Friday 26 June 2015

R. Room with a view

Every time a 'public health' group loses its taxpayer funding an angel gets it wings, so it is with a glad heart that I give you the week's second best news from Australia (see here for the best)...

The Centre for Alcohol Policy Research in Melbourne, which explored research areas such as the cost and harms of "passive drinking", has lost its $170,000 annual government funding, about 10 per cent of its funding base.

I'm amazed it's only 10 per cent, to be honest.

Spokesman Michael Thorn said the funding cut meant the centre would no longer be able to pay its international expert Professor Robin Room.

Mr Thorn said that without Professor Room, the centre would be forced to close.

Eh, what? You've still got 90 per cent of your funding left - or so you claim.

"An academic research centre of this standing requires a world-class researcher. Without a world-class researcher there is no centre," he said.

Far be it from me to suggest a way to keep this ghastly organisation going, but surely sacking somebody else is the obvious alternative?

There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the public health racket about the departure of Robin Room (whom we have encountered before on this blog). He is regarded as something of an pioneer and if you read his scintillating memoir A Book of Letters for Robin Room, you can see why...

‘Alcohol Control Policies in a Public Health Perspective' broke so many areas of new ground. We called it the Purple Book and I worked on it in 1974–75. The authors came from five countries and were a motley bunch of sociologists dressing ourselves up as public health experts.

Something of a godfather to the modern movement, clearly.

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