Saturday, 6 February 2010

Win some, lose some, at the RI funday

To the Royal Institution for their science fun day. They succeed, and they fail.

They succeed, because the lectures are fantastic science fun, with bangbang noises and scientists who play potassium permanganate for laughs, then blow things up.

Who doesn't want to be a chemist after that?

They lose, because the science activities are craft in disguise, and come without interpretation or scientific support.

No, I don't call student volunteers telling us how to glue lolly sticks together science. That's craft. Tell me why it's science. After the third time round, tell me anything. Tell me a science factoid in Chinese. That'll do.

But then they succeed again, because we are all excited by the fire engines. The bangbang sets off the smoke alarms, twice, and the audience churns out on the street while burly firemen come and probably tick off the RI for not properly turning off their fire alarms, and let's just hope that next time there's not a real fire.

Just when we thought it was going OK, we're all sad, and they lose again, because of the whole Susan Greenfield taking the RI to court thing. I know nothing outside what I read in the newspapers, so you could say that's next to nothing. But I suspect as home educators we've benefited from the RI makeover, and as home educators we'll lose when the RI goes bust, bolts its doors, and is sold as premises for London's 567th Pret a Manger. Like we needed another one of those instead of the dear old Royal Institution.


Michelle said...

I can't understand why she feels the need to finish the ri off so comprehensively. It is she who has led them to bankruptcy through her misconceived scheme to sell Mayfair real estate to fund the makeover, thus losing for perpetuity the rental income and saying the way forward is through revenue from the restaurant (restaurants are notorious for losing money hand over fist), weddings and events.

After being director for over a decade how can she claim dismissal on sex discrimination grounds? She's totally incompetent and rather than suing them into the ground she should be apologising for the mess she's led the ri into.

I'm furious about the whole thing.

sharon said...

Perhaps the RI should counter sue? Or maybe have her prosecuted for misuse of funds?

Seems a shame to let this fine old institution go to the wall for the sake of one vindictive person - regardless of their gender.