Since 2007, the British charity Sense About Science has published an annual review of especially silly statements about scientific topics that were made by politicians and celebrities in the preceding year. The New Scientist has an article on the latest review, which summarizes some stunning new contributions to the world’s stock of “lore”. (The review itself, in PDF format, can be downloaded here.)
Overall, the main message from scientists to celebrities this year is nutrition is neither the cure nor cause of everything.
Some of the celebrity advice is very much to the point; for example, Roger Moore, who played James Bond in a few movies, has discovered that foie gras consumption is the cause of Alzheimer’s disease. According to model and charity campaigner Heather Mills, if you eat meat, “it sits in your colon for 40 years and putrefies, and eventually gives you the illness you die of. And that is a fact.” There are several similar pearls of wisdom in the review.
Given the general level of ignorance about science in the population at large, I guess it is not too surprising that these celebrities are no less clueless. But someone should tell them that being pretty ought to be enough — it is not just cause for public pontification.