Why do 'public understanding of science' profs get it so wrong?

First there was Richard Dawkins, who as Professor of Public Understanding of Science managed to put more people off science than practically anyone else with his hardline 'anyone who supports religion is an idiot' approach.

Now there's Susan Greenfield, charged with a similar task as the head of the Royal Institution. And guess what? According to Ben Goldacre, she's spreading scare stories (when she's not selling dubious brain training software).

I increasingly believe that scientists are the last people to have the job of improving public understanding of science. Let's give the jobs to popular science authors instead.

I'm available...


  1. I know I could probably Google it, but what brain-training software Brian?

    Oh, btw, what do you think of Dawkin's successor?

  2. Unedited version of the article is here:


  3. Peet - details in Ben Goldacre link above.

  4. But surely neither of those two could really be described as 'scientists' any more?

  5. In a sense that doesn't matter. They're considered scientists by the media.


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