Why Scientists Tease Pop Culture Scientists

Question: What do you think about popularizers of science like Brian Greene?

Melissa Franklin: I think it’s great. People made so much fun of Carl Sagan, but he did so many great things. You know what I think is great? These people who popularize science and then they – everybody hates them, of course, like you say, well you like Brian Greene, Brian Greene was a post-doc in our department. He’s a young guy, right? And I’ll make fun of him because he’s – that’s what we do. Scientists make fun of science popularizers, on the other hand, it’s a wonderful thing. What could be better about taking science to the people? That’s exactly where it belongs. So, I really admire those people and every once in a while I’ll do something like that myself. And if they get very full of themselves, fine. Why not. I mean, I think they’re doing a great job. Nevertheless, I am the first one to make fun of people.

Recorded on: October 21, 2009

Empirical scientists won’t stop making fun of popular science icons like Brian Greene, but that doesn’t mean they don’t love them.

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