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November 04, 2013

Exactly what science do Nature think David Nutt stood up for?

David Nutt has just been awarded the 2013 John Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science. 

Nutt, you may recall, is famous for being sacked from his position as the chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs after disputing government decisions on the classification of cannibis and ecstacy.

In my view, spelt out in detail at the time, Nutt did not so much stand up for science as use science to prop up his own worthy but thoroughly non-scientific position.

So here's my question for the four judges who gave Nutt the award and for the others - from Benda Maddox to Mark Walport - who have allowed their names to be used to endorse this decision: "Exactly what science is it that you think David Nutt stood up for?"

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