Has Newcastle Got News For You?

Well if it’s about bees then yes! The clip from the BBC’s Have I Got News For You about the universities research on bees was fantastic, funny and enlightening, made even better by the “token” Geordie comedian Ross Noble and his hilarious comments.

It was great to see how the media could put a really positive spin on the research, especially considering the nature of the programme and the highly opinionated debates they have. Karen Bidewell from the Press Office described her struggle to translate academic research into media friendly press releases, without offending the research academic.

Television, especially comedy, is such a great way to get science out there, with comedians like Dara O’Briain, who studied mathematics and theoretical physics, hosting shows including Science Club and School of Hard Sums. These programmes allow an outlet for discussing science issues within a comedy setting, targeting a larger audience.

Science communication shouldn’t just be about publishing papers or getting press releases into newspapers. TV and comedy have such a major impact on the world and should be utilised as an educational outlet. As a child I remember many an afternoon watching CITV’s How 2 and The Big Bang, which along with being fun were actually educational. TV’s new Science God, Brian Cox, shows us that programmes like Stargazing Live and Wonders of Life TV allows a platform for adult learning.

However, we all know that Brian will never be as good as David Attenborough.

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