Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Why science isn't so popular.

From a great article Boing Boing blogged, as found in the Guardian.

James Watson, one half of the famous double act who discovered the double helix:
'I recently went to my staircase at Clare College, Cambridge and there were women there!' he said, with an enormous measure of retrospective sexual frustration. 'There have been a lot of convincing studies recently about the loss of productivity in the Western male. It may be that entertainment culture now is so engaging that it keeps people satisfied. We didn't have that. Science was much more fun than listening to the radio. When you are 16 or 17 and in that inherently semi-lonely period when you are deciding whether to be an intellectual, many now don't bother.'

Watson raised an eyebrow, fixed me again with a look. 'What you have instead are characters out of Nick Hornby's very funny books, who channel their intellect in pop culture. The hopeless male.'
This is the humorous quote to end the article, and is not exactly representative of the central thesis, but still an interesting observation (the women in the college, I mean). Could it be possible that science is impeded by the pesky distraction of the other sex in the lab? Does libido trump intellectual curiousity?


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