Really? English profs ‘can’t step on the toes of policymakers?’

Professor Calum Semple awarded OBE for COVID-19 efforts | Integrum  Scientific

In an interview with the BBC, reported in the Telegraph today, expressing disappointment that only 10% of 12-15 year-olds in England had been vaccinated because of the flawed government strategy of only doing it in schools, Prof Calum Semple OBE said:

I can’t step on the toes of the policymakers [but] I do think some flexibility would be great. And I’m sure there are people thinking about it.

Really what sort of public intellectual is that? That’s what makes a real prof, challenging lazy uncritical thinking in the public interest, stepping on toes.

Compared to Sridhar, Bauld and others he’s a government poodle. Imagine the media reaction if they said anything like that?

7 thoughts on “Really? English profs ‘can’t step on the toes of policymakers?’

    1. I notice the price of a barrel of North Sea oil today is around $85. I doubt the rising prices, along with the unreported increase in the production of oil and gas will make a dent to the next set of GERS figures because reported revenues accruing to the Exchequer from the North Sea have always been notoriously low when compared to Norway. The principal benefit of Scotland’s renewable energy from wind, and the production oil and gas in the North Sea (if not profit) would appear to be to support the pound by helping the UK’s balance of payments.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Don’t usually comment on peoples’ dress sense but he looks like he’d be a perfect part for that Yorkshire programme about the vet, can’t remember the title of it…or, the dodgy Doctor in a miss Marble episode!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Having heard Professor Semple speak on TV with a Scottish accent, I’ve done a quick online search for him. He is a distinguished scientist. See the link below.

    I think one of the problems with SAGE is that the government has not always followed SAGE advice. Perhaps Professor Semple is just circumspect? I sometimes watch the weekly Indie-Sage broadcasts, and one featured work led by Professor Liz? Stokoe, a timeline with graphics showing the occasions when UK government actions diverged from (official) SAGE advice.


    1. Ah but ‘Scottish’ can mean not really Scottish even if a person has the ‘accent’. Like Professor David Macmillan who just received the nobel prize for chemistry, you could be just ‘born Scottish’, which means you are not really proper Scottish according to the media, because you couldn’t possibly have acheived such an accolade!

      I was going to watch a YT vid about the prize, from a distinguished English guy scientist can’t remember his name, and he says ‘David Macmillan originally from Scotland but whose scientific career has been in America’. i decided to not watch it not giving them click bait.

      Like many renowned clever people, they often study and end up working in a country they were not ‘born’ in. I just don’t think he would have said the same about an English scientist, am I being too sensitive?


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