In a world where scientists and their reliability are under constant attack by right-wing forces to the point that even the public, which doesn’t understand the scientific method anyway, also distrusts them, this is a really stupid stunt.
A senior French scientist has apologised after tweeting a picture which he said was from the James Webb Space Telescope — but which was not quite what it seemed.
Etienne Klein, a director at France’s Atomic Energy Commission, posted a picture purportedly showing Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our sun.
“This level of detail … a new world is revealed every day”, he enthused in the tweet, sent to more than 90,000 followers on Monday.
However, Professor Klein has now admitted that the glowing celestial body shown was in fact nothing more than a slice of Spanish chorizo sausage.
Apologising for what he described as “a scientist’s joke”, he said his aim had been to remind people to “be wary of arguments from people in positions of authority”.
What a crank.
I did a bit of checking on Klein and found this on his Wikipedia page:
In December 2016, Science magazine, a publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, reported that Popular French physicist Étienne Klein was responsible of a plagiarism, his work was said to be plagiarizing the novelist Stefan Zweig and other authors.
Seems as if Klein has a bit of experience in fake scientific authority.
You can read the rest of the article at this link.
His tweet is below.