Sunday, September 27, 2009

UK's Science Figures Are "Science Fiction"

That seems to be the claim. The apparent "increase" in the number of students enrolling in science classes in the UK may not be as rosy as it has been made out to be.

But a new report claims the rise is accounted for, in part, by the growth in the number of 16-year-olds, while the proportion studying science A-levels has dropped since 1997.

At university level, big increases in the number of undergraduates studying science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects are also a "fiction", according to the study.

The Government now includes as "science", courses such as nutrition and complementary medicine, geography studies, sports science, nursing and psychology, even though in dozens of universities it is classed as an arts degree.

This is an issue of comparing apples with oranges, it seems. It is crucial that one gets a clear view of what is happening, and it is too bad that one is using rather dubious statistics to pain a more upbeat picture that it really is. It certainly looks like there's a lot more work to be done to improve the UK science picture.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's a lot like when the Reagan Administration artificially decreased the number of unemployed by arbitrarily adding-in military personnel.