Call me disappointed. While recently watching an episode of Mythbusters, the popular science TV show on the Discovery Channel, the following segment/commercial aired near the end of the show.
I normally DVR-surf right past commercials. But this one caught my eye because I mistakenly thought (at 3X fast-forward) that the show had resumed. The commercial is obviously designed to appear like an "authentic" Mythbusters segment. The camera cuts, lighting, studio setting, and Mythbusters stars Grant, Tori, and Kari, are all the same. My 7 year-old son actually thought it was part of the show.
The idea of using faux science as an advertising stunt - by a group that normally does a pretty good job remaining true to the scientific method on their show - is really sad.
Of course, the Mythbusters are not scientists. They are entertainers – and therein lies the problem. It is fully within their rights to make a buck by using the scientific brand they have created to sell automobiles or whatever else will line their pockets. It's a shame, though, that they view their roles so simply.
They are well aware that their show has become an inspiration for many kids, our up-and-coming scientists. A 2009 Science Chicago special event featuring two of the show’s stars, Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, was completely sold out with tickets averaging more than $40 each. When was the last time a science show sold out a 1500-seat auditorium at this price?
Mythbusters has a special blend of excitement, humor, and scientific content. It's the perfect equation for getting kids and adults engaged and interested in science. I'm just disappointed to see it cheapened in such an obvious way.
For now, it's Mythbusters scientific integrity - busted.