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May 31, 2008

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Mercantile

Why aren't you my MP? Apologies for my shock at reading an intelligent reasoned blog by an MP but, you do appear to be 'one of the exceptions that proves the rule'.

Congratulations.

Jon

Thanks for covering this, though - while a number of bloggers have clearly been critical of Dore - I don't think there is evidence that we undermined it.

We try to influence MPs and PEERs with reports from an objective scientific viewpoint. This is not always successful as the examples prove.

In terms of other examples, Christopher Chope's recent discussion of Dore in Parliament might be worth a look?
http://holfordwatch.info/2008/06/03/christopher-chope-mp-con-believes-that-the-government-are-suppressing-information-about-the-dore-programme-which-is-of-proven-benefit-to-a-large-number-of-sufferers/

paulflynn

Thanks Dr Aust. Agree, there is a vast amount of energy wasted chasing the self-serving myths that newspapers have promolgated. In the Commons there is body named POST - Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology. We try to influence MPs and PEERs with reports from an objective scientific viewpoint. This is not always successful as the examples prove.

paulflynn

Thanks cuervo. I have been following what is going on in the U.S. The demise of Eliot Spitzer was regrettable after his whistle blowing on GSK. Others are turning over some large stones and revealing major deceptions.

paulflynn

Thanks plh. That's entirely fair. There are plenty of gullible MPs and other. Thanks for the link. They are very revealing.

Kess

Excellent, this has really made my day! It's good to discover there is an MP with an interest in bad science and who shouldn't be fooled by the quacks.

Keep up the good work, Paul. Looking through your blog has restored some of my faith in politicians.

cuervo

Indeed, personally I regard the Daily Mail as directly culpable for deaths (corporate manslaughter?) after their anti-MMR propaganda.
The U.S. is having quite a time with anti-vaccinationists at the moment (see the recent "Green our Vaccines" demo), and when the US shits, we get a cold. Or something.

plh

It's not just the media. There is gullibility in parliament:

http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=33006

and in the NHS(TA):

http://www.nhsdirectory.org/default.aspx?page=Homeopathy&t=y

and in some of our universities:

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storyCode=401967&sectioncode=26

- all of which are at least as disturbing as stupid and credulous journalism. That NHSTA page on homeopathy is a worryingly official-looking page of lies and the University of Westminster's 'BSc' in homeopathy is an astonishing and outrageous fraud.

 Dr Aust

Well, for the grand-daddy of all recent sagas of media gullibility and hyping of nonsense, Paul, Look no further than the coverage of the MMR-autism scare over the last decade. There is plenty about this on Ben Goldacre's BadScience site, and I have added my own take on a recent example in the Telegraph (thankfully idiot MMR stories are getting fewer, though the wider tide of rubbish continues) on my blog (post on "Who needs facts?").

Apart from BadScience, other first-rate sources for debunking of nonsense claims are Prof David Colquhoun FRS's Improbable Science site

http://dcscience.net/

- and the Holfordwatch site

http://holfordwatch.info/

- inspired (if that is the word) by the UK's most media-visible celebrity nutrition guru Patrick Holford. Holfordwatch is particularly good on nonsense claims about diets and supplements.

paulflynn

Thanks Podluck. Happy to be further informed on this fascinating story.

I rely entirely on Ben Goldacre. I must get some more facts on this. Has the company now collapsed here. My main interest is in the gullibility of the media in swallowing this nonsense on this and other snake oil 'cures.'

Podblack

Question - how can a company be 'undermined' when it was falling apart under its own financial mismanagement? You might want to check the chicken-egg analogy you've got there.

bob clarke

sorry my e mail address is

bobclarke4@hotmail.com

bob clarke

Please send me a personal e mail

i am the ex CEO of Uk who was sacked for gross misconduct. I beliebve it was really to do with disclosures under PIDA.

I am looking to talk to any ex memeber of staff or angry parent.

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