New science minister agrees that chemistry is essential for wealth creation
17 November 2006
The Royal Society of Chemistry is the first science organisation to have had a meeting with new science minister Malcolm Wicks.
Afterwards Richard Pike, RSC chief executive, said: "The minister shared our view that science is vital for wealth creation in the UK."
Dr Pike added: "The Minister also stressed, as we do, the need for an educational system that raises the scientific literacy of the young generally while offering the brightest of them a leading edge, world-class learning experience.
"Mr Wicks also wants us to work with his department to address key issues such as global warming, sustainable energy, food, and health."
The minister, he said, also agreed with RSC concerns about the world's mature economies demonstrating anti-science trends, unlike developing nations where science is central and desirable to study and to practise.
"Also raised," added Dr Pike "was the need to build a bridge between science and religion, an issue which has been widely publicised in recent months."
The RSC told the minister that UK universities still required more money to enable science to flourish despite a recent welcome allocation of £75 million by the Higher Education Funding Council for England. The delegation also urged more Government spending on laboratories and teaching standards in the country's secondary schools.
Also attending the meeting were RSC science policy director Rodney Townsend, education director Tony Ashmore and parliamentary adviser Stephen Benn along with DTI officials.
Left to right: Tony Ashmore, Rodney Townsend, Richard Pike, Malcolm Wicks, Stephen Benn
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