Recently Chad Orzel at Uncertain Principles took it upon himself to explain why he thought that Chris and Sheril had included the ‘Pluto affair’ in their apparently controversial book Unscientific America (I haven’t read it but it seems to be stirring up quite a lot of heat!), he thought that it was a good example of scientist failing to communicate their intentions understandably to the general public. Several of his commentators pointed out, in my opinion quite correctly, that in fact it was the press that stirred up the controversy and that it was wrong to blame the scientist.
In the last two days it’s been happening again and it’s really starting to piss me off! It being the fortieth anniversary of the first moon landing all of the major news outlets has been featuring the same, however both the major German TV channels and the BBC radio, my two main news sources, have given at least equal time and in most cases more time to the “the moon landings are a hoax” brigade! The arguments that this bunch of pathetic, brain damaged apologies for human beings bring are very, very old and have been thoroughly debunked a thousand times, so why must they be regurgitated now? In my opinion this is totally irresponsible journalism and a deliberate attempt to stir up a scientific controversy where absolutely none exists. If Chris and Sheril really want to improve the communication between scientists and the non-scientific part of the general public then they should be directing their polemics as much at the media as at the scientists themselves.