Monday, August 24, 2009

Astronomy is NOT Astrology

A rather amusing, if not sad, commentary on science illiteracy. This article highlights one recent confusion about Brian May, who finally got his Ph.D. degree in Astronomy, but some news report confused that with Astrology and calling him a "noted astrologer".

I have to confess on my paper's behalf, though, that Carlton Books aren't the only ones to have confused astrology and astronomy in recent weeks. Back in May, no less an authority than The Times itself ran a story about Sir Bernard Lovell, that described him as an "eminent astrologer".

A scientist being confused as a pseudoscience is like a liberal democrat being confused as being a conservative, right-wing republican! :)

As a physicist, I've often been referred to as "physician". I suppose it isn't as bad as being called an astrologer.



Joseph Smidt said...

Yes, like cosmologists being confused with cosmetologists. :)

ZapperZ said...

That's nasty! :)

But then again, if you wear a good foundation and the right eye shadow....


Pi-Guy said...

20 years ago I was at the retirement party for Leon Lederman at Fermilab. It was quite an occasion, which included a number of events in the auditorium. One was a lengthy roast-type presentation with Leon in attendance, and at some point an actress came onstage to play out an act with the emcee, some staff physicist serving as the straight-man.

Her shtick was that she'd known Leon since way back when, and was in town because she'd heard about him winning some sort of "Noble Prize". She asked of the emcee, "Did Leon become a phys-ed teacher like he said he would?"

Donna Hughes said...

I don't know anything about this stuff but I do know something about Brian May, and his degree is in astrophysics. His thesis was on space dust.

Christine said...

I see how the words can easily be confused, but any good journalist would edit their work to find mistakes.

arvinsign said...

i cant imagine how Brian May would feel about that :)

Carl Sagan i remember from his books always tells the story how many people asks him in parties about his zodiac sign after introducing himself as an astronomer

Canticle said...

Perhaps not just ignorance but also an issue with computor spallcheck, it makes you lazy.
Richard Faynman would turn in his grave!