Wednesday, January 30, 2008


David Hind, editorial director of The Bodley Head publishing, in a talk he gave at the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers & Commerce."Attacking astrology, New Ageism and religious fundamentalism is fun and profitable. The trouble starts when it distracts us from far more serious threats to reason...First let us look at the corporations. They pose as the trustworthy guardians of science, yet when they deem it necessary they will manipulate research to ensure the results fit their marketing needs. They even suppress research results outright, with sometimes lethal consequences. These are not accidental and occasional failings: maximising profits is what corporations are for....The pose of trustworthiness, for all its demonstrable falsity. Reaps them vast rewards, in the form of direct and indirect subsidies from the taxpayer. In the UK, for example, under a formula agreed by government and business at the end of 2004, 28 per cent of the money spent on branded drugs is earmarked to support R&D, a subsidy worth more than £2 billion every year. The largest part of this money is spent looking for ways to transform diseases of affluence and lifestyle disorders into chronic, and therefore revenue-generating conditions..." (New Scientist, 19 January) RD

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