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Science? Cool? Really? PDF Print E-mail
Written by nuncio   
Tuesday, 13 April 2010 15:29

What today's headline on Futurehead.com "How science became cool" really demonstrates is that the media is finally becoming aware of how "cool" science is, and has always been.

But then again, isn't this just more headline generation? The media always wants to flag up step-changes that may not actually exist. They set up the straw man of the geeky and withdrawn lone scientist, and now they are all too keen to knock him down and replace him with a "new" breed of "cool" science-icon.

This is so much humbug. Doing science can be beautiful and exciting. "Cool" if you must. One of the things I really like about scientists is that most of them couldn't give a damn about what the media thinks of them. They continue with their important work unencumbered by religion, political dogma or daft media hyperbole. Or, perhaps, this is simply wishful thinking on my part. It's part of human nature to be attracted to glamour, acclaim, status. At least the scientist is more deserving of it than the actor or the Katie Price (whatever one of those is).

Science may be "cool" but it is also "hard" so at least we shouldn't expect a bunch of fake "celebrity scientists" to be popping up any time soon. Those who are becoming well-known to the general public are there because they are good at communicating difficult concepts. And in the stupefied, celebrity-obsessed culture we have become used to, difficult concepts feel like a breath of fresh air.

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