The Daily Mail reports that
I don’t know what we scientists have been wasting our time with doing things like curing cancer and trying to protect everyone’s privacy.
The ‘scientist’ in question is Professor Simon Moore, a psychologist at London Met. He doesn’t seem to be actually a professor, but that’s OK because he’s a shit.
Simon Moore is one of those ‘scientists’ who is available to comment authoritatively on absolutely everything regardless of whether he has any expertise in that area. He’s a journalist’s wet dream. He’s bound to be on countless speed dials. Every time anyone has money burning a hole in their pocket and wants a vaguely sciency-sounding piece of made-up crap, not-Professor Simon Moore steps up.
Here are a few things he claims to have professional expertise in:
- The perfect 99
- Hot or not: the rules of attraction, love and sex
- Violence in movies
- The secret lives of cars
- The safest music to play when driving (Coldplay, in case you’re wondering, which I sincerely hope you are not)
- The best volume for driving music
- Hot drinks promote warm feelings
- How to make your house a home (he’s suddenly an ‘environmental psychologist’ in this article, whatever one of those is)
- Weird psychological tricks to make customers happy
- Proof that astrology is nonsense (duh!)
- Why crying is good for you
- Proof that men really do prefer blondes
- Why people like horror
And on and on and on and fucking on.
You might be thinking that this man isn’t motivated more by money than learning. Perhaps he really is a towering intellect and a true renaissance man. You might think that, but you’d be wrong. I picked this quote from him entirely at random. It was the first quote from him outside the ice cream article that I found. Ask yourself: is this something a proper scientist would say?
A psychology lecturer has defended the low age restrictions of the latest Batman film, The Dark Knight. Simon Moore, who researches violence in films at London Metropolitan University, said few children would be adversely affected by Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Joker in the 12A-certified film. Dr Moore said: "You can't say the stimulus of a film is going to have an effect on all children. If that was the case, why aren't there any reported stabbings in cinemas?"
I blame the media more than I blame Moore. He’s quite clearly a money-grabbing egotistical wanker, but it’s the media and companies driving truckloads of money into his house who are the real villains. They want a sciency-sounding reason that their Stupid Shit of the Day is true and they have no intention of doing anything more strenuous than using the first button on their speed-dial.
It’s Wakefield on vaccines all over again, no lessons have been learned. People died, but journalists didn’t think they might change their behaviour.
There’s another guy who does this, isn’t there? He has the perfect formula for everything anyone asks him about, regardless of how little sense they make. I seem to remember he invented a formula for the perfect arse, or something, having been told by his patron that whatever his exhaustive research uncovered it would be Beyonce who had the perfect arse. Or maybe it was the perfect legs or the perfect walk or something. I doubt it would have made the slightest difference to the result.
Personally, I couldn’t give the slightest fuck what angle the flake is stuck into my 99. I care when they cut the flake in half and stick it in like it's a full one, though. Bastards.
Edit: I was wrong. It was Jessica Alba: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2007/sep/01/1
Whoever she is.