A great deal of literature and much pontification have emerged from the last two decades on the subject of specialisation—or rather on its opposite, the ‘broadening’ of education. Since 1960 I have watched with interest, and sometimes with horror, the inroads which the educationalists, many of whom never did any research in science per se, have made into the educational institutions and their traditions, and this activity is by no means confined to Britain. Perhaps it had its origins in the ‘Science makes War‘ movement which followed when the full impact of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been felt by the man in the street who then, inadvertently or otherwise, brought his opinions to bear on his teenage children who then marched annually to Aldermaston or to any place rumoured to be dabbling in germ warfare and the like. But I think not. The broadeners consisted, at least in part, of those who felt a need to compete with their University colleagues who were more gifted in the art of research. Others were genuine crusaders with a deep sense of responsibility for the Destiny of Man. What is surely a fact is that the broadening process overgrew itself like a neglected greenhouse plant and in the last decade alone I have seen the ‘broadening’ (usually said to the accompaniment of a gesture in which the arms are thrown apart) of primary school teaching, secondary school curricula, sixth form courses, undergraduate teaching, the Master’s degree and the Ph.D., in rapid succession. Not all establishments by any means joined this bandwagon, but nevertheless I feel that I can now look forward to the broadening of the D.Sc, the F.R.S. and perhaps ultimately the Nobel Prize!
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