Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Skeptical Voter - politics meets evidence





Props to Simon Singh, who brings us news of an "Interesting skeptical approach to the upcoming General Election" via a Tweet (a twitter, a twit, a titter - I dunno, still getting used to this new-fangled micro-blogging malarkey...!).

He's referring to Skeptical Voter, a new website dedicated to discovering and publicising the stance that MPs and prospective Parliamentary candidates take on issues that 'skeptics' are interested in - including
evidence-based policy, the role of the libel laws in science, and the teaching of creationism in schools.
They've even started a wiki, cataloguing what MPs have said and how they have voted on a range of issues. Thus far the info on said wiki is pretty scant as the project's only just gotten off the ground, but it's likely to prove an interesting portal for those of use interested in how our elected representatives think and vote on issues of scientific import.

The funny thing is that I was planning to write a post on the relationship between science and politics, given the recent #nuttsack affair, the increasing political support for libel law reform following numerous cases where scientific discourse has been silenced by legal action, and the revelation that the top 10 Conservative bloggers promote climate change denialism.

Perhaps I don't need to write that post anymore - earlier in the year The Lay Scientist and Sciencepunk blogs teamed up to analyse the views on matters scientific of various parties standing in the European elections, and increasingly it seems that politicians are being held to account on points of scientific fact and scrutinised for their decision-making from an evidence-based angle.

The more this happens the better - so rather than have me witter on about how politics and science mix (or sometimes don't), pay the skeptical voter site for yourself and see for yourself.