Friday, October 20, 2006

From The Mailbag

If you're new here, you'll probably want to skip over this and read some of the research articles, before you read about what kind of reception I've been getting.

Well, in the first week of posting I've had about 200 different visitors (excluding anyone reading via an aggregator). The great majority are from the UK, which we might expect, but just under 10% are from the US. My hope is that it has helped open-minded people to discern what kind of group the BCSE is. I hope that you have become concerned about the way it is presenting itself to the public. If so, will you publicise and link this blog - so that people who have responsibilities in the area of science education won't end up being duped? If you have been persuaded - then please, will you link me? I'm not doing this for money - I just have no desire for British children to have their education affected by the output of the "BCSE".

And with all those visitors there's plenty in the mailbag. As I said in the first post, unless you're writing to correct some error of fact (and have provided some verification), don't be disappointed if I don't respond personally. Life's busy!

The great majority of the mailbag has been sympathetic.

  1. One man had seen the BCSE's letter in "The Times", and had contacted the BCSE to try to more accurately establish their position. He had received a most unnecessarily insulting response, and so was writing to me to relate his experience and express support.

  2. A number of correspondents bemoaned the lack of engagement you'll find with the scientific issues on the BCSE's website. One said, "... their approach reminds me of the Dawkins / National Secular Society strategy which is simply to pour scorn on Creationists and Christians. No reasoned debate or engagement with issues, just mockery". That's very insightful, and we hope to come back to it later.

  3. I've had a few e-mails from people, previously personally unknown to me, who have pages named after them in the BCSE's "database". Their general comment was that their pages were full of factual errors, bare assertions without any evidence, and "2+2=5" type deductions. This tallies with what I have seen on the pages of the few people in this database that I have some personal knowledge of. Here's one such correspondent's comment:
    The BCSE website contains numerous errors and gives every impression of having been put together in a hurry without adequate checking of the facts. For example, the BCSE consistently refers to me as (snip - correspondent mentions his job title), which I'm not!
    Another correspondent, along similar lines, notes that his page accuses him of lacking experience of experimental science, when in fact he has done 8 years post-doctoral research.
Reassuringly, of those who wrote in unsympathetically, none made mention of any errors of fact in any of my articles that needed correcting - so there's little to say about that.

Well, you'll notice that I haven't provided you with verifiable documentation of what's in this post today. You'll understand that I must protect my correspondents' privacy, and that they have no desire to do the BCSE's research for them. They are quite happy for the BCSE's research pages to be chock-a-block of easily demonstrable errors - because it gives the unbiased outsider all the more opportunity to see what's really going on.

David Anderson : bcse-blog at dw-perspective dot org dot uk

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