Intended for healthcare professionals

Editorials

Science in court

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b2254 (Published 03 June 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b2254

Respect in Court

Mr Evan’s article entitled ‘Science in court’ suggests that as health
professionals, we are supposedly, members of the Richard Dawkins Alliance
by default, and we therefore join the struggle to suppress and ridicule
anything outside the realms of science.

It is irrelevant to state my agreements with any party involved at this
critical juncture, as this debate is fast moving away from evidence based
science and instead, it now focuses on the need for respect and
courteousness within the public domain. Simon Singh’s public lynching of
the British Chiropractic Association with statements such as “happily
promotes bogus treatments” seem unprofessional and shows lack the respect
for a profession which continues to play a role in the NHS most notably in
primary care.

It is often forgotten that writers such as Simon Singh hold an influential
and powerful role in the media and therefore diplomacy and sensitivity is
imperative if he feels pushed to make his case for the evidence based
community. It is easy to claim ‘free speech’ whilst on the run and tossing
a grenade behind you to create confusion and increasing distrust amongst
the public.

The relationship between knowledge and arrogance is often witnessed in the
science community which can affect morale and confidence but I guess this
cannot be argued here due to lack of epidemiological evidence!

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

12 June 2009
Naveed Iqbal
Foundation Year 1
King George Hospital, Barley Lane, Goodmayes IG3 8YA