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Professor Resigns After Ugly Twitter Spat

2nd October 2014

Professor Resigns After Ugly Twitter Spat.

Prof John Aston

Prof John Aston

Professor John Ashton is a prominent adviser to the UK government on health matters and is known to be a virulent anti-vaping campaigner.

As the balance of evidence slides against the dug-out perspective of these 'health campaigners', it seems that something as inconsequential as a disagreement on Twitter is capable of causing meltdowns. Reading the article in the DM, it appears clear that the more entrenched and puritanical the stance, the more inclined they are to be disproportionate, with ad hominem attacks and abuse piled on those that reason persuasively to a different conclusion.

Professor John Aston has stepped down as president of the Faculty of Public Health.

Some of his comments were hugely wide of the mark, and went into conspiracy theory territory. Particularly the idea that pro-vaping commentators were apologists or working for the tobacco or 'e-cig industry'. The e-cig industry is mostly comprised of small companies like ourselves with little cooperative lobbying, which in most cases is little more than blogs.

As one commentator put it in the comments:

September 14, 2014 at 3:46 am

Throwing a fit, stamping your feet seems to be the modern means of communication for scientists if the actual science doesn’t fit their views. It’s a sad state of affairs for the scientific community.

The causes of animosity to the likes of Prof Aston are likely to be due to the disproportionate attitudes. Hypocrisy and poor scientific reasoning employed by 'Public Health' officials and bodies. Many of these bodies are self-appointed, regarding many issues ranging from moderate ethanol consumption to Tobacco Harm Reduction and misleading stances on vitamins and supplements, and funnily enough. I was reading this blog on the subject which makes this very point. The causes of this particular spat are quite well articulated in this thread. Some of Prof Ashtons opinions can be seen below.

Prof Ashton Rant

Prof Ashton Rant