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Simon Singh and Free Speech - Against the BCA Libel Claim

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=33457048634

Simon Singh, the highly respected science writer (Fermat's Last Theorem, etc), is being sued for libel by the British Chiropractic Association.

(Chiropractic is an alternative/complementary therapy which purports to treat various ailments by manipulation of the spine.)

The BCA are promoting Chiropractic as treatment for children with (potentially serious) ailments such as asthma and frequent ear infections.

Simon Singh criticised this in a Guardian "comment" piece. In particular, he criticised the BCA for doing this without appropriate clinical evidence.

He is now being sued for libel.

The BCA want damages and an injunction against him saying such things in future.

Fundamentally this is about free speech and the use of evidence.

An informed and responsible science writer should be able to write about genuine concerns on an important public health issue (the correct treatment for children) without the threat and expense of High Court libel claims.

Even if he was wrong, it would surely be enough for the BCA to simply show their supporting evidence. But they are suing him instead.

In the words of Frank Frizelle: "Let’s hear your evidence, not your legal muscle."


*****************************************

Message from Simon Singh!


Dear Supporter,

For legal reasons, I am very limited in what I can say at the moment, but I hope to be back in touch soon.

In the meantime, I would like to take this chance to say thanks to everyone who has joined this group - your support is much appreciated and your postings are a real morale booster.

Bye for now.

Simon Singh

*****************************************

A primer on English libel law:

http://jackofkent.blogspot.com/2008/08/on-english-libel-law-brief-guide-for.html

Read more at the facebook group page:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=33457048634




http://jackofkent.blogspot.com/
Jack of Kent’s blog is well informed and written from an expert’s point of view. Recent update postings include:
http://jackofkent.blogspot.com/2009/05/bca-v-singh-astonishingly-illiberal.html
http://jackofkent.blogspot.com/2009/05/what-should-simon-singh-do-next.html

Googling words such as SIMON SINGH, BCA, LIBEL will take you to lots of blogs and articles about the libel case. Google news is particularly helpful (search “SIMON SINGH”, and you can also then click on the blog option.
http://news.google.co.uk/news

Coverage
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20227086200-comment-dont-criticise-or-well-sue.html
http://www.nature.com/news/2009/090513/full/news.2009.479.html
http://www.economist.com/science/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13643973

TAGGED: CAMPAIGNS, LAW, MEDICINE


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