Anti-GM Protestors Run From Debate
3rd April 2012: The Director of Rothamsted Research wrote an open letter .
27 April: An open letter is sent from the scientists to the protestors.
1 May: The GM Appeal video is uploaded to YouTube.
2nd May: The protest group wrote a letter to us.
3rd May: Prof. John Pickett contacted the protest group and thanked them for their response of 2nd May. He also said he was pleased that the protest group agreed with the need for public dialogue and said he was happy to take their suggestions on a neutral chair and venue for a meeting. He noted that the points made by the protest group give a good structure to frame the dialogue and he added that he looked forward to meeting them in coming weeks.
9th May: Rothamsted Research contacted the protest group again to check if the email from the 3rd May had been received, as Rothamsted continued to await a response. Rothamsted therefore offered another point of contact to help arrange the logistics of this neutral meeting.
15th May: Prof. John Pickett contacted the protest group in response to their email on the same day saying that he was looking forward to meeting them on the Newsnight programme, but thought it important to allow sufficient time for us all to have a thorough and considered discussion and to go through the points highlighted in their letter. Whilst short debates on the radio and television can be insightful, he felt it did not allow sufficient time for us all to have the detailed discussion required. As the protest group had not put forward suggestions for a nuetral chair and venue, he therefore suggest a neutral venue (Friends Meeting House) and neutral chair (George Monbiot) on the 22nd May that he believed they would find acceptable. He also agreed to book and pay for the venue. He asked if they could get back to him by 13:00 the following day with a view to announcing this in order to give people a chance to attend in the few days left. He suggested a joint notification through our respective websites and social media. He said, this way we would have two hours for a much more detailed discussion and the chance to take questions and contributions from an audience which can include environmentalists, scientists and anyone else who would like to attend.
16th May: Prof. John Pickett contacted the protest group following a further email from them saying that they would have to decline attending the event on the 22nd May due to a lack of capacity. Prof. Pickett wrote back to them that day, asking them to reconsider. He reiterated his concerns that the information they had put out in the public domain contains inaccuracies and they were therefore encouraging people to destroy our experiment without giving us a chance properly to address these issues in a neutral venue. He urged them not to deny us both and the public a chance to put forward our cases openly, in advance of their planned direct action to "decontaminate" (which we understand would mean destroy) our legally approved experiment.
Can't talk the talk, cowards.