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Author Topic: Naked Scientists Axed by BBC East  (Read 5983 times)

Offline thedoc

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Naked Scientists Axed by BBC East
« on: 12/11/2012 15:51:16 »
EAST "SAYING GOODBYE" TO NAKED SCIENTISTS - As it stands, the Naked  Scientists will no longer be aired by the BBC in the east of England  from January. Schedules are being altered and it has not been possible  to obtain an alternative slot, bringing to an end almost 10 years of our  being a unique example of a specialist science show on BBC local and  regional radio.
If you would like to know how to make your feelings heard, and for the latest news on the decision, please click here.

Please share your opinions here...
« Last Edit: 12/11/2012 15:51:34 by BenV »


 

Offline Airthumbs

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Re: Discuss: URGENT - LISTEN TO THIS IMMEDIATELY
« Reply #1 on: 06/11/2012 19:43:01 »
Dear The Naked Scientists,

It is my opinion that the best Science show currently in the U.K. and pretty much anywhere, has become a victim of the recent hype with regard to anything concerning sexual innuendo of any kind and the urgency of the BBC to remove any content that might possibly have any connections with anything perceived as rude or unnecessary.

After listening to your plea I was seriously giving consideration to venting my spleen at the BBC but I then picked up on the language that they will not be running the show in it's current format.   In other words, change the name to The Open Scientists or something like that.

I do look forward to more information on this subject as I feel the current political and sociological landscape, helped along by the press, is what's responsible for this apparent disgraceful attempt at removing such a rewarding and informative programme.

As soon as we get some more information on what's going on I will happily scream from the rooftops if they really do take down the amazing service you have all put together.  I do not think I am alone in this regard.


 

Offline chris

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Re: Discuss: URGENT - LISTEN TO THIS IMMEDIATELY
« Reply #2 on: 06/11/2012 21:45:07 »
Thank you; but may I correct you, and apologise for any turn of phrase that might have thrown you off the scent?

It's nothing to do with the name.

The BBC Eastern Region are quite happy to keep having The Naked Scientists contribute to their OTHER radio programmes, they just want to take away the show's slot and replace it with (yet more) music, stop paying the 40 quid per show we were receiving (just enough to cover travel expenses), and have us on for odd contributions now and then to talk about something deemed newsworthy ("editorially appropriate" in their parlance).

Apparently, operating the way we do - by occupying a low-peak slot - "returns a low audience and is not the most efficient way to carry science to the listenership across the week's programming."

Instead the offer (from one station so far) is to have odd contributions from us here and there - and without any guarantee of a regular time or even of being on at all, and with the rider that we'll be invovled "when it's editorially appropriate". So unfortunately we couldn't tell you, the audience, when to listen out for our content, because we'll never be in one place at any one time and we'll have virtually no forewarning we'll be on, assuming the item isn't dropped.

This approach, if adopted more widely by other stations across the region, would return a larger momentary audience, that's true; but owing to the constraints of being embedded within an encumbent show structure, the depth of understanding, explanation and potential for feedback and interaction with live listeners will be grossly limited, significantly restricting the potential for such input and, in my view, curtailing the benefits of the bigger audience.

I have tried very hard to negotiate and be flexible, but all of my suggestions for a workable and sustainable solution have been rejected.

This means that it falls to me to be open and honest with the audience by informing them of the imminent demise of our programme and asking them to make any comments they see fit about the situation to the BBC Trust and also to the BBC's Feedback Programme on Radio 4. The head of the region might also find listener's feedback helpful.

Contact details are:

feedback@bbc.co.uk
trust.enquiries@bbc.co.uk

The head of the BBC Eastern region, who has overall jurisdication over the programming schedule, is Mick Rawsthorne - mick.rawsthorne@bbc.co.uk

Chris Smith
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Discuss: URGENT - LISTEN TO THIS IMMEDIATELY
« Reply #3 on: 07/11/2012 01:07:49 »
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO !!!

This will be a case of extreme dumbing down !!

Everyone MUST support


Just do it !!....just click those links, type those words and press SEND !!

feedback@bbc.co.uk
trust.enquiries@bbc.co.uk


 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Discuss: URGENT - LISTEN TO THIS IMMEDIATELY
« Reply #4 on: 07/11/2012 01:43:13 »
What you need to do is try to get an NPR contract.
Perhaps you could get a complementary show back to back with Science Friday

There are actually many BBC news shows that are routinely broadcast by NPR.
 

Offline chris

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Re: Discuss: URGENT - LISTEN TO THIS IMMEDIATELY
« Reply #5 on: 07/11/2012 09:54:08 »
Thank you, Clifford; would you be interested in pursuing this on our behalf?

Chris
 

Offline markuswinter

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Re: Discuss: URGENT - LISTEN TO THIS IMMEDIATELY
« Reply #6 on: 07/11/2012 16:33:32 »
Hello,

I just heard the news that you plan on stopping the radio show “The Naked Scientist”. I – like many others – don’t listen to it on the radio, but am a regular and enthusiastic listener to the podcast.

I usually don’t write letters, but this time I must. The Naked Scientist is one of the very few programs which successfully spans the divide between science and the public. In the same way that Antiques Roadshow might give people an appreciation of antiques, how Doctor Who presents a very British quirkiness to the World or the English Premier League has fans everywhere, The Naked Scientist is quality programming that is appreciated the World over.

Over the last ten years I have with dismay observed the dumbing down of teaching the public on television, on radio, in newspapers, etc while at the same time a very organized and well funded campaign was waged by the proponents of so called “Intelligent Design”. I’m wondering if your decision is connected to a recent influx of proponents of this ideology to the upper echelons of the BBC?

It seems bizarre to me that while in countries like Afghanistan people brave being shot and killed to get educated, organizations in countries like Britain do their best to make their audience dumber, or at least only appeal to the lowest common denominator.

I though the BBC has an obligation for quality programming – it seems incomprehensible how discontinuing The Naked Scientist is in any way, shape or form furthering the BBCs mission.

Best Regards

Dr. Markus Winter

__

Dr. Markus Winter
Quantitative Proteomics - Krijgsveld Team
European Molecular Biology Laboratory
Meyerhofstrasse 1
69117 Heidelberg
Germany
 

Offline imatfaal

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Re: Discuss: URGENT - LISTEN TO THIS IMMEDIATELY
« Reply #7 on: 07/11/2012 19:12:51 »
Great Letter Markus.  I will be drafting my own to the BBC tomorrow.  But it will be based on exactly those sentiments that you have mentioned. 
 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: Discuss: URGENT - LISTEN TO THIS IMMEDIATELY
« Reply #8 on: 07/11/2012 20:17:44 »
Markus has hit the nail on the head with his point about dumbing down. The Naked Scientists show is serious science put across in an intelligent package in the same way that Tomorrow's World used to do things (in the pre-Vorderman era which turned it into soppy slodge). Now it seems that everything covering science or technology has to have presenters who act as if they're making a programme for children, and moronic children at that. (Well, either that or it has to have lots of scenery in it and a dishy presenter who has to pose as a god, making even the shallowest pronouncements sound profound. I like Brian Cox, but not the style of science program he normally does - you can occasionally get a glimpse of the real Brian when he appears on The Sky at Night.)

I suspect that the way science is taught in schools has a very negative effect, killing children's interest in it by turning everything into a deeply boring chore - science is too important to ram it down people's throats in the way they do. This leads to TV programmes feeling the need to take a custard-pie-in-the-face or blow-the-lot-up approach to the subject in a desperate attempt to rekindle people's interest in something they have come to associate with high pressure exams of the kind obsessed with soon-to-be-forgotten facts instead of actual understanding.

Maybe you need to go with the flow and get some pop stars on the show to talk about a science story that interests them - one such item per show. The thought doesn't immediately appeal to me, but a lot of pop stars have hidden depths and you can find some intelligent life amongst them (e.g. Brian Cox and Brian May).
 

Offline luvlysmiler

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Re: Discuss: URGENT - LISTEN TO THIS IMMEDIATELY
« Reply #9 on: 07/11/2012 21:00:55 »
Its probably not the best letter in the world but its from the heart.

"Hello,
I write to register my complaint that BBC East is cancelling one of the finest Science based programs aired today. The Naked Scientists.
This decision is wrong.

The breadth and depth of knowledge that is within that show is unmatched in any other BBC radio broadcast. The Naked Scientists is one of the finest shows in the world at bringing complex and challenging science into the main stream. The show is unique in its ability to articulate current and cutting edge science in such a way that someone like me, with no higher or further education, can actually get a handle on it and be entertained at the same time.
You might be able to skim the surface of a science topic in a ten minute slot but you can't get a full understanding. To get that a listener needs to hear the answers to follow up questions and have opportunity for live audience feedback and participation. To get this the show needs a regular hour long slot.

Imagine if a completely new (not a rehash of previous episodes) Horizon show was broadcast every month. That is the level of quality and entertainment being axed here.

It is also clear (From the "listeners questions") that the listeners to this show are from all over the world. What other show from BBC East is of such high quality that it has a national let alone global audience?

If the BBC still has a remit for original, educational and entertaining content then this unique gem of a show cannot be axed. 

Regards
"
Sent to both email addresses.
cheers
 

Offline luvlysmiler

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Re: Discuss: URGENT - LISTEN TO THIS IMMEDIATELY
« Reply #10 on: 07/11/2012 23:13:16 »
Also I'd like to know if this means the end of the Naked Scientists podcast as well as the radio show?
thanks
 

Offline zakzeus

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Re: Discuss: URGENT - LISTEN TO THIS IMMEDIATELY
« Reply #11 on: 07/11/2012 23:26:57 »
'Dumbing' the audience with music?
I look forward to the naked scientist, why don't you stop airing Top Gear and save the environment?I'm not even British yet I feel sorry for your generation.if only the teens would listen to the naked scientist instead of their beautiful music, I'm sure more kids would go to school and the amount of stabbings and gang violence in London would drastically drop
 

Offline imatfaal

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Re: Discuss: URGENT - LISTEN TO THIS IMMEDIATELY
« Reply #12 on: 08/11/2012 14:26:27 »
Dear Sirs,

It is with deep regret that I heard the news that the BBC (Eastern Region) will be removing the weekly slot for the Naked Scientists Radio Show (Sundays 1800 hours).  Could I take this opportunity to ask that you reconsider this decision?  We have precious little science on the radio at the moment; using the iplayer genre search I found that across all BBC Radio stations (national, local, & global) there is a grand total of around ninety minutes real science programming a day.  For a publicly funded organisation whose purpose was summarised all those years ago and remains to this day to educate, entertain, inform this is not really good enough; and to strip away another segment from the already depleted science schedule is completely unacceptable.

The United Kingdom should be proud of its scientific heritage and its place at the forefront of research - and the BBC has every right to take a great deal of credit for this; it is the high standard of popular science programmes on the BBC that enthuse and intrigue children and provide each new generation of scientists.   Please do not let short-term popularity arguments take precedence over sensible and correct scheduling and thus endanger this great benefit to our society and culture.  "Material World" and "More or Less" are superb examples of science on a national scale, but these sort of programmes must be complemented by local radio.  The Naked Scientists provide this local counterpart with a witty, offbeat, and unusual perspective on today's science news.  Crucially this is a first-hand view from professional scientists and researchers; I would ask you to consider how many other programmes are so distinctive and informative on your schedule?  You risk removing from public consumption a unique radio programme - which has a world-wide following - merely to gain yet another slot for a little bit more music and chat.

BBC Radio is a source of great national pride and is renowned around the world for its breadth and insight - it is courageous and visionary programming that has lead to this enviable state of affairs; please do not endanger this unique situation by taking the path of least resistance and shelving an idiosyncratic yet superb and educational show like the Naked Scientists.

Yours faithfully
 

Offline Shacks

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Re: Discuss: URGENT - LISTEN TO THIS IMMEDIATELY
« Reply #13 on: 12/11/2012 00:33:44 »
To all... especially you Mr Rawsthorne,

I learnt this evening that you are planning to terminate in Jan 2013 'The Naked Scientist' aired on the radio in the BBC Eastern region...

Are you completely mad??? - Why on gods green planet would you remove one of the few, truly interesting, informative, productions the BBC has.... let me guess.... your going to fill the slot with a sports programme, a dumbed down 'ring up my new show and tell me what you did last night', or have some benign radio 'host and celeb guest' chat show - its outrageous.

I have pod casted this programme for a long time, my daughter (age 11) also listens to it and we chat about the features discussed and learn new things, it would be an utter waste of our licence fee if you get rid of this programme and substitute it with another boring, run of the mill, music/sport/celeb effort..... I cannot believe you are going to deprive thousands of people the enjoyment of listening to something intellectually stimulating.

May i bring your attention to recent events (The Olympics, and last night remembrance service)... the focus of these events was on children, the future, the next generation. Without programmes like 'The Naked Scientist'  that grab our attention and educate then the future will be deprived and unstimulated - This programme educates parents and children alike.... a rare commodity... don't throw it away.

Please, please reconsider your proposal, raise the licence fee by a few pence to allow it to stay, but do not deny us this fantastic programme.
Regards,
Stuart Shacklock

P.S.
Dr Chris,
I, and many like me, really enjoy this programme and would like to thank you (and all of your team) for all the hard work over the years. You have educated and entertained many, many people, Thank you. - By the way, have you thought about applying to become head of the BBC Eastern Region - you appear better suited than the current incumbent.
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Naked Scientists Axed by BBC East
« Reply #14 on: 13/11/2012 10:08:32 »
Is there any chance you could take this as an opportunity to move upmarket, and into to BBC national broadcasts?

[I am on the other side of the world, so I have to listen via podcast...]
 

Offline techmind

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Re: Naked Scientists Axed by BBC East
« Reply #15 on: 19/11/2012 00:06:10 »
I've written my letters of support to the powers that be. Good luck.

The BBC Eastern Region are quite happy to keep having The Naked Scientists contribute to their OTHER radio programmes, they just want to take away the show's slot and replace it with (yet more) music, stop paying the 40 quid per show we were receiving (just enough to cover travel expenses), and have us on for odd contributions now and then to talk about something deemed newsworthy ("editorially appropriate" in their parlance).

You've totally undervalued yourselves! If you cost far more, you'd be much harder to justify cutting. :-p

(Ok, I guess you benefit from the use of the BBC studios and retain a lot of rights to re-package the material in podcasts and abroad...  - Don't feel obliged to open a discussion on TNS finances.)

 

Offline markuswinter

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Re: Naked Scientists Axed by BBC East
« Reply #16 on: 21/11/2012 15:48:48 »
Follow up complaint:

Hello.

your previous response is most unsatisfactory. You are canning what it probably the best and most prestigious science program on radio because it is broadcast on a local network but is listened to all over the World? Wouldn't the logical response be to put it on the BBC World Service?

I'm simply left flabbergasted by your decision - it sounds like some bureaucrat tries to do some "cleaning up" without any understanding of the issues at stake. From whichever point I look at it - be it scientific value, achieving your mission statement of quality programming, reaching and engaging audiences, even political aspects (how will it look if for example an American radio station like NPR picks up the premier science show because the British BBC can't be bothered to put it in its rightful place?) - it makes no sense.

I firmly believe that the World should make sense, and if something does not make sense then it can't be right and a better solution must be found. Your decision makes no sense. Find a better solution.

Best Regards

Markus Winter
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: Naked Scientists Axed by BBC East
« Reply #16 on: 21/11/2012 15:48:48 »

 

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