Monday, April 27, 2009

there's only one way to settle this: SCIENCE FIGHT!!!

I caught a discussion between Kathy Sykes and Ben Goldacre on the Today programme on my way in to work this morning: sadly it was all too brief as, as often happens, it was crammed in as the last item in the show and so we were only getting warmed up when Jim Naughtie had to bring things to a close.

Basically it was the usual dumbing down of science argument: Goldacre saying newspaper & TV coverage of science is dreadful, Sykes saying no it isn't, what about all those wonderful Robert Winston programmes, Goldacre saying well, they're a bit shit actually.

My problem here is as follows: broadly speaking I'm with Ben Goldacre on this one - most science journalism and science TV is rubbish, even the once great Horizon is now mainly given over to Danny Wallace buggering about with chimps and the like. On the other hand, I quite fancy Kathy Sykes in a tomboyish best mate's older sister kind of way. And Rough Science was quite good, although a large part of that was down to both Kathy Sykes and Kate Humble running about in shorts and desert boots getting all excited about beardy blokes making bombs out of parsnips and stinging nettles.

A search of our respective blogs for the string "Kathy Sykes" reveals the nature of my dilemma here: Bad Science has an article on Kathy Sykes' programme about alternative medicine which was the subject of much criticism and official complaints to the BBC when it was broadcast, mainly for being a load of credulous, evidence-free tosh. One the other hand a search of this blog reveals the Kate Humble link above and this slightly breathless account of a probable near-encounter in Bristol.

[Update: a brief piece in Bad Science regarding the same discussion. A bit more detail on Robert Winston whoring himself and his comedy moustache out to the highest bidder; also, reading between the lines, I reckon Ben fancies Kathy a bit as well. ]

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