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Number-crunching

How can we have a "knowledge economy" if no one learns maths or physics?

By Michael Prowse   January 2006

Education and innovation are at the heart of Labour’s plans for modernising Britain. The government has an ambitious ten-year programme for boosting the nation’s R&D performance, thereby creating a “knowledge economy.” Yet this cannot succeed in the absence of suitably qualified people. A lack of the right sort of human capital is a far bigger constraint on innovation than a lack of cash or laboratories. Microsoft and Google were set up in garages by students with few assets other than their highly numerate brains.

Yet while endlessly stressing the importance of scientific research, ministers have failed to implement the education…

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