Some people just aren’t natural collectors. After bagging a Nobel Peace Prize, you might not blame the President of the United States for skipping over an honor that doesn’t carry the same je ne sais quoi. The partners in our “special relationship” might not see it that way, however. It seems that during his tour of the Queen’s lands, POTUS was offered a prestigious science award, but decided to play ping pong instead.

Barack Obama has snubbed Britain’s most eminent scientists by refusing to attend a Royal Society banquet in his honour at which he was to be awarded with a prestigious medal.

The US President rejected the invitation from the world-leading group of scientists and instead chose to visit a south London state school.

Sources close to the state visit said members of the Royal Society were “deeply offended” by the snub and had accused Mr Obama of being obsessed with his “street cred”.

The US President was offered the chance to receive the King Charles II medal, which is awarded in “exceptional circumstances” to heads of state who have “made an outstanding contribution to furthering scientific research in their country”.

Actually the article goes on to say that some members of the Royal Society weren’t completely put off their feed, as the arrangement hadn’t been finalized. Obama instead chose to go and address the Globe Society and play a bit of ping pong with Prime Minister David Cameron.

His call I suppose, but the coverage leaves out one important data point. Precisely what “contribution to scientific research” would Obama have been credited with had he chosen to accept the honor? Advancements in ethanol subsidies? New techniques in preventing drilling for energy resources? I’m struggling a bit here to think of one new scientific advancement which the government has substantially assisted in fostering over the last two years. But I’m sure you can help us out with suggestions.