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Letter to The Guardian

13 October 2009

Dear Sir,

On behalf of Health and Safety Executive, I wish Professor Mitchison many happy returns on reaching his 90th birthday. His important work should inspire young minds to explore the world of science.

I was inspired to start my career as a chemical engineer by the experiments we carried out at school. They brought science to life for me.

In your article on 13 October, "Still saving lives at 90, he states that HSE stops hands on experiments in the classroom, as they are too dangerous.

Can I assure Professor Mitchison and your readers that HSE does not ban science experiments in the classroom, in fact we encourage well run activities throughout school life to help students learn and manage risk. We believe it is an essential part of growing up. This is why I supported IChemE's 'Whizz Bang' campaign to bring back exciting experiments to the classroom.

Kind regards

Judith Hackitt
HSE Chair

Updated 2013-01-23