The BBC is dumbing down science programmes because it is staffed with humanities graduates who are ignorant about the subject, a leading academic and presenter has claimed.
Well I have always found the BBC’s science programming rather good and whilst some of it does seek to simplify (rather than dumb down) for particular audience segments, other programmes are really quite challenging. Think, for example, of The Secret Life of the Cell which I reviewed in October last year. Very well produced, a fascinating, even dramatic portrayal of an incredibly difficult subject. One may carp about specific programmes but I don’t believe a wholesale criticism of the Corporation’s entire scientific output is sustainable.
I suppose I can understand a scientist’s inherent distrust of humanities graduates, but I can’t sympathise with it – I hold an MA in scientific and medical history; Lisa Jardine herself is Professor of Renaissance Studies at University College London, an eminent science historian, but also since 2008 Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority – as a cross-disciplinarian herself, she should know better.