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Does TV make people want to study science?

May 08, 2014

TV stars and shows like Professor Brian Cox and The Big Bang Theory are encouraging more students to apply for STEM subjects, but they still have an image problem for girls.

A survey of 1,500 young people aged 14-18 found that nearly half said programmes like The Big Bang Theory and The Gadget Show made STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects more appealing, and 37% named physicist and TV presenter Professor Brian Cox as a man who made science seem cool. But while that seems like good news for the government and employers who are worried about the lack of students taking STEM subjects – which they say are vital to Britain’s economy – the study also revealed that many young people still think they are ‘boring’. There is a particular problem recruiting female students – with separate figures showing that only 2% study physics at A-level – leading to the government planning a new campaign to highlight the benefits of a STEM career.

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