He studied mathematics at Cambridge and Southampton Universities.
Skeptical Voter Questionnaire Response 2010
1. Do you support the use of NHS money to provide unproven health products such as homeopathy?
Not generally, but some discrection should be allowed to GP's. A few GP's have told me how psychology plays a part in some people's reactions and therefore in the case of minor ailments if the patient puts some faith in a certain treatment it may be sufficient to let them have it.
2. Should schools be allowed to teach creationism as an equivalent theory to evolution?
In education there should be freedom for teachers to allow students to discuss various views, but not to teach creationism as though it is equivalent to evolution because it isn't.
3. Do you believe that religious belief should be legally protected from ridicule?
No, I believe in freedom of speech but that also means when anyone's belief is ridiculed they (or someone on their behalf) should have the opportunity to respond.
4. Should an independent government adviser whose views in their area of expertise conflict with government policy be able to express those views publicly?
Yes. Then if we had a more accountable system of government with Parliament in a stronger position to challenge government, all the advice given can be used to have a proper debate in Parliament and country before ministers make a decision.
5. Should religious courts such as Sharia and Beth Din be recognised as alternative systems within UK law?
NO. There are however, certain personal and social matters which religious groups should be able to determine within their own groups, so long as what they do does not contradict UK law. This raises another important issue about the extent to which law or government rules and regulations should 'interfere' in people's personal lives.
6. Do you agree that testing on animals (within strict criteria) is a necessary part of the development of medicines?
Yes in all cases where there is no alternative but that means the onus should be on the scientific community to continually research other alternative methods.
7. Should policy-makers trust scientific evidence even when it appears counter-intuitive?
Policy-makers should always consider such evidence very carefully and be prepared to accept that it is true even if counter-intuitive. At the end of it all, as I stated above there should be proper informed debate before a decision is reached. Intuition can be valid if based on wide experience, but perhaps invalid if based on very narrow experience; in the former case, it is possible that the scientific evidence (often statistically based) is limited and therefore may only justify further research rather than an immediate decision. This is a very complex area, because the right decision may be different according to circumstances and the people involved.
8. Do you think that abortion time limits should always be determined by the current scientific and medical consensus?
Yes, assuming there is a consensus, but also depending on the nature of that consensus i.e. what it is that most leading experts actually agree on, the timing for an abortion, the circumstances and the possible consequences of an abortion at a particular time and in various types of cases. One very important matter is that appropriate and speedy advice/counselling is available before the woman decides what to do.
9. Should religious leaders be entitled to vote in the House of Lords?
Yes in principle, but we need a complete change in the way people get to that chamber, i.e. so that they are elected, perhaps with a small number elected to represent religious ( and various other ) groups.
10. Do you support the reform of English and Welsh libel law to allow a stronger 'public interest' defence?
Yes, MP's in particular should be able to speak up in the public interest and newspapers to report what they then say.The recent case of a company operating in Africa shows that it was not in the public interest for a lawyer acting on behalf of the company to try to block a newspaper from reporting the matter.
Why not help us expand this page with more details of this politician's positions on skeptical and other issues?
- E-mail them to ask for their opinions (and tell us about it by editing this page!)
- Check their details at the External Links listed above.
- Search the media for mentions of them and their positions on issues.
- Use your own brilliant ideas - but make sure you can back them up with a citation!