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Friday, April 16, 2010


Woo Hoo!! Simon Singh Wins!

Simon Singh, scientist and science writer, who was being sued by the British Chiropractic Association for the temerity of writing the truth, has had the libel case against him dropped. While this is a win and cause for celebration, there's a long way still to go. As Simon writes:

“It still staggers me that the British Chiropractic Association and half the chiropractors in the UK were making unsubstantiated claims. It still baffles me that the BCA then dared to sue me for libel and put me through two years of hell before I was vindicated. And it still makes me angry that our libel laws not only tolerate but also encourage such ludicrous libel suits. English libel law is so intimidating, so expensive, so hostile to serious journalists that it has a chilling effect on all areas of debate, silencing scientists, journalists, bloggers, human rights activists and everyone else who dares to tackle serious matters of public interest. In the area of medicine alone, fear of libel means that good research is not always published because those with vested interests might sue, and bad research that should be withdrawn is not pulled because the authors might sue the journal, and in both cases it is the public that loses out because the truth is never exposed. My victory does not mean that our libel laws are okay, because I won despite the libel laws - we still have the most notoriously anti-free speech libel laws in the free world.”

Read more here, and see the commentaries by Bad Science, Respectful Insolence and Pharyngula.

If you want to help in the campaign against the flagrant misuse of libel laws to silence critics go to Keep Libel Laws Out of Science.

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