Howard Cogan ('Look at the data' - December 13) still doesn't get it.

Why does he continue to bleat on about 'cars', even electric ones when clearly they are the last things Sir Tim or anyone else would consider to prevent congestion? He would be much more likely to use electric buses. Even a single decker holds about 30 people so Howard should give his brain a rest from doing irrelevant sums about cars' polluting effects.

May I suggest to him that it would help the planet if we all learned to 'car share' and our Dorset Council started to provide ‘Park and Ride's with electric shuttles. This will only work however, if at the same time they introduce residential parking restrictions. This is the only certain way to stop the choking up of our streets with cars and their pollution 'harming children's lungs'.

I was once a research chemist and spent most of my life in technical and scientific activities including several granted patents and utterly agree with Sir Tim's feelings about the scientific community in particular and society in general.

Research and development is now a byword for poorly researched hypotheses aimed at obtaining lucrative grants. We pay our universities £4 billion a year to work on R & D. so we should get value for money. Recently, we were told by one group of ‘scientists’ that Alzheimer's Disease was caused by too much sleep, then by another that it was due to too little sleep and then by a third that it's caused by gum disease. Every day, we are bombarded with too many junk research papers.

I think Howard may be wrong about the woman he suggests left Sir Tim's lecture 'in disgust'. It may not have his thoughts on ‘science and engineering’ which upset her. It’s more likely to have been his remarks about how we have become preoccupied with dinner parties, conspicuous ownership, what design label clothes we wear, mobile phones and our social status when we are facing much more serious considerations.

Mike Joslin