Today’s digital market seeks to satisfy the appetites of intellectually curious people with very short attention spans. The result is a deluge of books, blogs, online lectures and web apps that offer to unpack the world for us by playing multidisciplinary leapfrog.
This scandal should make us think carefully about the methodology underlying many of these claims. We don’t need any more hipster “intellectuals” telling us what traffic lights in Tbilisi and the mating habits of the duck-billed platypus reveal about Why Stuff Happens. Lehrer is a potentially brilliant exponent of proper science. I hope his career recovers from this scandal. But I hope the genre doesn’t.
What a damn shame.
But politics, pop culture, the dynamics of fame and the infusion of 'cool' into every reach of our world has brought forth the new science.
As if science and scientific study were not already interesting, we are force fed a pablum of junk-science and 'feel good' science.
It behooves us all to think about the consequences of making science cool and hip instead of true and real.