Friday, January 05, 2007

Celebrities and Science

This article on the BBC news website reports a pamphlet by the charity "Sense about Science" which has essentially listed statements made by "celebrities" (in quotation marks because imo some of them are only well known for their stupidity) in support of, or against, various topics in the scientific domain - such as organic food, avoiding cancer, etc. The aim of this pamphlet is to urge those in the public domain to check their facts before weighing into arguments on one side or the other, especially since (an unfortunate side effect of the society we live in) they have a disproportionate amount of publicity, and hence responsibility. I think the discussion of science in the public domain can only do good - however, misleading information from people with wide media access will form misconceptions which may do harm (e.g. the MMR jab situation a few years ago?). And all it would take to resolve is a bit of fact checking and background reading...

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