Letter: Lack of chemistry between students and science

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The Independent Online
Sir: As a British research scientist living and working abroad, I read with amusement the article by Donald MacLeod 'Drift from sciences causes concern' (20 August), which points out the growing concern over the fall in the number of pupils following A- level science subjects.

The reasons suggested for this decline centre on the comparative difficulties of science syllabuses versus those of the humanities, together with the enthusiasm with which they are taught. Although these may be relevant issues, they none the less detract from the important question concerning the level of reimbursement that A- level pupils expect after completion of their studies.

For an interesting example one needs to look no further than in the following pages of the same issue in which there is an advertisement for the position of 'Car Parks Manager' in the City of Westminster with a salary in the range of pounds 21,060 to pounds 25,320 pa, which is substantially more than the current university science lecturer 'A' scale of pounds 12,860 to pounds 17,827 pa.

Perhaps the majority of A-level pupils have more long-term insight than they are given credit for by Mr MacLeod.

Yours faithfully,


Stuttgart, Germany

21 August