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UK scientists muzzled by government

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Sean, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. Sean

    Sean Senior Member

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    http://www.theguardian.com/science/...tists-over-chilling-effect-of-new-media-rules

    And who said the British have lost their sense of irony and farce?
     
  2. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    I quite like the idea of being clearer that the British scientific 'elite' are often working on behalf of politicians and civil servants.
     
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  3. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    See? the great British Establishment at work....
    Scottish independance cannot come soon enough! :p
     
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  4. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards "Gibberish"

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    I am told by sources close to Downing Street that this is all because the Prime Minister has become very worried about the weather forecast. People are spending much too much time listening to the forecast and not making enough money on dodgy share deals that they can ask his dad's advice about stashing away in tax havens.

    So he has had the clever idea of saying that the met office has to get ministerial approval for sending out 'sunny spells and scattered showers' to the BBC and ITV. With luck the minister will be holidaying in Barbados, having heard about the showers and so the forecst will be delayed for five days.

    It is this sort of inspired action by our conservative government that has got us out of the hole that Labour left us in and almost nearly not quite reduced the deficit by 1% of what they said they would. So make sure those of you who can, vote for Dave in May. Otherwise you may be voting for May in about five years time!
     
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  5. jimells

    jimells Senior Member

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    Maybe he heard the forecast calling for torches and pitchforks...
     
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  6. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    I'll supply the kindling and marshmallows :p
     
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  7. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

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    Drastic toughening of whistleblower laws next on the menu ...
     
    Sean likes this.
  8. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    A concerted organized massive civil disobedience campaign on this issue might well force this issue and make everyone see the farce this is. However this would take time to organize, and probably wont happen soon as other options would be tried first, and even then scientists are not used to getting involved in politics.
     
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  9. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

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    OMG! We sure don't want people running off their mouths and being indiscreet about... Higgs bosons! :eek: :rolleyes:

    Honestly, this new code is seriously scary. Government approval is necessary before you talk to the media about your research of any sort? What is this, Animal Farm? WTH is going on over there? If I were a researcher in the UK, I'd be looking for a post in another country. When the government starts controlling what scientists can say, basic science takes a trip down the outhouse hole. Science has to at least try to be about honest investigation, not what is politically expedient.

    This reminds me of the (probably fictitious, but who knows)* story about some US state that legislated pi to be 3.2 instead of the infinite irrational number it is in fact. Apparently some people think scientific (including mathematical) truth can be legislated.

    *Nope, not fictitious. An arrogant physician in Indiana decided he knew a better way to calculate pi, decided to copywrite it, and offered to let the state government use his method if the state adopted his "mathematical truth" as state law. A bill was drafted and proposed to that effect.
    http://mentalfloss.com/article/30214/new-math-time-indiana-tried-change-pi-32

    Fortunately, the bill in question was never passed into law.
     
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  10. worldbackwards

    worldbackwards A unique snowflake

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    Earth
    This is part of a trend in the UK. Not so long since, a lobbying bill was published which did nothing about third party lobbying for multi-nationals but incidentally managed to crack down on charities, trade unions, think tanks and just about everyone who might possibly be opposed to the government's slash and burn agenda, hampering them from speaking out in the run up to an election, or doing much else in fact.

    There have also been attempts to get rid of legal challenges to the government, in order to stop 'vexatious' attempts to disrupt public policy (stop me if you've heard this one before...)
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2015
  11. jimells

    jimells Senior Member

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    Our Dear Leaders must be seriously worried about the pitchforks. Most institutions are remarkably efficient when it comes to weeding out potential troublemakers, so there's little need for ham-fisted government censors. This applies to academic and media institutions and pretty much everywhere else.

    Noam Chomsky tells a very interesting story about academic censorship in his book "Understanding Power". In 1984 a graduate student named Norman Finkelstein became interested in a best-selling book titled "From Time Immemorial" by Joan Peters:

    And Finkelstein's career was destroyed for many years. The rest of the story about how Chomsky help wreck the book's reputation is very interesting. Folks that want to understand how power really works will want to read it at his website.
     
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