Sunday 19 July 2020

Important Statement by The Science

The following statement was issued last night by The Science:

'We, The Science, wish to acknowledge publicly that, in the course of this 'Covid crisis', the advice we have given to Government has been muddled, contradictory, often flat wrong, and sometimes worse than useless. From the start, we misread the nature of this disease, hugely overestimating the potential death toll (thanks to reliance on deeply flawed modelling) and the level of infection needed to achieve 'herd immunity', while underestimating the degree of existing immunity in the population. We failed to acknowledge that this disease was never anything like an equal threat to all, but was little or no threat to the health of the population at large, while being a serious and potentially deadly threat to certain vulnerable groups, essentially the old and some others with preexisting conditions. Because of this, we should have seen that a general lockdown made no sense as a policy, and that sensible measures involving improved hygiene, social distancing and protecting the vulnerable were the appropriate response (along with mask wearing and restrictions on arrivals at airports – both of which we advised against at the time, taking our cue from the WHO). Indeed, when we learned in April that the measures taken had 'flattened the curve' before lockdown began, we should have advised that, in view of the incalculable social and economic costs – and the cumulative cost in avoidable deaths – every effort should have been made to end lockdown before too much damage had been done. Instead, we advised the exact opposite and have continued to do so, opposing every measure aimed at easing lockdown and refusing to consider any return to normal life before a vaccine has been found (if it ever is).
  In the light of all the above, we recommend the following measures to the UK Government:
Withdraw from the worse than useless WHO.
Permanently disband the catastrophically incompetent PHE.
Downgrade SAGE and all senior advisers, and never again allow them any significant say in running the country.
Institute an independent inquiry into how the most Covid-vulnerable institutions in the land, care homes, rather than being protected, had thousands of untested hospital patients dumped on them in order to 'save the NHS', thereby greatly increasing the death toll.
And institute another inquiry into the reliability of the 'Covid death' statistics published during the course of the epidemic, which seem to have greatly inflated the numbers.
  Now please accept our resignations and our sincere apologies.'

And then I woke up.


  1. The Science is not The Engineering. If your local government wished to build a new bridge or a new building, it could call on engineers or architects who would work from well understood principles and well tested materials. The principles used, and those used to develop the materials, necessarily rest on science, but the tasks themselves would amount to engineering, not science.

    Science and medicine are dealing with a virus not identified eight months ago. Necessarily there are false leads and errors. That medicine supposed for many years that ulcers were caused by stress, before it was proven that they are caused by infections, does not discredit science, but rather is an example of science at work.

    I would also remark that Germany, headed by a trained scientist, has so far done better than the UK or the US. (Even though our president had an uncle who was a scientist.)

  2. Best wishes to your dream persona in achieving all of that Nige. We'd have to rewind the whole of the 'Enlightenment' to remove our reverential relationship with science and technocracy. The battle for sane rule by the humanities was lost long ago. GW

  3. Yes I fear you're right Guy.
    George – I'd say the groupthink that led the science establishment to obdurately resist the truth about ulcers for so long is also an example of 'science at work'. If Barry Marshall hadn't done those dramatic experiments on himself, they'd very probably still be of the same mind.

  4. At the risk of excommunication and public execution - drawn out, pour encourager les autres - can I request you add the NHS, peace be upon it, to your little list?

  5. Why yes Recusant – certainly the NHS (mis)management, if only for its fouling up of procurement and (as mentioned) dumping of Covid cases on care homes. The great (if pointless) achievement was the swift construction of 'Nightingale' hospitals – and that was down to the Army.