Gordon Brown on taking scientific advice

“On climate change, or health, for example, we take the best scientific advice possible. But in an area like drugs we have to look at it in the round.”

- Gordon Brown, as quoted in The Evening Standard

Much has been written in the past week about the sacking of Professor David Nutt as head of the UK's independent Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, for daring to point to scientific evidence that cannabis and ecstasy are less harmful than socially acceptable drugs like alcohol and cigarettes, or seemingly wholesome activities like horseback riding. (For a précis, our blogger Bill Hanage summed up the situation nicely in one of his trademark rants.)

According to The Evening Standard, although Science Minister Lord Drayson is said to be furious about the sacking, and a few other scientists on the Council have resigned in protest, Prime Minister Gordon Brown doesn't think scientific evidence plays a key role in helping society weigh how dangerous a drug is – which isn't very reassuring.

You can read the entire article by Joe Murphy here.