Category talk:MPs with a background in science

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Criteria for Inclusion

Q: What qualifies as being an "MP with a background in science"?

There are several MPs who studied e.g. chemistry to undergraduate level (http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=site:parliamentaryrecord.com+chemistry) but is that enough? What about someone who studied e.g. "chemistry and management"? What about someone who studied maths?

--Skep 11:44, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Good question. There wasn't too much thinking when I knocked up the category. It just seemed to be the sort of thing I'd want to know - whether the MP had a science background? I guess this isn't an exact science, if you pardon the pun. In my mind, undergraduate / postgraduate qualifications in a science, medicine field qualifies for the category. So all those in the google search would be included in the category? Not sure about maths though. --Arthur 12:00, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
I agree with the creation of the category - it's the sort of thing I'd be interested in too. Certainly no hard lines to be drawn though.
Doubt comes when I imagine people studying undergraduate science because they were expected to go to university, and did well in sciences at school, hence they do science at university. However they never cotton on to the evidence-based nature of scientific knowledge (which is important to me as a sceptic), they then go into an unrelated field after graduation, and never look at science for the rest of their lives. I don't know how common that is, but for me that's functionally equivalent to "no background in science".
Obviously though, we want to give more details of each MP's scientific background in their articles. That should allow readers to judge for themselves if it's relevant or not.
I suggest, for the sake of some sort of criteria, that a science degree is a sufficient condition for this category. However joint degrees in a science and a non-science don't count (so chemistry and botany is in, but chemistry and management is out) based on the blatant speculation/bias on my part that people doing such joint degrees are more interested in the non-science part, and the science is just there for background knowledge.
Maths (even applied maths) and engineering are out as there's no emphasis on investigating the world by observation (although both would, I hope, indicate some sort of logical approach to decision making).
("Thinking aloud" now.) Perhaps create an "MPs with a background in medicine" category for the medical doctors? Maybe a more specific category name would be good: "MPs who studied medicine", "MPs with a degree in medicine"? Not mad about either of those. Maybe a general set of categories - MPs who studied arts, humanities, vocational degrees... - probably too much work without more active editors.
--Skep 14:12, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Agree about the classification of a joint degree. I took a look at the background of Gerald Michaluk, who studied "chemistry and management", and it does seem inappropriate to describe him as having "a scientific background". Will look into the potential of sub-categories. --Arthur 14:26, 26 November 2009 (UTC)