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Deadpan Of The Year 2021

Posted on January 05, 2021 by

We know that the 5th of January is unusually early to be giving out annual awards, but this is going to be pretty much impossible to beat, so God bless the P&J for giving us all a chuckle in these dark times.

Let’s just quickly check on that “expert”.

(We have some helpful data to hand on that last one. The new strain appeared around the end of November/beginning of December, where we’ve added the blue line.)

Hugh Pennington is a retired bacteriologist, not a virologist or an epidemiologist. In terms of COVID-19 he’s an “expert” in the same sense as Kenny Dalglish is, because Kenny Dalglish also knows a lot of stuff about a completely different subject.

But keep ’em coming, lads. If our sides do split we’ll just have to take our chances on there being any hospital beds left.

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  1. 05 01 21 11:57

    Deadpan Of The Year 2021 | speymouth

91 to “Deadpan Of The Year 2021”

  1. Taranaich says:

    “Smithers, take me home! I’m not fully defrosted!”

  2. cynicalHighlander says:

    A drip from a tap under pressure has never been more apt.

  3. BuggerLePanda says:

    I have been shouting about that “expert” for years.

    Two entirely different fields in microbiology.

    In the Gordon Brown/ Cameron days the “Home Office” had a retained list of experts to be consulted f.o.c. for safe advice by the media.

    I think Pennington could have been one of those as he was, allegedly, a Labour Party member and a unionist.

    I think he retired in 2003 or 2007.

  4. I call him Hugh Pendulum.
    P&J also is a helpful supporter, rather than reporter of Aberdeen Conservative/Red Labour/Tory Aberdeen Council.
    Looks like they don’t read their own previous ‘news’.

  5. Stuart says:

    Methinks that the P&J really need to go out of their way and speak to someone who is truly an expert, and not just a gobshite.

  6. kapelmeister says:

    He rivals John McTernan with the predictions.

  7. David Holden says:

    To be fair to Prof Shuggy he is consistent as he always seems to get it horribly wrong.

  8. Kenny says:

    Get both him and Brown on the stage at the Glasgow Empire.

    OT. I see wee Jamesy Kelly’s losing his shit again today – what the hell did you do to the wean, Stuart?
    A thought; Brown, Penn and Kelly on the stage at the Glasgow Empire:
    ‘Aw-naw – there’s 3 of them’..

  9. This reply, to my tweet defending you indy credentials, would perfectly describe Pennington
    “My arse he is.
    He showed his true colours a long, long time ago.”

  10. ScotsRenewables says:

    Brilliant, spot on. Stu doing what he does best.

  11. He is a fricken danger to the citizens of Scotland,

    i`m sure i remember he was against masks at the start of the pandemic,

    whatever Scot Gov says about Covid the BBC/MSM wheel out this charlatan to say the opposite,

    he and BBC/MSM Scotland have been apalling throughout this pandemic, more interested in attacking Scot Gov than informing and advising citizens.

  12. Ottomanboi says:

    In the physical sciences, in which knowledge constantly evolves, there is no such person as an expert, that’s just media talk for some guy they’ve collared to fill them in on a topic they know nothing about so that they can sensationalize it for public consumption.
    The iconic ‘expert’ Neil Ferguson has been in the forecasting and predictions game for decades and getting it consistently wrong. He is essentially a mathematician who fabricates models/algorithms. He is not a virologist or even strictly speaking an epidemiologist, his phd is in theoretical physics.
    He has built up a firewall of protectors among the agencies of the establishment though.
    Well in with WHO and friends too.

  13. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “OT. I see wee Jamesy Kelly’s losing his shit again today – what the hell did you do to the wean, Stuart?”

    I called him a cowardly wee cunt, because he’s a cowardly wee cunt. I see his mad diatribe today completely fails to address the reason that I did so, which I imagine is because he’s such a cowardly wee cunt.

  14. kapelmeister says:

    Pennington was or is a member of a unionist group called Scotland Matters, a group that in 2019 called for a two-thirds majority requirement for Yes in any future indyref.

  15. Milady says:

    I have to bookmark this for future reference. It is far and away the best summation of the bold Prof’s abilities ever. Put together like this it is clear that in ‘Prof Pennington Predicts’ we have a worthy successor to John McTernan.

  16. Spikethedee says:

    Maybe they just mean that he is an expert about Aberdeen…

  17. Republicofscotland says:

    As long as its an “expert” opinion from a British Nationalist, it will be seen as pertinent by them.

    The British Nationalist media still turns to Brown, and the war criminal Blair for opinions on Scottish independence. Mind you the British nationalist media gives airtime to any anti-Scottish independence mouthpiece, such as Ferrari and Neil.

  18. Breeks says:

    So the million dollar question arises… if we were playing Unionist Top Trumps, would a Professor Pennington trump a Kevin Hague Dogfood Salesman?

  19. george wood says:

    Maybe his nom de plume on here is Bipod, after all Bipod has been getting it wrong on here since the pandemic started.

  20. Douglas says:

    Shugie Pennington is as much as use as an “Expert” as Gordy Broon is as much use as a “Former PM”!! The barrel has been well and truely scraped!

  21. Bob Mack says:

    Yesterdays man. Unionist. Wrong give valid opinion.

  22. Beaker says:

    I think the word “retired” sums things up. If you are retired, particularly in a field which is constantly evolving due to ongoing research, then you are in no position to provide “expert” advice.

  23. Sharny Dubs says:

    The spirit of McGonagall lives on!!!

    A candidate for the next fringe

  24. Muscleguy says:

    I’m a Biologist, not a professor alas but I’ve sat and listened to immunologists go on at length and depth. They were supposed, like everyone else, to be giving talks intelligent non specialists like myself could understand but they ignored that. So we were all dredging up our immunology knowledge and frantically adding to it.

    So that makes me more informed about immunology than Prof Pennington. Who obviously has not bottered to inform himself about the state of the art in vaccine design. RNA vaccines have not just appeared out of the ether, they have been development, been bleeding adge stuff for a while now. Even I knew about it.

    They offer much easier, faster and more responsive vaccine development. I fully expect flu vaccines and many others to change to RNA. They may even allow vaccines against circulating cold viruses which change rapidly.

    I currently have viral meningitis. My virus is a cold virus. I’ve had a cold for 7 weeks now. The virus hiding in my cranium keeps reinfecting the rest of me. Colds are not as benign as many think.

  25. Ottomanboi says:

    Use the word expert in a sentence.
    « Gordon Brown is an expert on dealing with offshore tax havens and ways to protect the British Union »

    I think the people in this country have had enough of experts from organisations with acronyms saying that they know what is best and getting it consistently wrong…Michael Gove
    Go tell Boris!

  26. Socrates MacSporran says:

    Rev. Stuart.

    Please, leave off Pennington, Prof John Robertson has first dibs on him, regularly giving him pelters.

    You have other targets to focus on.

  27. holymacmoses says:

    Given that ‘expert’ as a noun in modern usage came into being circa 1825 as part of court procedure, it’s quite ironic that most of the blowhards on television are out and out liars

  28. Clyde says:

    There’s a few “experts” in Scotland that the english controlled media use.

    And these planted experts with their English accents, are usually based in Scottish universities and are the “go-to” experts for our Unionist media.

    Scottish universities are full of the Bastards.

    My heart sinks when I hear these so called english experts telling Scots how to run our country.

  29. McDuff says:

    This man is positively dangerous as your average Joe will take his musings as kosher.
    P&J and Pennington now look ridiculous.

  30. wulls says:

    As laughs go Pennington and the P&J are not in the same league as Jamsie 🙂 🙂 🙂
    He has seriously lost the plot and is slavering.
    I counted 7 tweets all saying basically the same thing…… “Stu campbell bad man”
    I invited him to prove you wrong……
    I wait with baited breath…….

  31. Jim Arnott says:

    Attention seeker springs to mind as well as Brit Nat.

  32. O/T

    Anyone else notice the BBC is not showing the front page of the FT on their paper review on the ‘front pages’ section of the BBC News website?

    Is that because the FT has a story on their front page showing SIX BILLION EUROS of share trading has fled London on the first day of trading of Brexit???

    You’d think that be a HUGE story in every news outlet…

  33. Frank Waring says:

    ‘The irony is’, as they say, that this time he may be right…..

  34. ahundredthidiot says:

    Looks like TalkRadio has been taken down by YT.

    It’s all about to go tonto.

    Too many people can see the magicians sleight of hand.

  35. Robert Hughes says:

    The Depressing Journal – never knowingly accurate about anything , North British purveyor of parochial propaganda for it’s Brit Nat benefactors

  36. Kevin Cargill says:

    James Kelly blocked me a while back for disagreeing with him and saying I’d go to Wings every time for the truth. He’s from the same snowflake/coward mould as Pete Wishart. As for calling someone a cunt. I’m currently suspended by Twitter for exactly that. A tinfoil hatter was trying to say Covid was a hoax, his evidence being his wife was currently in hospital for some reason and that hospital was empty. Empty wards everywhere. When challenged he refused to name the hospital or show any of the pics he’d allegedly taken. He did show a picture apparently taken by him of a masked and visored doctor taking a swab from his wife’s nose. It was clearly a grainy lift from a newspaper. His reply to many doubters was to use the old saying “If it looks like a duck” etc but with duck replaced by hoax, I in my retort changed “hoax” to “lying cunt” and literally as soon I hit the Tweet button I received a message from Twitter saying my account is temporarily suspended. It was instantaneous. No time for the tweet to have been read, let alone offended anyone or result in a complaint. Now I’ve been suspended before and just deleted the “offending” tweet to get back on. But not this time. I appealed in the grounds there was no threat of violence or threatening language. I used a swear word to describe a liar. I also pointed out that it was a bit rich to ban me for a word which might give a Victorian vicar a red face but allow a guy to continue peddling dangerous misinformation which could result in people dying. Got a reply yesterday. They’ve reviewed my appeal und my suspension is upheld. So Twitter’s policy is you’ll be suspended if you make Granny blush but it’s ok if you indirectly cause her and many more granny’s’ deaths!

  37. gus1940 says:


    There seems to be some sort of news blackout by Boris and his Lying Circus regarding proceedings at Dover.

    The metropolitan print and broadcast media deluged us with ecstatic approval propaganda when he signed his ‘wonderful’ deal that has allegedly led us into The Promised Land and were full of the alleged lack of problems at Dover on NYD which was of course a holiday.

    Is it not odd that now that we are into the 2nd back at work day there has not been so much as a peep as regards the situation at Dover?

    Who says that our media are not subject to government inspired media manipulation.

    Non reporting is every bit as bad as fake reporting.

  38. Morgatron says:

    Hes not a very nice man, but please keep wheeling him out. We do need light relief in these dark times.

  39. Watty Eyeballs says:

    This has all the plot twists of a Mission Impossible film. The final twist will be when Pennington takes of his mask and we all gasp, “McTernan!” 😀

  40. Mia says:

    “Is it not odd that now that we are into the 2nd back at work day there has not been so much as a peep as regards the situation at Dover?”

    Absolutely. And isn’t it wonderfully convenient that we have all now been fully locked down (Gove has announced that the lockdown in England may continue until March) so people are not on the roads witnessing how the trail of trucks fiasco caused by Bojo’s brexit clogs up ports and roads and overflows the rushed up and ill-designed lorry containment areas?

  41. SilverDarling says:

    I harbour no love for Hugh Pennington but he is a microbiologist and was President of the General Microbiology Society. To say he knows nothing of viruses and viral spread would be inaccurate. He has published widely on pandemics.

    He taught the introduction to microbiology to medical students at Aberdeen for many years, which includes viruses, as well as researching and lecturing on his speciality, E. Coli.

    Unfortunately his political stance has tainted an impressive legacy of work and his recent protestations, which appear to aim to undermine the Scottish Government, suggest a man out of the loop of current information who wants to remain relevant. I am sure like many retired academics he reads up and keeps abreast of new published info but he is not part of the new work and that makes a huge difference.

  42. PhilM says:

    Listen, I’m no expert but I think he’s not an expert…
    Archie McPherson knows a thing or two about football, maybe somebody should ask him about the coronavirus…

  43. James Barr Gardner says:

    Reminds me of BBC weather forecaster Michael Fish, a few hours before the Great Storm of 1987 broke, on 15 October 1987, he said during a forecast: “Earlier on today, apparently, a woman rang the BBC and said she heard there was a hurricane on the way. Well, if you’re watching, don’t worry, there isn’t!”

  44. NellG says:


    I’m fully behind ISP in terms of their objectives in holding the SNP to account but should a different name not have been considered? The Acronym ISP is also Internet Service Provider so they are well down the pages on Google which I would have thought would be essential if they intended on breaking through to the general population. I’m sure I’m not the first to have raised this.

  45. Karen says:

    This is the paper that kept posting pictures of *sunsets* over Aberdeen Bay.

  46. Sensibledave says:

    Gus 1940

    Haha! …. this is just a thought Gus… but have you considered the reason that the doom mongers have abandoned Dover … is because, to their chagrin (and yours!), there is no doom to Mong?

  47. kapelmeister says:

    Of course Pennington, a bacteriologist, must know something about epidemiology, since it is a branch of microbiology. But it’s like wheeling out a mechanical engineer to give opinions about civil engineering matters. They would know something about it but it wouldn’t be their speciality, and so couldn’t be called expert.

  48. Effijy says:

    As an old Unionist who is willing to say anything to
    Keep Scotland under England’s heel, he must be used
    as often as possible by U.K. media to fool the Scots.

    A professor must be right? right?

    What a fool you have made of him and the media but the
    BBC keep his number on speed dial.

    The professors in team Boris have been wrong so many times as say whatever
    Boris wants to hear I’d trust our Lolly Pop road crossing man before any of them.

    I’m away to encourage my children to immigrate.
    This country totally stinks of corruption.

  49. Ottomanboi says:

    Wayback there was another ‘virus’ called the millennium bug.,,196860,00.html
    Recognize the paranoid, apocalyptic symptoms? Everything will crash, die, gotta do something…
    450 billion dollars was spent worldwide dealing with a basic calendar issue…..unforeseen.
    The Great Jerk Off….today it’s called the Great Reset.

  50. Hatuey says:

    Anyone know how you would test transmissibility?

    How do we know the surge we are seeing isn’t down to weather (people spending more time indoors with one another), more relaxed attitudes towards isolating and distancing generally, and a failure of government strategy and the tier system? Add to that the impact of Christmas on behaviour and it’s hard to imagine how we could avoid a surge.

    Before the new variant appeared, Scotland for months had been experiencing an average of 30 to 50 deaths per day. That’s a remarkably dire failure of government strategy when you consider that places like Glasgow (where the vast majority of cases and deaths have been recorded) were in varying degrees of lockdown throughout those months.

    The numbers, then, since August suggest the government had a very flimsy grip on levels of transmission. With that in mind, it was inevitable that we’d see a surge when the cold weather arrived and behaviour changed (as a consequence of weather, more relaxed attitudes, and christmas).

    This new variant story is very convenient for governments and politicians that have systematically failed to control this virus since it arrived, and we have no reason to trust a word they say.

  51. Alan J says:

    To be fair to the Prof he is not a bad old stick, aside from his Unionist politics. He was at one time a virologist 1969-79 in Glasgow. Virology has moved on a bit since then, but he may have kept up his interest. I can’t help thinking that his predictions are slanted towards “SNP have got it wrong”

  52. Garavelli Princip says:

    Kevin Cargill says:

    His reply to many doubters was to use the old saying “If it looks like a duck” etc but with duck replaced by hoax, I in my retort changed “hoax” to “lying cunt” and literally as soon I hit the Tweet button I received a message from Twitter saying my account is temporarily suspended.

    Try using Lying “Canute” – we’ll all know what you mean.

  53. Boaby says:

    An emeritus professor of bacteriology? My old mammy knew more about bacteria….. stop picking yer nose son and wash your hauns, yer dinners ready.

  54. Gregor says:

    Big Tech’s industrial-scale, communist level, information/public/political mass censorship rampage, is out-of-control:

  55. Del G says:

    Is Pennington an expert in viruses? Nope. He was a big cheese in cheese. Bacteriology. Not at all the same thing.

  56. Beaker says:

    @Garavelli Princip says:
    5 January, 2021 at 1:10 pm
    “Try using Lying “Canute” – we’ll all know what you mean.”

    There’s always the fallback of “see you next Tuesday”.

    Billy Connolly destroyed a heckler in the 70s with “I don’t suppose your mouth bleeds every 28 days?”

  57. robertknight says:

    Ronald Fraser @ 11:54

    The Rev already told you to do-one.

    Why not just GTFOH of your own accord and do us all a favour.

  58. dramfineday says:

    Ha, ha, ha. Well played.

    PhilM at 12.34 as well as Football and possibly Corona Virus, we could also ask Archie about pensions, he appeared to know a lot about them in 2014.

    Anent Pennington, didn’t he recently get a question raised by Labour as to his flu jag?

    I think the green ink is getting to him.

  59. Alf Baird says:

    Clyde @ 11.54

    The last time I looked, probably less than 10% of Professors in Scotland’s universities are actually Scottish. Which gives us Scots a distinctly colonial appearance, much like our meritocratic elite in general, where the best jobs are not reserved for natives.

    This tends to explain why self-determination of ‘a people’ is the same as decolonisation, according to ‘C24’ – The United Nations Special Committee on the Situation with Regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.

    UN-C24 is where Michael Russell should have parked himself since 2014, if not before, rather than pointlessly shout towards Downing Street and our colonial ‘administrative Power’.

  60. Saffron Robe says:

    “There are liars, there are outrageous liars, and there are scientific experts.”

    Robert Giffen

    “He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lampposts – for support rather than for illumination.”

    Andrew Lang

    or to put it another way:

    “He uses figures as a drunkard uses lampposts, not to light his way but to conceal his own instability.”

    Lord Cherwell

  61. Saffron Robe says:

    Gregory Beekman says:

    “Anyone else notice the BBC is not showing the front page of the FT on their paper review on the ‘front pages’ section of the BBC News website?”

    “Is that because the FT has a story on their front page showing SIX BILLION EUROS of share trading has fled London on the first day of trading of Brexit???”

    Gregory, that’s very useful information. That occurred to me in regards to the Brexit deal. The City of London is basically premised on shifting money around and within the EU it had unfair advantages. I thought that the (London) financial sector could well collapse following Brexit whilst Johnson was focusing on fishing and trade deals. Other countries, particularly EU nations, will now look to their own for financial management, such as the Börse Frankfurt.

    And what about the UK’s national debt? It must be skyrocketing astronomically like a whizzing clock. The Brexit deal isn’t exactly going to boost the economy. The UK must be teetering on bankruptcy if it is not already so.

  62. Karmanaut says:

    Hey, don’t knock it. When it comes to analysis of a developing situation, whether it’s politics with John McTernan, or a pandemic with the professor here, it’s useful to have analysts who are reliably at one end of the bell curve.

    With McTernan, whenever he predicted that something was going to happen, you could pretty much guarantee that the opposite would happen. Yes, it was mostly obvious, but if there was ever any doubt about a political outcome, then a “Negative McTernan” confirmation would settle it.

    Similarly, with the pandemic, it looks like a “Negative Pennington” is a good indication.

  63. Garavelli Princip says:

    It has to be remembered that Pennington is NOT a scientist – he is a medic – and a long retired medic at that.

    Whatever it was that he once knew, is now old hat, and much of the relevant science concerning CoVID, particularly the immunology – a horrendously complex subject that most medics barely understand – will be way beyond his limited comprehension span. Even when he was at his limited peak in the microbial examination of patients’ faeces – say 30 years ago.

    His comments prove that he has no understanding whatsoever of viral epidemiology.

    That will not prevent him expounding ex-cathedra on all and any subject he will feel deep within his being that he has an unrivalled understanding and impeccable knowledge of. That includes the politics of the country in which he is a colonial planter.

    Sadly, he will actually believe totally that he does possess this knowledge.

    As the old saying goes: Medical consultants think they are God; Medical professors (which he once was before Noah’s sailing trip) KNOW they are God.

    It is one of the sorrows that we scientist have to bear, that however lacking our medical colleagues might be in the scientific underpinning of their practice, they will always regard themselves superior in knowledge and insight to those who DO actually understant these phenomena, and provide them with the tools of their lucrative practice.

    How do they know better than everybody else? Because they are medics and they JUST KNOW.

    Pennington is an unrivalled example of that kind of medical superiority complex. If he thinks something is so – it is so. No evidence, learning or comprehension required.

  64. Andrew F says:

    Just trying to work out this James Kelly thing.

    Are you talking about “Scot Goes Pop” and the recent post there about “Somerset Stalker Update”?

    At present there are about 39 comments published there, and the second one is by “Rev Stu” at “9:33pm”.

    His more recent post seems to suggest that this comment was simply held up in moderation.

    At present that comment is the only one there by “Rev Stu”, but from your email he published it looks to me like you are referring to comments you tried to post later than that and in response to some direct allegations about you by other commenters. Is that right? Or is this all just about that first comment?

  65. Clwyd Griffiths says:

    As Hugh Pennington has been wrong on virtually everything since the viral pandemic broke out, they might as well ask for “expert” opinion of Posh Spice or Joey Barton.

  66. robertknight says:

    Alf @ 1:28

    Swerve “Clyde” a.k.a Ronald Fraser…

    Bigoted blow-hard oxygen thief.

    The Rev binned him on the 30th but he snuck back a couple of days later sporting a new guise.

    Hopefully he’ll get the same invitation as before and BTL will be a better place for it.

  67. Dandee says:

    Clyde…Ronald Fraser.
    If their is not enough scottish “experts” in our universities..where do you propose they come from?.

  68. winifred mccartney says:

    Ah but the p&J and the bbc have to find someone who will say snp bad and not doing a good job.

  69. James Che. says:

    Hatuey, I never had time to reply to comments with regards sovereignty, treaty, claim of right, covid, so I have left it in comments three threads back,
    Self acclaimed nutter ( smiling)

  70. Roland Smith says:

    Excellent fileting of the unionist fish.

  71. Polly says:

    @ Socrates MacSporran

    ‘Prof John Robertson has first dibs on him, regularly giving him pelters’

    and he does so very well, but I feel the more pelters from all sides the better since he’s been made such a shibboleth for unionism.

    @ holymacmoses

    ‘Given that ‘expert’ as a noun in modern usage came into being circa 1825 as part of court procedure’

    Really? That’s fascinating, I’ll have to check up for I love info like that. Thanks.

  72. McDuff says:

    What % of “experts” at English universities are English. Most.
    It’s like tv or a bank or broadband or insurance all the accents are English.
    Do you think the English would stand for that if positions were reversed.

  73. Dandee says:

    Ok ..clyde

  74. Iain More says:

    At the risk of sounding racist –

  75. Iain More says:

    Cant we deport that rabid anti Scottish bigot.

  76. Robert Louis says:

    Yes, but BBC Scotland don’t use him because he is an ‘expert’ on virology, epideniology and Covid 19 (he isn’t), no, the BBC use Hugh Pennington because he is a rampant UNIONIST.

    They use Gordon (britin, britin, britin) Brown, for the same reason.

    Both talk sh*te.

  77. shug says:

    absolutely marvelous Stu

    excellent work

  78. Jomo says:

    He’s not been any more wrong than the other ‘experts’ the various UK governments are consulting. When the dust settles and the inquiries begin it’ll become clear that the various lock-downs and restrictions with all their negative long term consequences were needless, reckless and in some instances possibly even illegal.

  79. PacMan says:

    The Professor of porkie pies.

  80. Hamerdoon says:

    I’m sorry, but it is just completely uninformed to state that a microbiologist of any sub discipline knows little about virology. Completely uninformed.

  81. Hamerdoon says:

    I’m sorry, but it is just completely uninformed to state that a microbiologist of any sub discipline knows little about virology. Completely uninformed.

    He may have got his predictions incorrect, probably along with other scientists. Criticise him for that.

    He has a long history in communicable diseases and yes his expertise is in bacteriology. But to suggest he knows nothing of import about virology is totally uninformed about microbiology.

  82. Hamerdoon says:

    “Hugh Pennington is a retired bacteriologist, not a virologist .”

    Hugh Pennington worked at the world famous institute of virology on Church St, Glasgow.

    You are just way off on this one.

  83. Hamerdoon says:

    “Hugh Pennington is a retired bacteriologist, not a virologist .”

    Hugh Pennington worked at the world famous institute of virology on Church St, Glasgow.

  84. Hugh Jarse says:

    Nomenclature pick hits the bullseye.

  85. Bob Mack says:


    That was many years ago. Did he not retire around 2003 ?.

    Sars didn’t even start till 2004,therefore his experience of this virus family would be limited

  86. PacMan says:


    There’s a difference between having involvment in a field and being presented in the media as being an authority in it.

    There is also the difference of not having complete access to data to make informed opinions on something which is why the Prof is always getting it wrong.

  87. Hamerdoon says:

    Bob Mack / PacMan

    I don’t disagree at all and wouldn’t pick him as the authority for such interviews. I have no problem in criticising that aspect of how the unionist media works.

    But the overall implication, at least to me, appears to be that he doesn’t know anything about virology: as a microbiologist (which he is), such a proposition, if implied it is, would be completely uninformed, IMO. He doesn’t appear to be the only scientist who got things wrong; it’s not a black and white subject area.

    I’m not supporting him. I don’t agree with his unionism. But there is a growing anti-vaccination, anti-science (except when it suits them c.f. biological sex) element in this blog that needs to be addressed with rationale and proportionate argument.

    Outwith their own sphere, scientists aren’t normally very good at this type of confrontation because they have to explain the philosophy underpinning the scientific approach, i.e. never state anything categorically because there’s usually a possibility that further evidence could appear – and scientists don’t like getting things wrong. Put more simply: there are very few things at the fore in research which are ‘black’ and ‘white’ topics. This makes it easier for conspiracy disseminators to ‘muddy the waters’. You see it with some of the anti-vaccine arguments proffered.

    Let’s be balanced about Pennington: he was an important Microbiologist who worked in Virology and Bacteriology. You do not get to be a Professor of Microbiology and Dean of a School of Medicine without being pretty good at, and committed to what you do. Unless old age has caught up with him somewhat, he will understand COVID and how it works (old scientists don’t stop reading). He’s perfectly competent of passing general comment on COVID: general comment.

    Explaining why he got it wrong (according to the headlines) is another matter. He doesn’t appear to be alone in this, and with respect to a fast moving field, as COVID has been, additional information and knowledge acquired temporally can make previous statements look ill-informed (I’m not sure, but I think Dr Fauci had this problem too early on?).

    To be honest, I’m tired of anti-science rhetoric. I understand why he is the target, but hindsight is a great thing and science gets a lot wrong a lot of the time – it’s just not often published.

  88. Mike says:

    In fairness, I don’t think anyone expected such effective vaccines in record breaking time but when our backs are against the wall, amazing things can happen!

    Now let’s hope we get it rolled out in record speed.

  89. sharon says:

    So he’s an “expert” in a similar sense to Devi Sridhar (whose credentials include a book written with Chelsea Clinton..). He might just be trying to save us all from the biochemical bullsh*t that covid19 is.

  90. Hamerdoon says:

    COVID is not biochemical bullshit.

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