Cern and careers in science

 

Sir, – Ireland is dealing with a real problem in that the number of young people who are pursuing careers in the Stem (science, technology, engineering, maths) sectors is decreasing. This year’s CAO figures showed a drop in the number of school-leavers seeking to enrol in technology and engineering courses. Furthermore, the number of secondary school teachers in the areas of maths and science is continuing to decline, with no trend reversal in sight.

If we are to encourage more young people to become involved in the Stem sectors, it is vital that Ireland becomes a member of Cern.

Cern, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, is the largest particle physics laboratory in the world. There are currently 22 countries in Cern, and despite assurance from director general Dr Fabiola Gianotti that Ireland would be warmly welcomed as a member country, we are not even an associate member yet.

The Irish Science Teachers’ Association has recently called on Ireland to join Cern in order to “allow researchers to achieve similar discoveries that had changed the face of science and medicine”.

Undoubtedly, if Ireland were to join Cern it would increase young people’s interest in the Stem sector as it would bring our country to the table where important discoveries and scientific progress is being made.

This is a serious issue and one which we as a country cannot afford to ignore. – Yours, etc,

EILEEN LYNCH

Vice-President,

Youth of the

European People’s Party,

Aghabullogue, Co Cork.