‘But I would not be convicted

By a jury of my peers.

Still crazy after all these years.’

(Paul Simon)

The word ‘crazy’ belongs in a rubric of overused words alongside ‘cool’, ‘bad’ and the ubiquitous and innovative adjective  –  ‘like’. Thus I was surprised to see it used by none other than the Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor (annual remuneration for advice is £165K) Sir John Beddington. The Guardian reports that Sir John used this c-word to describe NHS funding of homeopathy.

‘And quite right too!’ – I can hear the chorus of homeopathy’s detractors sing.  But wait a second. Is this the same Sir John Beddington who in 2009 was criticized for defending the Government’s stand on alternative medicine?  What an about turn!

Government ministers need to be careful about taking advice (even expensive advice) from people who might change their opinions according to the fashionable ‘consensus’ of the day.  The Health Minister, Anne Milton, should not take his diagnosis of her or her Government being ‘crazy’ too seriously. I’m sure it wasn’t meant personally and after all Sir John is not a medical doctor.

And Scientism still isn’t sexy!