A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Monday, October 06, 2003

'Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?'

It is exciting when one visits a web site that expresses your own frustrations better than you can ever achieve yourself. Such is undoubtedly the case with the quite outstanding Butterflies and Wheels (recognise the resonances from Alexander Pope's Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot?) This site should be read by every environmental correspondent in the UK, but especially by those writing for the more bien pensant and left-wing outlets, like the terrible twins (see below), The Guardian and The Independent.

The fundamental aim of my little Blog is identical to the second aim of this wonderful site: this "... has to do with the tendency of the political Left (which both editors of this site consider themselves to be part of) to subjugate the rational assessment of truth-claims to the demands of a variety of pre-existing political and moral frameworks. We believe this tendency to be a mistake on practical as well as epistemological and ethical grounds. Alan Sokal expressed this concern well, when talking about his motivation for the Sokal Hoax: ‘My goal isn't to defend science from the barbarian hordes of lit crit (we'll survive just fine, thank you), but to defend the Left from a trendy segment of itself. Like innumerable others from diverse backgrounds and disciplines, I call for the Left to reclaim its Enlightenment roots.’ ('Reply' to Social Text 'Editorial')."

Oh yes! Oh yes! Philip.

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

WWW EnviroSpin Watch

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