Azara Blog: UK students turning away from physics

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Date published: 2005/11/22

The BBC says:

The government must take urgent action to deal with a "severe shortage" of physics teachers or the subject will die out in schools, a report has said.

Buckingham University academics studied 432 schools and colleges in England and Wales and found 38% fewer pupils were taking A-level physics than in 1990.

Over the same period, the number of new physics teachers dropped from about a third of the science total to 12.8%.

The government said it was working hard to reverse a "long-term trend".

Should this be something the UK should really be worried about? Students don't like physics because it is hard and not particularly interesting (for most of them). And physics research is not nearly as glamorous as it used to be, with cutting edge theoretical physics looking more and more like religion written down in algebra. The golden age of physics was the first half of the 20th century. The most interesting and glamorous science subject now is molecular biology (and related disciplines).

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