↓ Expand ↓

Boron Blunder In The Spotlight

When I fact-checked one of my story drafts this morning, I felt as though Conan O’Brien was watching. That’s because O’Brien, comedian and host of the TV show Late Night, gave the New York Times a piece of his mind when he noticed a correction they printed for a science news story. To be more specific, the error was in their story about a newly-discovered form of the element boron, a story we also covered at C&EN. I guess it’s about as hilarious a reminder as possible to be sure I get my facts right – I doubt it’ll spark curiosity about the basic science achievement, although I’d love to be wrong on that. Watch the smackdown in this video – it’s glorious to behold.
*Hat tips to WiSci, CBC, Sceptical

UPDATE 2/11/09: The corresponding author of the new boron work, Artem Oganov of Stony Brook University, got quite the introduction to Conan’s brand of comedy. In an e-mail, he told C&EN that while he’s never seen Late Night until now, he does try to make time for “Borat” comedian Sacha Baron-Cohen’s shows. Conan’s rant was completely scientifically accurate, Oganov says, so much so that he’d “like to show Conan’s clip as an introduction to boron’s physics and chemistry in lectures and classes.”


Ping RSS
  • Feb 11th 200911:02
    by Maureen

    This is really hilarious, Carmen. Thanks for posting it. I couldn’t have seen it any other way as Conan’s show is way too late for me.

  • Feb 11th 200911:02
    by Carmen Drahl

    I don’t watch Conan, either, to be honest – it was the posts on our fellow chemistry blogs that tipped me off to this clip. A quick read of my posts on this blog will give away my status as a Stephen Colbert fan. But Conan did some great work when he was a writer for The Simpsons – so maybe I should have a look at his show.

  • Mar 31st 200910:03
    by Rick

    Cheap shot at an easy target. I expect better from Mr. O’Brien.

    The correction in the Times, by the way, was no doubt prompted by an irate letter from a Forty-Year Member®.

  • Pingback

    Aug 13th 200912:08
    by It’s Our Birthday at C&ENtral Science

    [...] Our most popular post by far was on Conan O’Brien’s boron blunder rant. [...]

  • [...] to repost last year’s hilarious clip of O’Brien chastising the New York Times for a blunder about boron that it printed. The problem is that NBC (“The Man”) has taken the video [...]

  • Pingback

    May 5th 201018:05
    by Tweets that mention Boron Blunder In The Spotlight | GlobCasino -- Topsy.com

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by CASChatter. CASChatter said: Happy b-day to French chemist Louis-Jacques Thenard, co-discoverer of the misunderstood element, boron. http://ow.ly/1Fe1m #bio2010 [...]

Leave a Reply