Girl Meets LHC, Girls Commits Suicide -or- I’m a little doubtful this is actually true…

UPDATE: Reuters has picked up the story.  According to their report:

But in deeply religious and superstitious India, fears about the experiment and the minor risks associated with it spread rapidly through the media.

In east India, thousands of people rushed to temples to pray and fast while others savored their favorite foods in anticipation of the world’s end.

“There were a thousand more devotees yesterday as well as today compared to (any) other normal day,” Benudhara Sahu, a temple official in Orissa state, told Reuters.

Dave Ng has brought up a good point in his comment below – is science journalism (or, in this case, journalism about something science related) to blame for the supposed mass hysteria in India, or is it the “deeply religious and supersitious” nature of the country (is this even true?)?

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In a previous post, Joel had queried Terry* readership about the likeliness that an Earth engulfing black hole or some other nasty natural phenomenon will be formed at the heart of the Large Hadron Collider.  As he pointed out, critics have gone as far as to take CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, to court over claims of various sorts (for example, the right to life).

Well, one particularly disturbed Indian 16 year old has taken her criticism far beyond any healthy means.  According to an Indian news agency Rediff, the girl comitted suicide after learning about the LHC.  She ate pesticide pills and passed away within a day.

I’m not sure what to think about this, so why don’t you chat it out in the comments section?

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Dave Semeniuk spends hours locked up in his office, thinking about the role the oceans play in controlling global climate, and unique ways of studying it. He'd also like to shamelessly plug his art practice: davidsemeniuk.com

2 Responses to “Girl Meets LHC, Girls Commits Suicide -or- I’m a little doubtful this is actually true…”

  1. David Ng

    Somewhere in this horrendous story is a commentary on the merits (and demerits) of science journalism. I don’t think I’m the only one who would suggest that the “end of the world” bandwagon got too much notoriety in the general press. I wonder what science journalism types would think?

  2. Nishith Prabhakar

    The news about the mass hysteria is true – the one about the girl might not be, she might have had some personal issues and used this as a trigger and excuse. But on second thoughts, 1 out of a billion+ people – very much possible.

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