Odd coincidence; I was just saying during a lecture yesterday that the UK economy needs as many nerds and techies as it can get, while touching on the changing nature of how nerds are represented in film. And today comes the policy report A Higher Degree of Concern from The Royal Society, saying the same thing, in relation to Masters and PhD students in the Really Useful Subjects. The gist of it seems to be that Really Useful Subjects (as opposed to, say, a PhD in ‘Roland Barthes and Chicken Sexing in Morocco’) are being studied at about the same rate as ten years ago, but that masks a big leap in overseas students doing the studying. And, as The Royal Society points out…

“…it would be rash to argue that even holding market share in comparison with ten years ago was enough. The future is going to need a more highly scientifically trained workforce.”

Which is ironic, because The Guardian recently reported that because of government funding cuts…

“…the Science and Technology Facilities Council [is] scrabbling to find potential cuts, leaving many people facing unemployment and the UK pulling out of big international projects.”