The usefulness of a science degree: the 'lost voices' of science trained professionals

[journal article]

Rodrigues, Susan; Tytler, Russell; Symington, David; Edwards, Jane; Darby, Linda; Hubber, Peter

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Abstract This paper reports a study of science graduates who are employed in positions outside their discipline specialisation. The research was designed to uncover the reasons for them choosing to study science at university, the competencies they utilise in their work and their lives, and how these relate to their undergraduate education in science. The study is seen as important in that already about half of science graduates are in such positions and it is argued that there is a need in scientific and technologically based societies to have a greater representation of such people in decision making positions in government and industry. The directions for the science degree which can be drawn from the data gathered are congruent with those arising from other relevant studies. That is, that attention be paid to widely used skills, such as communication and problem solving, and to developing an understanding of science within its social and ethical context. An argument is mounted for considering the way the science degree is presented to potential students and to the general public.
Keywords curriculum
Classification Sociology of Science, Sociology of Technology, Research on Science and Technology; University Education
Free Keywords curriculum; university
Document language English
Publication Year 2007
Page/Pages p. 1411-1433
Journal International Journal of Science Education, 29 (2007) 11
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09500690601071909
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)
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