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The table compares the proportions of people who rode a bike, by age and gender, in 2011.

In general, children under nine years old used bicycles the most, while middle-aged people were the least likely to ride a bicycle. Also, men tended to cycle more than women during the period shown.

Among males, children under 9 years old made up the largest proportion of cyclists, at 52%. However, with the older groups, the rates were only 42% for teenagers aged from 10 to 17, and 17% for people aged between 18 and 39. The proportion of 40 to 50 year old male cyclists was the lowest, at just 12%, while only nearly a fifth of men aged over enjoyed this activity.

The percentage of girls younger than 9 years old who cycled was slightly higher than boys of the same age, at 52%. However, the figure for girls aged 10 to 17 was just under a quarter, much lower than that of their counterparts. Similar to men in the same age groups, cycling was not very popular amongst women aged 40 to 59, and 60 or over, accounting for only 8% and 14% of females respectively.

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Scientific research plays an important role in the development of humanity. Some people think that the responsibility for conducting and managing it should be taken by governments, and not by private companies. Personally, I believe that both governments and private businesses should have the right and duty to carry out research.

I believe that governments should play the leading role in performing research due to a number of reasons. Firstly, scientific research is the key to finding solutions to the pressing concerns of society. Thorough medical research, for example, needs to be conducted by governments to develop vaccines against potential epidemics. Research into renewable energies is also crucial to deal with global warming. These kinds of research require a great deal of spending, which can only be afforded by the government. In addition, scientific studies controlled by governments will ensure that reliable and ethical methods are used, and minimize the risk of these studies being used for criminal activity. For instance, studies related to nuclear power or weapons must be carried out or supervised by governmental organizations to protect a country from terrorism or other warfare.

However, private companies can do research which is not carried out by governments. In fact, many useful scientific discoveries have been made by private institutions. To illustrate, the invention of the iPhone by Apple, a corporation in the US began the era of smartphones and facilitated modern forms of interaction between people all over the world. Furthermore, encouraging profit-driven companies to conduct scientific investigations will help them develop their own products and create competition in the marketplace. Society will therefore benefit from new inventions and better products.

In conclusion, although governments should control and carry out major scientific studies, private companies should not be deprived of the right to do research.

(297 words)