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Topic Title: response to the government ignoring the drugs committee advice
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Created On: 02 November 2009 11:40 PM
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 02 November 2009 11:40 PM
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Dear everyone

The recent debacle of the government ignoring the advice of professional qualified drug advisers, even though I don't fully agree with their recommendation, but then what do I know, I only deal in electronics not drugs :-)

This evening, 2/11/09. The response by an obviously out of touch MP, reminding me of Colonel Blimp, effectively saying "scientists should be sat on instead of listened to", left me wondering what is running this country. I wonder if he has an MBA, he sounds like some managers I've heard, but then he didn't sound that intelligent.

Does this mean whatever advice the IET give, we now know the government will totally ignore whatever advice is given, even though we know they don't take much notice anyway.

Should the IET consider giving support to the impending revolution of the drugs advice committee by means of a strongly worded missive and suspending future advisory contacts, until the bunch of lunatics come to their senses?

For a long time I have suffered along with other members, the lack of recognition the government has for Science and Engineering and their unbelievable meddling in education, having experienced this from a two year sabbatical working in a local high school.

It's not often I get riled but the response by the MP's on tonight's news has topped it. I would welcome any other shared thoughts.


Dave Burke
 03 November 2009 04:35 PM
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Mr. Winston Churchil said:

Engineers must be on the TAP, not on the TOP.

I firmly believe that this attitude of the British polititions and people is the chief reason for backward growth of British engineering industry, while French and German Engineering industries are progressing.

Best wishes & regards
N P NAIR, MSc (Engg), C Eng, FIE(I), MIEE,Sr MIEEE.
 07 November 2009 01:33 AM
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IET has its role in the area that it excels and will be noticed if the issue concerns the country as a whole.

IET has also taken note of major policies affecting the industry in the technological areas and contribute our views.

It is therefore difficult to champion every public issue. We need to make a choice.

Chris Chew
 17 November 2009 10:02 PM
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I think it depends on what parameters are being measured when leading to the conclusion.

Early atom bomb tests were conducted at a time when the very short lived particles given
off were not detected. When they could be, they turned out to be lethal.
Early military geiger counters were labeled: "Avoid going into the red reading to avoid
damaging the instrument" Apart from the serious unreliability of the instrument, the user
would be dead before the red reading occurred. Word War 1 ground sheets were
used as protection from atomic howitzer shells in the battlefield.(If it happened).

X-Rays were entertaining, showing peoples bones up, until users started dying.

"Skunk is no more dangerous than alcohol" Was that an accurate precis?
The chemists say: "Its the dose, not the chemical itself"
Arsenic is a remedy in small doses. Arsenic mining is quite safe.
Is Arsenic more dangerous than Gas or Electricity ?

Chemistry is science. The dose is political.

I have listened to skunk using friends arguing its safe for decades.
BUT they all change personality. They exaggerate their abilities.
They become very aggressive. They are impossible to live with.
Finally as the world rejects them they give it up and become
completely different people.
It apples to alcoholism also and we do have a problem here,
and costs which are political.

Classification of anything has no intrinsic value. It becomes of value
by virtue of the actions it invokes. The actions are political and
therefor the classification process must be political.
This is the mistake the scientists made here.
They crossed the line without realising it.
 17 November 2009 10:58 PM
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"on TAP, not on the TOP"

I think industry has to serve customers and read the market for it's products.
That means Engineers have to work within a competitive environment and
accept the constraints that imposes. We were not competitive in the past
We didn't really look outside our captive markets. Our present competitors
started with a clean slate and had to fight for markets.

I don't think any politician of any party understands or has ever understood
industry. The present Prime Minister stated on his first day in government
that manufacturing was not important. Service Industries were the future.
So here we are.

I don't think valuing Engineers is the point. Its valuing the structures, wider
concepts and approaches that matter. Then the Engineers will seen to be
important. You can't just shout; "I'm important" and expect people to fall at
your feet.

Engineers have to be able to make money for people too.

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