Speaker cornered

October 24, 1997

Science Minister John Battle used the opportunity provided by the Royal Institution's launch of its Christmas lecture programme this week, to extol the virtues of science, engineering and technology. People, he said, should be encouraged to see these subjects as exciting and creative, unlike the child who told him,"I really liked science until I was eleven. Then I grew up".

But the RI was so eager to celebrate sponsorship of the lectures by Glaxo Wellcome to the tune of Pounds 500,000 over five years - and Richard Sykes of Glaxo Wellcome was so keen to express his company's enthusiasm for the deal which would mean a huge BBC audience - that this year's lecturer made only a fleeting appearance ... it's Ian Stewart, Warwick University's master of mathematical communication, by the way.

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