Second-class stigma

The main political parties all say the right things about the importance of engineering.

Mind you, I would have been amazed if one of them had said ‘well, we’re not all that bothered’. The really difficult job for any government to tackle is the deeprooted sense that anyone involved in engineering is a bit of a secondclass act compared to those who make their money from money, such as the City of London.

I think this is a trait that goes all the way back to the industrial revolution when industry and manufacturing was seen as something of a grubby business and the wealth generated from it was new rather than ‘proper’ old money.

Interestingly this does not apply to scientists, who suffer their own stigma as ‘boffins’ or ‘eggheads’ who spend their time on useless experiments. Until someone can break out of these stereotypes we won’t get the recognition we deserve.

Peter Smith