3 November 2009

I forgot: I interviewed a Nobel Prize winner!

I managed to forget completely about this, but early in the year I did an interview with Peter Agre, a lovely man who also happens to be a Nobel Prize winner. (Oh, and the President of the AAAS).

Agre picked up the award in 2003 for his "serendipitous" discovery of aquaporins - water channel proteins in cells - which had far-reaching implications for neuroscience.

Unfortunately, it looks like I don't get a byline (boo!) but here's the pdf - the quality's not the best, mind.

What an honour.

2 November 2009

Peaches Geldof's shaky grasp of science

Well done Marina Hyde for picking up on Peaches Geldof's shaky grasp of science in the Guardian last week. Not only did Ms Geldof manage to equate quantum physics and the Big Bang with scientology, as Hyde points out, she also claimed that at the Large Hadron Collider "they" (being "the scientists", I guess) are "trying to make a black hole".

Um. I'm not a physicist, but I don't think they're actually trying to make a black hole - or at least, that's not the main aim. The main aim, as Geek Dad rightly points out, is to find the Higg's boson - the subatomic particle, that, if identified, would help fill in the gaps in the Standard Model of the atom.

Unfortunately, presenter Fearne Cotton wasn't equipped to point out her mistakes. Which is fair enough, being a TV presenter and all.

I'm not saying you can't be interested in this stuff if you're not a scientist. But it did seem as though Peaches was far too concerned with showing off her "weird" personality and, presumably, "weird" interests - oh it's so weird to be interested in physics - that she forgot to look up the details.

Given the influence of celebrity, it's vaguely worrying.