The BBC has come under fire for not featuring enough scientists on its current affairs programme Question Time. A petition on Change.org argues that comedians and reality stars are given the opportunity to debate scientific topics whilst scientists are not included.
The petition states that prominent climate change deniers such as Melanie Phillips, Lord Lawson and James Delingpole have been allowed to debate important issues, while climate scientist have not been given the opportunities to contribute and put forward the other side of the argument.
It adds that the issue isn’t limited to climate change; debates on drug policy have included comedians and columnists, but no medical experts.
“It’s time to end this bias”, the petition says. “Please, Question Time producers, demonstrate that you’re interested in serious debate and put people with real scientific expertise on your show.”
Since the last general election, more reality TV contestants have appeared on the show than all scientist put together and UKIP leader Nigel Farage has appeared four times more frequently.
As of Thursday afternoon, the petition had reached over 50,000 signatures.
The petition follows the announcement that BBC show Newsnight has axed its science editor Susan Watts, along with its foreign reporter. The science role is being made redundant although the programme’s editor Ian Katz said the show’s “commitment to covering science – including climate change – is as strong as ever. Just want to do it in a different way”.