Feeds

Nutt sacking row deepens

Scientists want maximum respect

High performance access to file storage

The row over the sacking of Professor David Nutt is deepening, with a bevy of boffins calling for scientific government advisers to be treated with respect and allowed to speak as they see fit.

The group of former and current advisers has sent the "Statement of Principles for the Treatment of Independent Scientific Advice" to government departments.

It asks that advisers, who often do their government work for free, should retain academic freedom even if sitting on an advisory committee.

Independent advisory bodies should be free from political interference, not dismissed for disagreeing with government policy and represented by an independent press office.

Thirdly the group ask that their advice is properly considered and if likely to be rejected then the committee should have the chance to comment privately before the final decision is made.

The statement added: "It is recognised that some policy decisions are contingent on factors other than the scientific evidence, but when expert scientific advice is rejected, the reasons should be described explicitly and publicly."

The statement is signed by over 20 very senior scientists including Lord Rees of Ludlow, president of the Royal Society, Professor Chris Rapley, director of the Science Museum, Professor David Hand of the Royal Statistical Society, Professor Colin Blakemore and Professor Sheila M Bird.

The full letter is available here, as a pdf.

Lord Rees of Ludlow, president of the Royal Society, writing in the Times said: "A clear statement from the top of government is required to reassure scientists in the advisory structure that what they are doing is important and that their independence is respected."

Home Secretary Alan Johnson, who started this row a week ago, is today receiving a letter from the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee asking for his account of the events leading up to Nutt's sacking. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Saturn spotted spawning new FEMTO-MOON
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.