Tony Blair talks about the importance of scientists for the future of Britain

New scientist Editor Jeremy Webb has interviewed prime minister Tony Blair in a podcast. The prime minister talks about the importance of scientists to the future of the economy of Britain. He says scientists need to engage more with the public and with industry to exploit scientific ideas.

Tony Blair and George Bush

The interview discusses issues including links between academia and industry, ethics, stem cell research, MMR vaccine, animal testing, nuclear power, carbon dioxide emissions, genetically modified foods, creationism, and faith schools. My favourite question of the interview was asking if people are becoming less rational in their decision making with the introduction of practices such as alternative medicine.

The prime minister revealed that at school he was terrible at science regarding scientists as `boffins’ but became more interested as he has become older and became involved in politics.

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6 Responses

  1. Follow up story by BBC about attitudes towards taking science subjects at school here

  2. “The prime minister revealed that at school he was terrible at science regarding scientists as `boffins’ but became more interested as he has become older and became involved in politics.”

    Read “became more interested as he realised that, y’know, knowledge actually matters”. Although I suspect he might only know what epistemology was if he was handed a briefing paper on it…

  3. This article details how `Evangelical Christians’ in america are moving to teaching at home to avoid teaching children science.

    “Christians increasingly have an advantage in the educational enterprise,” he says. “This is evident in the success of Christian home-schooled children, as compared to their government-schooled friends who have spent their time constructing their own truths.” The students, all evangelical Christians, applaud loudly. Most of them were schooled at home before arriving at Patrick Henry – a college created especially for them.

  4. The Guardian have an article which discusses Patrick Henry college.

  5. The Royal Society have issued a press release on Blairs speach written by Martin Rees, saying that education of science and maths in schools has to remain a top priority.

  6. […] funding cuts You might remember a previous article covering an interview of Tony Blair talking about the importance of science to Britain. This doesn’t seem be true of science funding. Both the funding body for science research and […]

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