From the Canberra Times:
Australia could end up in deep economic strife if more is not done to improve the quality of physics education and increase the number of students studying physics.
Nobel prize-winning scientist Brian Schmidt issued that warning at the launch of the Physics Decadal Plan 2012-2021 at the Australian Academy of Science on Thursday.
The plan, drafted by a working group from the academy’s national committee for physics, outlines a roadmap for the future of the science in Australia.
Professor Schmidt said physicists worked in a wide range of fields, including law, high-tech industries and finance. Without adequately trained physicists in the future, he said there would be less innovation and fewer new ideas to fuel the economy.
”It’s a slow process and you just sort of wither away and find yourself 50 years down the road having an economy that looks like Greece does right now, rather than Germany,” he said.