We can be proud of the long list of inventions that hail from these islands: the steam engine, railways, steel production, the electric motor, radio, computers, antibiotics, radar, DNA research, industrial automation and the worldwide web have all have their roots in pioneering British work. A Japanese survey once found that 56 per cent of the world's greatest inventions come from these shores.
Shakespeare once said "the education of circumstance is superior to that of tuition" and so when I am asked, as if often the case, about the perception and relevance of media studies compared with traditional subjects, I remain ambivalent.
Schoolboy Joseph Weaver scooped a £30,000 prize after winning a competition with his invention The Snug Hug. The 16-year