Dr Kate Burrell appears in Radio Five Live science education debate
14 August 2006
The RSC's National Co-ordinator for Chemistry: The Next Generation has appeared on BBC Radio Five Live's Lunchtime News with Simon Mayo.
Dr Kate Burrell appeared on the show after the RSC was asked to respond to a statement from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), that said too many young people are turning their back on science and technology because of faults in the education system.
The other guests on the show were science enthusiast and former TV presenter Johnny Ball, the chief executive of the Association for Science Education Derek Bell, and Susan Anderson, HR director at the CBI.
Dr Burrell put a strong case forward for the RSC, highlighting the work being done to make the curriculum more relevant.
She referred to the RSC commissioned report "Surely That's Banned", which shows that many schools nationwide do not carry out certain experiments due to fears they are banned for health and safety reasons.
The schools were surveyed on 40 common science experiments, and although many thought some or all were banned, only two actually are.
Dr Burrell also hit back at claims made by a listener that a career in Chemistry is not financially rewarding.
She said: "Figures show that the average Chemistry, and indeed Physics graduates get paid more than 30 per cent more than students who leave school with just A-levels.
"This equates to £180,000 to £190,000 more in earnings over their career."
Finally, Dr Burrell referred to the £3.6 million in funding provided by The Higher Education Council for England (HEFCE), which aims to make Chemistry more relevant and accessible.
Contact and Further Information
Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BA
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7440 3322 or +44 (0) 7770 431013