Home > science education, scientific thinking > A quote from the Simon Singh judgement: “Scientific controversies must be settled by the methods of science rather than by the methods of litigation”

A quote from the Simon Singh judgement: “Scientific controversies must be settled by the methods of science rather than by the methods of litigation”

Taken from Jack of Kent’s analysis:

[On libel and scientific controversy, and note the strong word “adopt”, rather than just “note” or “refer to”]

“We would respectfully adopt what Judge Easterbrook, now Chief Judge of the US Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, said in a libel action over a scientific controversy, Underwager v Salter 22 Fed. 3d 730 (1994):

“”[Plaintiffs] cannot, by simply filing suit and crying ‘character assassination!’, silence those who hold divergent views, no matter how adverse those views may be to plaintiffs’ interests. Scientific controversies must be settled by the methods of science rather than by the methods of litigation. … More papers, more discussion, better data, and more satisfactory models – not larger awards of damages – mark the path towards superior understanding of the world around us.”” [para. 34, emphasis added]

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