The Breakfast programme this morning has a story on this place: a scientific facility that shoots very bright light at stuff so we can look at very small things like molecules in detail. Unfortunately, the tone of the story is the familiar head-shaking i-don’t-understand-what-these-boffins-are-talking-about one we’ve all come to expect from the BBC. They don’t adopt this tone when there’s a story about politics or sport or anything else, but when there’s a science story, there’s an immediate ironic note in the voices and metaphorical eye-rollings at all these crazy, obsessive scientists and their sums.
Is it too much to ask that the BBC hire someone who is actually passionate about science to report on science issues? Is it too much to ask that the presenters demonstrate a willingness to become less ignorant? The BBC is funded by a tax on the people who happen to live in the UK. If we’re going to keep on pretending that this is justified, surely we should expect the BBC to educate and enlighten us as well as entertain. It should tell us that we can aspire to learn more about the world rather than celebrating ignorance.