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British scientists mocked as 'outlandish and zany' in Siberia

By The Siberian Times reporter
29 July 2012

Once Britain was hailed around the world for its giants of science - figures like Sir Isaac Newton, Alexander Fleming and more recently Stephen Hawking.

Sir Isaac Newton, 1642-1727, English physicist, mathematician, astronomer

But this cuts no ice with several satirical Russian websites which regularly poke fun at their latest 'insane' and 'idiotic' discoveries and research.

'They are the subject of jokes because of some of their outlandish and zany studies, this is completely true', said a source at the Siberian Academy of Sciences.

'Britain does have some of the best scientists in the world, but with all these popular websites now, many Russians simply see British  experts as figures of fun and lacking in all seriousness'.

One popular Russian web network called Vkontakte has a fans' group boasting sarcastically: 'We are a club dedicated to British Scientists and their unique discoveries. Viva British Science!'

It goes on to claim that the phrase 'British Scientist' is 'almost a brand name' linked to 'the maddest, most useless inventions, discoveries and research you will ever find'.

Another site - the name of which can be translated 'British Scientists Reveal That They Cannot Be Trusted' gives some examples of discoveries which have Russians rolling with mirth.

Among them is an alleged finding that nine out of ten London ladybirds suffer from fungal venereal disease.

Another study found that  the majority of drivers who violate traffic rules are latent homosexuals, it is claimed.

Then there was research into whether the colour of football shirts has any impact on the players' performances, and a separate analysis of whether there is any benefit to swallowing magnets, said the site.

Other science findings that Russians scoff at was a study allegedly concluding that wearing mini skirts extends a woman's life, and evidence that the majority of couples turn their heads to the right when kissing.

So pervasive has the trend become that if you type  'British scientists' into Russian language Google, it leads to humorous sites like Lurkmore or mocking forums.

The popular Lurkmore portal defines British scientists as 'researchers working on a completely insane, idiotic, pseudo-scientific projects, that have  no practical value'.

It claims that reports starting with the words 'British scientists discovered…' will be  full of 'nonsense' but nevertheless they will be believed by 70 per cent of the population.

Scientists in the UK are, claims the site, 'constantly engaged in some mysterious nonsense studies' and 'the subject of their research is usually amusing, absurd, stupid and would never cross the mind of a normal person'.

An example, was the 2008 discovery by a British scientist and his Italian collaborator that found potato crisps taste better when they are fresh.

This involved participants listening to the sound of their chewing, then comparing it to the ideal chewing sounds of fresh crisps registered on the computer.

'When I see statements that begin with 'British scientists discovered ...', I always need to first find out exactly who did the study, and where it was conducted, before taking it seriously', said Dr Mikhail Romanovsky, of the Physics Department of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Comments (3)

Anybody heard of the IgNobel awards?
Dr. Doolittle, Sheffield
04/11/2016 22:08
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0
My latest paper (Self-deprecation: a great British tradition) shows that it's actually British scientists who post most of the articles on Russian satirical websites. :-D
British Scientist, Cambridge University
19/02/2015 06:37
2
0
hilarious, i wonder if the scientists are aware of it))
Nicky, Paris
06/08/2012 14:19
2
0
1

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