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E for engineering

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1341249.  Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:10 pm Reply with quote

I'm watching the repeat right now and the question suggests itself; why are there no engineers on the prog?

1341255.  Sat Jan 25, 2020 2:36 am Reply with quote

They couldn't afford me.


1341314.  Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:11 pm Reply with quote

Fair enough - however I didn't ask why there were no pre-eminent engineers on the program (or indeed listed in any relevant programme I'm aware of).

1341322.  Mon Jan 27, 2020 3:16 am Reply with quote


I think for answers you can take your pick:

1. Society doesn't value Engineers - we can't even get the title protected so that the public can get a clear understanding of the difference between Engineers, Technicians and Fitters*. Even in engineering companies, who depend on engineering for their existence, the engineers will be paid less than Project Managers and Commercial managers, and will have much lower representation in the senior leadership roles.

2. The show patently doesn't value STEM for its own sake but rather uses it as something to jeer at, because at its core it's a comedy show. Even when it does cover a STEM topic it generally takes the line that this is something for geeks that normal people can't grasp and/or don't want to know about**, which is why they usually end up taking the piss out of it. To see how STEM can be covered without the jeering look at NSTAF and some (but sadly by no means all) episodes of Museum of Ignorance.

3. The show is actually a form of social security for comedians, providing some gainful employment in harsh times. Panellists are almost exclusively drawn from comedians and media "personalities". Even when scientists/engineers ARE on the panel they are ones who have an established media/comedy persona (Ben Miller, Ben Goldacre, Brian Cox etc). There are no people who are eminent scientists/engineers in their own right probably because they wouldn't be funny. Because despite clear pretensions to the contrary QI has become, and arguably always was, essentially just another comedy panel show.

0.00008 supplied,


* An Engineer has underpinning knowledge/understanding at Honours degree or Masters degree level and experience of creating/developing/implementing engineering solutions to technical and societal problems through personal technical and financial accountability whilst exhibiting appropriate standards of integrity and a drive to continually sustain/extend professional skills.

A Technician has underpinning technical knowledge and understanding sufficient to understand how systems work so that they can install/maintain/assess/repair them. A technician has sufficient technical understanding to be able do this safely, and exhibits integrity in determining safety/servicability of the systems they work on.

A Fitter has a high level of manual skills and can assemble/dismantle equipment and systems as defined by work instructions or drawings. Fitters have sufficient knowledge and understanding to be able to appreciate and mitigate the hazards in the systems they are working on and the tasks they are performing on them.

** This is something which causes us HUGE problems convincing kids that they should consider STEM careers because of the whole "that doesn't look like me" thing. This is actually creating and promoting unconscious bias in the young in a FAR more damaging way than (say) calling that thing on the classroom wall a blackboard

1341329.  Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:11 am Reply with quote

From that list, I should probably stop calling myself an "Engineer" then. I would place myself as a "Technician", as I do at least have some paper qualifications that I have picked up on my journey, but much of my work has been at the high end of "Fitter".


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