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Brian Cox Effect


Jiggy 67
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I thought everyone would apprecaite BC, afterall, if you're out having an astronomy night with him and the cloud rolls in, he can pull out his bontempi keyboard and do a round of 'things will only get better' to keep everyones spirits up, only until things get better of course.

And who said anything about hating carl sagan? I liked the guy and lots of stuff that he did, I just didn't think he was an inspiring presenter :D I didn't see the cosmos until a couple of years ago, perhaps my expectations were too high, I'd been told it was an excellent program. Fast forward to more modern times and 'The Universe', now there was a program I could watch and did engage me, despite it's huge helpings of dramatic voiceover and repetition of 'tabloid' facts, the astro scientists on there really did engage me.

Personally, I think everyone has opinions about presenters and always have had, it's just that these days they can express themselves in public forums about what they don't like about those presenters.

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I was watching Stargazing Live last night when my daughter came into the room and saw Brian Cox (she'd never seen him before and had no idea who he was) and the first thing she said was: has he had a facelift?

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On lighter note, the question on "Aerogel" - Well known to particle physics, but "Had it been used in Space"? Perhaps Sir Patrick reminding them that there's life in the old dog yet? Or at least an encyclopaedic knowledge. Heheh. But Hey, I knew that one too - IIRC, it "collided" with a Large Hard Desert somewhere? :D

Edited by Macavity
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I really don't get it!...whats with all the animosity to Brian cox?.....the man knows his onions,he's helping to popularise a subject close to all our hearts....getting more good stuff on the telly!.....am I missing something?.......BIG vote from me for Brian Cox!

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there are loads of take micks on youtube, some are hilarious :D

i think the show was good and the presenting was good by those that presented it.

some people like him, others less so but....... the show was good.

some more time at the eyepiece would have been nice and the jaunt down to the southern hemisphere was a tad naff (they want a show down there then make one) the show in my view should have concentrated on what anybody can see from their own back yard (so to speak)

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the jaunt down to the southern hemisphere was a tad naff (they want a show down there then make one) the show in my view should have concentrated on what anybody can see from their own back yard (so to speak)

Regards,

Nick

have to agree with this, much as I would like to observe all those fantastic Southern Hemisphere objects I wondered why they were featured? they should have stuck to our side of the planet surely?. Edited by Nexus 6
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I found the southern hemisphere a bit naff too, of course learning about all the different scopes is most certainly interesting, not so much in this show though but it did make make me chuckle about their 'special' cameras to take astro images outside the different observatories :D

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Um, what? If you remove the cheese and general 70s vibe of Cosmos it and Carl Sagan Pee all over Cox. I'm 30 so wasn't born when it was first broadcast but watched it recently on Youtube (it's all on there) and found it and Sagan absolutely inspiring.

I would also vote for Carl... just downloaded the Cosmos!:):rolleyes::D I had the original book but can't put my hands on it now!!!:D:(:)

Edited by Neil Hankey
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I grew up with Carl on the TV. Never really liked his presentation style. At first I didn't like Brian Cox, but I'm growing to appreciate him. Not because he's a great presenter but he open about stating his opinion, doesn't mind offending and can laugh at himself.

The Brian Cox effect has OH interested in astronomy, which can't be a bad thing.

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So, did I start something here? is carl sagan like marmite? I found carl sagan inspiring, just not through the cosmos series, which was a shame because I really wanted to enjoy it, I'd heard nothing but good things about the series, I could cope with the cheese, the dodgy spaceship etc. I just couldn't get on with his presenting style, I found him sending me to sleep quite quickly.

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The thing is he has really inspired many to take up stargazing and when was the last time anything to do with stargazing was on prime time tv? He's good i think and apparently according to Amazon there was a 500% increase in the sale of telescopes during the program so lots of others must like something he has said .

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Not because he's a great presenter but he open about stating his opinion, doesn't mind offending and can laugh at himself.
Actually, I think he is a GIFTED (At least fairly good? LOL) presenter. But I do tire with these... BBC salary-men who "don't mind offending" people. And then we have to go through another (minority) protest, another BBC "faux-apology". <yawn> By all means protest real-world *iniquities*, but can these ever-increasing Professors (formal or not) of "Public Awareness of Science" not get on with promoting SCIENCE rather than worrying about what *choice* we make about our personal beliefs? :)

I think a significant difficulty of making a choice between Cox's "rationalism" and "woo-woo", for 20-30% of the population, is that they emerge from school as "functionally illiterate". Many of my neighbours now know me as an "astronomer" - I try to explain "science" to them. It's not always easy <sigh>. Within reason I can laugh at myself? I don't just tell them to **** off and watch "Big Brother" though... To me, that's important. :D

Edited by Macavity
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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm torn......I really like Brian Cox from a professional point of view and I don't get sucked in by his smoothness!! Okay let me lay out what happened on Friday...

I took my 250px into the front of the street to catch the moon just before it set, within 10 mins 5 neighbours I'd never spoken to before were all crowded round oohi and arring at the moon. Most of them said they watched that Stargazing 'thingy' and a couple of the ladies said they just like him (olde Dr universe), they weren't taking any of it in, just watching him!! Anyway we've heard it all before etc and it goes with the territory. What's increasingly irking me (and it shouldn't) is that people state to me that Brian Cox is an astronomer....for the love of god he's a particle physicist!!! When the questions got tough on BBC SGL he passed over to the field experts and they answered for him. It just riles me slightly that people are taking his words as gospel and he's very quickly being seen as the national astronomer. To be fair they were very patient with him clumsily explaining a few concepts and then subtely steered him in the right direction. Not a knock on him but clearly there's areas of knowledge he won't touch in his usual science dayjob. I do wonder if he's trying to emulate Carl Sagan and become noted in history.

Another thing is that a woman from work was expressing interest in learning more about physics and the likes. I recommended a list of books and places to find out beginner info (ie there's no point her learning electron spin at this point!) and unless it was a book written by Brian Cox she wasn't really that fussed. I asked what is it she likes about physics...her response "Oh not much, it's more that I like him and his programs". I'm sorry but watching the odd token bbc science docu doesn't make you interested in physics if you can't even look at anything else without BC being present. She wanted books on the lifecycles of stars and I said apart from the rather general 'wonders' books then she won't find a book devoted to that from BC, I felt almost a little cruel bursting her bubble.

I understand and appreciate the interest he stimulates in other people, that is to be commened, but it doesn't change the fact people get the wrong ideas about physics and astronomy when he blurs that line for those that don't take the time to read up on stuff and him. I feel like I'm selling myself out writing this about him as I genuinely like most things he does and it's like I'm hurting one of my own!!

Edited by EntropyStar
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i think brian cox and stargazing live is a bit like F1 racing .... i prefer moto gp myself ..but my friend chris summed it up perfectly ......

F1 is better than no F1 .....and i think the same goes for stargazing live ... brian cox is better than no brian cox ...and stargazing live is better than no stargazing live :D

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i think brian cox and stargazing live is a bit like F1 racing .... i prefer moto gp myself ..but my friend chris summed it up perfectly ......

F1 is better than no F1 .....and i think the same goes for stargazing live ... brian cox is better than no brian cox ...and stargazing live is better than no stargazing live :D

very well put. Yes we would rather miss Prof Cox if celebrity spoon bending ever gets put on in it's place

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I have to say that I didn't really watch stargazing live. I started watching the first one and got a bit bored with it. I do think it's a good tv prog though and like Cox as a presenter. It annoys me that he's my age but looks much younger than me!

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Reference the Mayan calendar.......I was fortunate enough to visit the Myan ruins in Tulum, Mexico last year. Even the Mayan guide said it was rubbish. Basically he said.....when you do a calendar, you have to stop somewhere. Doesn't mean the world's gonna end, just the start of a new time.

I like Prof Cox. If I would have had a teacher like him when I was at school, I may have actually learned something.

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"Brian Edward Cox, OBE (born 3 March 1968), is a British particle physicist, a Royal Society University Research Fellow and a professor at the University of Manchester. He is a member of the High Energy Physics group at the University of Manchester, and works on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland. He is working on the R&D project of the FP420 experiment in an international collaboration to upgrade the ATLAS and the CMS experiment by installing additional, smaller detectors at a distance of 420 metres from the interaction points of the main experiments."

I think this makes him a particle physicist with an interest in amateur astronomy.

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It's probably not so good that, in the public eye, "sexed up science" means science which revolves around personalities rather than science itself. Perhaps it's a by-product of the cult of celebrity? I like BC a lot, but I rarely learn anything completely new from him, which means I can watch him critically - he has some elegant and simple ways to present complex science, and his innocent enthusiasm is obviously genuine.

I feel he's right to soapbox a little about pseudoscience - freedom of speech is an essential part of science, and there are parts even of the developed world where there is political and cultural pressure to impose pseudoscience upon schoolchidren, and many scientists are going on the offensive. BC is a "Distinguished Supporter" of the British Humanist Association, so it's hardly surprising that he speaks his mind on these matters. Personally, I'm right with him, but I'm not here to go on about that!

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