The Apprentice: blaahdy awful scientist stereotypes


Engineering - not necessarily a character flaw

The Apprentice really isn’t the place to go if you want to see evidence-based decision-making in action. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an episode where they actually listen to a focus group (apparently they’re too ‘focused’, according to Natasha). But then again these guys aren’t scientists – if anything they’re more like lab rats in some sort of twisted psychological experiment testing whether the fittest really do survive.

But there’s no need for the programme to take quite such a dim view of science. We’ve already had poor Edward endlessly apologising for being an accountant after being ditched in episode 1 – doing maths is nothing to be ashamed of! And this week we hit rock bottom – poor Glenn was actually fired just for being an engineer.

According to Lord Sugar, he’s never encountered an engineer who could turn his mind to business. But as they pointed out in The Apprentice: You’re Fired, in that case he must also have never encountered James Dyson. Still, at least Glenn wasn’t only judged on his chromosomes – in the same episode the charming Alan also asked Karren Brady if she’d ever turned up to work in a skimpy outfit like the one worn by the ‘babe’ on the front of the embarrassingly awful (but still task-winning) Covered magazine. Sexist? Him?

I’m not asking for an accurate representation of the reality of business (or science) on the Apprentice, but it did seem pretty unfair on poor Glenn to be judged on a very tired stereotype. He seemed strangely accepting of his fate – perhaps he realised that ShhrrrAlan (sorry – Lord Sugar) isn’t an entirely rational businessman.

Luckily we still have one scientist left in the programme – the nerdy-glasses-wearing inventor Tom. He came up with the world’s first curved nail file, and says Thomas Edison is his icon (awww!). Amazingly for a contestant on the Apprentice, he actually seems like a nice and vaguely sensible guy. So fly the flag for science Tom! And make sure you’re not too normal or you’ll be out on your ear, trampled underfoot by a herd of people who don’t realise that 100% is in fact the most you can ever give.

One Response to “The Apprentice: blaahdy awful scientist stereotypes”

  1. ‘Mad scientist’ Tom wins The Apprentice « The Science Bit Says:

    […] O’Briain said, ‘it’s a win for the nerds!!’ – and for nice guys too. Let’s hope this engineer proves Lord Sugar wrong and does turn out to be a success in business. They’re going to be creating some sort of […]

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