Science and free speech go hand-in-hand

The British Humanist Association (BHA) has today reasserted its position that free speech principles must be core to science. The BHA has made its comments in light of Professor David Nutt, Chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, being asked to resign his post following the publication of an academic paper on scientific research into the relative harms of illegal drug use and other pursuits.

Naomi Phillips, BHA Public Affairs Officer, said, ‘Science provides us with the evidence on which we all can make rational and informed decisions and it is vital that scientists are able to discuss their research and findings freely and openly.’

‘We expect government to pursue evidence-based policy making although we know that this regularly does not happen. In reality, the government can ignore independent advice and evidence if it chooses. At the very least, however, those advising the government must be able to do so free from fear of being discredited or losing their jobs.’

Notes

For further comment or information, contact Naomi Phillips on 020 7079 3585.

The BHA promotes science in much of our education and our campaigning work, and we understand science to be inextricably linked to the humanist position.

The British Humanist Association (BHA) is the national charity representing and supporting non-religious people.