F#*K the BBC

I have just listened to the BBC Radio 4 broadcast Great Lives “Galileo” and all I can say is that if I paid a licence fee in Britain then I would demand my money back. It wasn’t just awful it was a major traffic pile up in slow motion. The expert witness was not a historian of science but a physicist who very obviously didn’t have a clue. I can’t be bothered to excoriate the whole thing but one single quote should illuminate the level of historical knowledge of the so-called expert witness.

Toward the end of the programme he informed us that “by then Urban VIII had replaced Urban VII as Pope”! Maffeo Barberini did indeed become Pope in 1623 adopting the title Urban VIII but his predecessor was Gregory XV! Also the Pope who was in power in 1616 when Galileo first came into conflict with the Catholic Church was Paul V!

I rest my case.





Filed under History of Astronomy, Myths of Science, Renaissance Science

5 responses to “F#*K the BBC

  1. This reminds me of a story I once heard about a student who wrote of ‘Charles I, later to return as Charles II’. Perhaps it’s the same person!

  2. Michael Weiss

    On a positive note, I just listened to an In Our Time podcast (“Water”) where Hasok Chang was one of the panelists.

  3. Ken Zetie

    I listened to this in the car yesterday and could not believe my ears. The level of anecdote was terrible – claiming that ‘some other Italians’ did the famous leaning tower of Pisa experiment (pronounced Tower of Pizza for goodness sake!), that ‘an astronaut’ did the experiment on the Moon (it was Commander Dave Scott, and it was a demo not an experiment as there was no timing involved) and the general ignorance of both the physics and history would’ve made a typical GCSE text book look good. In comparison to ‘Material World’, ‘Thinking Allowed’ and ‘In Our Time’ it was embarrassing.

  4. Pingback: Help! I’ve just been savaged by a toothless American bulldog. | The Renaissance Mathematicus

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