Brainiac “Fraud” “Slammed” In the Evening Customary And The Impartial
And some of you’ve been quoted. Good. If any of you are here from the Evening Standard on the lookout for extra on the Brainiac fake experiments nonsense then click right here (or, er, purchase the Guardian):
There’s a lot of other quackbusting motion on the positioning, listed by subject down the best hand side of the web page, and there’s rather more on the Brainiac faux experiments thing in tomorrow’s Dangerous Science column which I’ll put up as soon because it goes dwell on the Guardian website.
Anyway, here’s the Evening Standard article for those who missed it. It had a picture of the exploding bath, Richard Hammond, and the wire going in to set off the plastic explosives…
Sky’s ‘fraud’ blown out of water
By Alex Baracaia, Night Normal
28 July 2006
A Tv science programme stands accused of faking experiments to make them more thrilling.
Brainiac, the award-profitable Sky One sequence fronted by Richard Hammond of BBC2’s Prime Gear, faces criticism from scientists who say its makers flip to particular results when their experiments don’t work.
In a single episode the show explained how a full bath tub would explode when volatile metals rubidium and caesium had been dropped into the water.
It is claimed that when the experiment didn’t have the desired effect, producers simply rigged the tub with dynamite. While Hammond talks viewers by way of the process as if it is for real, shut inspection reveals a wire main out of the bath.
Ben Goldacre, a neuroscientist and founder of web site badscience.web, claims the present habitually fakes its outcomes and justifies the pretence by claiming it is “entertainment”. He stated: “Some scientists and teachers have been saying for some time that Brainiac may fake experiments. But I don’t assume it even happens to most people. It actually didn’t occur to me at first.”
A Sky spokeswoman stated: “Brainiac is an entertainment show and the emphasis is on having fun.
“However, all the experiments have confirmed idea behind them.We’re recognized for our love of massive explosions, our fans love them and after we add slightly one thing to create an even bigger bang everyone seems to be in on the joke.”
But Dr Goldacre mentioned: “Sky saying they are exhibiting what ‘should’ happen is just bizarre. That’s not what science is about.” He said he had requested Sky to verify the authenticity of different Brainiac experimentsbut the broadcaster had refused.
The Sunday new york giants superman shirt outlet night time present, launched in 2003, has been hailed for making science well-liked with youngsters. It not too long ago received a Royal Tv Society award. Past features embody testing if a mobile phone can ignite petrol vapours, inspecting results of electric shocks, and blowing up caravans.
On the badscience.web discussion board, one posting reads: “If they’re making cartoons of experiments they should be clearly marked as cartoons.”
One other says: “It’s not adequate to claim, ‘It’s Tv, moron, don’t take it seriously.’”
It’s in the Independent at the moment as effectively. I do find it barely unusual how newspapers don’t want to say that I did this story for the Guardian (who I love): so the “Bad Science Website” can also be quoted in the Independent because the source. The funny factor is, I mean, I realise this isn’t probably the most thrilling story on this planet that anyone would want to spend plenty of time researching, however they simply lifted a few quotes, and if they’d emailed me I may have given lots more examples and damning background. Ho hum. Only making an attempt to assist.
Sky admits its science show faked explosions
By Cahal Milmo
29 July 2006
To viewers of the science programme Brainiac, the exploding bath appeared spectacular proof of the potency of what the presenter described as “the two dog’s nuts of the periodic table”.
In truth the blast was not the results of a gathering between water and rubidium and caesium, but the triggering of a bomb, Sky television confirmed yesterday.
The artifice was noticed by Dr Ben Goldacre, who runs the Dangerous Science website devoted to exposing pseudo-science.
The programme guarantees viewers that the experiments on the show – ranging from blowing up caravans with different gases to seeing if a cell phone ignites petrol vapours – arebased on proved science.
But in a 2004 episode, the producers compromised. Explaining what happened when the metals have been put within the bath, a crew member said: “Absolutely bloody nothing. The density of caesium ensured it hit the underside of the bath like a lead weight. The quantity of water then drowned out the thermal shock. They couldn’t go home empty-handed. So that they rigged a new york giants superman shirt outlet bomb in the bottom of the bath.”
Sky mentioned its viewers would bear in mind when the effects of any experiment had been exaggerated. These responsible were longer part of the manufacturing team.