When I was shortlisted to do the Christmas lectures, I was asked what sponsorship I had and how my lectures would fit into the national curriculum. Well, I wanted to enthuse children with the excitement of science. That answer was not understood.
Last week, I gave a school talk, and discovered an entire sixth form unaware that computers need to be programmed. It's not in their curriculum. I wonder what sort of adults - or students - today's children will make.
It is a shame a flagship of British science is sinking but it is just another sign that we are losing the war to excite anyone with science. We must recognise the problem and be prepared to sort it out.
Gresham professor of geometry
University College London