16 April 2010

Sing a song of Simon Singh

“English libel law is so intimidating, so expensive, so hostile to serious journalists that it has a chilling effect on all areas of debate, silencing scientists, journalists, bloggers, human rights activists and everyone else who dares to tackle serious matters of public interest.”
— Simon Singh, Simon Singh wins bitter libel battle, by Mark Henderson, The Times

First, he writes something in the public interest. Then, sued for libel under laws that should not exist, he funds his own fight in our public interest, winning a victory of a sort, as The Guardian points out in Victory doesn't mean libel laws work.

"I refuse to apologise for an article that I believe to be fair, accurate and in the public interest."
— Simon Singh, The libel fight interview in New Scientist

Isn't this legal fight and push for reform something that the Royal Society should be involved in?

The Libel Reform Campaign
Sense about Science and the Libel Reform Campaign have been active in raising awareness but it seems that Singh has had to buy his own lance and horse to go a-courting, since he refused to be silenced.

The Sing Singh Fund
Is it just a silly thought to
>establish a fund to recompense Singh for some of his expenses
>to help make free speech in the public interest not only a right but something encouraged?

Though no estimate can be made of Singh's real costs over these years of fighting for what is right, if all of us who think that Singh did society more than a passing favour gave the equivalent of £10, then we might establish something that keeps truth-dampening suits off people speaking in the public interest far better than a refurbished old pile of b & m.

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