Friday, January 21, 2011

Be Careful On Who You Called As "The Most Famous Physicist Ever"

It turns out that the LA Times caught some flak from bloggers and readers when, in reporting Hawking's visit to CalTech recently, they included a description/caption proclaiming him as the most famous physicist ever. Of course, this raised the ire with many people.

To their credit, though, they did apologize for the silly "error":

"How embarrassing," Health and Science Editor Rosie Mestel said in an e-mail. "We carelessly wrote in the article 'Hawking is perhaps the best-known physicist ever' when we meant to say 'perhaps the best-known physicist ALIVE.' (We were moving fast.) When the caption for the photo was written, much like in a game of telephone, our misstatement was ramped up to 'probably the most famous.' We certainly meant no disrespect to Einstein and Newton, of whom we have indeed heard."

Hawking Assistant Managing Editor Henry Fuhrmann, who oversees the copy editors who write the headlines and captions and perform the final editing, likewise expressed regret:

I don't know if most famous or best-known is of any significance, at least to a scientist. Most cited would be something of significance. And in my book, most influential would also be something of significance.

Zz.

1 comment:

sudheer s. said...

yesterday I was watching the movie -The butterfly effect-It was talking about some chaos theory and parallel universes.I wanted to ask you your opinion about parallel universes.Do you think they exist or are they just fiction?I have seen some documentaries about parallel universes.It would be very kind of you if you write about parallel universes in your next post.-sudheer