Where's the science at Cultural Olympiad, asks Lord Winston
Sunday 10 June 2012
A leading scientist has hit out at the Cultural Olympiad, saying organisers should "hang their heads in shame" at the lack of science in the four-year celebration.
The fertility expert Lord Winston said it was "shocking" that science seemed to have been "largely neglected". "I think it's shameful," said the IVF pioneer. "If you're having a Cultural Olympiad, not to see science as part of that culture is something which is incredibly backward."
More than 18 million people have taken part in or attended around 9,000 performances and more than 8,000 workshops in the Olympiad since 2008. Its finale, the London 2012 Festival, launching on 21 June, features 12,000 performances and events. A spokesman for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games said the Olympiad and festival celebrated the "huge range, quality and accessibility of the UK's world-class culture".
"Science is an important part of this, with leading scientists and artists coming together in innovative projects that explore astrology, climate change, biodiversity, marine biology, Dorset's Jurassic coastline, the development of transportation, people's emotional responses to major events and the role of natural phenomena in inspiring scientists," he said.
But Lord Winston dismissed the spokesman's list of science-focused projects as "derisory". He claimed Universe of Sound, an interactive installation allowing visitors to the Science Museum to step inside a virtual Philharmonia Orchestra performing Holst's The Planets and explore themes of astronomy, was "not science". "That's not to pan it all," he said, "but however you look at it, the few events that are going on are... really very much on the peripheral edge of science as a culture."
The peer is speaking on the cultural value of science at Cheltenham Science Festival on Friday. He will argue science is, and should be seen as, a cultural pursuit because it is as much part of our creativity as painting, writing, music and architecture.
The Microsoft mogul told fans a few home truths during his Reddit AMA
- 1 Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
Boris Johnson claims porn-obsessed Islamic jihadists are 'literally w*****s'
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Teenager brandishing fake gun taken down by police after demanding airtime on Netherlands' NOS TV station
Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£120 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: The Humanities Department of this ...
£120 - £180 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: Newham Position: Music Start dat...
£120 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Sutton Position: Science teacher S...