“There is not a shred of scientific evidence behind these claims but they are all presented as if there is.
“More seriously, I worry about the current post-truth politics environment and the recent move towards a possibility of alternative facts in science. We know from many health scares that public discourse can be poisoned by misinformation, particularly from the Internet and, occasionally, there is wilful action by some, even scientists.”
Diana Garnham called on Health Science graduates at the Brighton Centre awards ceremony to “play a role in bridging the gap between those who are comfortable with and understand science and how it works, and those who have a distrust of something they don’t feel they know enough about and, perhaps, who also distrust the scientists.”
She said: “Science is a force for good but can be used for harm. I believe very strongly that technological advance must not be forced onto the public – they have a right to ensure that they understand it, decide they want it and feel confident about living with it, and society has the right to regulate or control both the technology and the scientists who apply it.”
Diana Garnham, former Chief Executive of the Science Council, is a board member of Sussex Coast College and of the Construction Industry Training Board. She was presented by Professor Andrew Lloyd, Dean of the College of Life, Health and Physical Sciences, who described her as an “influential and inspiring thought leader who supports others to develop their full potential through her motivational leadership and willingness to share her expertise and experience.”
She received her award in recognition of her major contribution to public engagement in science and encouraging diversity in the science workforce.