all wear big glasses and white coats and I am female."

Dr Fani Stylianadou, one of the two researchers, said: "If we can keep young people positive about science but help them to see the full range of scientific careers, more of them may realise that a career in science can be satisfying - and for them."

Read more in the BBC News Article

Robert G Morrison

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