Among the items below are some startling revelations about Fiona Fox, the director of the Science Media Centre, and her connections with the LM brigade - a bizarre pro-corporate Marxist clique which fanatically supports GM.
When BBC TV's Fields of Gold was under fire from the Science Media Centre, Times' columnist Mick Hume waded in to support their attack. Hume is the former editor of Living Marxism aka LM until the magazine was sued out of existence as a result of its campaign of denial of Serbian war crimes.
Also out of the LM stable are the GM supporting website 'spiked online' - www.spiked.org - and the Institute of Ideas -www.instituteofideas.com - directed by Claire Fox.
As with their denials of Serbian genocide, LM supporters are none too particular how they support their ideological positions - see the link below for articles on LM by George Monbiot.
LM supporting TV director Martin Durkin, for instance, was condemned by the Independent Television Commission for having "misled" contributors to his anti-environmentalist 'Against Nature' TV series and for having distorted their views via selective editing.
The SMC appears equally unscrupulous, claiming to represent a broad spectrum of scientific opinion and to be "an independent venture working to promote the voices, stories and views of the scientific community to the news media", when in reality it's a Lord-Sainsbury-backed project which has such well known GM proponents as Prof Chris Leaver, Prof Sir John Krebs, The Baroness Greenfield and Lord Robert Winston on its board. In short, quite apart from taking money from biotech companies, it represents one very narrow part of the science community - and, it now seems, their bizarre fellow travellers!
for more on the Science Media Centre: http://members.tripod.com/~ngin/020602c.htm
Wednesday June 19, 2002
The row over the scientific content of BBC1's GM food thriller Fields of Gold, co-written by the editor of this newspaper and Ronan Bennett, rumbles on. Yesterday Fiona Fox, head of the Science Media Centre a body gracious enough to accept a quarter of its funding from the biotech industry - had another go in the Independent. If the editor's office has been sombre since (and if there's been much of the usual horseplay, we haven't heard it up this end of the newsroom), this will be because of Fiona's vastly impressive record as a reliable heavyweight analyst. Marina Hyde rings her to ask if she might be the same Fiona Fox who, seven years ago, as co-author of a series of pieces in Living Marxism, made her name as a gifted apologist for the genocide in Rwanda. "Erm, no," she says. Come now, Fiona, are you sure? "Erm. I contributed part of an article which was edited, and published under a different name." Why a different name? "Erm... can I get back to you about this?" asks Fiona, sounding unbelievably flustered. Of course you can, you cunning old Fox. We'll count the moments.
... As good as her word, Fiona Fox calls back, unforgivably choosing the moment of South Korea's golden goal winner against Italy (the hat hasn't been made large and gaudy enough for removal to those Koreans). Taking it on the chin, Marina wonders if Fiona has managed to recall yet whether or not she wrote the piece in which the world's disgust at the slaughter of 800,000 Tutsis was dismissed as an "emotional overreaction". "I was associated with it," she says judiciously. "But it was seven years ago." Sorry to fuss, but does "associated with" mean you wrote it? "Look, it's really complicated. It was seven years ago, and it's a long story. The point is, I've moved on to lots of interesting things. I don't do Africa stuff at the moment." Well, let's hope you're back in business soon.
Friday June 21, 2002
Two days after meeting Fiona Fox, that fierce critic of the scientific content of Fields of Gold (the GM thriller co-written by the Guardian's editor), a warm welcome to namesake Claire. This Ms Fox used to help run Living Marxism, the defunct pro-GM journal in which Fiona established herself as an apologist for Rwandan genocide. After hearing Claire on Women's Hour supporting school bullying - it's just something kids have to get used to - we ring to ask if the two might be sisters. "Public knowledge," she barks, in the manner of Serena Williams asked about Venus during a grand slam final. "I'm amazed the Guardian are so behind the times." There was a follow-up question: since they show this gift for wildly contentious statements, would the Vixens care to be paired, Daily Mail-style, in a "Yes, says Fiona", "No, says Claire" feature format on the issues of the day? Forestalled, alas, by the inevitable click, brrrr.
Genocide? What genocide?
Serbian atrocities were not the only ones Living Marxism tried to deny.
They targeted Rwanda too
Monday March 20, 2000
The Institute of Ideas at the Edinburgh International Science Festival
Science and the developing world - mixed blessings?
Royal Museum, Edinburgh
Current debates about GM crops, dams and climate instability often give the impression that modern science and technology are more of a threat to the people of developing countries than they are a benefit. But doesn't this overlook the case for better communications, medicines and lives beyond a subsistence level? A distinguished and diverse panel debates whether science and technology helps or hinders the lives of people in the South.
Chair: Fiona Fox, Head of Media Relations, CAFOD, the Catholic aid agency
Panel: John Conroy [LM supporter], Red Earth Images, a TV producer in Brazil working on scientific, technological and environmental issues...
in the media section of www.monbiot.com
The Revolution Has Been Televised
Channel 4's Against Nature series turns out to have been made by an obscure and cranky sect.
Far Left or Far Right?
Living Marxism's interesting allegiances.
Channel 4 has hired a charlatan to make its science programmes.