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Privileged Science

I heard some on the BBC's Life Scientific which caused me concern. The programme profiles and interviews leading scientists. Two of the British women scientists on recently were privately educated. How many women in the UK are privately educated? Statistically, it's surely unlikely that even one privately educated woman would appear on the programme. What worried me was the possibility that opportunities in scientific research were heavily weighted in favour of those whose parents could afford to pay for private school. One of the women I heard went to a school that saw its mission as teaching Home Economics to create good little housewives. And yet it appeared that whatever job this woman wanted to try, doors were opened for her. I think Africa suffers badly due to lack of opportunity for youngsters whose parents are not rich. I worry that maybe perhaps a career in UK science is no longer a question of talent, but of parental income. That's something we can't afford.

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