The Large Hadron Collider and the End of the World?

The Large Hadron Collider/ATLAS at CERN
Creative Commons License photo: Image Editor

It’s been rather, well, amusing to see the news coverage of the test firing of the Large Hadron Collider over the large few days. As somebody who has worked in physics and may occasionally classify themselves as a “physicist”, it’s really nice to see physics making the headlines! But I thought the news coverage was absolutely sensationalist and ridiculous.

The downmarket British tabloid The Sun was ridiculously sensationalist with it’s headline “End of the world due in nine days”. It wrote:

SCIENTISTS are trying to stop the most powerful experiment ever – saying the black holes it will create could destroy the world.

That is why boffins are now trying to stop the project with a last-ditch challenge in the courts.

They fear the LHC experimenters are tinkering with the unknown and putting mankind — and our whole planet — at risk.

The Black Hole
Creative Commons License photo: lautsu

It wasn’t just the downmarket tabloids at it. BBC News discussed the outlandish theory, and ITV originally reported the story as so on their website:

Scientists at the European Centre for Nuclear Research (Cern) are pressing ahead with the experiment despite warnings that it could destroy the universe.

And I woke up in the morning to a long discussion on the radio about the LHC would cause the end of the world.

I’m sorry, but as if any serious scientists thought the LHC would lead to the end of the world. It’s a totally ridiculous theory.

But I’m more than happy to be proved wrong. Check out the live webcams from the LHC and let me know if you see anything 😉

One thought on “The Large Hadron Collider and the End of the World?

  1. on the day itself, the bbc radio 4 coverage was a lot better.

    now and again i consider going into science communication, as i’d like to see a massive improvement in it!

    sometimes i wonder whether ridiculous headlines are used to draw readers in to the story, not scare them off with the word physics, which many people didn’t enjoy in school and haven’t touched since.

    that’s on the good days, on the bad days, i think there’s a determination to keep people away from science, keep them uninformed and unable to join any debate. (i’ve written a blog posting on this theme, but it has more jokes in it)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *