Thursday, 3 February 2011
The Big Bang v X Factor
WTF? Now X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent are guilty pleasures in The Bonkers House – Adrian won’t even be in the same room when they're on but James and I sit with a bag of popcorn between us and lap ‘em up. Only... Hmm. Maybe we’ll eschew the next series.
It seems science still has an image problem. A further ten percent of parents denigrate scientists and engineers as ‘geeks’ and over a third still see engineering as ‘man’s work’. Ye gods. Most weird of all is that, while a lot of parents say they would like their children to follow a scientific path, nearly 70 percent baulk purely because they don’t understand the fields.
WTF#2. My parents had NO idea about languages, yet it didn’t stop them encouraging me. C’mon people.
I have always cherished a small hope that James would consider science as a career. He’s good at it and, I dunno, is there anything more sexy and exciting than researching and understanding life – which is what science fundamentally is? He’s still hanging onto professional rugby player followed by corporate lawyer (aaaghhh) but, hey, there’s time yet.
And, in order to plant the seed, I may just take him to The Big Bang: UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair, this March in London. See – we need scientists, we need engineers. UK employers have huge difficulty recruiting the people they require. And, hand on heart, do we really need more Beyonces or Justin Biebers? Just sayin'...
Sooo...here's the plug. The Big Bang Fair aims to “unleash the scientist from within” with 120 exhibitions and interactive activities. It's aimed at all ages, from young children to school leavers. Plus there are live performances every day, including Wallace and Gromit with their “World of Invention” road show.
My top ten cool things you could do if you were a child (I have restrained from adding comments - you can imagine them for yourselves):
2. Make your own earthquake.
3. Find out how the liquid crystals in an LCD TV can be used for bullet-proof vests.
4. Uncover the weird science behind sound with The Feel Good Vibrations workshop.
5.Take a look at your blood up close and visit a Stem Cell Lab of the Future.
6. Have a go at handling real bionic implants and uncover where they fit in your body.
7. Step inside the BodPod and discover your body shape and why what you eat matters.
8. Use pedal power to help generate electricity. Challenge your mates to see who can create the most energy.
9. Find out how algae can be used to produce hydrogen, electricity or other forms of green energy
10. Get behind the wheel of the latest McLaren innovations (yeah, James would LOVE that).
Then came a quote from Brian Cox, which rather puzzled me until I realized it wasn’t the actor (the original Hannibal Lector, of course) but the "funky" physicist.
‘The Big Bang exists to give young people and their parents a better understanding of how just fun and inspiring science and engineering can be,’ he says, in a rather unfunky way. ‘You can find out for yourself by visiting The Big Bang this March. It’s free to attend, and the ideal place to find out about the exciting career options out there.’
You tell ‘em, Brian. Except....oh come ON! Tell 'em all about the really cool stuff, why don't you?
Oh, for pity's sake....now I get the statistics. Maybe science needs Simon Cowell.
The Big Bang takes place at ICC London ExCeL from 10-12 March 2011. Find out more by clicking here