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The Longitude Prize is a waste of time

Why ask the public to vote reality TV-style on what the biggest challenge we face in science is when we already know the answer?

By Philip Ball  

Scientists shouldn’t be asked to perform for votes like Susan Boyle

Ah, the wisdom of crowds. Or is that the madness? I’m not sure any more. Do we trust the crowd to find the perfect answer to a challenge? Or do we fear that it will tip into irrational behaviour and lose touch with reality?

And do we really care? Mad or wise, the crowd is where it’s at. You know, democracy, the voice of the people. So never mind I’m a Celebrity and Strictly Come Dancing—why not let the…

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