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Supporting science speech

4 Jun 2009, 03:09 UTC
Supporting science speech
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

When someone hears about claims that seem ridiculous, they should be able to speak freely about what they think about the claims, especially when their thoughts are backed up by strong research. Unfortunately, it is all too common for those who are only backed up by wishful thinking to attack their naysayers with lawsuits, which is bad enough.

It is even worse when a judge rules against a naysayer for completely ridiculous reasons, as Simon Singh learned when a judge ruled against him in favor of the British Chiropractic Association. Supposedly Simon was unjustified in calling some treatments promoted by the BCA as bogus treatments in an opinion piece for the Guardian, ostensibly because “bogus” implies the BCA was being intentionally deceptive. This does not seem to be a reasonable judgement at all: not only is “deception” not the first thing to come to mind when hearing “bogus treatments”, it’s made very clear that “bogus” refers to “not working” in the very next paragraph after the words appear. And unfortunately, nothing I’ve read since then suggests anything that would make sense of the judgement.
At least Simon Singh has decided to appeal the ruling despite the high cost to ...

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