London, 12 Oct 2006.
For immediate release.

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Press Release

School Science As 'Media Slave' Is Roundly Condemned
Dumbing down science education as the servant of media studies is bad news for the future public understanding of science and future national prosperity, says the Association of British Drivers.

As a revised science curriculum takes shape in schools, key elements of science with public interest, such as air quality and climate change, will become prisoners of political propaganda under government proposals (1) which are already under fire.
Media coverage of climate change is already subject to an overwhelming bias (2) in favour of the government's preferred theory, namely man-made climate forcing from carbon dioxide, which is then used to 'justify' taxes such as car tax and the risible climate change levy on businesses. Climate change has not been shown to be man-made by any stretch of the imagination, indeed the IPCC state as much (3). We are also facing an imminent cooling of the global climate which has nothing whatsoever to do with carbon dioxide emissions (4).
Students in future will read newspaper coverage of air quality issues in science lessons which, if they mirror the errors of the past and present, will lead them to conclude that outdoor air quality is getting worse when the opposite is true as it's now better than at any time for hundreds of years and ten times better than the air quality in our homes (5).
Newspapers and TV news items, if allowed to set the agenda for lessons, will link car emissions with asthma causation, yet asthma cases have increased over a period of time when outdoor air pollution has declined (6). Those with medical knowledge point to the home and enzymes in house dust mite excreta (7).
ABD Environment Spokesman Ben Adams Comments:
"Media content must not be allowed to drive the science curriculum. Those with most access to the media - particularly politicians and cash-rich lobbyists - will be given undue prominence and influence over our children's education, which will amount to indoctrination. Standards will also drop like a stone, and they're already too low. Science works by testing hypotheses, not debating soundbytes."


Notes for Editors:
1. BBC News
2. David Murray, 'Media Coverage and Global Warming: Is There a Problem?' (1997)
3. "The fact that the global mean [surface] temperature has increased since the late 19th century and that other trends have been observed does not necessarily mean that an anthropogenic effect on the climate system has been identified. Climate has always varied on all time-scales, so the observed change may be natural. (IPCC, 2001)
4. ABD PR 469
5. Dr Jeff Llewellyn, Buildings Research Establishment.
7. "Factors other than air pollution are influential with regard to the initiation and provocation of asthma and are much more important than air pollution in both respects."
Department of Health Study on the Causes of Asthma, by Dr Kenneth Calman as Government Chief Medical Officer (1995)

Notes for Editors