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.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Why we have been forced elsewhere.....

Here is good old George 'Savonarola' M. in full conspiracy mode: 'Invasion of the entryists' (Comment, The Groooaaniad, December 9): "How did a cultish political network become the public face of the scientific establishment?"

Well, one reason, George, is the fact that much of the left seems to have abandoned the Enlightenment completely, which has put many mildly left-wing scientists (like yours truly) in a bit of a bind. I have written for Sp!ked myself (though you'll have to poke and prod very deep indeed to find a Trotskyist bone in my corpulent frame!) and, heaven forbid, I have even penned pieces for Dave Spart's The Guardian! I have also scribed for The Times, for The Daily Telegraph, for Country Illustrated, for New Scientist, and for many others. So, what then are my conspiratorial associations, old fruit? [Yes, alright, I'm totally confused - I knew that anyway!] Indeed, I will write for most reasonable outlets so long as I can write honestly about what I believe and if my poor scribblings are not edited out of all recognition (and, I may add, Sp!ked has a better track record than The Grauniad on that front!). My 'natural' outlet would, in the past, have always been The Guardian - but that has become so emotive, so extreme, and so uncritical on the environment that I have been forced to migrate to more rational and tranquil waters. I hope I make up my mind on every issue carefully and on the evidence, an approach that seems to be at variance with the religious zeal of too many Guardian and Indy writers.

Perhaps you and The Guardian might like to think about that a little. We scientists are not so naif as you think. What we do know is that we increasingly have a heck of a job getting careful, critical, science out there through our ever-febrile press. So, like most other folk, we use what we can in a naughty world.

Philip the Eclectic. Coffee and bananas all round.

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

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