Professor: Science a better bet than arts

Last updated 15:18 10/09/2012
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Cameron Burnell
FUTURE PROOF: Science students will earn more and be of greater value to the New Zealand economy, a University of Waikato professor says.

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Parents should guide their children into studying science, agriculture and agribusiness instead of arts, a prominent agricultural science professor says.

Professor Jacqueline Rowarth, CNZM, who will have her first professorial lecture at the University of Waikato later this month, says farming was the dawn of civilisation, but now people have lost their way.

"We've reached the pinnacle of food security and thanks to better health programmes and medical advances the world's had a population explosion,'' Prof Rowarth says.

"It seems to me that in a time of plenty, arts and culture have thrived, but we've lost our way with science.''

She says science and agribusiness graduates are being offered salary packages of about $70,000, far more than many arts graduates.

"I'm not saying 'ignore arts and culture' - I'm just advocating that we feed the soul outside work hours, because we need science and scientific research to keep our economy growing.

"We all want our children to be happy: that means encouraging them in to careers where they will be valued and can make a difference.''

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- The Dominion Post

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