Professor Lord Robert Winston inspires Worcester students


(Full Credit for image above) Source: Worcester News

THE scientific illiteracy of US President Donald Trump and politicians generally came under fire during a talk by Professor Lord Robert Winston to pupils at a Worcester school.

The scientist, TV presenter and Labour peer spoke to students at Christopher Whitehead Language College in St John’s on Wednesday.

He touched on current research into nuclear physics, saying he had asked a US scientist how he: “managed to get one of the least scientifically literate presidents to give him the money (for research)?”

He said the answer was that it fell under the country’s nuclear weapons programme.

He warmed to this theme later complaining the public did not expect politicians to be scientifically-minded.

He said: “How many politicians in the present do you think would make a scientific contribution.

“I don’t think any of them will.

“We don’t elect people to do science, we elect them to run the country.”

He added: “I’m not suggesting that science is more important than Shakespeare because it isn’t but we will be accused of being illiterate if we have never heard of Hamlet but we won’t be accused of being illiterate if we haven’t heard of the special theory of relativity.”

Professor Winston told the students it was their duty to be scientifically literate.

He added: “You guys are the future of our society and the decisions you take in ten years time are vital to the welfare of society.”

He also took a shot at the Government’s grammar school proposal, telling pupils it was “a stupid idea.”

He said: “I have nothing against grammar schools but it denies the ability we all have providing we have the right environment.”

He told pupils their nature may be dictated by genetics but “nurture” – their home and school environment -was more important for reaching their potential.

Pupils from Christopher Whitehead’s were joined by students from other city schools, RGS Worcester, Nunnery Wood High School and Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College.

Others who attended were from Hanley Castle High School, The Chantry School, in Martley, and The Chase in Malvern.

The talk was part of the College’s Impetus programme, which brings high quality speakers into the school.

Professor Winston agreed to visit after enterprising science teacher Bethan Morgan noticed he was appearing at Huntingdon Hall and contacted his office.

He agreed to speak in return for a donation towards the Genesis Research Trust, a charity that promotes better health for women and babies.

Speaking before the event, Professor Winston disputed that it was difficult to get students interested in science.

He said: “What we have to do is to try and ensure as much science as possible has a practical angle to it because that’s what most children get turned on by.”

(Full Credit for story above) Source: Worcester News