When Entertainment and Science Don’t Mix

There has been some commentary this week about Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week,” which is apparently their big ratings bonanza.

Even the Atlantic did a piece on it.

The problem is with the science. Not so good, it turns out.


Like the fictionalized “documentary” about a 100-foot, 80-ton shark they called Megalodon that also happens to be extinct. And has been for more than a million years. But Discovery resurrected Megalodon, with made-up stories of sightings and attacks.

There is a lot of good science on TV, but most of it is on PBS. In series like Nova, Nature, and occasionally even Frontline, there is a lot that an interested student of science can learn. And some of the programming on Discovery isn’t bad.

Of course, shark week feeds into people’s primal and unreasonable fears. The actual chance of getting attacked by a shark is exceedingly remote: there were about 72 unprovoked shark attacks on humans in 2014 worldwide. If there’s something you should really be scared of, it’s getting in your car. But so it goes.

About a1skeptic

A disturbed citizen and skeptic. I should stop reading the newspaper. Or watching TV. I should turn off NPR and disconnect from the Internet. We’d all be better off.
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6 Responses to When Entertainment and Science Don’t Mix

  1. Melinda Copp says:

    I live near the beach where lots of people like to come for vacation, and as I was driving through the crazy traffic yesterday, I thought, “This is what people should be worried about, not the sharks.”

    Thanks for the post! I also wrote about loving and hating Shark Week here: http://melindacopp.com/2015/07/07/shark-week-reads/

  2. Estate says:

    What’s up, the whole thing is going sound here and ofcourse
    every one is sharing data, that’s really fine,
    keep up writing.

  3. Tia says:

    Good way of explaining, and good piece of writing to get facts on the topic of my presentation subject, which i am going to present in university.

  4. foywminson says:

    Remember when you watched channels like Discovery for good, reliable science? Now, if you want something with flying saucers, to to Discovery.

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