Sorry to Welsh readers, that’s Jimmy Wales the founder of Wikipedia, not the country.
It’s nice to report some good news though, and I’d just like to point you to two stories you may have missed recently.
Wikipedia has recently been coming under pressure from a petition by alternative medicine groups who want to get their, some would say (including me), less than scientific version of medical put up on the site.
Jimmy Wales responded in what I believe is usually referred to as no uncertain terms.
No, you have to be kidding me. Every single person who signed this petition needs to go back to check their premises and think harder about what it means to be honest, factual, truthful. Wikipedia’s policies around this kind of thing are exactly spot-on and correct. If you can get your work published in respectable scientific journals – that is to say, if you can produce evidence through replicable scientific experiments, then Wikipedia will cover it appropriately. What we won’t do is pretend that the work of lunatic charlatans is the equivalent of “true scientific discourse”. It isn’t.
I particularly enjoyed “lunatic charlatans”, don’t know about you.
The second spot of good news is that Japan is going to have to stop whaling on account of the fact that no one seems to be sure what the hell the “scientific research” they are supposed to be doing actually is…(highlights mine)
The UN’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled that the Japanese government must halt its whaling programme in the Antarctic.
It agreed with Australia, which brought the case in May 2010, that the programme was not for scientific research as claimed by Tokyo.
Announcing the judgement on Monday, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) said that Japan had killed around 3,600 minke whales since 2005 under its Antarctic whaling programme, known as JARPA II.
While JARPA II could broadly be characterised as “scientific research”, the scientific output from the programme was limited, and Japan had not sufficiently justified the whaling quotas it had set, the ICJ said.
During the court case, Australia argued that Japan’s programme was commercial whaling in disguise, but Tokyo said the suit was an attempt to impose Australia’s cultural norms on Japan.