Wednesday, 17 March 2010
Hot Scientist (male): Dr Brian Cox
In praise of all the wonderful things Science has brought us: anaesthetics, contraception, antibiotics, the Hubble Telescope, t'internet ... and particle physicist Dr Brian Cox on TV weekly, telling us about the Wonders of the Solar System (you can download episodes here if have access to iPlayer).
The BBC has a simple formula for getting its plebian viewers switched on to science: special effects, impressive location shots and an attractive presenter. It works for me. So does a combination of joyous enthusiasm, floppy hair and an irrepressible smile that looks like he's just personally invented sex and he can't believe how awesome it is.
Another good thing from Science (and specifically, The Scientist): an overview of studies into the effects of the availability of porn upon rates of sex crime concludes:
Over the years, many scientists have investigated the link between pornography (considered legal under the First Amendment in the United States unless judged “obscene”) and sex crimes and attitudes towards women. And in every region investigated, researchers have found that as pornography has increased in availability, sex crimes have either decreased or not increased.
A major study of American prison populations comes up with some startling results:
Looking closer, Michael Goldstein and Harold Kant found that rapists were more likely than nonrapists in the prison population to have been punished for looking at pornography while a youngster, while other research has shown that incarcerated nonrapists had seen more pornography, and seen it at an earlier age, than rapists. What does correlate highly with sex offense is a strict, repressive religious upbringing. Richard Green too has reported that both rapists and child molesters use less pornography than a control group of “normal” males.
(Emphasis mine. How I laughed.)
You can read the whole article here.
A surreal footnote: Dr Brian Cox, when he was younger, was the keyboard player in a popular beat combo called D:ream, who had an annoyingly catchy hit single with a notorious afterlife: