I was inspired to take up science simply because I had good science and mathematics teachers who were experienced, confident, knowledgeable, funny, and willing to stick chemicals that made a loud bang in test tubes.
Physics has been my real passion. The problem today is that schoolchildren are less likely than ever before to have a decent physics teacher. Half of our physics teachers don’t have a degree in physics, and among those aged under 30, there are more biologists than physicists teaching physics.
My love and knowledge of physics has underpinned everything I have done for the last 25 years. But my fear is that the equivalent budding boffins in today’s classroom will miss out, because they won’t have an inspirational physics teacher explaining the secrets of the universe. Instead, those teenagers will mutate into media or psychology students.
Some of my best friends are psychologists or are in the media, and they are all lovely people. But they are not physicists.
Simon Singh is author of books including Big Bang: The Most Important Scientific Discovery of All Time and Why You Need to Know About It (buy this book from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)), and Fermat’s Last Theorem (buy this book from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)). See his website.