Login Dark

BBC presenter warns against science being 'just done by European white guys' - The Telegraph

Author: The Telegraph

Source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2023/10/29/sky-at-night-dr-maggie-aderin-pocock-european-white-guys/

Image of BBC presenter warns against science being 'just done by European white guys' - The Telegraph

The presenter of The Sky At Night has warned that science being “all just done by European white guys” may lead to a “blinkered view of the world”.Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock has fronted the BBC’s long-running astronomy programme since 2014, making history as its first black presenter.The astronomer and physicist has called for greater diversity in scientific fields, speaking in The Observer.She said: “When I grew up, there were many kids who looked at science and thought: ‘Well, someone like me doesn’t do that because it’s not my culture, it’s not for me – I don’t have a history of this.’“Diversity is about bringing different ideas and people into science because if it’s all just done by the European white guys, we get a very blinkered view of the world.“That’s why access to the history of astronomy is important for everyone.”Dr Aderin-Pocock has written a guide to astronomy, The Art of Stargazing, which highlights contributions to the field from ancient figures who were not “white men in togas”.Things need to move fasterWhile she hopes to help readers realise that astronomy might be for them, she has expressed concerns that diversifying science professions may not be happening quickly enough.She said: “I think it is, but things need to move faster.There are still the dinosaurs who are all, ‘Women don’t do science!What are you talking about?’“But I also think those dinosaurs are dying out and there is opportunity – and that’s where I’ve been quite lucky being black and female – with the timing.”In 2021, the Royal Society warned that “People from Black backgrounds in science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM) higher education in the UK have poorer degree outcomes and lower rates of academic career progression than other ethnic groups.”Research found that black people had a high non-completion rate for STEM courses, compared to other groups, and achieved lower honours.Dr Aderin-Pocock was herself inspired to take up science following a childhood fascination with The Sky At Night, then presented by Sir Patrick Moore, and had her own telescope as a child.She had some reservations about taking on the presenting role held by her childhood idol, saying: “I was so keen, because that’s part of my childhood.But I was also nervous, because he was such an icon.”

Subscribe To Our NewsLetter