When chiropractors drag a science writer into the libel courts, the country has lost its backbone
The Observer, Sunday 31 May 2009
This week, Simon Singh, one of Britain’s best science writers, will decide whether to carry on playing a devilish version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? He has already lost £100,000 defending his right to speak frankly. He could walk away. No one would think the worse of him if he did. Or he could go on and risk losing the full million by ensnaring himself in the rapacious world of an English judiciary that seems ever eager to bow to the demands of Saudi oil billionaires, Russian oligarchs and the friends of Saddam Hussein to censor critics and punish them with staggering damages and legal fees.
It seems no choice at all. Any friend Singh phoned would tell him to cut his losses and run. But if he were to turn to the audience, he would hear scientists all but screaming at him to go to the Court of Appeal and challenge a judgment that threatens the robust discussions open societies depend on.
Go read the whole thing…