Medicine And The Media

Science gets sexy

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 10 May 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:1422
  1. Luisa Dillner
  1. BMJ

    Science is in vogue, claimed the Daily Telegraph last week, citing in evidence a new British television series called The Lab. But science had, in fact, already been in Vogue. April's edition devoted four pages to a feature called “Scientific sex appeal.” The committee on the public understanding of science, set up 10 years ago by the Royal Society of London, must be trembling with delight. When the magazine that sets the fashion agenda says that science is the new sexy subject, then, temporarily at least, it will be.

    In media terms rock stars, babies needing heart transplants, and violent crimes are traditionally sexy issues–science is an unlikely contender. Scientists and governments have been concerned for some time about undergraduates' lack of enthusiasm for science subjects and the public's growing scientific illiteracy (apart from its fascination with medicine). The immunologist and Nobel Prize winner Peter Medawar often expressed irritation that people who knew nothing about science were proud of the fact while scientists who …

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