Saturday, 8 March 2014

Genetic Astrology

Alistair Moffat is a good interviewee. He has an ear for a turn of phrase and knack for capturing the public attention. A historian by background, with a long involvement with broadcasting, he has little trouble getting media exposure. See a list of previous coverage of Moffat and his company at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/mace-lab/genetic-ancestry/guff_pages/attack.
Despite the BBC having been found in violation of their own guidelines on both "accuracy" and "product prominence" during an interview with Moffat he appeared again this month promoting his company finding that a million British men descend from Vikings on the direct paternal line. The interview starts at 2.04.48 at bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01s6pt4
Read Debbie Kennett's blog post Alistair Moffat, BritainsDNA and the BBC - a "uniquely British farce" which gives the background.

2 comments:

Ellen Thorne Morris said...

How did anyone outside the family get the DNA of Prince William?
And how did they think they had the right to study it and publish results without parental permission?
Bottom line is our DNA is subject to the art of statistics, see Mark Twain's view on that subject.

Debbie Kennett said...

Prince William's DNA wasn't tested. Relatives were tested as a proxy for his mitochondrial DNA. There are still ethical issues involved. See my blog post on the subject:

http://cruwys.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/britainsdna-times-and-prince-william.html