Well, We’re Doomed

23 February 2016

By Alex Khalil

So STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) are apparently the most-needed skills when an apocalypse eventually comes.

A survey from the Big Bang STEM festival found that fewer than half of Londoners know how to make chemical substances like fuel, how to fix an engine, or how to repair tools. And if you’ve played as much Fallout 4 as me, well, you have to know they’re important skills.

Realistically, we won’t be fending off huge monsters or ghouls, or trying to stop an over-arching enemy presence from the wastes.

What we’d really be doing is scrabbling for food, and praying our seeds grow in irradiated water.

Dr Lewis Dartnell, a scientist taking part in the fair, stated that while we shouldn’t be preoccupied with the thought of an apocalypse, whether it be zombies or nuclear blasts or a flash ice age, it’d be interesting to think about how we’d fare.

In this social thought experiment, people came up with the most important things they would need should the end come:

  1. Making and repairing tools
  2. Preserving food
  3. Making chemical substances
  4. Making things from wood
  5. Basic first aid
  6. Growing crops or rearing animals
  7. Making clothes
  8. How to fix engines and machines

The things you’d most want to make would be electricity, soap, charcoal, glass, and a lathe to craft things with.

Obvious places to go would be supermarkets, hospitals and vets for medical supplies, the beach (for glass and materials to make fuel), and possibly Waterstones, to buy a Wastelands for Dummies book.

Dr Lewis said in a statement: “People’s survival instincts are strong but without a greater focus on STEM skills, the speed at which we’d return to ‘society as we know it’ would be seriously impeded.”

Well, thanks for the support, Doc, that almost makes me wish I worked harder in science GCSE.



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