While the cost of taking legal action is high, the cost of not taking legal action is immeasurably higher.
Cumbria Trust would like to thank its supporters who joined it in contributing to Professor David Smythe’s crowdfunded legal action. Remarkably in less than 4 days, the initial target of £10,000 was achieved with over 200 individual donations including £1,000 from Cumbria Trust and much more from its supporters. Professor Smythe is one of the few academics who has dared to speak out about the misuse of science – in particular the attempt to distort the debate over burial of nuclear waste in Cumbria and airbrush inconvenient facts out of history. He has also spoken out about fracking and the malign effect of the fracking industry’s financial support of universities.
Within days of publishing a paper critical of fracking in January 2016, Glasgow University attempted to silence him by removing his access to the academic database upon which Professor Smythe relies. If members of Glasgow University disagree with his views, the correct approach would be to challenge that paper. Open debate is fundamental to good decision-making and science must always be open to challenge. Glasgow University and its corporate backers cannot be allowed to control the debate on fracking or any other subject by silencing dissenting views.
The new target is £25,000. That should be sufficient to take the case before the Court of Session in Edinburgh with Professor Smythe being represented by Sir Crispin Agnew QC.
Cumbria owes a great deal to Professor Smythe, who worked tirelessly during the MRWS campaign to ensure that good science prevailed, and we would ask that our supporters give what they can to ensure that he can’t be silenced.