Sense About Science

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Sense About Science logo circa 2012

The UK lobby group Sense About Science says it is

an independent charitable trust promoting good science and evidence in public debates. We do this by promoting respect for evidence and by urging scientists to engage actively with a wide range of groups, particularly when debates are controversial or difficult.[1]

Sense About Science's Financial Statements (year ended 5 April 2007) submitted to the Charity Commission summarise its mission as "promoting good science and evidence for the public".[2]

Sense About Science states that it

was formed in January 2002 to advance an evidence-based approach to scientific issues in the public domain. It was formalised as a Trust in August 2003.[3]

Its domain name was registered in March 2002. Within months it had begun to promote its point of view on GM crops to parliamentarians and the media, and had raised funding. The Sense About Science website states that the organisation works with "a wide network of organisations and volunteers from all areas of science".[4]

LM network resources

Contents

LM connections

One of the trustees, Michael Fitzpatrick, has a longstanding involvement with the LM network and its predecessor, the Revolutionary Communist Party. Sense About Science directors Tracey Brown and Ellen Raphael worked for the London-based PR company Regester Larkin[5][6] until shortly prior to joining Sense About Science and are also part of the libertarian network which includes LM, Spiked, and the Institute of Ideas, to all of which Brown and Raphael have contributed. The domain name for the Sense About Science website - senseaboutscience.org.uk - was registered by Rob Lyons, the web master for Spiked.[7][8] Brown and Raphael are also key players in another of the network's front groups, Global Futures. The phone number for Global Futures was the same as that for Sense About Science - see screengrabs, right.[9][10][11][12]

SAS contact page showing phone no., web archive version of Oct 29 2003
Global Futures contact page showing phone no., web archive version of 2002

Royal Society connections

Royal Society former Vice Presidents Peter Lachmann and Brian Heap are respectively on the Sense About Science advisory council and board of trustees.[13][14]

Influencing the GM Public Debate

Sense about Science was created just in time for the UK's official GM Public Debate.

In October 2002, Tracey Brown, its director, attended a meeting hosted by the UK government's Central Office of Information (COI) about the design of the Public Debate. She was invited as part of a group of eight "social scientists familiar with the GM debate and public engagement processes".[15] In fact, although Brown has a masters degree in the social sciences, her area of specialism was the sociology of law.[16]

Interestingly, Brown is not the only LM contributor whose advice was sought during this period. Bill Durodie describes himself as an 'advisor' to the Prime Minister's Cabinet Office Strategy Unit study 'The Costs and Benefits of Genetically Modified (GM) Crops',[17] which formed a parallel strand to the Public Debate in the government's assessment of the issue of GM crop commercialisation.

Public opposition to GM and farm scale trials: damage limitation

In 2003 the GM Public Debate showed an overwhelming level of public opposition to GM crop commercialisation.[18] In a double blow to GM proponents, the UK government's farm scale evaluations (FSEs) had shown a generally discouraging environmental impact from the GM crops trialed.[19][20][21]

Sense About Science launched a media campaign in an apparent attempt to limit the damage to GM caused by these two events.

On the eve of the 2003 publication of the first round of the FSE results, an article, based on the preliminary findings of a survey organised by Sense About Science, of institutes carrying out GM crop trials appeared in The Times under the headline, "GM vandals force science firms to reduce research".[22] Sense About Science's director, Tracey Brown, was quoted in the article as saying, "The burden of trying to organise the research community to pre-empt and protect from vandalism is potentially disastrous."[23]

Articles in the Times Higher Education (THE) and elsewhere went still further, suggesting the GM Public Debate had been 'hijacked' by 'activists' and that GM plant researchers were being subjected to physical and mental abuse, leading some to take jobs abroad. One THE article, headlined, "Scientists quit UK amid GM attacks",[24] included claims of intimidation by Chris Leaver (a Sense About Science trustee[25]) and the late Mike Wilson (then a Sense About Science advisory panelist).[26]

Anti-GM activists accused of violence and terror

Another article, "GM debate cut down by threats and abuse", sounded an even more sinister note. It spoke of ' the increasingly violent anti-GM lobby', ' growing levels of physical and mental intimidation', ' hardcore tactics of protesters', ' intimidation by anti-GM lobbyists... mirroring animal-rights activism', ' increasingly vicious protests', '" a baying mob" of anti-GM activists', 'a string of personal threats', etc.. It also contained a call for 'the government to intervene to protect researchers.'[27]

Despite its use of such words and phrases as 'increasingly vicious', 'violent', 'hardcore tactics', 'physical... abuse', and so on, the article failed to cite a single instance of a researcher, or anyone else, being assaulted by anyone from the 'anti-GM lobby'. Indeed, the only specific threat of any seriousness referred to in the article was a bomb hoax said to have occurred some five years earlier, in 1998.

The scientists claiming intimidation were once again Chris Leaver and Mike Wilson but they were joined this time by Anthony Trewavas, a highly vocal and often controversial supporter of GM, and co-author with Leaver of several letters and papers rebutting criticism of GM.[28] Chris Leaver is a member of the governing council of the John Innes Centre as of December 2009.[29] As of February 2004, Trewavas was also on the governing council of the John Innes Centre (JIC),[30] where Mike Wilson used to work. Trewavas was no longer a member of the JIC governing council in April 2005.[31] In common with Wilson (as at April 2005),[32] Trewavas (as at August 2006) was on the advisory board of the pro-GM lobby group Scientific Alliance – as were GM proponents Bill Durodie, Vivian Moses, Tom Addiscott of Rothamsted Research (retired), Mike Wilson, and Colin Berry.[33]

A month after this series of articles began with a piece in The Times, another article appeared there by the Chairman of Sense About Science, Lord Dick Taverne. The headline was, "When crops burn, the truth goes up in smoke".[34] Taverne's article spoke of farmers and researchers being terrorised and of 'anti-GM campaigners' adopting 'the tactics of animal welfare terrorists'. No specific examples were given, yet again, other than the bomb hoax. Taverne's article admitted that environmental groups like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth 'may condemn violence' but concluded, none the less, 'The anti-GM campaign has become a crusade. Its champions... have become eco-fundamentalists, followers of a new kind of religion... But when campaigns become crusades, crusaders are more likely to turn to violence.'[35]

Given such repeated and unsubstantiated attempts to associate those opposing GM crops with violence and even terrorism, it is ironic that the staff of the lobby group which Taverne chairs are associated with a political network, and have contributed to a publication (LM/Living Marxism), which has at times refused to condemn, or has sought to deny, acts of violence of a truly horrific character (e.g. acts of terrorism by the IRA, the genocidal massacres in Rwanda[36], Serb nationalist atrocities in the former Yugoslavia[37]).

Fiona Fox and Tony Gilland, who both sat on a Sense About Science Working Party on peer review (see below),[38] are also both LM contributors.[39] Indeed, Fox penned the notorious LM article denying the Rwandan genocide.[40] She also wrote articles that provided a platform for those opposing the peace process in Northern Ireland.[41]

A letter to the Prime Minister

At the end of October 2003 a letter was sent to the British Prime Minister Tony Blair from 114 UK scientists complaining about the lack of government support for GM during the UK's public debate. They complained that the 'genetic engineering of plants has been reduced to a matter of consumer preference.'[42][43]

The letter attracted considerable media coverage. Pallab Ghosh covered the news for the BBC while an article in The Times said, "More than 100 leading scientists have made a once-in-a-generation appeal to Tony Blair to save British science from a tide of neglect and abuse that is driving the brightest young brains abroad".[44] The Times piece also referred to the signatories as '114 eminent researchers'. It quoted the lead signatory Prof Derek Burke as saying that the signatories provided "a measure of the concern that is out there. A cross-section of the British scientific community feels that evidence that has been carefully and painfully collected is just being swept aside".

The letter was followed by a parliamentary question and letter to Tony Blair, asking when he would respond, from the chair of the parliamentary science and technology select committee, Ian Gibson.[45]

Signatory Chris Leaver told the Times Higher Education, 'The letter seems to have succeeded in shaking the creeping view - especially in government - that "we probably have to let the campaigners have this one" and hope that things might change in years to come. Also, it has given the government something to respond to other than its more regular critics in this debate, creating some unease about the state of the debate and whether we have the full picture.'[46]

In his response, published in THE, Blair emphasised his government's support for biotechnology research and his recognition of its economic value.[47] [48]

Media reports on the letter initially stated that Derek Burke was the man behind it. The THE, for instance, reported, 'The letter was written and coordinated by Professor Derek Burke, the former chairman of the UK government's GM advisory committee.'[49]

But an article published in the THE just a few days later (7 November 2003) told a very different story: 'The letter was coordinated by Sense About Science'.[50] And the THES Leader on the subject did not even mention Derek Burke but referred rather to, 'The new organisation behind the letter, Sense About Science'. The editorial concluded, 'Sense About Science is entitled to demand that both their [the government's] words and their deeds are more forceful.'[51]

Derek Burke, the letter's lead signatory, was at that time on the advisory council of Sense About Science,[52] and a significant number of the other signatories are connected to Sense about Science either via the advisory council or its board of trustees.[53] These in turn connect to the Sense About Science network of scientists and NGOs'. For instance, Professor Vivian Moses who is on the advisory council is also the chairman of the biotech-industry funded lobby group CropGen. Phil Dale from the advisory council works at the John Innes Centre with its history of multi-million pound ties ties to the biotech industry. More than 20 of the signatories had past or present connections to the JIC.

This also reflects the fact that far from representing, as Derek Burke told The Times, 'a cross-section of the British scientific community', the signatories were predominantly plant scientists. The THE noted this in its editorial, concluding that Sense about Science needed to start reaching out to the wider scientific community.

The claims in The Times that the signatories were 'leading scientists' and '114 eminent researchers' also appears to be misleading. Take, for instance, signatory 'Dr Martin Livermore Plant Scientist ; Independent Consultant'. Rather than earning his living as a plant scientist, Mr Martin Livermore trained as a chemist and now runs an agri-food PR consultancy, Ascham Associates.[54] His biography on Ascham's website describes him as:

A senior communications/public affairs executive with a strong science background. Broad UK and international experience in leading consumer goods and science companies. Particular strengths in the agri-food and biotechnology sectors, risk, regulation and sustainability issues.[55]

The Ascham website also notes that he has worked for the agri-food companies DuPont (which also has a GM seeds business), Unilever and Dalgety.[56] It states too that "He has extensive networks in the food chain, public sector, NGO and think tank communities and is media trained."[57]

It would be surprising if Sense About Science were unaware of any of this as in 2003 it included 'Mr M. Livermore' on its website amongst its financial contributors.[58]

Targeting the BMA

The public strand of the GM Public Debate had originally been expected to begin in January 2003 although it was, in fact, delayed until the summer of 2003.[59]

It's worth noting that the GM Public Debate Steering Board at their 17 December 2002 meeting announced that the January meeting would be "open to the public to observe".[60] Yet according to Marcus Williamson, editor of Genetically Modified Food News, this plan was changed just one day before the January meeting and it was held behind closed doors.[61]

In the light of the planned January start to the public strand of the GM debate, it is perhaps not coincidence that a series of reports which were favourable to GM appeared in the media in January. These reports seem to have emanated from either the Royal Society, Sense About Science or people closely associated with the two organisations. All appeared to be marked by inaccuracy.[62]

Among these reports was one by the BBC's science correspondent Pallab Ghosh at the end of January stating that the British Medical Association (BMA) would be undertaking a new report on GM. The BMA's previous report had been highly critical of the rapid introduction of GM crops and food and had called for a moratorium. Pallab Ghosh implied that Sense About Science had now persuaded the BMA to undertake a review of its policy.[63]

Sir Peter Lachmann, who is on the advisory panel of Sense About Science, was quoted as saying that the research that the BMA's 1999 report had been based on had by now been 'discredited'.[64]

Interestingly, in a submission to the 2003 GM science review, undertaken at the same time as the GM Public Debate, Lachmann identified Sir David Carter as the man who had made the decision to review the BMA's position. Lachmann stated: 'Just in the last week or two there has been renewed interest in the BMA's "provisional report on the impact of genetic modification on agriculture, food and health" issued in 1999; and the reported decision of Sir David Carter, the Chairman of their Board of Science, to revisit the topic this year.'[65]

The BMA, however, issued a press release the same day saying its review was entirely routine and that the BBC's account of the reasons for the review were "wrong":

The claim that we have been persuaded by the organisation 'Sense about Science' to review our policy is simply wrong. We have informed Sense about Science about our plans to review the science about this subject. The BBC also states that our planned review on GM crops is happening because we have a new director of science - this is also totally inaccurate.[66]

However, on 9 March 2004 - the day that the Blair Government announced its decision to commercialise GM maize in the face of strong public hostility - the Daily Mail ran the headline, "Doctors 100% behind GM decision". The accompanying article stated, 'In an apparent U-turn over its policy to GM foods, the British Medical Association said there was no reason not to go ahead with commercial planting of GM maize'. Sir David Carter was reported to have said it was necessary to 'move away from the hysteria that has so often been associated with GM foods'. Asked if he would be 100% behind a decision to allow GM maize, Sir David said: 'I would say so.'[67] On the following day, 10 March 2004, The Times ran the headline, "GM: Doctors say it's no problem to health". The accompanying article read:

Doctors’ leaders have given their approval to the Government’s decision over GM crops. In a reversal of the position that it had previously taken in 1999, the British Medical Association (BMA) said that there was no reason not to go ahead with the commercial planting of GM maize.[68]

The timing of the press conference and Sir David's remarks could not have been more helpful to the Government if it had been planned that way. Yet Sir David's remarks were not only out of line with the BMA's cautiously worded new report, which stated that "the evidence for real benefit is not yet sufficiently persuasive to grow GM crops at the expense of conventionally derived alternatives that can be grown at least as effectively".[69]

Sir David's remarks were even further away from what the BMA last had to say publicly on the issue. Then, in its submission to the Scottish Parliament's health committee back in November 2002, the BMA argued for a moratorium on GM crop trials as a "precautionary measure" to safeguard public health. Its submission said that "insufficient care" had been taken over public health and that the grounds for concern were "serious enough" to justify an immediate end to GM trials.[70]

The BMA's stance in Scotland was completely consistent with the position it adopted in its report on this issue in 1999.[71] It was, however, completely at odds with that of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, which had told the committee that there were no grounds for concern. The BMA's position had brought an immediate backlash. In a letter to The Times in early December 2002, Sir Peter Lachmann and others strongly attacked the BMA's stance. They wrote:

Why does the BMA, with no expertise in plant science, single out GM crops, rather than any other novel crops? There is no merit in advocating inaction for its own sake. Such a precautionary approach, if allowed to take hold in policy, would have a deadening effect on progress.[72]

Sir David is not only a leading Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (elected 1995 and current as at December 2009)[73] but its former Vice President (appointed November 2000[74]). He is connected to Sense About Science, as the Daily Mail reported after the BMA's change of heart: 'Tony Blair's Government has embarked on an orchestrated PR strategy designed to break down public opposition to GM... Yesterday, on the day [Government minister] Mrs Beckett backed GM, the British Medical Association announced a remarkable U-turn on the issue and effectively abandoned its opposition. The BMA's decision was driven by Professor Sir David Carter, who it emerged is a supporter of a pro-GM lobbying group.'[75]

The Mail was referring to the fact that (as at 1 Feb 2005) Sir David was on Sense About Science's advisory council.[76] Others on the council include such well-known GM proponents as Sir Peter Lachmann, Vivian Moses (CropGen, Scientific Alliance[77]), Michael Wilson (Scientific Alliance,[78] HRI), Phil Dale (John Innes Centre), Matt Ridley (links to Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), Julian Morris etc.), Derek Burke, and Roger Turner.[79] Also on the Sense about Science advisory panel is Julian Ma.[80] Ma also signed Lachmann's letter to The Times criticising the BMA. Of the two remaining signatories to that letter, one was Dame Bridget Ogilvie, the Vice Chair of Sense About Science.

According to the Daily Mail report, "Leaked documents recently hinted at a plan to use scientists from various backgrounds to talk positively about GM."[81] The timing of the BMA's press conference on the very day the Government announced its decision may have been no chance affair.

Working Party on peer review

Sense About Science established a special Working Party on peer review which includes 'an investigation into the social consequences of unfounded research claims'. This was said to have as its target audiences, amongst others, parliamentarians, Government and policy bodies, as well as the media. It reported early in 2004.[82]

Tracey Brown is not the only one on the Working Party on Peer Review with strong LM connections. Another is Tony Gilland, an LM and Spiked contributor, as well as the science and society director of the the Institute of Ideas (I of I). Another member is Fiona Fox, who heads the Science Media Centre, which operates out of the Royal Institution. Fox contributed several articles to LM, including highly controversial material on Ireland and the Rwandan genocide. Fiona Fox's sister, Claire Fox, heads the Institute of Ideas where Gilland works.

The project enjoys strong support from the Royal Society. It has not only met at the Royal Society but is chaired by the former Vice President of the Royal Society, Sir Brian Heap. The Society's current Vice President and Biological Secretary, Patrick Bateson, has been assigned to liaise with the Working Party, as has Bob Ward, a Senior Manager for Press and Public Relations at the Royal Society. Several members of the Working Party are leading Fellows of the Royal Society, including Professor Sir Peter Lachmann FRS.

Oddly enough, while the topic was the broad one of peer review, many members of the working party occupied a narrow field - they were known proponents of genetically modified (GM) crops. People marked FRS are Fellows of the Royal Society:[83]

For some periods of its existence or for particular meetings, the Working Party was joined by: Professor David Cope (and Dr Peter Border) | Dr Ron Fraser | Dr Irene Hames | Dr Robert Moor FRS | Mr Bob Ward

One ironic omission from the report, given the convergence of the topic of peer review and the special interest in GM of many of the working party members, is the fact that GM crops are authorised on the basis of tests carried out by the GM companies, that are usually neither peer reviewed nor published at the time of authorisation and which have historically been kept secret under 'commercial confidentiality' rules, prior to the intervention of civil society groups and their lawyers.[84][85]

A second irony is the involvement in this working party of Peter Lachmann, who was identified by The Guardian newspaper as having made an aggressive phone call to the editor of The Lancet to try to prevent publication of the research of Arpad Pusztai, which had found ill effects in rats fed GM potatoes - in spite of the fact that the study had passed a more stringent peer review process than was usual (see Peter Lachmann for details).

The Working Party on Peer Review looked at the Arpad Pusztai case. Although the Royal Society has been amongst Pusztai's sternest critics over the issue of speaking out about his findings prior to peer review,[86] working party member Brian Heap has admitted that biotech companies often release their findings to the mass media before undergoing peer review in order to help keep up their share price.[87]

In a letter to Tracey Brown, leaked to GMWatch, the Wellcome Trust sets out why, after careful consideration, it is declining to be part of the Working Party or to provide any funding. Amongst the series of concerns listed is the fact that, 'The proposed make-up of the Working Party is extremely narrow'. The Working Party, the letter says, 'runs the risk of being seen as a closed and defensive strategy', and the letter talks of the project being based on 'many assumptions' and very little 'direct evidence'.[88]

The Wellcome Trust quotes its Medicine in Society Panel as having commented on the Sense About Science initiative as follows:

The key issue being addressed by the study is the erosion of trust by the public in authority. The peer review process is only a part of this problem - much of the confusion is about risk and probability, compounded by Government using scientific information as if it were a definitive truth (for example in the case of BSE) to make policy.[89]

Public good plant breeding

On 22 May 2003 Sense About Science held an event at the Natural History Museum. London on "Public-Good Plant Breeding: what are the international priorities?", in association with the Natural History Museum, the BBSRC and the John Innes Centre. It was addressed by MS Swaminathan, Peter Raven and Phil Dale.[90]

The project appeared to be aimed at raising more public and foundation money for the introduction of plants developed through biotechnology into the developing world. The John Innes Centre would certainly benefit greatly from such an increase in funding, particularly given the diminishing investment coming from the biotech industry, as with the 2002 pullout from the JIC by Syngenta part-way through its £50m investment programme.[91]

Guide criticised for not declaring GM interests

In February 2009 Sense About Science published a guide to GM for the public, called "Making Sense of GM".[92] The guide, which is co-authored by a number of scientists, is noteworthy for its extraordinarily supportive stance towards GM and its failure to address any of the scientific concerns that have arisen about the effects of the technology.

While the guide noted the scientist authors' public affiliations, such as their positions in universities or primarily publicly funded research institutes, it omitted any mention of their corporate affiliations. It also failed to mention the corporate interests of some of the primarily publicly funded institutes, such as the John Innes Centre. For example, Vivian Moses is described as emeritus professor at Queen Mary & Westfield College, but his position as chairman of the GM industry body CropGen is not mentioned.[93]

On 19 February the following article about SAS's guide appeared in the Times Higher Education:

Charity guide criticised for not declaring GM interests
By Zoe Corbyn
The Times Higher Education, 19 February 2009 [94]
Sense About Science pamphlet failed to list contributors' links with industry. Zoë Corbyn reports
A charity has come under fire for failing to declare all industry affiliations of the experts it enlisted to compile a booklet explaining genetic modification to the public.
The pamphlet was produced by Sense About Science (SAS), a charity that claims to promote scientific reasoning in public discussions.
According to anti-genetic modification campaigners and academics, it failed to mention links between some of the experts who wrote the booklet and GM firms.
For example, the guide's biography of Vivian Moses, emeritus professor of microbiology at Queen Mary, University of London, and visiting professor of biotechnology at King's College London, does not mention that he is also chairman of CropGen, a GM lobby group that receives funding from the biotechnology industry.
It says only that he has been "a full-time researcher in biochemistry and microbiology" and is now "primarily concerned with communicating science to the public".
Critics also argued that the guide should have noted that the John Innes Centre, where eight of its 28 contributors are based, received funding from biotechnology companies.
Michael Antoniou, a geneticist at King's College London, described the omissions as "outrageous".
He said: "GM is a sensitive issue. People have been extremely suspicious because of its industrial connections. So it is imperative that they declare these in this context, as in a journal publication."
Dr Antoniou, who himself provides technical advice to anti-GM campaign group GM Watch, speculated that SAS had not disclosed Professor Moses' directorship because it was afraid of arousing public suspicion.
Guy Cook, a professor at The Open University who conducted two research council-funded studies into the language and arguments of the GM debate, agreed that the contributors' interests should have been declared.
"If not, they deal a severe blow to their own cause, the authority of science, which rests upon rationality, objectivity, evidence and disinterest," he said. "The problem with GM advocacy is that it has compromised these principles, and in so doing has dangerously undermined public trust in scientists."
David Miller, professor of sociology at the University of Strathclyde, who is involved in running the website Spinwatch.org.uk, likened the pamphlet to "a PR exercise".
In a statement to Times Higher Education, Professor Moses said his CropGen role was not a secret but should have been spelt out.
"Had I been asked by SAS how I should be described (I wasn't asked and presumed it knew as I have been one of its advisers for years), I would have suggested: visiting professor of biotechnology, King's College London, and chairman of CropGen."
A spokesperson for the John Innes Centre stressed that most of its funding was public.
"We do not regard our affiliations to industry as a contentious issue. Our interests are not 'vested' and our scientists are extremely careful to avoid conflicts of interest."
Tracey Brown, managing director of SAS, said the booklet's emphasis was on contributors' scientific background.
"They were not seeking to advance any commercial application of GM technology, but to set research in the context of other plant-breeding research and history," she said.

Monsanto scientist named on early draft of SAS guide to GM

In March, a second article about the guide's undeclared industry affiliations was published in the satirical magazine Private Eye:

Private Eye No. 1232, 20 March - 2 April 2009
A spat has broken out over a Times Higher Education article highlighting the failure of a new guide to GM food, 'Making Sense of GM', to disclose its industry connections.
Tracey Brown of Sense About Science, publisher of the guide, condemned the T.H.E. article as "mischievous" and "rude" and claimed it relied on "tortuously indirect links" between the authors and the GM industry.
But the Eye has a copy of an unpublished draft of the guide – and it seems it wasn't just the industry links of some of its authors that didn't appear in the final published version. One of the guide's listed authors, Andrew Cockburn, is also missing. Who he? None other than GM giant, Monsanto's former director of scientific affairs, and a figure so controversial that when former PM Tony Blair invited him to author part of the government's official GM Science Review, it led to questions being raised in the House and the resignation of one of expert panellists.
No wonder Sense About Science felt erasure was the better form of valour.

Sense About Science responded on its website to the Private Eye story as follows:

Response from Sense About Science to Private Eye in relation to a comment published in the Books and Book Men section
In Books and Book Men you invited readers to conclude that Sense About Science had removed the name of Dr Andrew Cockburn from additional contributors to Making Sense of GM for some untoward reason. He was not a part of the working group but someone we sought additional contributions from. In his case, one of a handful who we lined up to look through the document once it was drafted. Pre-empting this, his name was added to the draft. We circulated that draft nearly three weeks later than we’d hoped to, as is so often the way. It turned out that he was away and so we received no comments from him. If we had, we’d have been happy to include him - why wouldn’t we? It appears to be some years since he left Monsanto and, with the difficulties of working out how particular technologies were developed, he might have been able to provide interesting insights. We were sorry he couldn’t. Making Sense of GM is a very open document - unlike other short guides or leaflets, it includes the names of people consulted even over small matters. It is also a document that points out continually that GM is just a technology among others. It is rather critical of the damage caused by concentration of the technology in large companies, e.g. to orphan crop research. We think scientists should be talking about their work in this area, but some people clearly don’t.[95]

More about SAS's GM guide

Report by Claire Robinson of GMWatch: Nothing to declare – GM guide's two-faced science

More about Andrew Cockburn

Here's more about Andrew Cockburn, the Monsanto man whose ghostly presence Private Eye (see "Monsanto scientist helped author SAS guide to GM" above) found in an early draft of Sense About Science's GM guide: "Making Sense of GM".

Cockburn was Monsanto's director of scientific affairs (Europe and Africa) (2003).[96]

Cockburn is also identified as a Monsanto employee in annex 4 of the Royal Society document, "Science and the public interest: Communicating the results of new scientific research to the public" (2006).[97]

He also seems to have his own consultancy: he is director of Toxico-Logical Consulting Ltd.[98]

Cockburn's involvement in the UK Government's GM Science Review back in 2002-2003 led to considerable controversy - see "Bias claim over panels looking at GM crops", Telegraph, 28 Nov 2002.[99]

According to an article in The Observer, Cockburn's involvement in the GM Science Review contributed to the resignation of one of the other panelists, Prof Carlo Leifert:

"The final straw came when he [Leifert] was told that Andrew Cockburn of Monsanto had been commissioned to write the first draft of its consideration of GM safety issues," said the source. In the House of Commons on Thursday, Joan Ruddock asked the new Environment Minister Elliot Morley if he was concerned that the food safety section had been written by a Monsanto employee. Morley did not reply.[100]

Cockburn has worked with Sense About Science before. In the Sense About Science report, "Making Sense of Chemical Stories", he is identified as one of the contributors, but interestingly, his employment by chemicals and GM firm Monsanto (and before that, agrochemical/pharma giants AgrEvo/Aventis) is not mentioned.[101]

For a document reassuring people about chemical risks not to mention that before founding Toxico-Logical Consulting Ltd., Cockburn worked for nearly 40 years in "Global food, pharmaceutical and crop protection [pesticide] industries, the latter involving both chemistry and advanced breeding/biotechnology", seems a little less than frank.[102]

Could it be possible that Sense About Science didn't pull the same stunt with Cockburn's involvement in the "Making Sense of GM" document because of the negative publicity about his role in the GM debate?

The Times Higher Education article refers to speculation that SAS had not disclosed Professor Vivian Moses's directorship of industry funded lobby group CropGen "because it was afraid of arousing public suspicion". How much more would that have been the case with a long-serving Monsanto employee!

So, instead of just airbrushing out Cockburn's industry connections, as with Prof Vivian Moses's chairing an industry lobby group or Prof Chris Leaver's biotech consultancies, it seems that Sense About Science has airbrushed out Cockburn himself.

Given that Private Eye has a draft of the GM guide which acknowledges his contribution, this would suggest that not only Sense About Science was party to this. The GM guide's other authors will inevitably have seen that Cockburn's details had been removed, yet they have remained silent about it during the controversy over contributors' industry interests.

"Keep libel laws out of science" campaign

SAS has run a high-profile campaign against libel laws in science (Keep Libel Laws out of Science[103]) in relation to the case of the science writer Simon Singh being sued for libel by the British Chiropractic Association for an article in the Guardian in which he claimed the BCA promoted "bogus" treatments.[104]

While SAS devotes a substantial section of its website to supporting Singh's cause, however, it nowhere (as at February 2010) mentions the libel case that GE Healthcare launched against the radiologist Henrik Thomsen. In the financial year 2007-8 GE Healthcare was a funder of Sense About Science[105].

This begs the question of whether SAS is less concerned about the freedom of scientific debate and more about protecting the interests of its big pharma backers (see Funding, below).

Nuclear spin in wake of Fukushima

In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, SAS trustee Nick Ross visited the Chernobyl site and discussed (in SAS's words) "the legacy of this event for public perceptions of nuclear energy in a Times article ... and BBC documentary." Ross's article and documentary gave reassuring messages about the number of people who died and were made sick as a result of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.[106] Ross's interpretation of Chernobyl is contested by anti-nuclear campaigner Dr Helen Caldicott and others. Caldicott cites a 2009 report published by the New York Academy of Sciences saying that almost one million people have already perished from cancer and other diseases as a result of Chernobyl.[107]

SAS funder GE Healthcare's parent company General Electric (GE Electric) supplied the nuclear reactors involved in the Fukushima disaster. Concern over the design of the reactors reportedly caused several nuclear scientists to resign from GE in protest 35 years before the Fukushima disaster.[108]

EU chief scientist

Sense About Science claimed credit for initiating discussions about the creation of the post of EU chief scientist.[109] On 1 January 2012 the job was given to Prof Anne Glover.[110][111] Glover wasted no time in promoting genetically modified (GM) crops as safe.[112]

People

Officers/Staff

Chair as from Dec 2011: Paul Hardaker[113]

Former chair Dick Taverne (stood down as chair in Dec 2011 and in April 2012 became Patron instead[114][115]) | Bridget Ogilvie – Vice Chairman | Tracey Brown – Managing Director

Ellen Raphael was formerly a Director but as of July 2013 she was no longer in place.[116]

Advisors/Trustees

Trustees as at July 2013:[117]

Patrons as at July 2013:[118]

As at February 2010: Many of the members of Sense About Science's advisory council and board of trustees were well known GM proponents. Their relevant affiliations are added:

As at May 2011:

Funding

Sense About Science says it is "funded by donations from foundations, science bodies, companies and individuals".[136]

2007-2008

According to SAS's Financial Statement for the year ended 5 April 2008, SAS received grants from:[137] | Paul Hamlyn Foundation | HSCT | Garfield Weston | Amberstone Trust

In addition, donations were received from:[138] | ABPI | AstraZeneca | Blackwell Publishing | BP | Elsevier BV | GE Healthcare | GlaxoSmithKline | Pfizer | USGL | Vodafone

2006-2007

Funders listed in its Financial Statement for the year ended 5 April 2007 included:[139] | GE Healthcare £12,000 | ABPI £3,000 | AstraZeneca £15,000 | BP £15,000

Some may wonder whether Sense About Science can be trusted to tell the truth about what it calls "difficult" issues, including "scares about plastic bottles, fluoride and the MMR vaccine to controversies about genetic modification, stem cell research and radiation"[140] when it takes funding from companies that sell or promote

  • radiological equipment (GE Healthcare)
  • cloning supplies (GE Healthcare)
  • pharmaceuticals (ABPI, Astra Zeneca, GSK, Pfizer)
  • mobile phone technology (USGL Vodafone)
  • PVC plastics (Ineos Vinyl)
  • biotechnology (Astra Zeneca and all the above-listed pharmaceutical companies, and BP, which has interests in biofuels).

2004

Funders listed on the Sense About Science website in 2004 included more overt biotech interests:[141] | Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) | Amersham Biosciences plc, | BBSRC | BP plc | GlaxoSmithKline | ISAAA | John Innes Centre | The John Innes Trust | AstraZeneca plc | Pfizer plc | Oxford GlycoSciences plc | Dr. M. Ridley | Social Issues Research Centre (SIRC) | Health and Science Communication Trust

2003

According to the 2003 version of the Sense About Science website:[142]

In Year One, financial contributions, for both core and project-related costs, have been received from:
The ABPI | Amersham plc, BBSRC, The Biochemical Society, BP plc, Mr D. Brydon, Prof A. Dixon, The Society for Endocrinology | The Society for General Microbiology | GlaxoSmithKline | Halifax Bank of Scotland | ISAAA | John Innes Centre | John Innes Trust, | Mr M. Livermore | Oxford GlycoSciences plc | Blackwells Publishing, Dr Matt Ridley | Social Issues Research Centre | Unilever plc.
Help with equipment, facilities and services has been received from:
AXA Investment Management, Horticulture Research International, The Natural History Museum, Lord Stevenson of Coddenham, WPP.

Resources

GM guide's two-faced science

Contact

Website: senseaboutscience.org.uk
Facebook: senseaboutsci

Notes

  1. "About Us", Sense About Science website, accessed February 2009.
  2. "Sense About Science Financial Statements, Year Ended 5 April 2007", Charity Commission website, accessed February 2009.
  3. About Us, Sense About Science website, accessed 17 Dec 2009
  4. How we work, SAS website, version placed in web archive 30 Dec 2005, accessed in web archive 17 Dec 2009
  5. Tracey Brown Regester Larkin website, 2001, accessed in web archive 20 Dec 2009
  6. Ellen Raphael, Regester Larkin website, version placed in web archive 28 Feb 2003, accessed in web archive 20 Dec 2009
  7. George Monbiot, “Invasion of the entryists”, The Guardian, 9 December 2003
  8. Interview with George Monbiot”, LobbyWatch, April 2007; “Profiles - Living Marxism", LobbyWatch, accessed April 2009
  9. George Monbiot, “Invasion of the entryists”, The Guardian, 9 December 2003
  10. Interview with George Monbiot”, LobbyWatch, April 2007; “Profiles - Living Marxism", LobbyWatch, accessed April 2009
  11. Sense About Science website contact page, version placed in web archive 29 Oct 2003, acc in web archive 2 May 2010, screengrab here
  12. Global Futures contact page, version of 2002, accessed in web archive 2/5/2010, screengrab here
  13. "About Us", Sense About Science website, version archived Dec 3 2003, accessed in web archive March 24 2009
  14. "About Us", Sense About Science website, version archived 6 Feb 2005, accessed in web archive March 24 2009
  15. Advisory discussion with social scientists, GM Nation? website, version placed in web archive 16 Aug 2003, accessed in web archive 15 Dec 2009
  16. Tracey Brown Regester Larkin website, 2001, accessed in web archive 20 Dec 2009
  17. Bill Durodié, senior research fellow, Kings College London website, version placed in web archive 1 March 2004, accessed in web archive 16 Dec 2009
  18. Oddly, the report of the Steering Board of the public debate on GM and GM crops has, as at December 2009, vanished from its official home at the website http://www.gmnation.org. The web domain is also up for sale. However, the executive summary of the report can be viewed on the Third World Network website at http://www.twnside.org.sg/title/service79.htm. The Science Review strand of the GM Debate, overseen by the government's chief scientific advisor David King, which gave a reassuring message about the risks of GM crops, as at December 2009 still has its reports available on its own website at http://www.gmsciencedebate.org.uk. The link to the "public debate" report is dead.
  19. The Farm Scale Evaluations, DEFRA, published between October 2003 and March 2005, accessed 20 Dec 2009.
  20. Giles J., Transgenic crops take another knock, NatureNews, published online: 21 March 2005
  21. Bohan DA et al. Effects on weed and invertebrate abundance and diversity of herbicide management in genetically modified herbicide-tolerant winter-sown oilseed rape. Proc R Soc B, 272: 463-474, 2005.
  22. Valerie Elliott, GM vandals force science firms to reduce research, The Times, Oct 16, 2003, accessed 16 Dec 2009
  23. Valerie Elliott, GM vandals force science firms to reduce research, The Times, Oct 16, 2003, accessed 16 Dec 2009
  24. Steve Farrar and Anna Fazackerley, Scientists quit UK amid GM attacks, THE, 17 October 2003, accessed 16 Dec 2009
  25. Board of Trustees, SAS website, accessed 20 December 2009
  26. Board of Trustees/Advisory Board, SAS website, 2004, accessed in web archive 21 Dec 2009
  27. Anna Fazackerley, GM debate cut down by threats and abuse, THE, 24 October 2003, accessed 16 Dec 2009
  28. Backlash for GM dissenters, BBC News Online, 13 Oct 1999, accessed 16 Dec 2009
  29. Governing Council of the John Innes Centre, JIC website, accessed 16 Dec 2009
  30. John Innes Governing Council Members and John Innes Foundation Trustees, JIC website, version placed in web archive Feb 17 2004, accessed in web archive Dec 16 2009
  31. John Innes Governing Council Members and John Innes Foundation Trustees, JIC website, version placed in web archive 10 April 2005, accessed in web archive 16 Dec 2009
  32. Scientific Advisory Forum, Scientific Alliance website, version placed in web archive 9 April 2005, accessed in web archive 16 Dec 2009
  33. Scientific Advisory Forum, Scientific Alliance website, version placed in web archive 30 Aug 2006, accessed in web archive 16 Dec 2009
  34. Dick Taverne, Thunderer: When crops burn, the truth goes up in smoke, The Times, 18 Nov 2003, accessed 16 Dec 2009
  35. Dick Taverne, Thunderer: When crops burn, the truth goes up in smoke, The Times, 18 Nov 2003, accessed 16 Dec 2009
  36. Fiona Foster, December 1995. Massacring the Truth in Rwanda. Living Marxism. Fiona Foster is the pen name of Fiona Fox.
  37. Julia Hartley-Brewer, High stakes in battle over Serbian guilt, The Guardian, 15 March 2000, accessed 16 Dec 2009
  38. George Monbiot, Invasion of the Entryists, The Guardian, 9 Dec 2003, accessed 17 Dec 2009
  39. George Monbiot, Invasion of the Entryists, The Guardian, 9 Dec 2003, accessed 17 Dec 2009
  40. Fiona Foster, December 1995. Massacring the Truth in Rwanda. Living Marxism. Fiona Foster is the pen name of Fiona Fox.
  41. Fiona Foster, Ireland's OWN: Hungerstrikes: Interview with Tommy McKearney, Living Marxism, Issue 66, April 1994, accessed 17 Dec 2009
  42. Open Letter About GM’ from UK Scientists to HM Government - From Professor Derek Burke and others, 13 Pretoria Road, Cambridge CB4 1HD; 30th October 2003, archived on AgBioWorld website, accessed 16 Dec 2009
  43. Open letter about GM to HM Government signed by 114 UK scientists, SAS website, accessed in web archive 17 Dec 2009
  44. David Charter, Scientists test Blair and find him wanting, The Times, 31 Oct 2003, accessed 16 Dec 2009
  45. Caroline Davis, Scientists await PM answer on GM, THE, 7 Nov 2003, accessed 16 Dec 2009
  46. Caroline Davis, Scientists await PM answer on GM, THE, 7 Nov 2003, accessed 16 Dec 2009
  47. The Prime Minister, Tony Blair, 10th November 2003. Commons Hansard Written Answers, Column 14W.
  48. Caroline Davis, Blair backs UK biotechnology, THE, 14 November 2003, accessed 16 Dec 2009
  49. Scientists attack UK government's 'silence' in GM debate, THE, 4 November 2003, accessed 16 Dec 2009
  50. Caroline Davis, Scientists await PM answer on GM, THE, 7 November 2003, accessed 16 Dec 2009
  51. Leader: Science deserves greater support, THE, 7 November 2003, accessed 16 Dec 2009
  52. Advisory Council/Board of Trustees, SAS website, accessed in web archive 20 Dec 2009
  53. Advisory Council/Board of Trustees, SAS website, accessed in web archive 20 Dec 2009
  54. Martin Livermore, Principal Associate, Ascham Associates website, accessed 17 Dec 2008
  55. Martin Livermore, Principal Associate, Ascham Associates website, accessed 17 Dec 2008
  56. Martin Livermore, Principal Associate, Ascham Associates website, accessed 17 Dec 2008
  57. Martin Livermore, Principal Associate, Ascham Associates website, accessed 17 Dec 2008
  58. This page from the Sense About Science website is available only in the web archived version of the page, "Sense About Science: About Us", accessed February 2009.
  59. GM public debate fiasco, Friends of the Earth press release, 22 Jan 2003, accessed 17 Dec 2009
  60. GM Public Debate Steering Board, MINUTES OF SIXTH MEETING, 10.30 TO 13.30, 17 DECEMBER 2002, INSTITUTION OF CIVIL ENGINEERS, ONE GREAT GEORGE STREET, LONDON SW1, version placed in web archive 11 Feb 2003, accessed in web archive 17 Dec 2009
  61. "GM Public Debate" meeting held in...private...!, GM Food News archive, accessed 17 Dec 2009
  62. Andy Rowell and Jonathan Matthews, Strange Bedfellows, The Ecologist, May 2003, accessed 17 Dec 2009
  63. Doctors review GM crop evidence, BBC News Online, 31 Jan 2003, accessed 17 Dec 2009
  64. Doctors review GM crop evidence, BBC News Online, 31 Jan 2003, accessed 17 Dec 2009
  65. Peter Lachmann, GM Science Review - Forum: GM foods and human health, 3/2/03, GM Science Review website, accessed 18 Dec 2009
  66. BMA on GM crops: Clarification, The British Medical Association, Press Release, 31 Jan 2003, accessed 17 Dec 2009
  67. Doctors 100% behind GM decision, Daily Mail, 9 March 2004, accessed in GM Watch archive 16 Dec 2009
  68. Nigel Hawkes, GM: Doctors say it's no problem to health, The Times, 10 March 2004, accessed 20 Dec 2009
  69. Genetically modified foods and health: a second interim statement, British Medical Association, March 1, 2004, accessed on Third World Network website, 17 Dec 2009
  70. Doctors want GM crop ban, BBC News Online, 20 Nov 2002, accessed 18 Dec 2009
  71. The Impact Of Genetic Modification On Agriculture, Food And Health: An Interim Statement of the British Medical Association Board of Science and Education, BMA, May 1999, accessed 18 Dec 2009
  72. Scientific trials vital for GM crops, Letter to the editor, The Times, 4 Dec 2002, accessed 18 Dec 2009
  73. RSE Fellows as at 13 July 2009, RSE, accessed 18 Dec 2009
  74. Royal Society appoints Sir David as its vice-president, Evening News - Scotland, November 23, 2000
  75. Frankenstein food? You'll be made to like it, Daily Mail, 10th March 2004, accessed 16 Dec 2009
  76. Advisory Council, SAS website, version placed in web archive 1 Feb 2005, accessed in web archive 17 Dec 2009
  77. Scientific Alliance advisory forum, accessed in web archive 20 Dec 2009
  78. Scientific Alliance advisory forum, accessed in web archive 20 Dec 2009
  79. Advisory Council, SAS website, version placed in web archive 1 Feb 2005, accessed in web archive 17 Dec 2009
  80. Advisory Council, SAS website, version placed in web archive 1 Feb 2005, accessed in web archive 17 Dec 2009
  81. Frankenstein food? You'll be made to like it, Daily Mail, 10th March 2004, accessed 16 Dec 2009
  82. Some current projects: Peer review, SAS website, version placed in web archive 8 Feb 2004, accessed in web archive 17 Dec 2009
  83. Peer review and the acceptance of new scientific ideas, Discussion paper from a Working Party on equipping the public with an understanding of peer review, November 2002 – May 2004. Compiled and presented by Tracey Brown, Director Sense About Science, accessed 26 Nov 2012
  84. Antoniou, M., C. Robinson, et al. (2012). GMO myths and truths: An evidence-based examination of the claims made for the safety and efficacy of genetically modified crops. Earth Open Source.
  85. Séralini, G. E., J. S. de Vendomois, et al. (2009). How subchronic and chronic health effects can be neglected for GMOs, pesticides or chemicals. Int J Biol Sci 5(5): 438-443.
  86. Laurie Flynn and Michael Sean Gillard, Pro-GM food scientist 'threatened editor', The Guardian, 1 November 1999, accessed 17 Dec 2009
  87. Deborah Loh, "BioMalaysia 2002: Focus on science, not profits", New Straits Times, 2 October 2002, accessed in GMWatch/NGIN archive 4 April 2009
  88. Clare Matterson, Director, Medicine, Society and History, Wellcome Trust, Letter to Tracey Brown, director of Sense About Science, 5 November 2002, accessed on GMWatch website, 17 December 2009
  89. Clare Matterson, Director, Medicine, Society and History, Wellcome Trust, Letter to Tracey Brown, director of Sense About Science, 5 November 2002, accessed on GMWatch website, 17 December 2009
  90. Public Good Plant Breeding Webcast, announcement by Tracey Brown, archived on AgBioWorld website, accessed 17 Dec 2009
  91. John Innes Centre loses research partner as company re-structures, press release, JIC, 18 Sept 2002, JIC website, version placed in web archive 29 Sept 2002, accessed in web archive 17 Dec 2009
  92. "Making Sense of GM", Sense About Science, February 2009, accessed March 20 2009
  93. "Making Sense of GM", Sense About Science, February 2009, accessed March 20 2009, p. 3
  94. Zoe Corbyn, "Charity guide criticised for not declaring GM interests", Times Higher Education, 19 February 2009, accessed March 20 2009
  95. "Response from Sense About Science to Private Eye in relation to a comment published in the Books and Book Men section", Sense About Science website, accessed April 8 2009
  96. "GM Science Review Panel - Members' Interests", GM Science Review website, accessed March 20 2009
  97. "Science and the public interest: Communicating the results of new scientific research to the public", Royal Society, April 2006, accessed March 20 2009
  98. "Agricultural BioTech Regulatory Network", Agricultural BioTech Regulatory Network website, accessed March 20 2009
  99. Robert Uhlig, "Bias claim over panels looking at GM crops", The Telegraph, 28 November 2002
  100. Robin McKie and Mark Townsend, "Dissenting adviser quits GM panel", The Observer, 20 July 2003, accessed 20 March 2009
  101. "Making Sense of Chemical Stories", Sense About Science website, accessed 20 March 2009
  102. "Agricultural BioTech Regulatory Network", Agricultural BioTech Regulatory Network website, accessed 20 March 2009
  103. National Petition for Libel Law Reform, SAS website, accessed 16 Feb 2010
  104. Chiropractic critic loses first round in libel fight, New Scientist, Issue 2708, 15 May 2009, accessed 19 Feb 2010
  105. Sense About Science Financial Statement Year Ended 5 April 2008, available here
  106. SAS, 2011. Chernobyl, 25 years on, acc 7 May 2011
  107. H. Caldicott, 2011. Unsafe at any dose, May 1. Originally published on newyorktimes.com 30 April 2011 and in The New York Times 1 May 2011.
  108. Matthew Mosk, Fukushima: Mark 1 Nuclear Reactor Design Caused GE Scientist To Quit In Protest, ABC News, 15 Mar 2011, acc 7 May 2022
  109. SENSE ABOUT SCIENCE REPORT AND FINANCIAL STATEMENTS YEAR ENDED 5 APRIL 2012, p4, accessed on Charity Commission website 16 Jul 2013
  110. Professor Anne Glover CBE, BBC Woman's Hour website, 2013, acc 16 Jul 2013
  111. Jeremy Fleming, No risk with GMO food, says EU chief scientific advisor, Euractiv.com, 24 Jul 2012, acc 16 Jul 2013
  112. Jeremy Fleming, No risk with GMO food, says EU chief scientific advisor, Euractiv.com, 24 Jul 2012, acc 16 Jul 2013
  113. SENSE ABOUT SCIENCE REPORT AND FINANCIAL STATEMENTS YEAR ENDED 5 APRIL 2012, accessed on Charity Commission website 16 Jul 2013
  114. Sense About Science, Board of Trustees, accessed 17 Jul 2013
  115. SENSE ABOUT SCIENCE REPORT AND FINANCIAL STATEMENTS YEAR ENDED 5 APRIL 2012, accessed on Charity Commission website 16 Jul 2013
  116. Sense about Science, Office team, acc 17 Jul 2013
  117. Sense About Science (2013) Board of trustees, acc 16 Jul 2013
  118. Sense About Science (2013) Board of trustees, acc 16 Jul 2013
  119. Advisory Council, SAS website, acc 29 May 2010
  120. Advisory Council, SAS website, accessed 1 Feb 2010
  121. Advisory Council, SAS website, accessed 1 Feb 2010
  122. Board of Trustees, SAS website, accessed 1 Feb 2010
  123. Board of Trustees, SAS website, accessed 1 Feb 2010
  124. Board of Trustees, SAS website, accessed 1 Feb 2010
  125. Advisory Council, SAS website, accessed 1 Feb 2010
  126. Advisory Council, SAS website, accessed 1 Feb 2010
  127. Advisory Council, SAS website, accessed 1 Feb 2010
  128. Advisory Council, SAS website, accessed 1 Feb 2010
  129. Board of Trustees, SAS website, accessed 1 Feb 2010
  130. Advisory Council, SAS website, 2004, accessed in web archive 1 Feb 2010
  131. Advisory Council, SAS website, accessed 1 Feb 2010
  132. Advisory Council, SAS website, accessed 1 Feb 2010
  133. Board of Trustees, SAS website, accessed 1 Feb 2010
  134. Advisory Council, SAS website, accessed 1 Feb 2010
  135. SAS, 2011. Chernobyl, 25 years on, acc 7 May 2011
  136. "Sense About Science Financial Statements, Year Ended 5 April 2007", Charity Commission website, accessed February 2009.
  137. Sense About Science Financial Statement Year Ended 5 April 2008, available here
  138. Sense About Science Financial Statement Year Ended 5 April 2008, available here
  139. "Sense About Science Financial Statements, Year Ended 5 April 2007", p. 8, Charity Commission website, accessed February 2009.
  140. Sense About Science website, accessed February 2009.
  141. "Sense About Science Donors", Sense About Science website, archived at Wayback Machine 6 December 2004
  142. This page from the Sense About Science website is available only in the web archived version of the page, "Sense About Science: About Us", accessed February 2009.
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