Feeds

Three more quit over Nutt sacking

Johnson fails to calm

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
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
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.