Today we have 'borrowed' a posting from our co-editor who tells the tale of his own bitter experience in attempting to fly in the face of 'science'.
There was a time when scientists chased information, de-constructed that information and formed considered opinions. Now it seems the conclusion is what drives 'research'.
Dr. North points out:
Anyone who has the remotest idea of how academia works will know instantly how corrosive this sort of money really is. Department heads, anxious for funding to keep their empires going, would tailor their research proposals to ensure that they conformed with the programme objective. Without being told, they would know that to submit a counter-hypothesis  would be to invite instant oblivion. The chances of getting funding would be nil.Dr. North then relates his own first hand encounter with the Ministries who steer our industry.
I actually saw this at first hand after the 1988 Salmonella-in-eggs scare. With food poisoning in the headlines, the issue suddenly became fashionable in the halls of academia and the Research Councils, MAFF (as it was then) and the Department of Health were suddenly throwing huge amounts of money at the perceived problem.Naturally, Dr. North was unable to get funding, his presence on campus "could prejudice the ability to tap into the well of funds aimed at supporting the prevailing hypothesis." So much for 'investigative science'. But one brave pioneer did take him on. The consequences of which were that:
It was at that time that I decided to do my own PhD, offering a counter-hypothesis that the "egg scare" was an artifact, arising from poor investigational technique, institutional bias and many other factors, including scientific fraud – yes ... we've been there before.
"He was summonsed down to London and grilled by MAFF officials. Only under the most stringent of conditions was his funding stream allowed to continue, which included my (Dr. North) being excluded from all the government-funded activities in the department.Having seen the complete bias under which the RBCT worked, the scorn and derision poured on previous work, scientific and veterinary experience by a self seeking bubble of individuals, all circling around each other, we see a depressing parallel. As Dr. North says, of this 'political science':
Basically, it is bought and paid for – it will follow the money.  ... "scientists" will dutifully fill in their grant applications, proposing to do precisely that. Those who do not conform fall by the wayside – they simply do not get funded.The basis of the RBCT was graphically explained by its leader, ISG chairman Professor John Bourne, who said quite openly to the EFRA committee:
Then, of course, the overwhelming weight of funded papers is taken as proving the point, and evidence of the "consensus". But it is money, not science, that is talking.
"We repeatedly say "culling, as conducted in the trial." It is important [that] we do say that. Those limitations were not imposed by ourselves. They were imposed by politicians."And as we saw last week, this particular politically driven gravy train shows no sign of stopping.
"At the end of the day I think you have to accept that it is the price society puts on a badger. [ ] In this country there is a price on a badger and on badger welfare".
"Whatever has driven that I do not know but the fact is that a price has been put on the badger in this country which related to the way we were able to carry out our scientific work. That is exactly what we report".