Thursday, January 04, 2007

Sacha and Simon

I hadn't realised, until reading an article in Tuesday's Education Guardian just now (yeah, yeah I'm behind again but still striving to read a newspaper every day even if it isn't that day's), that the Baren Cohens, Sacha and Simon, were related.

Now on one level we are all related and people with similar surnames are more related than others so those with identical, unusual surnames are more related even than they, but it had passed me by, as so much of life does these days.

Here's the interesting thing. Simon Baron-Cohen is Professor of Development Psychology at Cambridge. He wrote the best book I have ever read on male/female differences called The Essential Difference (buy from Amazon here). He is an expert on autism.

Sacha is better known as his characters Ali-G and Borat.

Now Simon's latest piece of work is about social awkwardness. Is there, he asks, a difference between the way autistic and non-autistic people react to socially awkward situations?

So Sacha, whose comedy gift is to place ordinary people and celebrities in socially awkward situations, is doing exactly the same work as Simon but to popular appeal rather than to scientific journal recognition. What a double act.

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