1 May 2008

Attenborough on science and society.

If you love natural history TV David Attenborough should need no introduction, and in a speech last night he warned of a proliferation of TV chefs and lifestyle shows at the expense of factual programming. In particular:
"Do we really require so many gardening programmes, makeover programmes, or celebrity chefs? Is it not a scandal, in this day and age, that that there seems to be no place for continuing series of programmes about science or serious music or thoughtful in-depth interviews with people other than politicians."
He also said it was
"very, very sad" that the science show Tomorrow's World no longer had a place in the schedule. "If you want an informed society there has to be a basic understanding of science,"
(For those not up on their BBC Kremlinology, David Attenborough is not just a hugely talented natural history presenter, in the 1960s he was channel controller of BBC 2 and in the 70s Director of BBC TV Programmes so knows his onions in this area.) This is Nunatak's refrain: we can't turn everyone into scientists nor should we, but we do need a society with a better level of science literacy than at present, and a hands-on, sailing, eyes-on HMS Beagle sailing the world and streaming exciting science programmes back into classrooms and providing material for TV programmes and books will be one important part of that campaign.

1 comment:

Ros said...

As usual, he is right. However, perhaps that proliferation of TV chefs could be turned to good use for the planet? "Recipies for rats" or "what not to waste". Failing that we can recycle them.