Last updated: 15 February 2011
This week Adam Walton is in conversation with science journalist Dr. Simon Singh. They discuss Simon's scientific influences, his criticisms of alternative medicine and the libel action brought against him by the British Chiropractic Association.
Broadcast Tuesday 15th February at 7pm.
Dr. Simon Singh is a journalist and broadcaster who has written popular science books on mathematics, cosmology and code-breaking. His most recent book, Trick or Treatment, examines the scientific evidence for alternative therapies.
Simon's criticism of chiropractic therapy in an article for The Guardian in 2008 led to him being sued for libel by the British Chiropractic Association. In the article he argued that there was very little scientific evidence for claims that chiropractic - a therapy involving manipulating the spine - is an effective treatment for childhood conditions like colic, asthma and ear infections. The libel case lasted two years and ended with the BCA dropping its case in April 2010 after a judgement in Simon's favour by the Appeal Court.
That Appeal Court decision could be the first step in a significant reform of the British libel laws. Many commentators have criticised the current laws because of the way they can be used to sue science journalists who question a company's scientific claims. There's now a campaign to change the laws and put an end to what's known as 'libel tourism'.
Simon Singh will be guest speaker at a 'Cardiff Skeptics in the Pub' event on Monday 21st February. On this week's Science Cafe he joins Adam Walton to discuss the libel case, the scientific evidence for and against alternative medicine and his mission to make science more accessible.
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