Faculty of 1000

Post-publication peer review

The drugs don’t work

Posted by rpg on 2 November, 2009

As you might know, there’s a bit of an ongoing furore over government policy and the role of advisors. In brief, Professor David Nutt has been fired for advising HM Government according to scientific research, rather than (as far as I understand it) according to political dogma. Two other advisors have quit in sympathy, and I wouldn’t be surprised if more follow.

We’re keeping an eye on this at f1000 because Professor Nutt is one of our Section Heads, responsible for the organization and oversight of the Section (in this case Substance Abuse at f1000 Medicine). Our take in the office is that David Nutt is 100% right and the government is 100% wrong in this case, and things are going to get very interesting because of a growing breach between government policies and scientific evidence. We’re not getting party political here, but recent US history shows us how bad things can get when policy gets out of step with evidence.

I could say a lot more, but I’m about to go and prepare to get on a ‘plane for a conference in South Carolina. Fortunately two of my favourite haunts already have excellent commentary on the matter: Erika Cule at Nature Network has some core links and background, and Bill Hanage froths at the mouth in a funny and intelligent way over at the LabLit blog.

And now, I must fly. Be good!

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One Response to “The drugs don’t work”

  1. […] are high on the news agenda. But on the other hand, when a highly-respected scientist such as Professor David Nutt gets vilified by the government for his outspoken views on drugs policy, the media generally showed […]

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