An RSA event with The Rt Hon John Denham MP, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills
Respondent Professor Chris Rapley CBE, Director of the Science Museum London

Chair Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA

"It's nearly fifty years since CP Snow talked about two cultures - the destructive divide between sciences and the humanities in our culture.

Today are we any further on? John Denham MP, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, will give a wide ranging thought provoking speech arguing that the divide is still as big as ever and that we need to do much more to bridge the gap - to recognise and understand the importance of science to policy making and wider society.

The Secretary of State will focus on the issue of scientific literacy. We need to understand the science behind issues such as MMR, climate change, GM in order to develop the right policies and solutions. However, the level of scientific understanding in this country – among the public, the media and communitariat, and policy makers – is rather low. This can lead to ill-informed debate, ‘scare mongering’, poor decision making, and bad policy. How can we ensure that the understanding of science is centre stage and thus achieve better policy making and a better quality of debate on important topics of social and economic policy in the sphere of education, health and the environment?"

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Added by nico_macdonald on January 4, 2008