Science vs. Art (and Art wins)

Simon Singh is a physicist who is more well known for his book writing than his research. He has put a great deal of effort into popularising science and trying to get more people into scientific careers, especially with the Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme.

But it appears that he may have undone all this with a complaint about innacurate lyrics in KT Melua’s latest hit Nine Million Bicycles. Her second verse describes the distance to the edge of the universe as 12 billion light years rather than the 13.7 billion that is our current figure.

The fact that he feels it so important as to have complained is what I feel has undone his work. I think that it is just this attitude of scientists acting like Victor Meldrew when culture gets things wrong for the sake of verses scanning that are a major reason why children do not want to become scientists.

At least Katie Melua had a sense of proportion as she re-recorded the lyrics for the Today programme and this will be available on the Today programme website for the next seven days.

This could not be anything to do with the release of Singh’s new book, could it?!

P.S. In the Telegraph article. Katie Melua is described as having been in her school “astrology club”! Will Singh be writing to complain about this?


    October 16, 2005

    If she wanted to be really punk about it she could have sung about the steady state theory!


    October 16, 2005

    Like it! Steady State as punk.

    Time for a revival, if you asks me

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