Observer’s Top Activist Scientists

Yesterday’s Observer front page cobbled together a group of scientists to claim ‘Cummings has broken trust in Covid policy’.  Unsurprisingly many of the names are better known to the media for their political activism than their scientific work. Guido drilled down into the list and found that out of the 26 names mentioned, 21 of them are either anti-Tory or anti-Brexit. Others are not expert in the field they are commenting upon. A classic case of ‘expert’ activists…

See the full list here:

Professor Maggie Rae, President, Faculty of Public Health

  • Led a letter-writing campaign attacking Boris Johnson’s approach to Brexit.
  • Not an epidemiologist. Her personal research interests include health inequalities, sustainability and the impacts of the wider determinants of health…
  • Said earlier this year that there was a need to ensure ‘alignment’ with Europe.
  • Left her role as corporate director for public health and adult social care at Wiltshire Council under mysterious circumstances. She had been signed off her £148,000 job for three months…

Professor Allyson Pollock, Professor of Public Health, University of Newcastle

Professor Helen Ward, Professor of Public Health, Imperial College London

  • Said that her academic self was ‘inseparable’ from the part of her that cares about ‘kicking out the Tories, stopping Brexit, supporting Labour’.
  • Delivers leaflets for the Labour Party.
  • Contributed to an academic paper advising that people vote Remain in the EU referendum.

Martin McKee

  • Sits on the advisory board of anti-Brexit campaign Scientists for EU
  • Describes Barry Gardiner as ‘excellent’.
  • Claimed austerity by Conservative governments was responsible for 30,000 deaths
  • Wrote introduction to a conspiracy laden book called ‘NHS for Sale‘ in the run-up to the 2015 General Election. It was endorsed by Ken Loach and Owen Jones and claimed that the Government is ‘privatising the NHS’…
  • Accused the Prime Minister of being a liar
  • Called for scientists to ‘hold the government to account’ on Brexit promises, even though he believes those promises are ‘impossible’.

Professor Sonia Saxena, Professor of Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine, School of Public Health, Imperial College London

  • Contributed to an academic paper advising that people vote Remain in the EU referendum. 
  • Not an epidemiologist. Research focus on child health and primary care of children…

David McCoy

  • Took part in a ‘Labour By the Many’ Zoom conference
  • Wrote Guardian article attacking the Conservatives’ ‘zeal for outsourcing’.
  • Described the Brexit vote as bringing ‘despondency’. “For many who work to promote the universal right to health, Brexit has brought despondency… This triumph of insularity, intolerance, and indifference over social solidarity and internationalism is not just disheartening, but also dangerous”…
  • Called for a ‘new economics’ that hears the ‘progressive health community’ 
  • Wrote for a socialist magazine calling for Britain to scrap Trident
  • Is a former director of Medact, a front for Greenpeace

David Hunter

Trish Greenhalgh

  • Anti-Brexit. “I deeply regret Brexit and am distancing myself from any ‘celebrations’”
  • Called for Boris Johnson to be imprisoned.
  • Called for Dominic Cummings to be ‘punished’ with prison time in 2019.
  • Suggested she would emigrate if Brexit happened.

Mike Gill

George Davey Smith

  • Said ‘Brexit is utter shit’
  • Wanted Labour to win the election

Ruth Gilbert

Mark S Gilthorpe

  • Said ‘Brexit is a risk to our nation’s health’
  • Described the Conservative Government as ‘disgusting’.
  • Suggested that stupid people voted for Brexit.
  • Suggested that the Government was trying to ‘cull the vulnerable
  • Said ‘we must stop this vile government’

Rochelle Burgess

  • Campaigned for people to vote Labour and stop the Conservatives
  • Said the Brexit vote was evidence that Britain is a ‘racist country

Guiqing Lily Yao

  • Liked a tweet calling for Article 50 to be revoked

Tim Colbourn

  • Called for Caroline Lucas to be made President of COP26
  • Called for Vote Leave to be charged with a criminal offence of misleading the public

Deborah Ashby

  • Said ‘Brexit is the stuff of nightmares’

Professor Richard Healey

Deborah Lawlor

  • Said not having a second EU referendum would be ‘undemocratic
  • Attacked Boris as ‘racist, sexist, disgusting’
  • Called for Stephen Parkinson to be sacked
  • Shared a Femi Oluwole pro-EU video
  • Claimed the Conservative Government is ‘about selfish elitism’.

Elio Riboli

  • Contributed to an academic paper advising that people vote Remain in the EU referendum.

Majid Ezzati

  • Contributed to an academic paper advising that people vote Remain in the EU referendum.

Paolo Vineis

  • Contributed to an academic paper advising that people vote Remain in the EU referendum.

Nisreen Alwan

  • Called for Article 50 to be revoked.
  • Called for people to vote for Jeremy Corbyn. “Yes, it is indeed ‘a once in a generation election’ to have an honest political leader with understanding, empathy, integrity and an uncompromising moral compass and that’s Jeremy Corbyn”
mdi-tag-outline Expert Activists Observer
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