Over on the Culture of Science blog, the estimable Sheril Kirshenbaum tells a tale that's both very funny and frighteningly illustrative of why the public knowledge of science is so poor.
A TV crew arrived to interview her about something in her specialist area of science, because it related to a topical news story. She expected -- perhaps naively -- that what they wanted of her was an explanation of the science.
No way. The director already had his own -- barmy -- pet theory for what was going on, and wanted her to explain that.
Her tale ends thus:
Reporter: ‘Stop, let’s reshoot. We need you to say something about the sun being a factor. And let’s get you wading into the water. Pretend you’re catching something.‘
Me: ‘Uh, the sun didn’t cause the bloom . . . and you do realize I’m wearing a dress, right?‘
Reporter: ‘You can say your reason too, but name the sun as another ‘theory’. And just look science-y.'
Unfortunately, she doesn't name names; it would be a public service if she did. Even so, go read the whole piece, share it and, the next time someone assures you that some piece of pseudoscientific garbage must be true because they heard it on the evening news, share Kirshenbaum's story with them.