November 3, 2009

Shooting messenger still top option

As extreme weather conditions and Al Gore have taught us - oh well, maybe not for the slow learners - everything you can imagine is politically, culturally and socially malleable. Science is, more often than not, the dog being wagged by the tail.

That's the way politicians, and the public like and insist it should be.

In the UK, top drug-dude, David Nutt (and yes, don't we all just love that name), a genuine expert in all things druggie - licit and illicit - an expert in neuropsychopharmacology no less, so no-one can accuse him of stepping outside his narrow intellectual jurisdiction: drugs are his jurisdiction - well, Nutt has been sacked.

The media line is that Nutt "embarrassed" the government with some of his comments.

What the media and the government are failing to admit is that Nutt's cold, hard, objective truths were discombobulating to one and all and that the best and most reliable method of silencing truthful statements is to shoot the friggin' messenger with something high caliber. So they did.

He was done within days of making the not at all startling suggestion that all drugs are dangerous and that restrictions placed on them should be proportional to their potential harm. Not a radical thought by any stretch. Except that 'proportional' would entail the legal substances alcohol and tobacco heading toward the top of the list of drugs that should, by objective standards, be classified as more dangerous than, say, marijuana, LSD or ecstasy.

This explains why experts are proportionally more likely to lie to their managers, politicians, journalists and themselves. To save their jobs and/or their funding.

Beware of experts who still have a well paid job.

UK sacks top drug adviser


  1. Anonymous9:44 PM

    THE nation's peak science agency has tried to gag the publication of a paper by one of its senior environmental economists attacking the Rudd government's climate change policies. - The Australian yesterday.

    The CSIRO claims this has not been the case.


  2. Fearless, independent academia in practice Justin.

    Ain't it grand.

    Free speech: almost worth dying for.

  3. ''Politics is politics and science is science, and there's a bit of a tension between them sometimes,'' he said.

    Now that's what I call a cracker of a oneliner. The professor need not concern himself. He can always get a job as a Nuttcracker.

  4. So when it comes to the question of the future direction of his career there is no reason why he should not be Nuttcracker Suite.

  5. Anyway at least it's a good thing that he now has this whole marijuana thing off his chestnutt.

  6. An awfully short version of the Nuttcracker Suite, Geoff.

    It would seem that being Prof Nutt only takes you so far, and then nuttin'.