Science and Technology Guests on Late Night, Week of June 16th

Once again, some science content to pass along from the last few weeks that I missed.  John Oliver continues to insert science content on his HBO program, Last Week Tonight.  In what seems counter-intuitive for a subscription channel, several segments are available online.  This time it is an interview with Stephen Hawking.

As usual, the Comedy Central programs come through with content.  On June 2, The Daily Show took aim at science attacks related to vaccines.  You can argue that the show engaged in false equivalence piece – it focused on liberals who refuse to vaccinate their children as a way to ‘counter’ the preponderance of conservatives who critique climate change research.  My response is that these arguments focus too much on what parties participate in what kinds of dismissal of scientific research.  The more important concern is that the dismissal is done, not that more (insert group here) than (insert different group here) do it.  Continuing with discussions of climate, The Colbert Report had a segment on the President’s recent climate change report, and brought on Dan Esty, an environmental law professor at Yale and former Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, to discuss it.  Finally, Michael Lewis was on with Conan on June 12th to discuss his book on high-frequency trading.

This week’s guests are mostly actors playing scientists or engineers.  Simon Helberg, who plays an engineer on The Big Bang Theory, will stop by to talk with Craig Ferguson on Tuesday (he made a surprise appearance in the opening of Ferguson’s show on the 12th).  On Thursday Rhona Mitra will visit Conan to discuss her new show, The Last Ship.  She plays a scientist on the program, which deals with the aftermath of a virus that decimates the world’s population.  On Friday, the tech expert for The View, Chi-Lan Lieu, comes to visit.  While I doubt she will put that program’s hosts through the same virtual reality circus that Jimmy Fallon dealt with last week, there will likely be some gadgets of interest.


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