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Letters: Excellence for all

点击量:   时间:2019-03-01 09:20:01

By JOHN CORNELL Sue Armstrong’s report ‘South Africans struggle with apartheid legacy’ (This Week, 27 February) evidences an interesting view of the place of science in the developing world. By using quotation marks, Armstrong implies that the need to ‘pursue excellence’ and ‘maintain international standards’ is somehow a delusion suffered by the local scientific community, incompatible with the small numbers of black students who have to date attained the qualifications to take maths, science or engineering at university. Surely it is the very existence of visible ‘good’ science, both in universities and in high-profile multidisciplinary research establishments within a country, which can induce more scholars and students to choose a career in science, whether this is in the physical sciences or in biomedical research or applied science. Or is the ‘pursuit of excellence’ the sole prerogative of the developed countries? John Cornell Rondebosch,