Ask for Evidence

I’m an ambassador for the “Ask for Evidence” campaign run by the charity Sense About Science. The campaign aims to encourage members of the public to challenge politicians, the media, retailers – in fact, anyone in the public eye – to show them the evidence behind their claims.

Whether it’s a newspaper claiming that something cures or causes cancer, or a politician arguing that their new policy will cut crime, or even the latest celebrity-endorsed diet that promises to help you shed a few pounds, we need to Ask for Evidence so that we can make informed choices.

Scientists are well accustomed to asking for evidence, but you don’t have to be an expert to challenge a claim. There are already lots of fantastic stories where people from all walks of life have held individuals or big businesses to account for making misleading claims. You can read about these stories on the Ask for Evidence website, which also contains information about what constitutes “good” evidence, and allows you to publicly log your own claims.

My role as an ambassador for the Ask for Evidence campaign is to spread the word. I participated in my first talk for the campaign at the Conway Hall Ethical Society in October 2015, and have since given talks at Liverpool University (October 2015) and at Sunday Assembly Bristol (April 2016). I’ve also blogged about the campaign here.

If you are part of a local interest group (e.g. WI, Skeptics in the Pub, Café Scientifique, NerdNite, Humanists) or you represent a school, college or university and would like me to give a short talk about the campaign, please get in touch by email, via my Speakezee profile, or by using the form at the bottom of the page. A list of upcoming talks is available on the Ask for Evidence website.


Citizen science

I’m working with a social enterprise, foam Kernow, to develop a citizen science project to gain a broader understanding of how hosts and parasites co-evolve. The project is in the planning stages at the moment, but you can read about its progress here.