Most of us Europeans know Robert Llewellyn from either Scrapheap Challenge or from the science fiction series Red Dwarf. But he’s also very active on YouTube with several channels where he talks for example about politics and even has a full fledged show called Fully Charged.
In it he reviews electric cars, news and developments about them and his experience in using the cars in his day to day life. All with a very high production quality and with his trademark humour and voice. Always a joy to watch.
Another channel he has is called Carpool. In it he, you would never have guessed, carpools with people. And during the drive has an interesting chat with his fellow carpoolers. Often he has very interesting, and sometimes very famous, guests that appear in his car for a little chat. One of the people he has had as an passenger was Ben Goldacre.
You might not have heard about Ben Goldacre but he is a medical doctor and academic who specialises in unpicking dodgy scientific claims from drug companies, newspapers, government reports, PR people and quacks. Unpicking bad science is the best way to explain good science. And in general he writes on why clever people believe stupid or strange things.
It’s something he talks about a lot on his blog called Bad Science. And a subject he goes delves into a lot in his book Bad Science (a recommended read). In the book he tackles subjects froms an expert with a mail-order PhD to debunking the myths of homeopathy. He talks the reader through some notable cases and shows how you don’t need a science degree to spot “bad science” yourself.
Combine him with Robert Llewellyn in a car with a few nonsense subjects to tackle and you get a great show. Especially as Robert has earned my respect. He might not have a degree, nor be extremely informed on topics, but he has a knack for spotting dodgy arguments and claims. Not to mention he tackles every subject with an open mind, is very clear about what he does and does not know, but most importantly he doesn’t get attached to the results.
In short a skeptic at heart who enjoys learning and is not afraid of being wrong to further his knowledge. And that is why he has earned my respect.