Huppert backs campaign to save 'Naked Scientist'
MP Julian Huppert has backed the campaign to save The Naked Scientist radio show, calling on leading figures in the BBC to save the region’s only science-based programme.
Julian has written to BBC Chairman, Lord Patten and Head of Regional and Local Programmes in the East, Mick Rawsthorne saying the decision to axe the show in January is “short-sighted and poorly evidenced.
“In a region home to one of the world’s best universities, as well as numerous technology and biotechnology institutes and companies, many people, myself included, are stunned by the level of disregard being shown in regards to areas of interest for local inhabitants,” Julian said in his letters.
“The programme has won eight awards, including the Kohn Medal and this year's Society of Biology communication prize. As a podcast it's achieved over 30 million downloads in the last five years. This clearly shows that ‘The Naked Scientist’ has a clear audience and purpose to serve, and it would be an outrage for the show to be discontinued without adequate evidenced reason from the schedulers.
“If the planned changes to the schedule go ahead, there will be no science-based programming in our region at all.
“The show is the only one of its kind broadcasting on local radio in the country, and will end all of the specialist science coverage across the region in one blow.”
Julian said later: “This is an incredibly ill-thought out and short-sighted decision at a time when the Lib Dems have succeeded in getting the government to show real commitment to science.
“We have made headway in pushing science and technology to the top of the government’s agenda. And we are giving our top science graduates incentives to share their skills with schoolchildren by taking up teaching posts so that we can encourage our younger generation to excel in science.
“But the decision to scrap this programme sends out the opposite message – that science is not of interest to anyone across this region.”