Supporting Ben Goldacre: Could Stephen Fry Be More of a Mensch?

The utterly charming Stephen Fry has not only sent out a Twitter to his many followers, asking them to support Ben Goldacre, but has left a comment on Ben’s blog:

The fatuity of the Jeni Barnett woman’s manner – her blend of self-righteousness and stupidity, her simply quite staggering inability to grasp, pursue or appreciate a sequence of logical steps – all these are signature characteristics of Britain these days. The lamentable truth is that most of the population wouldn’t really understand why we get so angry at this assault on reason, logic and sense. But we have to keep hammering away at these people and their superstitious inanities. We have to. Well done you and well done all you supporting. I’ve tweeted this site to my followers. I hope they all do their best to support you. Publish and be damned. We’ll fight them and fight them and fight them in the name of empricism, reason, double blind random testing and all that matter.
Stephen xxx

The Fry Effect is so significant that the Fabulous Positive Internet who have hosted Bad Science after Ben’s last set of difficulties have had to temporarily lock the site against new comments:

Im locking down this site. New comments won’t appear till the lockdown is rescinded, but they should be stored for later display.
On the up side, all you guys coming in from Stephen Fry’s Twitter shouldn’t take this site offline
Johnathon – Positive Internet on-call Engineer

Now, if Ben Goldacre were to appear on QI, it is possible that the Bad Science cup runneth over.

Irrationally held truths may be more harmful than reasoned errors. [Thomas Huxley]

(With reference to a correspondent) The young specialist in English Lit, …lectured me severely on the fact that in every century people have thought they understood the Universe at last, and in every century they were proved to be wrong. It follows that the one thing we can say about our modern “knowledge” is that it is wrong. … My answer to him was, “… when people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together.” [Isaac Asimov, The Relativity of Wrong, Kensington Books, New York, 1996, pg 226.]



Filed under Current events

8 responses to “Supporting Ben Goldacre: Could Stephen Fry Be More of a Mensch?

  1. The Honourable Mr Fry has about 160,000 people follow his Twitter, so I guess that’s why Positive had to lock down the site!

    SF has a lot of power at his fingertips, I’m glad he is using his power for good [LOTR nonsense removed]

  2. Give your self over to the power of the Fry – it’s Twitter, Apple and Light Savers, what’s not to love.

    OT, at some point in his career, Stephen Fry might do another recording of LOTR to replace the current Ian McKellen one (excellent though that is) – he would be very good.

  3. Real circus! ;)

    But I wonder it will help to solve a problem of measles epidemic in Britain, eh? It seems the talk was just about this subject, if I rightly understood…

    Admin edit: interesting point. However, if giving the issue of misinformation in mainstream media allows better coverage of why people are annoyed that so many others aren’t aware of the decent science the underpins vaccine safety then the outcome might be a better uptake of immunisations.

    Who knows?

  4. Pingback: Jeni Barnett and the Missing Blog Posts About MMR Segment on LBC Radio « Holford Watch: Patrick Holford, nutritionism and bad science

  5. Twitter? No, no and thrice no!

    Whereas Stephen Fry has X many thousand followers waiting for gilded poop to emergence from his creative anus, in reality Twitter is dem bad stuff. Worse than Facewank.

    Actually, I think Fry is quite witty and clever. I just wish that he’d use his other media channels as well. We shall wait for the QI special on homeopathy and other pseudo-science or him road-testing a magnetic bracelet for one of his printed meejah columns.

    Most internet social networking represents a dead end. Friends Reunited anyone?

    Admin edit: I like the idea of an entire QI on homeopathy, dowsing, kinesiology and pseudo-science. If rationality won’t convert people then maybe a more lighthearted approach might.

  6. Pingback: Jeni Barnett, LBC and Global Radio, MMR Segment 7 Jan 2009 and the Ben Goldacre Coverage: Part 2 « Holford Watch: Patrick Holford, nutritionism and bad science

  7. etty

    stephen fry. witty, smart, urbane and generous.

    and that accent. what is not to love.

    i hope that he and ben goldacre collaborate on something when stephen is next in the UK.

  8. Pingback: Truly Much Bogosity « Dr Aust’s Spleen

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