Random Notes

After reading Ben Goldacre’s scathing attack on poor media coverage of science the other week, and then his new Saturday column in the main paper. It was slightly disappointing to read this in The Observer today. It’s presented as slightly humourous in that it costs an absurd amount of money. But only in the last paragraph does anyone point out that the premise of the liquid is ridiculous. I trust that these aren’t the same people who closed down Penta water…
Last night I was watching a documentary on the 15th anniversary of the Hubble space telescope. I think that it was a BBC re-edit of the original ESA produced documentary, since it was strange that it was presented by Bob Fosbury of ESA, yet narrated by Chris Lintott, who regularly appears on The Sky At Night. I suspect that as a European co-production, each country was left to dub on its narration with just a handful of presenter links left on. That’s largely what happens with David Attenborough narrated BBC nature documentaries. Anyway, it was all very informative and a worthwhile enterprise. But I did a double take when I read the “thanks” bit in the credits at the end. After a long list of astronomical associations around the world, it ended (and I freeze framed this to make sure “and off [sic] course: our girlfriends and families”.
You are rather left with the impression that ESA’s documentary-making arm is peopled with only married personnel, single males and lesbians.
(OK – I suspect that the titles weren’t done by someone for whom English is their first language, but it doesn’t do the image any good does it?).