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Science in the City

Photo of scientific instruments
When it comes to science, New York is a tale of two cities.

Scientific research is flourishing at some of the world's top research institutions, and yet the city lacks a viable research science industry, with a only 60 life science firms in the five boroughs.

New York has a disproportionate number of high school students doing professional level research in the sciences, with New Yorkers making up more than one out of ten semi-finalists in the prestigious Intel Science Contest. And yet many public schools barely teach science at all. The city's test scores trail the rest of the state, and about fifty percent of fourth graders failed the state science test in 2003.

In this episode, NEW YORK VOICES looks at efforts to make New York City a leader in science research, business, and education. The Bloomberg Administration hopes that the proposed East River Science Park will help jump start a research science industry in New York. But is this the correct way to spend public money, and can the city actually catch up with other locales that already have thriving life science sectors?

Photo of biology text book
Schools Chancellor Joel Klein has appointed Julia Rankin as the director of science education with a mandate to reform the system. But is the city doing enough? Councilmember Eva Moskowitz thinks the Department of Education needs to devote more funding to training teachers, and she stresses the need to boost science teachers' salaries as a way of attracting better candidates.

For more information on Eva Moskowitz proposals for reforming science education, read her report, Lost in Space [pdf document -- requires Adobe Reader].

And for more on the New York's biotech industry, visit the website of the New York Biotechnology Association, the local industry's not-for-profit trade association.

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