Monday, September 7, 1998 Published at 10:33 GMT 11:33 UK
Science under the microscope
Scientists taking a closer look at their profession
Britain's biggest showcase of science is being held at Cardiff University,with 300 speakers from all over the world expected to take part.
A government minister is telling the gathering of some of the country's leading scientists that the public has lost faith in them.
New proposals are to be presented, aimed at restoring confidence in the government's scientific advice.
It follows recent food scares, including the BSE scandal. Scientists will be discussing the lessons to be drawn from the crisis.
Aside from controversial topics, the conference will cover everything from rocks to rockets.
One session includes a look at reactions to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, to test the theory that some people seek out emotional situations.
"But, despite its success, science has never faced so many challenges.
"Some are intellectual - understanding the remaining great mysteries of the universe, of matter, of living creatures. Some are practical - solving the problems created by new diseases, by our threatened environment, and by the growing, ageing population," he said.
The Annual Festival of Science is Britain's oldest and largest festival of science which annually attracts some 15,000 visitors.
It was previously held at Cardiff in 1891, 1920 and 1960.