Actions often have knock-on effects that lead to unforeseen consequences, but rarely is a lack of understanding of cause and effect so easily exposed as in this year’s Head in the Sand Award. The award goes to David Cameron for writing to the leader of his local Council, Ian Hudspeth, claiming to be “disappointed” about the prospect of “significant cuts to frontline services”, cuts which have been enforced by his own slashing of the local government budget. The response letter included a methodical take-down of the Prime Minister’s incorrect assertions, revealing both the extreme pressure on local councils to balance budgets and the Prime Minister’s ignorance of the consequences of the spending cuts his government has implemented. To top it all off, Cameron offered the services of staff at 10 Downing Street to the Council to help them resolve the issue, leading to accusations of a breach of ministerial code.
- Jim Carrey: This was a twitter rant to remember. Everyone’s favourite pet detective has had his head in the sand for a while now, but finally his ugly anti-vaccine rhetoric was released onto social media. The tweets bottomed out when Carrey tweeted the image of an autistic child without his parents’ consent. For more detail see our piece on vaccines.
- Men in Science and on the Internet: The scientific method uses evidence to establish truths, but men don’t seem to have got the memo. Despite no genetic difference in the scientific potential of men and women (we refuse to supply a link here), when presented with evidence that sexism is rife in the scientific field (plenty of evidence of that here, here and here), a study found that men trivialise sexism and deny its existence. Sadly unsurprising though.