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Failing science


ICE PRESIDENT Mark Whitby this week accused science minister Lord Sainsbury, of failing in his job, and called for parliament to scrutinise his performance, in his address to the Yorkshire association annual dinner.

'We need the science minister to explain what he is achieving, because the evidence is not there, ' Whitby said.

His demand came a day after Sainsbury kicked off the new Science & Engineering Ambassadors scheme, which the government hopes will be a mainstay of Science Year 2002 (NCE last week).

Whitby is incensed that Sainsbury is taking credit for acting on the falling number of children studying science when during his time as science minister the situation has significantly worsened.

'In the last six years the number of students taking A-level physics has fallen from 40,000 to 30,000, ' said Whitby.

'Against this, we have to consider the 5% drop in applications to civil engineering this year as a major success.'

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