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 Â£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:
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.
All budding science communicators - this is a good opportunity to make a difference! If you can help, email Julia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
This is fantastic. Go for it! Screw the chilling effect!