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Austin Williams has nailed one of the most insidiously deceptive canards of current times - the all-embracing, all-justifying 'research shows' and its twin 'the evidence is' (AJ 17.11.05).

As a scientist I constantly ask how the alleged figures/ prognostications/justifications were arrived at. Williams rightly says that the media never seems to ask fundamental questions about exactly how the conclusions were reached. The holy writs of 'research shows' or 'evidence is' are simply accepted and exploited unchallenged.

Much 'research' nowadays is directed to producing a pre-determined conclusion. The hypothesis is drawn up in advance and any statements produced in evidence are skewed to support it.

Contrary evidence, even if uncovered, is suppressed and the public is duped into swallowing it whole.

One of the areas where I have experienced this phenomenon is in the arena of environmentalist propaganda.

I was professionally involved in the implementation of the 1990 Environmental Protection Act and had first-hand experience of how specious many of the green lobbies' arguments were.

Consequently, my view of skewed data used as justification for imposing rules based on self-interest is deeply jaundiced.

What Williams has said in his article is of profound importance and should be taken to heart by all who are concerned with operating in a world that is real and is not based on convenient propaganda.

Rebecca Goldsmith, London SW11

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