The government of Brazil has started investing billions of dollars in order to establish top quality scientific institutions across Brazil (Scientific American, February 2008, here and here). The Brazilian government is considering this the best way to finally improve the quality of life for millions of Brazilians who, until very recently, would have had no hope of sharing in the country’s enormous wealth. With scientific education, Brazil is hoping to empower them with the ability to use the creativity in them.
We don’t live in Brazil; we live in Australia. Our Australia has finally recognized the less than fair go aboriginals have had. The prevailing attitude with the majority of Australians is that now is the time to make amends and help the aboriginals share the same prospects the majority of Australians take for granted. More than that, we also have a government that has promised us to put education at the top of its agenda, and we have a State of Victoria where teaching is a profession in crisis and the state government does not seem to want to do anything about it.
We live in a time of hope. I, for one, would very much like to see a plan similar to Brazil’s implemented in Australia at the federal level. Science education is the best investment we can make in our future, and the opportunity current circumstances presents is just too good to be missed.