Three more quit over Nutt sacking
Johnson fails to calm
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. ®
@The Silver Fox
You go ahead and implement your fancy 'lectronic voting technology. We'll have Rick Astley in office so fast it'll make your head spin.
Johnson accused Nutt of playing politics...
Which is a bit hypocritical when you have a Home Secretary like Johnson who insists on playing at science!
From where I sit, what you say makes sense to me. I'd also suggest a much greater deal of transparency in the discussions and decisions that are currently made behind closed doors, for our 'benefit'.
However, the problem we have is that the political incumbents have no incentive to make any of the changes you suggest, and they are the only ones who have the power to do so. It is, in fact, a disincentive, as it essentially removes power from them.
The only really effective solution to proivide change is revolution. Unfortuantely, that is far from being a desirable outcome, as the changes that would result from that would most likely not be changes for the better, along with all the bloodshed that a civil war (which would be the likely outcome of any type of coup in this country) inevitably entails.
If I remember my history correctly, the last time we had a civil war in this country, we got rid of the monarchy, and then a while later, decided that actually we were better off with one all along. All it ended up achieving was a number of purposeless deaths.
So, I leave this as an exercise for the reader: How does one work within the system to effect real change that results in less corruption, greater openness and transparancy, and 'liberty and justice for all'? The US system is flawed, our system is flawed. Even the system in Greece (where they invented the word democracy) is far from perfect, although arguably better than ours. Answers on the back of a postcard please, no more than 30 words...