Thoughts on Michiu Kiko?

I want to like the guy, but I am really sick of NBC using him as their go-to scientist for everything instead of finding us a real expert trained in a specfic field. And, Kiko never once excuses himself as not being an authority on everything! I know he’s a physicist, in theory :wink: …but, he oughta stay in his swim lane! Your thoughts?

Nitpick: His name is Michio Kaku.

I don’t see the problem. It’s no different than how NBC uses Dr. Nancy Snydernam as their go-to medical specialist, even though she is an ENT physician who may not necessarily have specialized knowledge in other specific areas of medicine.

He wrote a good book called Physics of the Impossible. Great bathroom reading. No joke.

He is physicist but he has a working knowledge of general science. Good enough for how in depth they go on most science stories.

I think he’d have been a much better host/narrator for the new Cosmos than NdGT.

I haven’t seen him on NBC, but in general I’m not a fan. He tends to exaggerate and make very broad statements. I think, in his mind, he’s just being enthusiastic about science and technology and expressing it at a level laymen can understand. But I never listen to an interview with him and end up feeling like I’ve really learned anything other than that he think science is gee-whiz neato.

A few years ago the blogosphere jumped all over him over some comments regarding human evolution. Here’s PZ Myers take on him:

I find him to be one of the most “poppiest” of the pop scientists.

My impression is that he’s mostly about the ratings rather than the science. He’s the go-to guy because he’s willing to stand behind a headline like “Scientists discover time travel!” when the real scientific truth is someone found a particular equation that, given the right inputs, results in time travel. The real discussion among scientists is whether the equation is made wrong by this possible result, but that won’t stop the news from reporting it as a discovery of time travel. When need some guy to talk about time travel in an educated and scientific manner, they cue Michio. (This, by the way, is a mostly made up scenario.)

All that said, I don’t know his reputation as an academic or a scientist. He may be doing some really amazing work that is too boring for the headlines. I just know that he’s far too willing to settle for inaccurate or misleading sound bites when that’s what the script calls for.

He’s been on the Coast To Coast Radio show several times


Which says a LOT for his willingness to get behind the money, instead of the science.

All in all, most of what he says is scientifically accurate, but he has been known to lend his credentials to some pretty “Woo-Woo” stuff.

I’ve read a few of his books and like him. He’s had the occasional essay in Scientific American and came across well.

(My personal favorite living science writer is David Quammen.)