Politicians and the Skeptical Voter

November 29, 2009 at 4:34 pm (government, Politics) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Some politicians have rather peculiar views. Often, these views are not informed by evidence. While people will probably remember Tony Blair’s stance on faith schools, they may not recall Peter Hain on Alt Med or Ken Livingstone on MMR. There’s also Nadine Dorries and David Tredinnick. Recently, there was also the case of Alan Johnson and Professor Nutt. Elected politicians are vulnerable, as they can be voted out. This may make it worth lobbying MPs who promote pseudoscience and counterknowledge. It may also be worth looking at how MPs approach evidence in the run-up to the next election.# Read the rest of this entry »

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The Promotion of Counterknowledge

March 24, 2009 at 6:09 pm (Alternative Medicine, Anti-Vaccination, Bad Science, Bloggers, Briffa, Conspiracy, Dangerously Wrong, government, Media, Nutritionism, Patrick Holford, Religion, Supplements, Woo) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

[BPSDB] Those promoting Counterknowledge are winning. Possibly because the public actually don’t really care that much*. (Damien Thompson’s book Counterknowledge is available from local libraries in my area, yet I am the first person in the 14 months since it has been in the library catalogue to borrow it.) It is also possible that Counterknowledge is spreading at least partly because people with a measure of influence in society are among those who promote it. Members of the British royal family, politicians, the mainstream media, celebrities, Alternative Medicine practitioners posing as authority figures, members of churches, and even universities have helped to promote Counterknowledge. Not to mention maverick scientists such as Andrew Wakefield. Those with less authority are playing an important part too, though. For example, full-time conspiracy theorists such as the owner of the whale.to website are disseminating bullshit that is reproduced on forums such as What Doctors Don’t Tell You, or JABS. Read the rest of this entry »

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