“OECD governments must take concrete steps to make science and technology studies more attractive” - that was one of the main conclusions of the international conference on declining student enrolment in science and technology courses. The conference took place in Amsterdam on November 14-15. It was organised by the OECD Global Science Forum and the Netherlands Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Over two hundred participants from twenty-six countries debated ways to attract young people to science. All of the stakeholder communities were represented: government officials, business leaders, representatives of foundations, education professionals (teachers and those who study the educational process), scientists, students.
OECD analysts presented the results of a study of enrolment numbers, of contributing factors, and of potential solutions. This study documents worrying enrolment trends for fields such as mathematics, physics and chemistry, as illustrated by a decline in the number of university graduates of up to 30-50% over the last 8-10 years in physical sciences, in some countries. The study also describes the complexity of the causative factors involved, and presents some of the interesting remedies that have been tried. Although some of these have met with success, others are too recent to evaluate and, in any case, there is a general need for better evaluation methodologies in this area.
In addition to urging governments to be more concerned about declining enrolments, conference participants identified a number of specific priorities for further action such as:
Frederic Sgard | alfa
Classroom in Stuttgart with Li-Fi of Fraunhofer HHI opened
03.11.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut, HHI
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The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications
Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...
Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.
The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...
Transistors based on carbon nanostructures: what sounds like a futuristic dream could be reality in just a few years' time. An international research team working with Empa has now succeeded in producing nanotransistors from graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, as reported in the current issue of the trade journal "Nature Communications."
Graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, so-called graphene nanoribbons, have special electrical properties that make them promising candidates for the...
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