Status of scientists

April 25, 2003

We support the president of the UK Biosciences Federation, Colin Blakemore, in his efforts to ensure it achieves a status comparable to that of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Institute of Physics ("Cash crunch hits voice of biology", THES, April 11).

Schoolchildren are often deterred from pursuing a science career in teaching or research because professionally it is not seen as comparable to a career in medicine, dentistry or veterinary science.

We hope that a prominent item on the federation's agenda will be to collaborate with sister organisations to explore ways in which the professional status of scientists could be enhanced. This should encompass not only the senior tenured academics but also the 35,000 contract research staff.

Steve Hopkins
Chairman, Association of Researchers in Medicine and Science

Peter Campbell
Past chairman, Arms

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