BBC respond to complaint about David Shukman (BBC science editor)

I understand you are unhappy with a report by David Shukman on synthetic biology.The BBC Complaints process stipulates that:"You should complain within 30 working days of the incident or event." As you have waited until 17 May to send a complaint about a programme broadcast on 28 March 2012, this is so far past broadcast that we do not think there is a case for circumventing our complaints process and taking on your email as a formal complaint.

That said, it may be helpful to know that we have shown your complaint to the BBC’s science staff, who make the following observations in relation to the issues you have raised, outside of the complaints process:

This was the second of two reports by David Shukman on synthetic biology. The first included an explanation for non-scientists on how the technology works and went into some detail about the potential benefits. These included progress towards a malaria vaccine, the prospect of new crops able to cope with drought or disease and the possibility of fuel produced by algae with synthetic genes.

We do not feel that David’s report was alarmist. It simply reflected the considered views of a number of organisations. A large coalition of environmental groups — and Lloyds of London — have separately raised concerns about so-called “bio-error”, in which mistakes might allow an accidental release of material with unpredictable consequences. The UK’s leading scientific academy, the Royal Society, has also recognised that as the science develops, new forms of governance may be needed.

Nevertheless, I do appreciate you feel strongly regarding this, and as we’re guided by feedback such as yours, I’d like to assure you that I’ve registered your comments on our audience log. This is a report of audience feedback that’s compiled daily and made available to staff across the BBC, including members of the BBC Executive Board, channel controllers and other senior managers.

Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.

About Myles Power (757 Articles)
Hello Internet! My name is Myles Power and I am a chemist from the North East of England, who loves to make videos trying to counter pseudoscience and debunk quackery in all of its various forms! From the hype around GMOs through to Atrazine turning the freakin’ frogs gay, I’ll try to cut through the nonsense that’s out there!

4 Comments on BBC respond to complaint about David Shukman (BBC science editor)

  1. I am regular reader, how are you everybody? This paragraph posted at this site is
    really good.


  2. Timothy Giles // January 12, 2016 at 10:49 pm // Reply

    It is not about the above but about the utter garbage David Shukman speaks out about global warming.He makes any weather event so dramatic and mentions global warming as a reason for everything wrong with the world.It is weather evolution.There have been many floods in years gone by.I recall in the 80’s the Bbc were reporting we would be suffering drought conditions and reporting on a river that had dried up.It is regularly mentioned that sea levels are rising .Where?Nasa have recently reported that from satellite evidence that the ice cover in the artic and antartic are actually increasing.It seems the more global warming is mentioned the more people will believe it is happening.Please give a balanced report about this subject.


  3. The irony here is that David Shukman is a non scientist!


  4. Dear Mr Shukman
    Interested in your report today on the news. The ICCC made no mention of the 20 or so volcanoes belching CO2 every day nor about the best carbon capture machines nature has. Trees, capture carbon whilst there is sunlight and emits Oxygen which every living thing requires
    Kind regards
    Alan Jones


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