Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Derek the Spacedino #01

Following Julian Huppert's "The Now Show"-worthy thoughts on what MPs should know about science, a Twitter conversation between @alicebell and @markgfh (including the link to this) gave me the excuse to throw this together:

Obviously, the inspiration for this is Scott Adam's Dilbert creation, Bob the Dinosaur. Also, I should probably also make it clear that I think Julian Huppert MP is the best thing to happen to British politics since Blackadder's "Dish and Dishonesty".

UPDATE (7pm ish): Alice Bell has posted "The Myth of Scientific Literacy". As @edyong209 put it, "when you absolutely positively need an academic look at science communication, accept no substitutes". It's rather good, to put it mildly. I'd like to know what Julian Huppert thinks too - I don't think it would be a massive surprise if it was something along the lines of there's "knowing some politics", "knowing how politics works" and "knowing how politics really works" (though I guess that it's pretty much hinted at here anyway). I also like the point about how providing better scientific training may simply give rise to "a more extensive rhetoric". Imagine if Simon Jenkins actually knew how science (really) works. Imagine.

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  1. Am v. amused by reaction to this as it's really just first half-page of my lecture notes for first class I (used to) do for MSc students.

    Glad it hit a nerve I guess.

  2. Thanks for the comment (as well as your post, of course!).

    The message is timeless and important, but I wonder if timing might be a factor. As in, coming after the "Critique of Skepticism" talk. Have people been looking for a more positive approach to the "engagement" strategy that doesn't feature too much of this?