It’s always sad when someone you respect and admire for contributions in one area publicly shows himself to be a complete idiot in another area, and this instance is no different. The British host of astronomy-themed TV show “Sky at Night” recently announced that the dumbing down of the BBC in recent years can be blamed on women — not just the specific women running the network, but the entire gender’s proclivity for soap operas and cooking shows. The evil vagina-people have even ruined Moore’s beloved sci-fi shows by writing roles for female starship captains when we all know that you can’t run a spaceship while birthing babies and having dinner ready on time.
In case you were worried that Moore was merely being a whiney old misogynistic codger, take heart — he also provided real solutions. Like, for instance, the splitting of the BBC to cater to the different audiences. Say, BBC For Girls and BBC For Ignorant Jerks.
I suppose this is the same lesson we learn every time a celebrity does something boneheaded: nobody’s perfect. It just sucks a little more that this is a man who, unlike Mel Gibson or Michael Richards, has built a career focused on educating the public about science. How many little girls watched his show and were inspired to become astronomers when they grow up? How many would be discouraged to learn from the same man that women can’t explore the stars?
I take heart in the belief that Moore is part of an endangered species: the ancient white guy who desperately clings to the dated, barbaric rules of a bygone era. At the delicate age of 84, Moore probably won’t inhabit his ivory tower for long. His inevitable death will mark a very sad day in science history, but a very propitious one for science future.