Apr 09

Raspberry Berate

FT + Proven By Science1 comment • 246 views

An interesting blog post about the recent discovery that our galaxy “smells of raspberries” (and rum, though whether man rum or lady rum is unspecified).

The blog asks: given the irrelevance of that ‘fact’ to astronomy, should it have been reported? The German astronomers are quick to distance themselves from the raspberry herring: but if the angle doesn’t obscure the story (galaxy contains very complex molecules), then where’s the harm? The people who only take away the raspberry factoid probably wouldn’t have encountered – or absorbed much of – a drier, flavour-free story. They’re the informational equivalent of the people who download a track illegally which they would never have bought anyway: any loss they’ve caused is purely rhetorical.


  1. 1
    David Bradley on 29 Apr 2009 #

    Interesting follow up point Tom. Slightly rum do though as I think there’s a world of difference between lay people who would read a space news story and those who’d be interested in the chemistry angle per se. I certainly don’t think they shouldn’t have reported the story in the Guardian and Ian Sample is, I’m sure, well aware of having blown a raspberry at the science in some sense…

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