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.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Egg (and Danish bacon) all over The Guardian - the case against Bjorn Lomborg is remitted.....

Oh! What glorious irony! On the very day that The Guardian gloats (yet again) over the l'affaire Lomborg and his challenging book, The Skeptical Environmentalist [see 'Eco Gongs 2003' (Society Section, Environment, December 17)*], our doughty viking warrior is defended by the Danish Ministry of Science: 'Lomborg Decision Overturned by Danish Ministry of Science' (December 17).

My heartiest congratulations to Bjorn, who is one of the nicest and most honest men you could possibly meet. I have heard him lecture, and his care for the data is something one or two of our newspapers might emulate with advantage. Bjorn's treatment over the last two years has been some of the most disgraceful in the annals of academe, and reporting on the matter in the British press largely dire - our ever-friendly The Guardian, for example, was even lambasted by Private Eye for its coverage. And now we have this:-

"The Ministry finds that the DCSD judgment was not backed up by documentation, and was 'completely void of argumentation' for the claims of dishonesty and lack of good scientific practice."

"The Ministry characterises the DCSD's treatment of the case as 'dissatisfactory', 'deserving criticism' and 'emotional' and points out a number of significant errors. The DSCD's verdict has consequently been remitted."

Here is a .pdf giving an overview of the Ministry's landmark decision: 'Overview'.

*And here (relish it!) is The Groooaaniad's schoolboy gloat of this morning on which they must now be choking: "International Contrarian Award goes to Sceptical Environmentalist author Bjorn Lomborg, who this year was accused by a Danish scientific committee of gross negligence and 'not comprehending science'. It said: 'Objectively speaking, the publication of the work under consideration is deemed to fall within the concept of scientific dishonesty.'" Great timing lads!

Bravo for Bjorn - and well done The Danish Ministry of Science. One up to them - candour will out. Now, let's see how this is covered by our media!

Philip the Viking. ('Stott' is, of course, of Danish origin.)

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

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