Have a say in science? 2

December 19, 2003

The "democratic" proposal from Lord Winston, who enjoys television celebrity status, is in fact thoroughly reactionary, as demonstrated by the whole history of science.

Science, scientific facts and, therefore, decisions about funding cannot be determined by majority opinion, however representative.

What next: science policy by focus group?

Religious and ideological considerations would always undermine and manipulate popular opinion. This in a society, which more people voted in Pop Idol than in a general election.

We may live in the most advanced scientific age but many people believe in men from Mars, alien abduction, recovered memory, satanic abuse and other nonsense. That Winston thinks this abdication of leadership is a proper basis for scientific decision-making is very worrying.

Mazin Zeki
London N15

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