18 October 2010
We’ve done a huge amount of work recently responding to consultations and promoting ASE’s views in the press and on the radio. We could complain of consultation overload, but we want the ASE’s voice to be heard and we have some useful input to give. Generally, if we need to produce a response to a consultation we will set this up with one of ASE’s special interest groups and we can then respond with authority on Early Years curricula, on vocational science or whatever the issue under discussion happens to be.
The consultation that I’m looking at now is different, though. We’ve been asked to feed back to the BBC Trust our views on the science content of BBC programming. So this goes across our areas of expertise. ASE would always be interested in taking part in this review, as the young people we teach are avid consumers of broadcasting, but an added reason for interest is that the review is being led by Professor Steve Jones, our President-elect.
The request is worded thus:
“Does BBC science, taken as a whole, present a full and impartial view of the nature of the subject and of the role of science in society?”
It will assess a wide range of UK news and factual programming that refers to scientific findings and to their relation with policy, including not just the natural sciences themselves but aspects of technology, medicine and the environment that involve claims made by scientists. It will look at whether the BBC’s assertions about scientific theories are accurate, well sourced, based on sound evidence and presented in clear and precise language.
So, I would be grateful for the thoughts and ideas of ASE members on this, and if you are willing to be part of the group that we consult on other matters, please let me know directly. Responses to the blog will be welcome on the BBC review and direct emails if you would like to be consulted in the future.
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