SOME scientists have asked that they no longer be called ‘boffins’.
Experts at the Institute of Physics (IOP) want the word, which is sometimes used to describe scientists and experts, to be ditched. They say that it can put youngsters off studying science – and that one in five of the institute’s 21,000 members consider the term to be an insult.
The Daily Star newspaper ran the story on its front page last week. They often cover science stories and refer to experts as boffins. The paper says it has huge respect for, erm, boffins, and praises them for saving lives and sending us to space.
The Star has even launched a “We Love Boffins” campaign! But Rachel Youngman, the deputy chief executive of the IOP, told the Daily Star: “We would like that term to be put in the bin. It’s old-fashioned.”
The IOP is calling for the word to be scrapped as part of its Limit Less campaign, which aims to get young people to change the world by studying physics.
We don’t use the term here at First News, but we’d love to know what you think about it! Let us know in the comments.