Archive for the ‘Science and Medicine’ Category

Simon Singh Libel Case Update

August 11, 2009

For my original post on Simon Singh and the BCA, click here.

Lifted from Science-Based Medicine

Legal Update BCA v Singh

Simon Singh announced today that he will continue the fight in his libel case with the British Chiropractic Association after his application to appeal the preliminary ruling was rejected last week. He has now has the option to try and overturn that decision at an oral appeal. If this fails his case will be tried on a meaning of a phrase he did not intend and is indefensible. This highlights the problem of narrow defences that, along with high costs and wide jurisdiction, make the English libel laws so restrictive to free speech.

Simon said today: “I can confirm today that I have applied for a hearing to ask the Court of Appeal to reconsider its recent denial of permission.  A great deal has happened since my original article was published back in April 2008 and I suspect that the libel case will continue for many more months (or maybe years). While my case is ongoing, it continues to raise a whole series of arguably more important issues, particularly the appalling state of English libel laws. I am pleased that the Culture Secretary has agreed to meet with signatories of the Keep Libel Laws out of Science campaign statement to hear how the laws affect writers. We are also pursuing a meeting at the Ministry of Justice and with front benchers in other departments to lobby for a change in the law.”

Read Simon’s full statement and more about his next steps here:


Beware The Spinal Trap

August 3, 2009

Sense About ScienceI’m behind the times once again.  Last week, science blogs across the web reproduced Simon Singh’s column on chiropractic.  In it, In Singh criticizes chiropractors for claiming to be able to treat conditions such as colic, asthma, and ear infections, despite lacking a shred of credible scientific evidence.  When the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) complained to The Guardian, the newspaper that had printed the article, they were given the opportunity to write a 500 word response to rebut Sing’s claims and present their evidence for the efficacy of chiropractic.  Instead, the BCA sued Simon Singh for libel.


A Successful sCAM: Americans Spent $33.9 Billion On Alternative Medicine Last Year

July 30, 2009

Yes, I’m back on complimentary and alternative medicine (colloquially referred to as sCAM) again. I may be in danger of becoming a one trick pony. I need to find a wider variety of topics to get angry about. There’s always tomorrow.


Continued Nonsense From Age of Autism

July 27, 2009

There’s no way to dissect all of the reasons the anti-vac (anti-vacc?) proponents are wrong, dishonest, lazy, and dangerous in a single blog post.  To borrow a phrase I’ve seen used extensively by Mike the Mad Biologist, it takes a lot to deal with the thermonuclear-level stupid that this group spews out on a regular basis.

Surprising myself, my opening salvo against the ‘Mercury Militia’ will not be directed at Jenny McCarthy.  My contempt for her is essentially limitless.  However, my target today is Dan Olmsted, the current editor of the Age of Autism website.


More Woo From Harkin

July 25, 2009

Over the last several months I’ve found myself more excited and enthusiastic about science than at any other point in my life. In parallel, I’ve become more and more frustrated and angry at the amount of nonsense that gets peddled to the public as genuine and plausible science. I wanted to do something, but I was missing that crystallizing moment that would whip me into a state of righteous indignation. Then along came Iowa’s own Tom Harkin.