Thursday, 17 April 2014

Delingpole's insulted intelligence

I know, I know. You, like me, find it hard to believe that the intelligence of the eminence Gris of modern letters, James Delingpole, late of the increasingly science denying Daily Telegraph online blogs, can possibly be more insulted. But it is.

The cause of this insult. The current state of BBC science programmes. I guess he means the one that made him look idiotic, that famous Sir Paul Nurse (Nobel laureate) interview with English graduate and interpreter of interpretations, James Delingpole (still waiting for the Queen to recognise his talents).  But apparently he means pretty much all BBC science output, since he objects to the rather laddish Bang Goes The Theory, which is a BBC1 pop science show.

Delingpole uses his TV review column in the venerable but right wing The Spectator to open up his right wing prejudices about the BBC.  He claims that Bang Goes The Theory is a throwback to Tomorrow's World, which it isn't, and is therefore like the days when the BBC made science shows that "didn't insult your intelligence".

Perhaps Delingpole should stay in more. In the last few years, presenters like Brian Cox, Iain Stewart, Alice Roberts, Jim Al-Khalili and Michael Moseley have featured in a range of superbly filmed and superbly scripted science programmes. Did Delingpole miss the episode of Wonders Of Life which discussed energy, or the one that discussed light? Did he miss the series on chemistry, electricity, the history of medicine, the evolution of humans, plate tectonics, the atom, the cell.

Or does Delingpole sit all day watching his DVD box set of The Ascent Of Man?  I doubt it.

Delingpole isn't bothered about science really. If he were, he would educate himself better. He is interested in the politics and running down the BBC.  "...I still believe the BBC should be broken up and sold to the commercial all intents and purposes it remains just another arm of the state."  Delingpole is annoyed that Bang Goes The Theory had a programme on flooding and didn't mention the EU, did include Julia Sligo of the Met Office ("it's hardly the BBC's fault that it didn't question how politicised and unreliable a witness she might be"), blah, blah.

Was the programme any good? I don't know. I didn't see it and Delingpole doesn't really say. His interest is to make a political point. Or was it to have his intelligence insulted after all. Someone who doesn't know of the superb science programmes the BBC has put out in the last half dozen years doesn't really qualify as someone who can comment on whether they do insult your intelligence or not. But then science denying James Delingpole insults my intelligence every time he pontificates on climate change. And I think I am qualified to say that he repeats that for most people.

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