Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Simon Jenkins is a stupid cock

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The world's least consistent journo broke new ground recently. The occasionally brilliant Jenkins (although see here for previous stupidity) has sunk out of sight with his latest piece. My comment on his ill-considered guff:

This article is breathtakingly stupid. Simon has really dropped a clanger.

I'll just start with this:

"No scepticism is admitted to this new orthodoxy"

Really, Simon? Really?! Because, as scientist, being sceptical is pretty much what I do for a living.

He goes on to list some alleged failures of science:

"It was too bad that the Icelandic ash clouds turned out to be not as bad as "the science" had claimed. It was too bad if science banned beef on the bone; too bad if science wasted £2bn on Tamiflu; too bad if science wrecked the case for nuclear power by its hypersafe radiation limits, or failed properly to defend GM foods."

For f@&k's sake, man, use Google to find out what the Precautionary Principle means and then come back and apologise for your foolhardy words!

Its odd that there are several genuine and major flaws in recent science policy and yet Simon doesn't seem to be aware of any of them. Shall we mention the plummeting career options for most scientists in this country? The increasing politicisation of funding applications across the scientific board? The misuse of "scientific" government funding to lobby the government itself to permit the growth of GM crops? The bizarre insistence that grant applications include an estimate of the economic benefit of the proposed research, regardless of whether it relates to new technology or studies of microbial evolution?

Seriously weak stuff: 1/10


Hilariously, some other scientists of moderately greater eminence than I have also taken up the task of bringing Jenkins to book for his crimes against science.

5 comments:

  1. please tell me that the ONE, out of ten, was for spelling and grammar.

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  2. Yes, its customary these days to give students a minimum score simply for turning up and spelling their name correctly on the exam paper. I don't imagine for one second that Jenkins checks his own spelling and grammar, that's what lowly copy-editors are for.

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  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  4. You're banned, Duff. And yes, there's a typo in my comment.

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  5. I hadn't even noticed the typo, 'Willy', it was the overall claim that had me chortling. 'You a scientist', really, I turned quite sceptical on the spot!

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