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Government Bans Scientists And Academics From Giving Advice It Disagrees With watch

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    I honestly thought this was satire when I first saw it, until I saw it in the Guardian.

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/...cabinet-office

    This is some Orwellian ****.
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    Yeah, because who wants objective, empirical data? That stuff makes it so much harder to pull the wool over peoples' eyes.
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    I don't see the problem. If say some hypothetical health minister says homeopathy can cure cancer and it is now government policy to scrap other more costly treatments to save the hard working taxpayer a few quid, you don't want some pesky know-it-all scientist claiming he is talking out his right honourable behind.
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    Let's get our facts straight here: the government claims that money given as part of scientific research grants should not be used to lobby against government policy if that research reveals flaws in the latter.

    So the real problem is not silencing scientists per se: they can make as much noise as they want against the government so long as they don't use government funds to publicise their work. The real problem is that the Conservatives don't need scientific research to tell them their policy is destructive and cruel: they know full well that their policy has a negative effect on the poor, the disabled, wildlife and the environment. They just don't care.
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    (Original post by Copperknickers)
    Let's get our facts straight here: the government claims that money given as part of scientific research grants should not be used to lobby against government policy if that research reveals flaws in the latter.

    So the real problem is not silencing scientists per se: they can make as much noise as they want against the government so long as they don't use government funds to publicise their work. The real problem is that the Conservatives don't need scientific research to tell them their policy is destructive and cruel: they know full well that their policy has a negative effect on the poor, the disabled, wildlife and the environment. They just don't care.
    They're effectively refusing to fund research that doesn't support their policies. They're actively suppressing scientific research.
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    (Original post by JordanL_)
    They're effectively refusing to fund research that doesn't support their policies. They're actively suppressing scientific research.
    No, they're only refusing to fund the lobbying part not the research as a whole.
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    (Original post by Copperknickers)
    No, they're only refusing to fund the lobbying part not the research as a whole.
    Where are you reading this? Because the Guardian article states

    The proposal – announced by the Cabinet Office earlier this month – would block researchers who receive government grants from using their results to lobby for changes to laws or regulations.
    Which I interpreted as meaning that the results of government-funded research can't be used in lobbying.
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    (Original post by JordanL_)
    Where are you reading this? Because the Guardian article states



    Which I interpreted as meaning that the results of government-funded research can't be used in lobbying.
    Only if it is the researchers themselves who are funding the lobbying. The point is, some universities are recieving research grants to investigate policy, then using part of the money in those grants to lobby for changing policy. But if you don't include money for lobbying then that rather defeats the point of doing the research in the first place. This proposal would be putting an unnecessary obstacle in the way of research being used to advise the government on policy (obviously if research agreed with government policy then they wouldn't need to lobby about it).
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    Surely the idea of government funding scientific research is to allow research to find out what works and what doesn't and this should guide government policy: not the other way round, that government decides it knows what is right and then prevents researchers from putting facts out there that might challenge that.

    Tbh this is part of a worrying trend as this article in the FT points out: since winning an overall majority, the Conservatives are taking a number of measures to try and shut down the ability to challenge and scrutinise government.

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/37902a1e-a...#axzz440FCd4rZ

    On the House of Lords its quite ironic that for years the Conservatives have been the iron bastions of defending the Lords and saying if it ain't broke, don't fix it, but now they are starting to find that the Lords is challenging their own policies, they have suddenly become radicals about reform! hmm...

    However I think its a bit misleading to use the "boundary reform" argument to say the Conservatives are trying to shut down debate. The Conservative party won't set the constituencies, the Boundary Commission will, and it will redress a bias in the system inherent to Labour. So yes this harms Labour and helps the Tories but this is just removing a current bias rather than trying to rig it in the direction of the Tories. So I don't bash the government for this one. The other measures though....especially this one about research....are a problem.

    The other irony with this, is when the political pendulum swings back to Labour (which it will eventually, we aren't going to have a one party state) there will be things which the Conservatives have done in office which will lead them to being outraged in Opposition. What happens when a Labour government wants to start slapping up tax at the higher rate and economists want to produce evidence that shows this will disincentivise investment and lead to capital outflows etc....sorry guys, if you want public funding no criticism of policy please. It's like the moves to try and outsource policy development out of the impartial civil service to allow the private sector to get involved, the Conservatives probably like the idea of outsourcing policy development to right of centre think tanks but down the line when Labour come in power and environment policy gets made by Friends of the Earth, civil service reform gets done by a trade union, welfare policy gets outsourced to left wing lobby groups, the Tories in Opposition would be outraged and call for it to be put back in the hands of the civil service.
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    Really really bad news for those of us trying to get the truth out there regarding nascent public health threats e.g. electrosmog :erm:
 
 
 
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