Wednesday 11 February 2009

Beware the Expert...

Bryan is already onto the tergiversation of the 'experts' on eggs and related matters. As ever, it's mildly agreeable when 'expert scientific advice' finally catches up with one's own commonsensical view - but the tyranny of supposed expertise continues unchecked, and there are some who would insist that the 'independent' views of the 'expert scientists' must take precedence over all other considerations in policy making. Prof Colin Blakemore is one of them, making his point this morning in a discussion stirred by a government drug adviser recommending - on scientific grounds - the downgrading of Ecstasy. I wonder if the likes of Blakemore ever pause to think what the world would be like if the viewsof the 'experts' were translated directly into policy. These same experts, remember, assured us confidently that by now hundreds of thousands of us, in this country, would be dead from an Aids pandemic. A little later, they were assuring us with equal confidence that similar numbers would be dead from a BSE pandemic. (They also, on a smaller scale, assured us that we'd all get Salmonella if we dared to eat an egg - the ghastly Edwina Currie made the mistake of taking them seriously on that, and lost her job.) The only mass death that occurred in this country was in the event the unnecessary panic slaughter of millions of healthy cattle - on the orders of the 'scientific experts'. I really shouldn't mention 'global warming', but it does fit the familiar pattern of 'experts' forming a consensus and talking up a panic, and I'd at least suggest that governments should think very hard (that'll be the day) before taking their 'independent scientific advice' on board... When 'experts' hold forth, have plenty of salt at hand. And when eating an egg.

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