Simon Singh is a brave man. He has announced that he is going to apply to appeal in his case with the British Chiropractic Association. He writes about the background to the case here.
Simultaneously, Sense About Science is launching its Keep the Libel Laws out of Science Campaign. It should be widely reported in the UK media today.
On the website you will find a statement written by Singh and a group of people including Tracey Brown (MD of Sense About Science), Edzard Ernst (Prof. of Complementary Medicine and Singh’s co-author on Trick or Treatment) and David Allen Green (lawyer, blogger and Nature Networker!) on the use of libel to silence scientific debate and calling for a parliamentary review of the libel laws. Around here it is by now, I hope, fairly obvious why this is an important issue.
The statement has already been signed by nearly 150 of the ‘top names’ in science, journalism, comedy, literature and the law including Lord Rees, Stephen Fry, Professor Richard Dawkins (stop twitching, Henry), Derren Brown, Professor Steve Jones and Dara O’Briain. (Interesting debate to be had there about scientific authority, but I digress!)
Oh, and if you can, make sure to blog, twitter or otherwise Web2.0 about this. Please send the link to your friends and ask them to sign too.
The statement has already been sent to the Prime Minister, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and the Department of Justice and it will be sent again — and again — with every 1000 additional signatures that are received until there is a commitment and a timetable from the parties for the necessary legislation.
This will probably be a long and tortuous journey.