Science and evidence frequently have a hard time surviving in the seat of our democracy, but it seems it is going to become even more difficult in this new session, particularly where health is concerned.
David Tredinnick (Conservative, Bosworth) — he of astrology software expenses fame — put down four Early Day Motions about homeopathy a few days ago. They are unbelievably ignorant of science and Julian Huppert (LibDem, Cambridge) tabled amendments to correct Tredinnick’s misaprehensions and misunderstandings.
EDMs don’t really change much, but it is sometimes important to put a marker down. And, given Tredinnick’s and Nadine Dorries‘ recent appointments to the Health Select Committee, this is even more important. So I have just emailed my MP, Barry Gardiner, urging him to support Julian’s amendments:
We strongly urge you to support Julian Huppert’s amendments to EDM 284, 285, 286 and 287 originally laid by David Tredinnick. We hope we don’t have to explain the woolly thinking and utter disregard for evidence that is embedded in the original motions.
Julian’s amendments correct that nonsense: it is important that a marker is put down that Parliament will not support such ignorant notions and that it is made clear that homeopathy is dangerous pseudo scientific quackery.
With the astonishing appointment of David Tredinnick and Nadine Dorries to the Health Select Committee, we can see many battles looming ahead and we need to ensure that health decisions and funding are based on facts, not fantasy.
Two articles in today’s Guardian are worth reading if you are not familiar with Tredinnick and Dorries’ views on science:
Health select committee lunacy by Adam Rutherford
We look forward to receiving your reply and your support
Thanks and best regards.
I’ll post any reply I get and urge others to write to their MPs asking them to stand up for science and evidence.
Today [Sunday] Professor Richard Dawkins will put the case for libel law reform to the Liberal Democrat conference proposing an amendment to the civil liberties bill.
The scientist and author is to appear as a guest speaker at Liberal Democrat Party Conference on Sunday.
Professor Dawkins will tell the conference that the chilling effect of libel laws on public debate about science and medicine, on writers and authors and on responsible journalism can no longer be ignored.