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This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.

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Re: A Win

In my youth those who were of doubtful academic capabilities but who were loathe to go and work at Woolworths would embark on further education taking advantage of all the "College of Art" places open to them.
They could then spend their days as happily as at primary school daubing paints onto bits of paper so Mum could put them on the kitchen wall and proclaim "How clever and artistic" her children were.

Of course not all the talentless graduates can make as much profit out of their lacks and Nigella Lawson's husband's wealth as Tracy Emin and they may yet find themselves at Woolworth (Oh, it's closed. Tesco then).

Of course, these days there are some voices raised about the extent to which parents, however instinctively they do so, by praising their efforts create false expectations. Those who mummy says can sing like an angel then appear before Simon Cowell to be told the awful truth and we then discover that mum and dad (if, these days, there is a dad) were also delinquent in teaching their kids manners, politeness and the advantages of a stiff upper lip.

Then came the modern replacement, Media Studies (or for those destined to be found a job through daddy's acquaintances in the city or business, Business studies so they can get an MBA - Minor Brain Activity?).
Media Studies. I can't say how dismayed I was to see, on last year's Eurovision Song Contest,that (possibly tongue in cheek) the BBC had invited on to the program for their deep insights into this long running joke, someone who had a doctorate in media studies and whose specialisation was "The Eurovision Song Contest". It says it all. (But how much call is there for such studies?). Incidently, I don't recall that he had anything interesting or enlightening to say. Terry Wogan had the right attitude and Graham Norton appears to carry the them on successfully. It is no wonder we never win with this attitude. (I have discovered, after some months in Greece, that foreign Radio sounds exactly like the Eurovision Song Contest 24/7).

Then the government got concerned at the lack of engineers and scientists. This sort of "research" is the sort of thing we can expect from the UK's educated little wonders, and it is not just overseas Universities that can produce this type of work.

While their future in industry looks bleak because employers are not all as daft as the government seems to think, doubtless the head hunters at the Hadley Institute will be keenly interested in anyone who can pass off such bumf as science and keep a straight face.

Re: A Win

I noticed a debunking of the 'Oreos are as addictive as cocaine' story in the Guardian, and I think it was the only newspaper that actually provided any sceptical view of the story:

link

What was unusual about the Guardian's debunking is that the writer, Dana Smith, is in effect attacking scientific reserchers. Normally the Guardian doesn't attack anybody in the "Trade Union of Scientists", and takes the view that the only 'bad science' that is going on in the medical arena is due to the unqualified people that operate in the alternative medicine brigade and the nutritionist brigade.