• John
  • Felde
  • University of Maryland
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • USLHC
  • USLHC
  • USA

  • James
  • Doherty
  • Open University
  • United Kingdom

Latest Posts

  • Andrea
  • Signori
  • Nikhef
  • Netherlands

Latest Posts

  • CERN
  • Geneva
  • Switzerland

Latest Posts

  • Aidan
  • Randle-Conde
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Belgium

Latest Posts

  • TRIUMF
  • Vancouver, BC
  • Canada

Latest Posts

  • Laura
  • Gladstone
  • MIT
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Steven
  • Goldfarb
  • University of Michigan

Latest Posts

  • Fermilab
  • Batavia, IL
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Seth
  • Zenz
  • Imperial College London
  • UK

Latest Posts

  • Nhan
  • Tran
  • Fermilab
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Alex
  • Millar
  • University of Melbourne
  • Australia

Latest Posts

  • Ken
  • Bloom
  • USLHC
  • USA

Latest Posts

Adam Yurkewicz | USLHC | USA

View Blog | Read Bio

Daily Show at CERN

I wanted to add a few points about the Daily Show piece on LHC safety.

First, it was great. I totally agree with Seth that it is amazing that a comedy show is one of the few places we can turn for an accurate picture of this story.  Most media outlets are more interested in scaring people with nonsense than giving an accurate picture of the lawsuit.  Although it isn’t surprising given the profit motive.

Second, this piece almost didn’t happen.  The Daily Show wanted to do a piece on the LHC, and contacted US media people about it.  The reaction was not totally enthusiastic, as it was possible whoever got interviewed would be made to look foolish on camera.  The Daily Show eventually decided to ask for permission to come to CERN, and CERN had to be convinced this was a good idea.  Why should we let a comedy show not only come to CERN but even film in the tunnel?  Fortunately, the decision was made to allow them to come.

This is a great example of getting a message out about CERN in an unconventional way (another example might be making a rap video at CERN).  I think the lesson is that when the truth is on your side, it is better to be as open as possible.  The scientific attitude is that all points of view should be heard.  All theories are tested and only the ones that can stand up to scrutiny remain.

Finally, a few of us here at CERN had lunch with John Oliver (photo here), and we told him people were nervous about the Daily Show visit.  He said basically that “we are on your side” and it would be obvious to anyone watching the piece how seriously Mr. Wagner should be taken.  He said that they often do these kind of pieces and of course they always attack the person they agree with and agree with the other person for comedic effect.  But the other person is always happy with the piece when it airs, no matter how bad they are made to look, and usually they request a DVD of the piece to show their friends and family.  It makes you question their true motive.

Share