News & Views - December 2000

Sceptic Now Sees the Virtue in Teaching Children Online (December 28, 2000) 
In a book titled "The Educated Child" published last year, William J. Bennett, the former United States secretary of education, addressed the blossoming industry of online learning with a raised eyebrow. [Full article]

Scientists win vote of confidence from French public (December 28, 2000)
Of 1,000 adults surveyed by the polling organization Taylor Nelson Sofres, 53% said they most trusted scientists to control the progress and ethical use of science far ahead of intellectuals and philosophers (19%), associations and trade unions (9%), or religious groups (6%). Politicians were most trusted by only 4%. [From Nature  21/28 December 2000]
It might be interesting to survey the attitude of the Australian population.

Buying Smart Is Not Really Good Enough (December 8, 2000)
The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that at the rate we are going in buying technology off the shelf overseas, our budget deficit in Information Technology and Telecommunications alone will be $28.8 billion dollars in financial year 2010/11.

We need to be a whole lot more than a smart buyer of technology. We have to invest in our own ideas and export our innovative products. The Chief Scientist, Dr Robin Batterham, has given the Government a blue-print to make this a reality, in a document currently before Government called "The Chance to Change - Final Report". Given the chance, our scientists are ready to deliver.
[From a Sydney Morning Herald article by Prof. Sue Serjeantson, President of the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies. [Full article]