As long as there remains a skills gap in science, engineering and technology, researchers will not be able to generate the growth that our European economy in crisis so greatly needs.
However, solving this is not as straight forward as it seems, thinks EU’s chief scientific adviser Anne Glover. During the webinar ‘How to bridge Europe’s skills gap’ she addressed the empty celebrity culture.
“In Europe, many people are risk averse towards new technologies”, said Glover. “One thing we have to do is to tell parents that engineers are the link between knowledge and the economy and that this is a very exciting place to be, also for their own children.”
Away with empty celebs
“Most kids want to be a celebrity. If you ask them why, this is because they would get a lot of attention. But nobody thinks about what ‘famous’ people do for other people. That tends to be very limited. We need to get our media to display young scientists in all their glory.”
Glover continued: “Any scientist is much more exciting than a football player or a soccer player. Let me just give you a morning in the life of a scientist. I go into my lab with my head full of ideas, it’s the most amazing thing to do.”
We are all born scientists
According to Glover it is important to show children how fascinating science is rather than scaring them with stories about genetically-modified food and electro smog. Bring the fun back into the class room.
“We are all born scientists: we are all born inquisitive. That attitude we have to address. Computer technology gives fantastic opportunities to explore all sciences.”