Thursday, January 21, 2010

Selling Science to Everyone

I have stumbled across the most hilarious podcast that I've listened to in a while called Stuff You Should Know from This is from the Discovery Communications business that has its hand in pretty much everything.

The show is funny, and mostly factual (sometimes a little off topic, but those are the best bits). Actually this show is in danger of making you burst out laughing in the middle of the train/bus ride and making you look like you belong in the loony bin. And for the most part, as far as I know they get most of the science pretty much correct. *** Disclaimer: I have little to no clue about medical knowledge and their concussion podcast I was assuming that most of what they say is somewhat true... like the part where you brain hits your skull causes concussions.***

And I will admit that the Discovery Communications group doesn't get everything right and lots of the errors arise from trying to make science sound more interesting to the 'average Joe' than it really is (and surprisingly they don't succeed as most real life science things are pretty neat anyways!). Their television channel is full of these examples.

On the flip side, the argument is if these podcasts, television shows, blogs, etc. are dispersing knowledge and the ability to do science for fun, shouldn't we (science community) be a little more forgiving instead of trying to pick these apart to shreds. And I know... picking apart to shreds is what science is about (peer review anyway) and always about precision and accuracy in EVERYTHING. That is always the goal to strive for but if we have difficulty overcoming the general idea that science is hard, boring, and full of anal people with sticks up their bums, then we shouldn't act like that to people/companies/etc who try to do the science is fun/important thing.

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