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Newsletter 36: Application to Appeal Rejected

1. Application to Appeal Rejected

2. Back from Oz

3. Camden Festival

4. Skeptics in Love

1. Application to Appeal Rejected
For everyone following my libel case, the bad news is that my application to appeal seems to have been rejected. I say “seems” because I have not yet seen the official ruling as the letter is still in the post. However, there seems to have been a leak and my options are already being discussed by various bloggers. As usual, Jack of Kent has provided a clear summary of the situation:

http://jackofkent.blogspot.com/2009/07/simon-singh-loses-first-attempt-at.html

http://jackofkent.blogspot.com/2009/08/simons-choice.html

The Court of Appeal’s refusal is obviously disappointing, but I remain in good spirits. I will not be making a decision about my response until I have seen the official letter and the details of the refusal, and I will also need to time to discuss the situation with friends, colleagues, supporters and family. In the meantime, while my particular libel case is ongoing, it continues to raise a whole series of arguably more important issues, particularly the appalling state of English libel laws. I am pleased that the Culture Secretary has agreed to meet with signatories of the Keep Libel Laws out of Science campaign statement to hear how the laws affect science writers. We are also pursuing a meeting at the Ministry of Justice and with front benchers in other departments to lobby for a change in the law.

http://www.senseaboutscience.org.uk/index.php/site/project/333/

Also, Ben Goldacre’s recent and excellent article in the Guardian (“An intrepid, ragged band of bloggers”) documents various activities that will interest those following my case.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2009/jul/29/simon-singh-science-chiropractic-litigation

2. Back from Oz
I have just returned from the Adelaide Festival of Ideas and from speaking to skeptics in Sydney and Melbourne. Thanks to everyone who came to the events and offered words of support. Also, the Australian media covered “Trick Or Treatment?”, the problems of English libel laws and the evidence for chiropractic on national TV, print and radio.

http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2009/s2625864.htm

http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2009/07/10/2622720.htm

http://today.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=837529

3. Camden Festival
It is very short notice, but I will be appearing tonight and tomorrow night in Camden, along with Robin Ince, Ben Goldacre, Nathalie Haynes, Andrew Collins and others.
http://www.camdenfringe.org/index.php?action=&id=3&disp=details&acts_id=279

Robin Ince will be in Edinburgh performing “Carl Sagan is my god and so is Richard Feynman” with guests from 19th -30th at midday as part of the Free Fringe. He will also be performing his solo show and Book Club show, also on the Free Fringe and on the same dates, but at different times. If you are in Edinburgh, I highly recommend catching at least one of his shows. Robin is brilliant. You can find more information and a video clip at:

http://www.myspace.com/robinince

http://www.robinince.com

(The latter site also contains details of how to get tickets for this year’s “Nine Lessons…” shows at the Bloomsbury Theatre.)

4. Skeptics in Love
I am sorry that I missed TAM 2009 (the annual skeptics conference in Las Vegas), but I was busy being skeptical in Australia. I am particularly sorry that I missed the skeptical marriage of the century. Best wishes to Sid and Rebecca. Watching this made me smile for a very long time.

Writing this newsletter has been a bit of an urgent panic in light of the refusal of my application to appeal, so there is no competition winner or new competition to announce. More news, competitions, etc., in the next newsletter.
Cheerio,
Simon.