Feeds

Three more quit over Nutt sacking

Johnson fails to calm

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Three more scientists have resigned from the UK drug advisory body after the home secretary sacked of its chief advisor, Professor David Nutt, for disagreeing with government policy on marijuana.

The trio quit after a meeting with Home Secretary Alan Johnson that was called to reassure them that their independence would not be compromised, according to the BBC.

According to the BBC, the latest to resign are doctors John Marsden, Ian Ragan, and Simon Campbell. Their departure would mean six of the panel's 31 members appointed to advise Johnson on drugs policy have defected in solidarity with Nutt.

Professor Nutt was sacked more than a week ago in response to views he expressed in an academic journal in January and a lecture he later gave at King's College London. He spoke out against the government's decision to toughen penalties for possessing marijuana and argued that the drug is less harmful than tobacco or alcohol.

Johnson accused Nutt of playing politics, saying he "crossed the line between offering advice and then campaigning against the government on political decisions."

In a statement released by the Home Office, the meeting was described as "very constructive," and there was no mention of the resignations. It went on to say that it was agreed that the drug advisory body would continue discussions with the Home Office and Government chief scientific advisors to establishing a way to work together with the common purpose of reducing drug-related harms in the UK.

Liberal Democrat science spokesman Dr. Evan Harris told the BBC that the resignations coming after the meeting demonstrates that Johnson "doesn't get it" when it comes to respecting the academic freedom of independent, unpaid, science advisors. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.