Lisa Jardine, presenter of BBC Radio Four's "Seven Ages of Science," said BBC producers incorrectly assume their audiences don't know much about science and avoid using technical terms out of fear of alienating listeners.
The idea that presenters must "mash up the difficult stuff, and particularly science, because people are not able to understand, is a complete fallacy," she said.
Jardine chairs the human fertilization and embryology department at University College London and is president of the British Science Association. She is also a professor of Renaissance studies at University College, The Daily Telegraph reported Thursday.
She said because most producers at BBC have a humanities background, they have no problem referencing relatively obscure cultural figures.
"Anyone who has done broadcasting on science for the BBC will know that whereas you are never asked to explain who (actor) John Carlisle is, if I say 'mitochondria' (energy-producing components of cells), they say, 'Can't you say it in ordinary language because people won't understand?'"