Adam Westbrook // ideas on digital storytelling and publishing

The Big Bang Con

Posted in Broadcasting and Media, News and that by Adam Westbrook on September 10, 2008

Ten years of constant work. £5billion. The scientists were ready for the experiment which could have ended the world.

While experts have rubbished the chances of the CERN experiment going wrong,  that didn’t stop the media having a field day.

The talking heads had been lined up- what would happen if a black hole appeared? The headlines were written. The betting shops that their odds decided: 666,666,666,666 to 1. The radio stations had their voxes: what would you do if the world was about to end?

Except it never was going to end. Well, not today.

Its the end of the world as we know it...

It's the end of the world as we know it...

You see, we’ve all been the victim of a bit of a con. Or some kind of calendar mishap.

Yes the big experiment was switched on today with some excitement, but read a little further down this article on the BBC News website, and you find a rather revealing line:

“Cern has not yet announced when it plans to carry out the first collisions, but the BBC understands that low-energy collisions could happen in the next few days.”

Ah. So there never was going to be a “collision” today. And the collision being the thing which the sceptics think would set off the end of the world, makes that a bit of a big deal. None of the coverage bothered to mention that little fact…

More likely if the end of the world does happen, it’ll be while we’re all least expecting it.

Best get some more voxes in then…

2 Responses

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  1. Chris D said, on September 10, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    This has been pissing me off all day. The media doesn’t seem to be able to ‘do’ science.

    The story has served up the delight of an IRN newsreader referring to the ‘Large Hadron Colander’ though.

  2. adamwestbrook said, on September 10, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    Well, it’s better than Large Hard-on Collider, right?!


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