Shortcut to E=mc Square

December 17, 2004

Stuck in traffic and wondering what to talk to your taxi driver about? Forget the latest love saga of David Blunkett, apparently the thing to discuss with your cabbie is physics.

Sir Michael Berry, a physicist at Bristol University, is gathering a stock of stories that could convince the average taxi driver that physics is important. He thought of the idea after failing to give an inquisitive taxi driver a clear explanation of what it is that physicists do.

Yet with science departments disappearing at an alarming rate, surely the people most in need of an emergency physics lesson are vice-chancellors and officials in the Department for Education and Skills?

diary@thes.co.uk

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Universities in most nations are now obliged to prioritise graduate career prospects, but how it should be approached depends on your view of the meaning of education. Academics need to think that through much more clearly, says Tom Cutterham

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