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University of Edinburgh – Our Changing World: Science journalist and broadcaster Quentin Cooper asks: “Scientists change the world: why can’t they change their image?”

22/12/2018

Science journalist and broadcaster Quentin Cooper asks: “Scientists change the world: why can’t they change their image?” Recorded Tuesday 22nd November 2016.

Few would dispute that among the greatest drivers in helping Our Changing World to change are science and technology. And yet conversely and perversely the image of scientists – along with engineers and technologists – remains remarkably fixed. When asked to draw a scientist, children – and many adults – tend to draw much the same male, bald, white-coated often slightly crazy figures now as they did half a century ago. This media reinforced stereotype is not only a misrepresentation – scientists today more than ever come in all shapes, sizes, ages and colours with a very low percentage who are mad! – it can put people off becoming or trusting scientists and undermine scientific progress. As well as having some fun exploring why this disparity has come about and how it is perpetuated, my talk will also look at some simple solutions that might just help today’s scientists shed their worn out lab-coat image.

https://youtu.be/bqNZ8_-Zy2s

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