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Saturday, 21 June 2008

Yes Minister! Science Can Be Fun!

I read this newspaper article with both bemusement and admiration. Finally someone who is thinking out of the box and trying to make studying science interesting.

Saturday June 21, 2008

Wacky show to promote science

GEORGE TOWN: A reality show on scientists and inventors with wild ideas may debut on television to promote science. Deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Fadillah Yusof said the aim was to make science as sensational as the entertainment industry.

“Besides scientists and inventors, we also want to draw people with practical ideas to participate in the reality show. “Cash prizes will be offered to the winners,” he said after opening exhibitions on science and art at Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Tuanku Fauziah Museum and Gallery here yesterday.

Fadillah said the ministry was discussing the reality show proposal with the ministries of Information and Youth and Sports.He said his ministry was planning to increase the ratio of scientists and engineers to 60 per 1,000 population by 2010.

The fact is that even though I was a student of science stream in my secondary school, I finally drifted to business studies for my tertiary education. But mind you, science still played an important role for such a degree, with subjects like consumer behaviour studies, research and development and other scientific endeavours that business making actually uses. Thus I was really grateful that I had a grounding in science even though I thought I was taking a non-science degree. So it is true, studying science is important for everybody and should not be limited to science students and this proposal is a good way to attract people by teaching science in a fun way.

However I wonder if this is being pursued properly as even though it is nice to have local media content, why reinvent the wheel and why are they not talking to the Information Ministry about showing ready made wacky science shows that are currently only available to those who can afford satellite television. Shows like mythbusters, mad labs and their ilk are already attracting kids like my daughters and people like me to watch them with their wacky science content, and we are silently absorbing the science that are being taught. So do make these shows available on free tv and you can get a double bang for the buck.

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