BBC Radio 4

On the programme More or Less I debated with Simon Singh (author of Fermat’s Last Theorem) about his assertion that the media are doing severe damage to the image of mathematics through the publication of “junk” equations for such things as the best shopping day, the perfect night out, and so on. Much to Simon’s surprise, I agreed with him (see also), but put the point that journalists hold the key to the door so far as getting stories about mathematics into the media, and that scientists do best by creating “public interest” stories where the maths is real, and keeping control of the stories so that journalists can’t misrepresent them too badly.

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