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BBC to axe Sky at Night

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#1 Michael Morris

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 07:19 AM

In their infinity stupidity, the BBC has announce ther plans to axe the Sky at Night. Please sign the e petition to try to convince tham this is a bad idea.
epetition

Thanks

#2 seawolfe

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 07:31 AM

I signed!

I absolutely LOVE this show! The new presenter team has had a while to get their act together without Sir Patrick and in my mind have done extremely well.

I hope that the BBC gets a lot of mail asking that they change their mind. I would hope that they would realize how much of an impact this show and their magazine impacts the world.

#3 brianb11213

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 07:35 AM

In their infinity stupidity, the BBC has announce ther plans to axe the Sky at Night.

Where did you get this information? The programme appears to be scheduled at least until Dec 2013, which is much further ahead than BBC schedules are normally published for.

#4 Michael Morris

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 07:43 AM

December is due to be the last show.

#5 karstenkoch

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 08:19 AM

Thanks for the notice. I just signed. I'm afraid that this may not be the last time meaningful shows like this have to compete with So-and-So's Got Talent and the like.

#6 sftonkin

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 12:52 PM

The BBC#s problem with science is summed up by this:
http://www.telegraph...nities-gradu...

#7 brianb11213

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 01:18 PM

The BBC#s problem with science is summed up by this:

Yeah, but for all their problems, their "science" coverage is still way, waaay ahead of the commercial channels, on either side of the sleugh.

As for Sky at Night: I would have no objection to dropping the shortened versions broadcast on BBC1 & BBC2, these are difficult to watch because of the ever changing timings in any case. As there is no analogue TV signal in the UK any more, tuning to BBC4 shouldn't be an issue.

The programme seems to have lost its focus to some extent since Sir Patrick's last broadcast. Change was inevitable & I think it's fair to give the new presenting team a bit more time to "bed in" before writing it off as a bad job. In fact there is more content of direct interest to "skywatchers" (entry level amateur astronomers) than there used to be ... I don't see this as a Bad Thing; quite the reverse, in fact.

I would like to see a formal announcement of the ending of the programme together with details of what, if anything, might replace it before going to the bother of petitioning.

#8 Bill Barlow

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 01:50 PM

I wonder if this show can be viewed in the USA? We get the BBC in our cable group. What night of the week and what time of the month is it usually shown?

Bill

#9 brianb11213

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 01:55 PM

What night of the week and what time of the month is it usually shown?

It gets shoved around a bit. Schedule of transmissions for Oct/Nov/Dec 2013 here (bottom of the page)

#10 dpippel

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 01:56 PM

They should try to talk Brian May into hosting the show. With his "axe". :)

#11 FirstSight

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 02:10 PM

The BBC#s problem with science is summed up by this:
http://www.telegraph...nities-gradu...


...to boil the above link down to its essence, it's because BBC's producers have backgrounds in the humanities, and assume the audience is as clueless and phobic about the technical details of science as they are.

In Salt Lake City, there's a purported "contemporary science technology" museum (called "The Leonardo" ) that seems as if it was designed by humanities and art majors whose actual exposure to science was a "physics for poets" course in college. The actual science and technology information quotient in the exhibits is so thin and superficial as to be nearly worthless, with techno-exhibits seemingly chosen and designed more for their cool art quotient than their substantive information content. The result is something that's not very good at being either a science or an art museum; a TOTAL waste of time and admission fee.

CONTRAST AND COMPARE the *other* notable science museum in Salt Lake City, the Natural History Museum of Utah which is a wonderful example of a true science museum whose exhibits are well-designed to accessibly hold interest for viewers of any age or depth of expertise, from school children to Phds. Well ok, the astronomy portion of the museum is rather skimpy, but the parts exploring the biological and geological history of Utah are as good as any I've seen anywhere, including the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC although of course the Utah museum doesn't have quite the same size and breadth. But what they've got is just as deep, and the public eagerly flocks to both.

Irony is, the Utah Museum of Natural history building is a splendid piece of artwork unto itself, whereas the Leonardo is housed in an undistinguished squat box that was the former home of the downtown city library.

TO TIE THIS INTO THE ISSUE AT HAND: All you need do is consider how contaminated the History channel and even the Discovery channel are with dumbed-down junk. It wouldn't be surprising if the BBC is falling prey to the same disease, in the purported interest of attracting more eyeballs to their programming than more substantive fare would.

#12 sg6

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 02:54 PM

After Sir Patrick Moore died the program did have a bit of an identity crisis. They seemed to try arrangements that really did not come across.

The last one I saw, from Cambridge, was well presented. It was a visit to Cambridge, talks with the head of the Astronomy school, a good description by one of the post grads about a dust cloud falling into the black hole at the centre of the milky way. No great technical knowledge required and well presented. They then had a visit to an Astro Society and gave some ideas of what to look at.

Nice, kept simple and well presented.

If they maintained that as an general arrangement - visit a university, cover one aspect of research there then an astro club and what to look at, then for a 30 minute program it would do well.

There are enough universities, the publicity would be useful to them and finish with an idea of what is up there to look at. Nice and easy.

#13 Ed Holland

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 08:55 PM

I hope they can find some way to continue. Compared to many BBC offerings the production costs must be miniscule. Of course, Sir Patrick is irreplacable, but surely with a little thought a good anchor man could be found to maintain a serious factual theme.

(I might live in the USA but I'm still a licence payer!)

Science does suffer from neglect on TV. There are offerings like Horizon (frequently the content is shared and repackaged for the Nova series on US public television) but it is usually superficial, or spends too long getting "to the point" (my opinion, of course). Or there is sensational stuff that relies on explosions and wacky presenters...


Just my 2p ;)

Ed

#14 PhilCo126

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:32 AM

Indeed Science does suffer from neglect on TV, it looks like TV station managers prefer millions to watch soap opera, cooking programs and sports all day long...
The Sky At Night needs a new icon, choices are on Dr Brian Cox and/or Dr Brian May...
Online petition has 3000 supporter so far
http://www.change.or...-at-night?sh...

#15 PhilCo126

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:34 AM

I wonder if this show can be viewed in the USA? We get the BBC in our cable group. What night of the week and what time of the month is it usually shown?
Bill


There's a monthly Sky At Night magazine which has a DVD with the latest show on it and mostly also a "classic" episode:
http://www.skyatnightmagazine.com/

#16 mblack

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:31 PM

In their infinity stupidity, the BBC has announce ther plans to axe the Sky at Night. Please sign the e petition to try to convince tham this is a bad idea.
epetition



Thanks



Wish you luck in this endeavor.

As an avid viewer and fan of Sir Patrick and His show, I remember when the BBC blocked content to IP addresses outside the UK, ending my ability to view this wonderful, informative and unique program here in the United States.

Then Sir Patrick Moore passed on, and the whole issue of my interest in the program, and frustration with the BBC passed with him.

All of which is no reason that a fine program should be ended without a fight.

Petition signed. Sir Patrick Moore deserves to have this piece of his legacy continue on.

#17 PhilCo126

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 04:13 AM

English Heritage envisaged to put blue plaque at FarThings, the late Sir Patrick Moore's house in Selsey on the English southcoast:
:jump:
:bow:
Posted Image
http://www.chicheste...elsey-starga...

#18 Michael Morris

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 07:33 AM

Now over 12,000 signatures in just two days, brilliant.
However, we need more many more if we are to stand a chance of signifcantly influencing the BBC! Please spread the word.

#19 PhilCo126

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 09:35 AM

Passing 15000 supporters... worldwide support from Europe (Astroforum.nl) to USA (cloudyNights.com) to Australia (IceInSpace.com.au)

#20 Dave M

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 09:48 AM

Signed..
Love the magazine and included cd.
Best of Luck...

#21 PhilCo126

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 12:14 PM

Almost 30000 signatures... & counting... :bow:

#22 hm insulators

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 12:47 PM

I signed the petition.

#23 Bill F

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 01:11 PM

Further to your comments on the BBC staff, I recently had to deal with them about a flying programme. I was trying to explain why they could either put lots of fuel into the aircraft or more people, but not both due to weight limitations. The charming young lady just laughed and said such technical matters were beyond here, with perhaps just the slightest hint that "beyond" meant "beneath".

Horizon used to be an informative and well presented science programme. It is now an unwatchable vehicle for arty shots up people's noses by cameramen who can't hold the camera still.

Can anyone remember the BBC series "Restless Earth", "Violent Universe" and"The hunting of the Quark" with Nigel Calder? In black and white. Two hours at a time of straight, cutting edge science. With a five minute interval in the middle to get a cup of tea. Civilised!

Bill

#24 wavecloud

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 02:24 PM

I note that science is correctly defined as "the study of the universe around us", which of course includes sciences which focus only on the Earth.
The practice of science is really a discipline which spreads to many fields, so families and individuals who think that they are "into science" do not even understand what science is. The same is true for curricula which claim that they are a "science" course, this indicates that they do not really understand the nature of what they are dealing with. Or "Popular Science", this is only a referral to "science" in the public imagination, which is really anti-science.
Bu science also refers to such studies as bird language and learning celestial geometry.
"Science fiction" really has nothing to do with true science. Most science fiction merely shows the public's conception of "science", other science fiction incorporates some true astrophysics into false "science".

I think that this may be the prime explanation for the demise of true science programs like "Sky at Night."

#25 brianb11213

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 06:38 PM

Further to your comments on the BBC staff, I recently had to deal with them about a flying programme. I was trying to explain why they could either put lots of fuel into the aircraft or more people, but not both due to weight limitations. The charming young lady just laughed and said such technical matters were beyond here, with perhaps just the slightest hint that "beyond" meant "beneath".

Heigh ho ... the management of at least some of the low cost airlines don't realise this, either. One night not long ago over Spain no less than THREE commercial airliners run by the same low cost carrier had to declare fuel emergencies. The Chief Pilot of the airline appeared on a TV documentary (Channel 4, not BBC) arguing that, though the pilot in command of the flight is ultimately responsible for the fuel quantity loaded, management policy of filling all the seats plus minimising fuel consumption (carrying extra fuel creates more drag resulting in more fuel burned) pressures the pilot into loading a bare minimum of fuel. The airline promptly fired their Chief Pilot immediately following transmission of the programme. As it happened all three of these flights landed safely, but sooner or later this policy is going to cause a disaster. At least the victims won't be burned to death.

I think BBC management are guilty of a similar misjudgement here: the programme can only contain so much stuff, only in this case the content (passengers) is losing out to presentation (fuel). The issue here bing that the management ("media experts") understand presentation but not the content, and are (mostly) too ignorant to recognise that what they don't find readily understandable may already be oversimplified to the target audience.






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