Incoherently, Rutherford first complained about the lack of diversity and low scientific credentials:
1) Not a single woman
2) 1 of these men has a 1st degree in bioscience, 1 in chemistry. The rest are economics or law.
before attacking Stringer, who represents diversity (of views) and has a science degree:
I’m afraid it is worse:
@gstringermp is a trustee of Nigel Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation
and then calling on his 45,000 followers to write to their MP and complain:
We need you righteous indignation on this. Please write to your MPs. It is not OK to have science so misrepresented in a democracy.
As I wrote in the previous post, this is contrary to the BBC’s obligations regarding balance.
Well, it seems that Graham Stringer complained to the BBC (who could possibly have seen that coming?), who took prompt action and criticised Rutherford, see links above in Prolific North, Mail, Guardian and Times. Stringer wrote
‘It is completely inappropriate for a BBC employee to be running a political campaign, particularly as he is misrepresenting me to the point of defamation.’
The BBC Radio Head of Editorial Standards is quoted as saying
“Any BBC presenter, freelance or otherwise, needs to consider how their outside comments might impact on the work they do for the BBC. On this occasion, in my view, Dr Rutherford’s comments on Twitter potentially compromised the BBC’s impartiality on this issue.”
“I have met Dr Rutherford and his Editor, and made these points clear to him. I have further advised him on his responsibilities when using social media. Although he is entitled to his own views, he must consider if any tweets (or other publications) might compromise his work as a BBC presenter.”
“The matter has been further escalated to the Head of the production department, who will also speak to Dr Rutherford, and monitor the situation from now on.”
There is an article by Graham Stringer in the Mail today, partly about the new not-as-bad-as-we-thought paper (see Richard’s post) but going on to talk of arrogance and attempts at censorship, saying that Rutherford was “Taking on the role of latter-day witch-finder”.
Rutherford himself accepted the BBC judgement, which seems to be quite a humiliation, particularly the suggestion that his future social media activity will be monitored.
On the other hand, many of his disciples stubbornly continue to insist that, far from being a Very Naughty Boy, he is in fact The Messiah. See the responses to his tweet for many examples.
HT Stew Green