British nuclear Test veterans case – MOD avoiding the obvious?
Day 8 cross examination of Dr Haylock, UKHPA (National Radiological Protection Board) witness for the Secretary of State for Defence. Royal Courts of Justice, 22nd June 2016 (PAGES 117 AND 118)
(DR BUSBY) Q: Well, like the Sellafield paper, here is a paper that also appears to show evidence that there was an effect in northern Sweden from the Chernobyl accident [Tondel et al 2004]. Do you agree with the authors of this paper that that is so?
(DR HAYLOCK) A. No.
Q. No. Why not?
A. It’s a generally a poor quality paper and I don’t believe the fact that it uses geographical distribution of doses in place of actual individual doses to be a good point, and therefore I’m not convinced by the evidence in it.
Q. Do you recall if the ICRP — and you can see here that this was written in 2004 — do you recall if the ICRP included discussion of this evidence in its 2007 report?
A. I do not recall.
Q. Well, I mean, it actually didn’t, but if it didn’t, would you find that unusual or unacceptable?
A. No, because I don’t believe it’s a good quality study.
Q. Quite. So the ICRP probably also don’t consider it’s a good quality study?
A. I’m not a member of ICRP to respond to that.
Q. But my point is that scientists, therefore, who have a particular view of things can decide whether a study, or what I might call the facts are acceptable on the basis of their decision whether the study is good or not. So they can exclude something from their particular world view.
Q. Do you think that’s acceptable, that you can actually exclude facts from your world view on the basis of a subjective decision?
A. I think if you review a paper and you feel that the evidence isn’t of sufficient quality then you should reject it and that is the case, I believe, with this paper. It doesn’t meet the threshold for good evidence.
Q. So it’s therefore possible that a particular view about whether some area is right — we’re talking about the ICRP risk model now — can be, if you like, put into a bubble and any evidence that shows that it may be wrong can be just excluded on the subjective decision of the people in the ICRP who don’t like it, if I can putit like that?
MR JUSTICE BLAKE: Well, he has explained the answer. I don’t think you are going to get much change from this kind of question. It’s not a question of “don’t like it”. It is suggested that the evidence supporting the conclusion is not sufficiently robust to sustain the conclusion, if I understood your answer correctly?
A. That’s correct, my Lord.
MR JUSTICE BLAKE: If, therefore, the method the methodology and the conclusion, is insufficiently robust to sustain the conclusion, it’s not considered evidence which requires a response from ICRP. Yes?
A. Yes, my Lord, yes.
Full transcript from the test veterans here;
BNTV scrooged at Christmas 2016;
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