James borrell is a conservation scientist and science communicator, with a particular interest in how species adapt to changing climate.

Proof that natural history can ‘be a bit dry’…?

You have probably all seen the recent news articles plotting Bear Grylls new forays into the world of Natural History presenting. You probably all have a similar opinion too, if this thread is anything to go by, hurrah!

Now from my own experience of dipping toes in with the media, they are fiends for misquoting; so I’m sure Bear loves David just as much as the rest of us. I’m also sure, that the ‘a bit dry’ comment was carefully crafted to get the story noticed – the joys of free publicity!

But that doesn’t get away from the fact that a Natural History show with Bear Grylls will be about Bear Grylls, not about Natural History. And that misses the whole point.

A pity, then, when there are so many incredible and knowledgeable conservationists and scientists that can’t get a real break (check out wildvision.tv or Catherine Capon, for example).

Here’s my favorite quote:

Grylls’ three-part series, which begins next Tuesday, opens with the adventurer paramotoring over Cardigan Bay before crossing the water in a rib.

He then embarks upon a free dive – descending to 52 feet without breathing apparatus – in search of mantis shrimp.

“When you’re free diving, even a small mistake can be fatal and the biggest danger is shallow-water blackout – fainting caused by lack of oxygen to the brain,” he said of the risks involved.

Real explorers don’t need to brag about risks and dangers. Real scientists will talk your arm of about the species or habitat before even thinking of mentioning personal hardship. Real conservationists take measured, calculated risks to do nothing sexier than collect knowledge that might just make a difference.

Real role models make Natural History seem accessible and achievable for anyone and everyone.

No Bear, this is how it’s done…

The best of Sir David AttenboroughAccording to our good friend Bear Grylls, natural history programmes can “be a bit dry” and need an injection of adventure to inspire young people.Perhaps…But you can’t beat a more classic approach.

Posted by BBC Earth on Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Feel free to have your say, or post your best ‘dry’ clips below! Thanks Matt Burke, for sending me the video!