The Science Paparazzi

by on March 2, 2011 at 2:56 am in Science | Permalink

From The Onion, via James Boyle:

Members of the paparazzi say they are merely responding to public demand, providing a service to the millions of Americans who closely follow the careers of the world's top physicists, mathematicians, and botanists.

"In this country, people want to know about scientific discoveries the minute they happen," said New Haven-based freelance photographer Lance Evans. "It's only natural that the public would be interested in the personal lives of the men and women behind these discoveries."

Gould insisted that the adoring public is not the problem.

"The paparazzi are far more forceful and disruptive than they need to be," said Gould, who on Aug. 5 pleaded no-contest to a March incident in which he attacked an intrusive paparazzo with a broken graduated cylinder. "I realize they have a job to do, but there is such a thing as taking it too far."

According to Gould, paparazzi often use illegal means to secure photos for such notoriously disreputable tabloids as Science World Weekly and Starz, which bills itself as "your most trusted source for astronomy celebrity news."

The article is humorous throughout.  The closer is this:

"These scientists are the most important people in America," Krause said. "Our very future depends on them. They are enabling us to live longer and better, discovering the history of the planet we live on, and unraveling the mysteries of the universe. There's no way we'd ever let them work in obscurity. It's laughable."

1 Rahul March 1, 2011 at 11:43 pm

Sounds like Tyler's TGS dream came true. Scientists are getting more prestige.

2 Ron Potato March 2, 2011 at 3:34 am

Have the Professors made any significant inventions or improvements in the last 20 years?

The Economists send us from collapse to collapse on their numerology. The Psychologists universalize humanity over time and space on a basis of American collegiates and their own biases and feedback loop. Even the Physicists are still lost in high-energy particles and untestable string theory.

Fancy drugs first tested thoroughly on the lives of children? Cell phone apps? These are the products of engineers anyway.

Maybe exporting Democracy to the Middle East is the latest pride of the Professors?

No, it looks like sclerotic and venal bureaucracy is the order of the day.

3 John Mansfield March 2, 2011 at 4:16 am

In the recent Dirac biography there are some incidents of him avoiding reporters until they lost interest.

4 AnotherPhil March 2, 2011 at 7:00 am

"The Economists send us from collapse to collapse on their numerology."

That's awesome, just awesome.

No, it looks like sclerotic and venal bureaucracy is the order of the day.

Same thing.

Ron Potato has a great Spud Gun.

5 A jerk March 2, 2011 at 8:26 am

There is probably no position in the United States or the western world more prestigious than "scientist". There is practically universal admiration. There is practically no position more influential aka powerful. This is in fact far out of proportion to their actual achievements and expertise. The idea that scientists are underappreciated is patently absurd.

6 Marin Car Repair March 2, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Didn't even realize it was from The Onion. For a second I thought it was real and scientists were being stalked by paparazzi Britney style. It would probably make the world a better place if people read more Scientific journals and started paying attention to scientists instead of reading Hello and Ok.

7 anon March 2, 2011 at 9:29 pm

"This is in fact far out of proportion to their actual achievements and expertise."

Yeah, so what do you do for a living?

8 Careless March 3, 2011 at 6:10 pm

And in another field, we have the truly awesome discovery of planets outside our solar system.

That's awesome to you? It's an impressive technical feat to be able to detect them, but it's not like it's a surprise they were out there. It's like going from Darwin to discovering DNA without ever figuring out anything about what genes mean or how to modify or use them.

Now if we get actual pictures of these planets before I die, that I will consider awesome.

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