Government scientists could be silenced

By March 29, 2015Public

Picture: Alliance/dpa

Changes to the civil service code mean that scientific and medical advisors (which presumably includes Chief Medical Officers, MRC, NHS England and MHRA and others) will not be able to talk to journalists without prior permission from their sponsoring minister.

It’s a gagging clause.

Under the new code, scientists and engineers employed at government expense must get ministerial approval before they can talk to the media about any of their research, whether it involves vaccination programmes, outbreaks of disease or food poisoning, public health issues … pretty much any important health issue we cover

The executive committee is writing to Francis Maude, the minister responsible, setting out our opposition to these proposals. The Science Media Centre and Association of British Science Writers have already done so.

Please check the website for updates. In the meantime, you can read more here.

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