One of the UK’s most influential science communicators says some of the country’s best researchers are not being heard by the public, especially in times of crisis. Government scientists’ ‘voices lost’
This is an important well reasoned piece; scientific freedom is being underminded whilst the public is increasingly bamboozled by biased reporting and government spin.
If scientists are not free to give their considered evidence-based opinions what differentiates the UK from tin-pot dictatorships? Our scientists must be free to share their expertise and highly informed views – even if those views are sometimes unpalatable truths.
The beef from bovine TB reactors story that has filled the press over the past few days is a case in point. The meat may well be safe but the public would be more convinced if the level of debate was raised.
There are doubts about the culling of badgers as a bovine TB control strategy. Public trust in statements emanating from DEFRA have been severely battered. The issues facing society are of such a serious nature that DEFRA, the government department that is in the front line, must restore our faith in the veracity of their statements. This can only be achieved be stopping spin in support of policy.
Leave the nonsense to the politicians and allow scientists to hold them to account by raising doubts when evidence does not support policy or polity.
See on www.bbc.co.uk