Volunteers needed to help keep libel laws out of science!

keep libel laws out of science

Charity Sense About Science are running a campaign to stop libel laws silencing legitimate scientific debate in the UK. Currently producer and author Simon Singh is facing a £100,000 legal bill for an article he wrote questioning the effectiveness of chiropractic treatments. Many others like him have been forced to withdraw criticisms of pharmaceutical companies and other organisations after being threatened with legal action. Sense About Science are preparing a report on these cases, and need your help:

Hello all

As some of you will be aware we've had some fantastic news for our Keep Libel Laws out of Science campaign. The Liberal Democrats voted overwhelmingly in favour of libel law reform at their party conference on Sunday 20th September 2009. This was after Richard Dawkins spoke at the conference proposing an amendment to the civil liberties bill: http://www.senseaboutscience.org.uk/index.php/site/project/403/.

We've been getting loads of examples of the chilling effects of the libel laws on writers and we want to get these together in a report. We urgently need some extra help in the office this week to pull these together.

It should be some really interesting work and is an exciting opportunity for someone interested in the campaign. If you have any spare time in the next week please let me know and we will see if you can come in and help with this urgent project.

Best wishes

Julia

All budding science communicators - this is a good opportunity to make a difference! If you can help, email Julia at jwilson@senseaboutscience.org.

More like this

In the fight against companies and individuals using legal threats to silence critics, charity Sense About Science is beefing up its campaign to reform the UK's ill-constructed libel laws. Dear friendsThis is an exciting time to talk to you about libel law reform.As many of you know, Simon Singh's…
UK charity Sense About Science have been instrumental in organising support for Simon Singh, the British science writer who is being sued for libel by the British Chiropractic Association over an article he wrote in the Guardian, criticising the unsubstantiated health claims made by chiropractors…
Last week I attended the launch of the Campaign for Libel Reform, a coalition of Index on Censorship, English Pen, and Sense About Science. Editors, writers, journalists, scientists and comedians came together to sign a petition demanding that Government address the problem of libel laws in this…
This time last year I sat in a small room at the Law Society surrounded by far more luminary individuals such as Simon Singh and Dara à Briain for the launch of the report Free Speech is Not for Sale, which highlighted the oppressive nature of English libel law. In short, the law is extremely…

The volunteers are needed in London, presumably?

I expect so, but they might be able to front travel if you were only visiting one day a week... Ask Julia!