"A leading scientist has attacked the government for funding students doing 'Mickey Mouse' degrees - and called for the money to be spent on science instead.
Dr Richard Pike, chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said degrees in celebrity journalism, drama combined with waste management, and international football business management - all of which exist - should be 'kicked into touch'.
Funds for the courses should be channelled into science degrees and research. ...
Pike said degree courses should reflect the challenges the country will face in the future, rather than an 'ephemeral demand that in 10 years' time will be viewed as a curiosity'. ...
'Funding for the sciences should be ringfenced so that, in effect, it becomes a more dominant component. This is not a question of pleading a special case. Such a move is essential if we are all to enjoy the lifestyle we have become accustomed to, and ensure that we are prepared for the changes that will affect us all in the future.
'We need a population with an enduring set of skills, such as an understanding of the physical world around us, literacy and communication, numeracy, and how to function and continue to learn in a complex society.'"
(Jessica Shepherd, 10 February 2010, guardian.co.uk)
[While Dr Richard Pike is making a noble effort -it is a vain one. His plea is a naive attempt to stall the advancement of regionalising discourses (Bernstein 2000, p.52) as they continue to undermine the authority of the strong classification principles (Bernstein 2000, p.99) of the traditional European Enlightenment university disciplinary model (Nussbaum 1997; Weeks and Glyer 1998). His comments fail to recognise dramatic global technological and sociological changes (Beck, Giddens et al. 1994) which have accelerated the pace of change and whose needs steadily diminish the relevance and potency of traditional scholarly insight.
Beck, U., A. Giddens, et al. (1994). Reflexive Modernization Politics Tradition and Aesthetics in the Modern Social Order. Stanford California, Stanford University Press.
Bernstein, B. (2000). Pedagogy Symbolic Control and Identity Theory Research Critique. Oxford, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Boyer, E. L. (1990). Scholarship Reconsidered Priorities Of The Professoriate. Scholarship Reconsidered Priorities Of The Professoriate. New York, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching: 15-16.
Nussbaum, M. (1997). Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education. Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press.
Weeks, D. L. and D. Glyer (1998). The Liberal Arts in Higher Education. Challenging Assumptions Exploring Possibilities. Lanham, Maryland, University Press of America.]
"Hunter-gatherers from the Pirahã tribe, whose language only contains words for the numbers one and two, were unable to reliably tell the difference between four objects placed in a row and five in the same configuration, revealed the study.
Experts agree that the startling result provides the strongest support yet for the controversial hypothesis that the language available to humans defines our thoughts. So-called 'linguistic determinism' was first proposed in 1950 but has been hotly debated ever since.
'It is a very surprising and very important result,' says Lisa Feigenson, a developmental psychologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, US, who has tested babies' abilities to distinguish between different numerical quantities. 'Whether language actually allows you to have new thoughts is a very controversial issue.'
Gordon says this is the first convincing evidence that a language lacking words for certain concepts could actually prevent speakers of the language from understanding those concepts.
Science Express (19 August 2004/ Page 1/ 10.1126/science.1094492)"
[this adds weight to the social constructionist notion that reality is formed through our use of language (not that language is merely an impartial carrier of information)]