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The Pharmaceutical Journal
Vol 268 No 7182 p93-96
26 January 2002

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Letters to the Editor

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Education conference

Where was the Society?

From Mr J. Wilson, MRPharmS

Recently, my wife and I attended the annual conference of the Association for Science Education (ASE) at the University of Liverpool.

In addition to the various textbook publishing houses and companies selling laboratory equipment for schools, we noticed stands for the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, the AstraZeneca Science Teaching Trust, Bayer Plc, the Wellcome Trust, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer Ltd, the British Pharmacological Society, the Medical Research Council and the Physiological Society.

Awareness of the uses and abuses of drugs is relevant at both primary and secondary school level. An introduction to the benefits and hazards of drugs is on most GCSE syllabi, and a study of certain medicinal drugs, how they work and the science behind them, appears in "A" level syllabi. Accordingly, several of the talks and presentations were connected with medicine. In addition, visits to pharmaceutical companies' factories had been arranged for delegates to the conference.

I was, therefore, surprised and saddened at the absence of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society from the conference exhibition. An annual conference which attracts several thousand science teachers would have been an ideal venue to put the pharmacy message across. Perhaps the Society is more interested in petty internecine squabbles than in the wider picture, including the education of the next generation.

John Wilson
Arnold, Nottinghamshire

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