Three more resignations from the ACMD

I’ve just heard that three more ACMD members have resigned, after the Council met with Alan Johnson.

The latest resignations represent a deepening in the crisis of confidence of scientists in the Government – in particular, in the Home Secretary. That they come after Alan Johnson met the ACMD demonstrates that he just doesn’t get it when it comes to the importance of respecting the academic freedom and integrity of independent, unpaid, science advisers.

Ministers are entitled to their own opinions, but not to their own facts. The cost of the failure of the Home Secretary to understand the lessons of the BSE Inquiry will be poor policy – unless the Prime Minister acts decisively to bring the Home Office and rest of Government into line with established good practice.

By clumsily and unfairly sacking David Nutt, Alan Johnson has been rewarded with five resignations in protest. That takes a certain kind of ineptitude.

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3 Responses to “Three more resignations from the ACMD”

  1. Tom Says:

    Here’s hoping this is the tipping point in the UK’s version of the War on Drugs, and evidence-based policy finally arrives.

    With the Tories leading the polls at the moment, I’m not holding my breath.

  2. Duncan Stott Says:

    I do hope so Tom.

    With the Tories and Labour in cahoots over the UK’s irrational, authoritarian drugs policy, we are relying on Evan and the Lib Dems to bring some sanity and logic to the political debate.

    The weird thing is, a poll today shows that the public are very much behind Professor Nutt, and are persuaded by the scientific evidence in relation to the relative harms caused by drugs. Our side of the argument is the popular one!

  3. RossH Says:

    That’s right. Risks and harms.
    Irrationality must be something professional politicians have an excess of.
    ( I have no evidence for this, I’m afraid, except their behaviour)
    There’s an even bigger clash coming up when they try to ration / apportion research funding by applying the “Impact” assessment principles to Govt Funding.
    Skirmishes in a war.

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