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Comments on Journalology: Scientists or Living Marxists?





Updated: 2018-02-08T06:30:37.954+00:00

 



pj rightly asks whether I have anything in particu...

2007-03-11T22:36:00.000+00:00

pj rightly asks whether I have anything in particular against the work of these LM group fronts. I didn't go into this to avoid going on for too long, but yes, I do. Their unquestioning support of corporate-sponsored science and the "scientific establishment" is of concern, as is their easy dismissal of health concerns in the "Science for Celebrities" leaflet (http://www.senseaboutscience.org.uk/pdf/ScienceForCelebrities.pdf). I know that celebrities can come out with astonishing nonsense (witness Gillian McKeith), but this leaflet uses soundbites to broadly dismiss organic food, alternative medicine, concerns about chemical toxicity, and worries about use of hormones in agricultural animals. This is not engaging in a mature debate, this is sensationalist and about as bad as the celebrities they criticise.To quote from the leaflet, "asbestos and silica in our lungs, dioxins in our blood. Do they matter? No!". Really, asbestosis, silicosis and dioxins don't matter? Ahem. "At least 3500 people in Great Britain die each year from mesothelioma and asbestos related lung cancer as a result of past exposure to asbestos" - NHS Direct; "People with silicosis are at high risk for developing tuberculosis" - MedlinePlus; "Each year, more than 250 American workers die with silicosis" - CDC; "Even very small dioxin concentrations can cause negative effects on the environment and on human health, in particular on the most vulnerable groups like children. Human health effects include impairment of the immune system, the nervous system, the hormonal system and the reproductive functions. Dioxins are also suspected of causing cancer" - European Commission report.This leaflet contains the kind of patronising paternalism that science and medicine do not need.The assumption of Sense About Science and the Science Media Centre that technologies like "golden rice" are the answer to the world's problems is lazy. The kneejerk opposition of "science" to those questioning GM foods, pesticides, chemicals in food and other household goods, animal experiments etc. is itself anti-scientific. The anti-GM and animal rights campaigns aren't remotely scientific themselves, but while the assertion of these LM fronts that "science" must be in favour of GM foods makes them very cozy with those with certain vested interests, it doesn't make them scientific. To spell out my point, supporting new technologies, pharmaceutical companies and animal research is not one and the same as supporting the scientific method.pj raises an interesting point by mentioning the Great Global Warming Swindle. There are a lot of people and groups who would love global warming to go away, and the LM group have set themselves up to sell that message. Carl Wunsch, a participant in the TV show, has told the Guardian that "his comments in the film were taken out of context and that he would not have agreed to take part if he had known it would argue that man-made global warming was not a serious threat. 'I thought they were trying to educate the public about the complexities of climate change,' he said. 'This seems like a deliberate attempt to exploit someone who is on the other side of the issue.'".This is typical of the LM group. They did exactly the same a decade ago with documentary called "Against Nature". The Independent Television Commission judged that "Comparison of the unedited and edited interview transcripts confirmed that the editing of the interviews with these four contributors had indeed distorted or misrepresented their known views. It was also found that the production company had misled them, when it originally sought their involvement, as to the format, subject matter and purpose of the programmes. No mention had been made of the critical position the programmes intended to adopt, for example in correspondence".More here: http://www.badscience.net/?p=383#more-383For a damning (and admittedly somewhat sweeping) summary of the beliefs of another of their fronts, the Institute of Ideas, see http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,341053,00.htmlThe Pro-Test camp[...]



You might be interested in the connections between...

2007-03-11T18:49:00.000+00:00

You might be interested in the connections between the LM crew and The Great Global Warming Swindle director Martin Durkin.



Do you have any evidence that the association of t...

2007-03-11T18:17:00.000+00:00

Do you have any evidence that the association of these organisations with the LM groupuscle has lead to any biases in their work - or is it simply concern with an as yet unrealised hidden agenda that worries you?