I’ve just heard that three more ACMD members have resigned, after the Council met with Alan Johnson.
The latest resignations represent a deepening in the crisis of confidence of scientists in the Government – in particular, in the Home Secretary. That they come after Alan Johnson met the ACMD demonstrates that he just doesn’t get it when it comes to the importance of respecting the academic freedom and integrity of independent, unpaid, science advisers.
Ministers are entitled to their own opinions, but not to their own facts. The cost of the failure of the Home Secretary to understand the lessons of the BSE Inquiry will be poor policy – unless the Prime Minister acts decisively to bring the Home Office and rest of Government into line with established good practice.
By clumsily and unfairly sacking David Nutt, Alan Johnson has been rewarded with five resignations in protest. That takes a certain kind of ineptitude.