Start the Week - Science and Politics: Professor David Nutt and David Blunkett
Andrew Marr with guests David Nutt, Mark Henderson, Jill Rutter and David Blunkett discuss how far science can influence the political agenda.
On Start the Week Andrew Marr asks how far scientific evidence can influence the political agenda. Professor David Nutt is a respected researcher working in the field of drugs, but is best known as the government advisor who was sacked by the Home Secretary for comparing the risks of horse-riding with taking ecstasy. He argues for a rational debate on drugs policy based on objective evidence. Mark Henderson despairs that this will never happen while only one of our 650 MPs is a scientist. But the former Labour minister, David Blunkett, defends his profession, arguing that even evidence-based policy must take into account public opinion and perception. And for former No. 10 advisor Jill Rutter evaluates the evidence for and against. Producer: Katy Hickman.