Zero tolerance for pseudo-science?

Hat tip to JB, who points me at John Beddington saying:

“We are grossly intolerant, and properly so, of racism. We are grossly intolerant, and properly so, of people who [are] anti-homosexuality…We are not–and I genuinely think we should think about how we do this–grossly intolerant of pseudo-science, the building up of what purports to be science by the cherry-picking of the facts and the failure to use scientific evidence and the failure to use scientific method,”

It gets better: Beddington also had harsh words for journalists who treat the opinions of non-scientist commentators as being equivalent to the opinions of what he called “properly trained, properly assessed” scientists. “The media see the discussions about really important scientific events as if it’s a bloody football match. It is ridiculous.”

So, all good stuff, and would indeed be nice to see, but about as likely to actually happen as a Christian government obeying the Ten Commandments (no, not the one about Adultery, its the one about Not Killing People that is the obvious problem. Although they tend to find Not Bearing False Witness tricky too). What would happen to the mighty War on Drugs if it were subjected to rational analysis? Or indeed the War on Terror (aka the campaign to spread fear). Beddington has wound up fools like Delingpole, which is fun I suppose, though it doesn’t look like winding him up is much of a challenge.

[Update: and perhaps speaking of which, I note Fooled again (Tamino) commenting no How easy it is to get fooled (RC), which is about the Legras et al. 2010 (A critical look at solar-climate relationships from long temperature series (Climate of the Past, 6, 745-758, doi:10.5194/cp-6-745-2010) critique / demolition of Le Mouël et al. (2010, A solar pattern in the longest temperature series from three stations in Europe, J. Atmos. Solar-Terr. Phys., 72, 62-76, doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2009.10.009)]


* Seven Warning Signs of Bogus Science (Robert L. Park, Ph.D) ht JB.
* Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart (Video) – strictly irrelevant, but wonderful.
* Ethics of science communication on the web Maxine Clarke, (Nature) Ethics Sci Environ Polit: Preprint, 2008.
* Fooled Yet Again – Open Mind.
* E&E threatens a libel suit
* Deltoid “The Bureau of Meteorology fights back” ripping up Plimer.