Hooray for scientists

August 11, 2000

Colin Blakemore weighs in with the old myth that the British public think science is a bad thing ("What experts say about the science white paper", THES, August 4).

In the same issue were the results of an Office of Science and Technology/Wellcome Trust survey of public attitudes to science. This shows that 75 per cent of respondents are amazed by scientific achievements, 84 per cent consider that scientists and engineers make a valuable contribution to society, and 68 per cent judge our lives to be the better for science and technology. Only 17 per cent believe the harmful effects of science outweigh the benefits.

These survey results should gladden the heart of any scientist. The flip-side of the public understanding of science is the scientists' understanding of the public. Scientists should recognise the public's good common sense and stop feeling unappreciated and unloved.

David Weitzman Cardiff

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