(First published on my blog December 2007).
Here's something I received in my mailbox recently. It's from a real scientist, with a real qualification, doing real research in a real university - not someone working to gain a qualification, but someone who's been long established in his field. i.e. The kind of person still utterly missing from that body which fraudulently writes to MPs, newspapers, etcetera, pretending to be a national authority, a.k.a. the "British Centre for Science Education". Of course, so that he doesn't get his name dragged through the mud on the BCSE's website, I've trimmed it off.
Having laughed so much I wanted to send you a note to say thank you: this evening I discovered your blog and analysis of the so called British Centre for 'Science' Education. There's may be horrid mischief but you certainly have a knack for confronting and humorously demolishing it.
I was a bit alarmed when I first saw the BC'S'E website earlier this year, but fortunately aside from the obvious religious zealots like Dawkins and Jones, in my experience academics have too much integrity (and are too busy) to bother with this sort of nonsense. They are probably far less gullible than I fear MPs may be over the output of BC'S'E.
I think my correspondent is right; the BCSE, generally being outside the world of real science themselves, is only going to con people who aren't in that world - anyone else will smell the rats pretty quickly.
I like getting this kind of feedback. The BCSE is essentially a con game; their procedure is to: 1) invent authoritative-sounding name for themselves 2) put up spin-filled website 3) profit!!! Until you dig a little deeper, you might well be worried, or taken in; that's what "BCSE Revealed" is here for. On the Internet, any man and his dog can pretend to be a leading authority; but it's also true that on the Internet, any man and his goldfish (actually, I keep chickens now, but it used to be goldfish!) can point out the scam.