Saturday, December 30, 2006

Knighthood For UK Science Adviser

Howard Dalton, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), has received a knighthood in the New Year Honors.

Professor Dalton, a microbiologist, has been advising ministers on scientific issues, including GM crops, since 2002.

Professor Dalton, during his time as Defra's chief scientific adviser, has had to brief ministers on a number of headline grabbing issues, with one of the most recent being the arrival of bird flu in the UK.

In 2002, Professor Dalton hit the headline himself when he voiced concern over the potential environmental impact of GM crops.

His views were at odds with the government, which was reported to favour GM crops being grown commercially in the UK.

But the issue that has dominated the political agenda during Professor Dalton's time at Defra is climate change.

"The fact that the bird flu didn't harm a soul in the UK, or GM crops are indeed more healthy, or the earth is actually cooling, doesn't mean Professor Dalton was necessarily wrong 100% of the time," a government official reported. "Referring to someone as "wrong" in and of itself is far too judgmental and we should be looking at honoring who scared the most people and got bloody away with it rather than niggling over the minutiae. Besides," he went on to continue, "Her Majesty is a James Bond fan and had Professor Dalton confused with the actor Timothy Dalton and who had the heart to tell her she was honoring the wrong man. Really now, have you any idea how old this woman is...?"

No comments: