Tonight's University Challenge. I Cry Foul. What Say You?

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vetuste_ennemi | 22:23 Mon 25th Aug 2014 | Film, Media & TV
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Never thought this program was bent, but weren't there a suspiciously large number questions which might favour the single discipline house of learning the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medecine? That whinge apart the best result for us this series.


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Shouldn't allowances be made for the narrow remit of their studies?
I'd say not, sandy - it's supposed to be General Knowledge, to my mind anyway.
I agree with you entirely. Mrs SM and I thought the dice was heavily loaded in favour of LSH&TM. I do, however, have to declare an interest a graduate from the LSE.
I have been a viewer and a fan of UC since its earliest days, but I find my enjoyment is somewhat curtailed by the heavy bias towards science and maths questions lately.

Hopefully a little balancing will take place.
Just noticed that "as" seems to have vanished between "interest" and "a" in my last sentence.
We watched, we didn't notice any particular bias. Some of the questions generally this time round are highly technical.
What is "General Knowledge" is an interesting question in itself.

The prevalence of "Arts & Lit & History" questions in previous series was apparently regarded as valid because "everyone should know this stuff" - whereas "Maths & Science & Eng & Computers" was "specialist".

Much like in everyday life, where it is apparently acceptable for otherwise well educated people to flutter their hands and cry "Oh no - I can't do maths" - whereas as "I don't do reading" from the same person would be a serious faux pas.

I think some quite proper re-balancing has been done ...

... now if only we could insist on some sort of "maths & science" competency test for our MPs ...
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Thanks for your comments, guys. I love the format of UC. The starter questions are GK in the broad sense while the follow-ups are often specialist, which is why the successful teams usually have a good mix of arts and science bods. The bias we thought we observed was a number of questions involving the biological sciences as opposed to physics, maths etc.
Sunny Dave. Competence test for MPs? Let's not go there.
Far too many specialist maths and science questions now; so teams without at least one mathematician and one scientist (like LSE) are stuffed. Also too many 'word' questions - set, I think, by Olav Bjortomt. They should go back to proper, wide-ranging general knowledge questions.
I think the balance is usually right overall although in any one episode the question set might be more weighted in one direction. But if that favours a team it's going to be coincidental. And even with this slightly biased question set the Medical experts only narrowly won, so they still needed to have good working knowledge in other areas.
While I'm at it, did anyone notice in the previous week's UC, the twit in the suit on the far left of the St Peter's, Oxford team literally did not open his mouth for the entire contest? Even when it was a bonus question and they had to discuss, to come up with some sort of answer, he made no contribution, and just kept shaking his head! Why did he apply to join the team? Why was he selected? If I had been the St Peter's captain ( who won the contest virtually on his own), I would have been fuming at the twit's lack of effort. The Twit was studying Maths, so maybe he was waiting for one of the ridiculous specialist maths questions that now abound, but, alas, came there none. I'll have his card marked next time St Peter's is on......oh yes! Rant over.
Stage fright? It happens sometimes... unless you've been on it it's hard to criticise someone for freezing up.
I've been on a TV quiz show (several times), so know about nerves when the cameras are on. But there's no excuse for not even trying to make some sort of contribution - even a guess!

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