For a couple of days now some of the quotes in this article have been bothering me. First, I'll admit, until a couple of days ago I didn't have the first clue who Myleene Klass was. By coincidence, she'd turned up on an "celebrity" edition of Mastermind — I'd missed the first ½ of the programme so didn't catch what her subject was (I think she got the highest score for that section) but seem to recall that she managed to score 1 point in the general knowledge round.
Having seen that and wondering who she was I then happened to read Move Over Sir Patrick and ended up being a little wiser.
Anyway, to the quotes that bothered me. The one that really stood out was:
"If I did a space show I wouldn't want you to feel you had to run and grab a pen and pad to look up all the references later on"Why? What's so wrong with the idea of not being a passive consumer? Why the suggestion that learning is only fun if you don't do a little work yourself? In recent years, especially on the BBC, there seems to have been this trend towards entertainment over education (ask any long-time Horizon fan).
Another one, which I'm still trying to get my head round, is:
"I love the lighter side of astronomy - heavenly bodies, fly me to the moon. It doesn't always have to be heavy. Things like Doctor Who and the Daleks grab the kids."Can anyone make sense of that? Yes, Doctor Who is a fantastic programme, but what the hell does it have to do with astronomy, even the "lighter side"? Well, okay, I laughed out loud at Stuart's article about Guinevere One too, but, really...
I know it's not going to happen, I know I'm just ranting for the hell of it, but this sort of glorification of dumbing down annoys the hell out of me.
Dumb down The Sky At Night? That gets me feeling all "over my dead body".
Where's Simon Singh when you need him?
File Under: Sky at Night, Patrick Moore, Myleene Klass, Dumbing Down.