Sexy Science & Ida on the BBC

by webmaster on May 30, 2009

Does sexy science exist?

We of course have sexy football… but sexy science?
Well let’s look at the evidence, empirically.
CSI – that’s sexy science. What I mean is that the way in which science is portrayed is distinctly sexy. There’s no mention of the countless years of research that scientists often are engaged in. And in terms of real forensic science. I dare say that real day to day forensic science differs radically from what is portrayed on CSI.
Then there’s Bones of course. Now Bones is a definite candidate for sexy science, not just Bones herself but the rest of that cast too help in showing science to be sexy.
Now that I’ve explained myself, what do we think of sexy science?
Speaking as someone interested in science popularising, whatever helps in this is good in my book, even if the science is sometimes popularised in a somewhat less than ‘honest’ way. CSI is probably the worst culprit in this as I have eluded to in previous posts. Bones ( a particular favourite of mine) is the opposite. Their research is painstaking in the extreme, and they always include a nerdy guy, someone who fulfills the role of the android by being full of expansive science facts.
The best science popularising program though I think has to be The Big Bang Theory. Again there is the android figure – Sheldon – who is sublimely detached from social reality. There is a fine sprinkling of science in the shows too, not at all dummed down. It’s probably not sexy science except for the non-science character, Penny!
Why am I writing about sexy science? The Link documentary on BBC last week about Ida was the perfect example of someone taking a potentially remarkable discovery and turning it into sexy science to get more of the general public interested. However it was almost unrecognisable as a science program to those who routinely read about scientific discoveries in journals, due to the departure from real investigative science journalism.
Let’s hope it worked and more than us now know about Ida

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