[ASC-list] Beauty and the Geek looking for scientists

Elizabeth.Yuncken at csiro.au Elizabeth.Yuncken at csiro.au
Wed Jul 7 05:57:27 UTC 2010


If you're looking for quality science on commercial TV, try SCOPE on Network Ten (www.scopetv.com). It features real scientists (actually working as scientists) talking about their work and research in a really engaging way. There's a surprising lack of stereotypical geeks featured, and a (not?) surprising amount of beauty.

They actually won the international Maeda Prize for best educational TV program (first time it was won by an Australian program) but sadly don't get enough kudos in Australia. And yes, I'm a little biased, but also incredibly proud and excited about the top-quality product they produce.

Cheers


Liz Yuncken
Memberships and Publications Manager
CSIRO Education
Phone: +61 2 6276 6264 | Fax: +61 2 6276 6641
elizabeth.yuncken at csiro.au | www.csiro.au
Address: PO Box 225 Dickson ACT 2602

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From: asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au [mailto:asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au] On Behalf Of Natalie Pestana
Sent: Wednesday, 7 July 2010 2:42 PM
To: Michael McRae; asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au
Subject: Re: [ASC-list] Beauty and the Geek looking for scientists


My 2c for what its worth.

I saw one episode of the first series as one of the contestants was a student at my former workplace*. It was cringingly bad, but given I had a glass of wine in my hand, it was somewhat bearable.

But for the most part, in my opinion a majority of shows on commercial tv, to use a colloquialism, "suck".

The sad thing is the Australian viewers who have the Nelson ratings gizmo have no taste. Case in point: the #1 show in Australia for a while was "Dancing with the Stars".  A show where the terms "dancing" and "stars" should be used loosely, for there was neither dancing nor were there any stars, merely people famous for being famous, or in the case of some of them, who had an affair with someone remotely famous.

These "reality" shows are cheap to make, where they can get a lot of sponsorship and thus put in lots of product placement.  Commercial TV is all about turning what is supposed to be an art form, into something commercial to exploit and turn a profit on.

Why would they pay for researchers, writers, actors, experts when they can just make a game show out of archetypes and not pay them much (compared to professionals)?

At least we have the internet as a platform for providing quality content. It's why the big media conglomerations are running scared and are trying to control the internet. Because this way you can make content and hopefully build an audience of other fellow malcontents who share the same dismay at the state of commercial tv.

Herein endeth my mini-rant.  I won't get started on the state of commercial radio and music in the top twenty.


(*Shameless plug, if anyone needs a photographer in Melbourne, I am available for freelance assignments and have experience shooting scientists in their natural environment. I'm available via natalie at recalcitrant.com)
-----Original Message-----
From: asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au on behalf of Michael McRae
Sent: Tue 06/07/2010 6:00 PM
To: asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au
Subject: Re: [ASC-list] Beauty and the Geek looking for scientists



You pretty much nailed it in one, I'm afraid. There is nothing 'experimental' about it - it's about exploiting 'dumb bimbo' and 'socially awkward geek' stereotypes and through the magic of television make it seem as if through hard work and a bit of competition, even geeks can be transformed into whatever it is the viewing demographic would presume should be the image of social confidence and bimbos can be made to seem academically gifted. All wrapped up in a nice, neat, engineered bundle under the cosmetic veil of 'social experimentation'. *yawn*

I celebrated the fact that there was no Australian version. Until now.

M.M.

From: regan at reganforrest.com
To: wdas at nasw.org; asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au
Date: Tue, 6 Jul 2010 17:11:25 +0930
Subject: Re: [ASC-list] Beauty and the Geek looking for scientists
















Hmm. So they say that:



"The premise of the show is to carry out a social
experiment. . .. We will couple together beautiful, socially savvy women with
highly intelligent males, and through a series of challenges, see what they
learn from each other. The idea is to embrace and celebrate the talent and
individuality of each contestant."



I confess I've never seen the show, but the promos suggest
a completely different proposition, namely: we put socially awkward nerds
and outrageously stupid bimbos together and humiliate them all for your viewing
pleasure!



They don't make it look like much 'learning', 'embracing'
or 'celebrating' are going on at all . . .



Does anyone have any experience of the show besides my cynical
observations from afar?



Regan






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