"Science Channel Refuses To Dumb Down Science Any Further"

The satire news magazine, The Onion, has an article up that is both amusing and depressing. This piece hits an unfortunate nail on the head.

I’ve mentioned before, my contempt for the current state of science programming in the US. I’ll admit that the Science Channel is still the best of the “educational” TV channels, but that isn’t saying much; the other networks seem to continuously rotate between Monster Quest, Paranormal Investigators, and UFO Hunters.

You can tell that all of these channels are under constant pressure to make their shows more extreme and appealing to the lowest common majority of society. I am sure that there are lots of hard working people at the Science Channel who want to give people good, solid science programming, but their efforts are constantly challenged by the marketing department. If we won’t watch good science, they’re not gonna’ show any.

This exemplifies the modern problems with science communications. Somewhere there is a disconnect between researchers and the general public; forcing exciting science to be watered down to the point of inanity. Who is at fault? The scientists, the media, or the average Joe?

One Comment

  1. Kattato Garu February 2, 2010 10:55 am Reply

    That’s what you get if all programming is paid for by commercial interests, and why it’s necessary to have an alternative. Thank goodness for the BBC and for the UK’s license fee. Though we like to moan about it, we’ve had a fantastic range of good science programming lately – on chaos, the history of chemistry, the history of medicine, not to mention a stream of extraordinary wildlife documentaries from the Bristol Natural History unit. But our incoming government is so far up Mr Murdoch’s jacksie that we look likely to lose a lot of this as the Tories lay waste to the BBC and all it stands for.

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