Publicity Quotes (5 quotes)
In the last fifteen years we have witnessed an event that, I believe, is unique in the history of the natural sciences: their subjugation to and incorporation into the whirls and frenzies of disgusting publicity and propaganda. This is no doubt symptomatic of the precarious position assigned by present-day society to any form of intellectual activity. Such intellectual pursuits have at all times been both absurd and fragile; but they become ever more ludicrous when, as is now true of science, they become mass professions and must, as homeless pretentious parasites, justify their right to exist in a period devoted to nothing but the rapid consumption of goods and amusements. These sciences were always a divertissement in the sense in which Pascal used the word; but what is their function in a society living under the motto lunam et circenses? Are they only a band of court jesters in search of courts which, if they ever existed, have long lost their desire to be amused?
Publicity floodlights are not always favorable for the development of sciences.
The publicity is always the same; only the blanks need to be filled in: It was announced today by scientists at [Harvard, Vanderbilt, Stanford] Medical School that a gene responsible for [some, many, a common form of] [schizophrenia, Alzheimers, arterio-sclerosis, prostate cancer] has been located and its DNA sequence determined. This exciting research, say scientists, is the first step in what may eventually turn out to be a possible cure for this disease.
Usually mathematicians have to shoot somebody to get this much publicity.
When there is publicity about [UFO] sightings that turn out to be explainable, the percentage of unexplained sightings goes up, suggesting that these, too, are caused by something in peoples psychology rather than by something that is actually out there. The UFO evidence forms no coherent residue; it never gets better.