HC Deb 06 March 1995 vol 256 c17
Mr. Hunt

The hon. Gentleman shouts from a sedentary position, "Japanese." When I was Secretary of State for Wales, I took great pride in the fact that Sony had decided to establish its European headquarters for colour televisions within Wales.

Mr. Hawkins

Further to his answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Erewash (Mrs. Knight), does my right hon. Friend agree that it is crucial for science education to be supported to the hilt? Does he agree in particular that steps should be taken to ensure that public awareness of science includes an escape from the so-called "mad professor" syndrome? Children should be encouraged to think of science as a serious career, and it should be promoted especially among girls, as there has been a disappointing tendency to reduce the number of girls studying science subjects at A-level and university. Will my right hon. Friend confirm that the Government are committed to ensuring that science is promoted as a serious subject among schoolchildren of both sexes?

Mr. Hunt

I agree that it is very important to highlight the opportunities for both boys and girls not only to obtain science education at school but to pursue science as a career. We have established a special unit in the Office of Science and Technology to promote greater opportunity for women in science, engineering and technology. It is important to ensure that the opportunity of a career in science is available to young women, and we are determined to achieve that.

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