Simon Singh no longer writing for The Guardian

By Phil Plait | March 16, 2010 11:30 am

Simon Singh is one of my (very few) heroes. He is a journalist who has been fighting not just the British Chiropractic Association (who is suing Simon for libel) but also the awful UK libel laws themselves. You can catch up with all this here.

The fight is actually going well on both fronts, but, sadly, it’s claimed Simon as a victim: it’s eating up so much of his time that he can no longer write his monthly column for The Guardian. This is a shame. He’s a great writer and a voice that definitely needs to be heard. He fights the quacks, the antireality brigade, the poor thinkers, and the out-and-out frauds that occupy every crevice of medical altmeddery.

Still, he is pushing for libel reform, and I know his voice overall will not be silenced. Nor will ours. Give your support for libel reform, and make sure the forces of darkness don’t win.

Tip o’ the subluxation to Tony Piro.

MORE ABOUT: libel, Simon Singh

Comments (19)

Links to this Post

  1. mediedagbok « mymlan. the real. | March 16, 2010
  1. QuietDesperation

    “The Code Book” by Singh is still a favorite of mine. It’s an entertaining history of encryption from the ancient world to modern quantum techniques.

  2. I definitely agree with the “Code Book” shout out. Fascinating read.

  3. Sili

    I didn’t actually know he wrote a monthly column for the Grauniad …

  4. ndt

    Considering how they threw him under the bus on the BCC issue, I’m surprised he stayed with them that long.

  5. I was thinking the same thing ndt! And another shout out for his wonderful book!

  6. Michael

    I just recently finished Fermat’s Last Theorem by Singh. I was astonished to be so entertained by a book about Math. I am certainly going to read more of his books. I may go with the one people are recommending above.

    I hope he is successful in his libel defense and changing the crazy British libel laws.

  7. @Michael

    crazy British libel laws

    Now, now. Let’s not be mean. They aren’t “crazy”. They’re “sanity-impaired”.

  8. Code book is on my list now (didnt know about it)

    I thoroughly enjoyed Trick or Treatment. In fact, it was the book I sent out to everyone for the holidays (every year I send out my favorite book I read during that year).

  9. DLC

    I applaud Simon Singh for doing what shouldn’t need doing and fighting the good fight.
    It shouldn’t need doing because the forces of ignorance should not have that much power that they can shut someone down.

  10. I’ve been a big Simon Singh fan since I found out he was responsible for BBC’s documentary about Fermat’s Last Theorem. That documentary was responsible for getting me interested in mathematics in the field of mathematics in a way I had never been before.

    I’m unhappy that he’s gotten “sidetracked” to work on Libel reform (though I acknowledge that it is a worthy cause) but I support his fight all the way.

  11. Kenny

    I really have to depair about what is going on in the UK. I left the UK in 2008 and since then the most shocking legal actions have happened there. A skeptic sued for saying the truth about pseudoscience and an atheist facing 7 years in jail for placing satirical religious cartoons in a prayer room…

    If I still lived there, I would be doing something about this crap. But it’s funny now living in a country were people who think the Earth is 6,000 years old can become president, but the laws are such that these two examples would never happen in the USA. I’ve lived in two countries with two extremes.

  12. If there were a bunch more like Simon Singh, maybe journalism would have more respectability and schools would not have such a hard time educating children about science.

  13. Ginger Yellow

    The Big Libel Gig on Sunday was very well attended by a seemingly committed crowd, which was very encouraging. It’s funny how there’s so much overlap between this cause and Skeptics in the Pub and the 9 Lessons and Carols for Godless People lot.

  14. Whiterab

    I have already read Simon Singh’s Code Book and really enjoyed it. As a way of showing support, I just ordered “Trick or Treatment” for my Kindle. Been meaning to for weeks so now was the time to do it.

  15. mymatedave10

    @Ginger Yellow,
    So very true. I’ve been to both events and I’m a regular SitP visitor as well as the new Westminster SitP which deals with more political issues.

    You get to recognise a lot of faces, and the Simon-Singh-Along by Ariane Sherine was a particular highlight at the Big Libel Gig,

    “He fights for what’s right, though his hair is wrong, let’s all have a Simon Singh Along.”

  16. Ginger Yellow

    I loved Brian’s brief lecture, and of course Dara O’Brien’s set was hilarious as always. I reckon when they shut the LHC down for maintenance, the government should pay Cox to tour schools enthusing about science. I didn’t get quite as much out of Nick Cohen’s and Ben Goldacre’s speeches, but only because I’d basically heard them before (at the Simon Singh meeting at the Penderel Oak, in fact). The Farrelly/Wilmshurst interview fell a bit flat, but Evan Harris was great as usual (he used to be my MP). Still, a great night and would have been more than worth the money even if it weren’t for such a good cause.

  17. ndt: the Guardian didn’t throw Singh under a bus. As he himself explains the situation, the Guardian was already defending a fairly large legal case and explained to him that they couldn’t afford to do both and had to settle the BCA case. Singh has never criticized them for this decision, and (as someone who has also written for the paper) I have to concur: anyone’s resources are limited. It’s a shame, but there it is.



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