When Robyn Williams recently equated skeptics to paedophiles on the ABC “Science” Show the skeptic-most-targeted was Maurice Newman, former chairman of the ABC itself. Newman responds to these deplorable and unscientific insults in today’s Australian and throws down the challenge to the current board.
ABC clique in control of climate by: MAURICE NEWMAN From: The Australian December 18, 2012 12:00AM
On November 24, Robyn Williams intoned to his audience on ABC’s The Science Show, “if I told you that pedophilia is good for children, or asbestos is an excellent inhalant for those with asthma, or, that smoking crack is a normal part and a healthy one of teenage life, you’d rightly find it outrageous. Similar statements are coming out of inexpert mouths again and again, distorting the science”. My article was given as an example of an anti-scientific position.Really? Questioning climate science is like advocating pedophilia, abetting mesothelioma and pushing drugs to teenagers? Well yes, according to the ABC’s science man. Stephan Lewandowsky, a guest on the program, asserted that those with a free market background were, according to his research, more likely to be sceptical of science. As well as climate science, “they are also rejecting the link between [...]
Hat tip to Graham Young editor of Online Opinion.
“That is worse than anything Alan Jones said. ” Follow Graham Young on twitter.
A bad-taste joke by Alan Jones in October created a national storm. These comments in the “science” show were supposedly considered, deliberate and researched.
This morning on the “science” show Robyn Williams equates skeptics to pedophiles, people pushing asbestos, and drug pushers. Williams starts the show by framing republicans (and skeptics) as liars: “New Scientist complained about the “gross distortions” and “barefaced lying” politicians come out with…” He’s goes on to make the most blatant, baseless, and outrageous insults by equating skeptics to people who promote pedophilia, asbestos and drugs.
“What if I told you pedophilia is good for children, or that asbestos is an excellent inhalant for those with asthmatics, or that smoking crack is a normal part and a healthy one of teenage life, to be encouraged? You’d rightly find it outrageous, but there have been similar statements coming out of inexpert mouths, distorting the science.”
“These distortions of science are far from trivial, our neglect of what may be clear and urgent problems could be catastrophic and now a professor of [...]
We want evidence, reason, and well informed opinions from all sides on important topics. Instead we’re coerced into paying for propaganda, character assassination, and the personal views of journalists.
The ABC has been outdoing itself lately. It doesn’t just ignore skeptics, it’s been actively working to denigrate them. No ad hom is too low, no fabrication too far fetched. Could it be complete fiction? Why not? Could it be the most expensive high profile ABC programs, costing tax-payers hundreds of thousands an episode? Yes sir.
It’s not a conspiracy, it’s a culture. When comedians and scriptwriters live off a diet of dogma at the ABC (it starts with the science unit), why would we be surprised that they’d churn out the same half-truths, deceit, and sloppy reasoning in their fictional work?
The ABC Chairman — Maurice Newman — recently worried about the poor intellectual quality of ABC “investigations” in The Australian, “Ad hominem attacks substitute for logical and evidence-based discourse that would otherwise allow viewers and listeners the opportunity to decide for themselves where they stand on the issues.”
Our billion-dollar ABC is supposed to represent the diverse views of the country:
The ABC editorial policy tells us the ABC must: [...]
Robyn Williams presenting at the Prime Ministers Awards 2006
As I keep repeating, there’s only ONE thing that makes science different to religion, and that’s evidence. Robyn Williams is the most lauded commentator on science in Australian (read the rave here, he was the first and only journalist to be elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science; a professor at two universities, and received 5 honorary doctorates) yet despite the accolades he mistakenly hails the opinions of paid PR hacks above evidence and reason, and hallows the Blacklist of Approved Climate Sorcerers, sorry, Scientists as if it holds the key to the question of climate sensitivity of a trace gas. (How many “scientists” do you need to warm a planet? Answer: Whatever $79 billion can buy.)
This odd juxtaposition of discussing modern science with neolithic reasoning is unfortunately de rigeur, such is the abysmal state of my profession, known (misleadingly in this case) as science communication. These same commentators who complain about “the people who confuse the public”, don’t seem to realize they’re the ones who lead the pack. They break laws of reason known for two thousands years, destroy the central tenets of science, and conflate [...]
Robyn Williams is Australia’s science communication guru in the sense that he’s one of the few in our country who’s been making a living at it with a regular radio program (or two) for decades. He’s been doing this so long, he was proclaimed a National Living Treasure, and that was twenty-three years ago.
He’s posted his thoughts on the climate debate at ABC unleashed, Climate Change Science: The Evidence is Clear.
He’s been passionately defending science for years, sharing curious points, and explaining how things work. And yet in the upside down world in which we live in 2010–after all these years, he (and nearly everyone else in our profession) has lost sight of the most important things in science, and somehow ended up defending science-the-bureaucracy, instead of science-the-philosophy.
It sounds like I’m splitting hairs, but instead, I’m exposing a grievous flaw.
It sounds like I’m splitting hairs, but instead, I’m exposing a grievous flaw. For science-the-bureaucracy is not science at all; it’s just another cluster of committees, each run by six or ten people who discuss articles published in niche magazines owned by mega-conglomerate financial houses and ultimately controlled by a few editors who print articles reviewed by a couple of [...]
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