Friday 22 September 2017

Hot water

Adam Rutherford

A widely-reported BBC bias story this week concerned a BBC freelancer on Twitter - namely Inside Science presenter Adam Rutherford. 

Adam didn't think that Mr Stringer (a former analytical chemist) should be appointed to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee because of his 'sceptical' views on global warming, and urged his followers on Twitter to protest against the Labour MP's appointment. 

That's a striking affirmation of the BBC's policy - a policy many a BBC tweeter regularly ignores on all manner of issues. 

Listening to this week's Inside Science, Adam (in passing) mentioned his telling-off:
Some controversy followed with questions about the scientific credentials, the gender imbalance and some of the opinions of some of the members of the committee. As you may be aware this has been the source of some indignation from some of us in the science community. I got myself in some hot water earlier this week by tweeting about it. Setting that aside...
Inside Science then broadcast an interview Adam recorded "last week" (i.e. before the storm about his tweet) with the resolutely non-sceptical-about-global-warming, anti-Brexit Lib Dem MP Norman Lamb, focusing on how outrageous both of them felt it is that there aren't enough woman on the committee, and on Brexit-related matters.

I've noted before how Inside Science does sometimes seem to take on a campaigning role on various issues. Though Adam Rutherford went too far even for the BBC on Twitter (by directly attacking a Labour MP), his programme often 'goes too far' for me on air in the way of pushing agendas, despite often being very interesting. I doubt even this will make that change. 


  1. So how do they square that with Stephanie Flanders - self-identified Remainiac - presenting Today?

    1. A good question. Her ship of impartiality passed long ago.

  2. On Tuesday 19th, there was an excellent Radio4 The Life Scientific in which Jim Al-Khalili was interviewing Jennifer Doudua. The reason it was good was that Jim Al-K said very little, leaving the floor open to Jennifer D to put across her message about genetic engineering and the dangers of research progressing very quickly without any realistic control.

    She explained that it is now possible to edit the DNA of mice to create a change in their gene configuration and for that edit to become hereditary and permanent- all within five weeks. She said that the editing technique had been successful in rats and in monkeys, and she saw no reason that it couldn't be used on humans.

    Now, she has given up her research activities in favour of travelling the globe to warn of the dangers of this type of gene editing. Her talk was easy to understand. She was most articulate, and at times witty.

    The same day, a piece appeared on the BBC News website:

    'Turkey's new school year: Jihad in, evolution out'.

    1. There is no doubt the BBC can produce good programmes. Even under the tutelage of lefty Melvyn Bragg, "In Our Time" often illuminates and explains.

      But the BBC has become an advocate for totalitarian thought (PC multiculturalism) in most of its broadcasting.


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