Telegraph columnist ‘intellectually raped’ by Royal Society scientist

James Delingpole, the champion of online climate conspiracy theorists, claims he was ‘intellectually raped’ on television on Monday night, reports Joss Garman.

James Delingpole, the champion of online climate conspiracy theorists, was ‘intellectually raped’ on television on Monday night by the new head of the prestigious Royal Society. (Reportedly Delingpole’s own words.)

In a must-watch interview for the BBC’s Horizon, the Nobel-prize winning Sir Paul Nurse gently questioned the columnist about his forthright views on climate change science, which he espouses regularly for The Spectator and The Daily Telegraph and in the regular TV and radio spots he is offered by, amongst others, the BBC.

Here’s the video clip of the interview on YouTube:

Surprisingly, the question that tripped him up was one he should surely have seen coming. Delingpole, who had just been attacking the use of consensus in science, was asked if he would submit to a consensus scientific opinion if he needed treating for cancer. Stumbling wildly, he eventually feebly tried to change the subject, saying:

“Erm, shall we talk about climategate?”

Having been (unusually) simply lost for words, later he says:

“It is not my job to sit down and read peer-reviewed papers because I simply haven’t got the time, I haven’t got the scientific expertise… I am an interpreter of interpretation.”

But he apparently does have the time to obsessively blog misleading information about climate change and smear scientists in the process.

Anyhow, perhaps the most beautiful thing about his embarrassing interview is that Sir Paul clearly didn’t try to set him up. Delingpole needed absolutely no help in making himself look stupid. Sir Paul ended his programme urging scientists to speak up. He said:

“Scientists have got to get out there… if we do not do that it will be filled by others who don’t understand the science, and who may be driven by politics and ideology.”

As Left Foot Forward has previously noted Delingpole has admitted how his obsession with climate change is driven by “ideological warfare”.

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39 Responses to “Telegraph columnist ‘intellectually raped’ by Royal Society scientist”

  1. Philip Painter

    RT @leftfootfwd: Telegraph columnist 'intellectually raped' by Royal Society scientist: http://bit.ly/htP25Q reports @JossGarman

  2. tracy mcveigh

    RT @leftfootfwd: Telegraph climate chnage denier tripped up beautifully by Royal Society scientist http://bit.ly/gHmshU

  3. Joss Garman

    RT @leftfootfwd: Telegraph columnist 'intellectually raped' by Royal Society scientist: http://bit.ly/htP25Q reports @JossGarman

  4. Letitia Smith

    This really was cringeworthy to watch! But you are right, Nurse didnt really need to do any hard questioning in his interview, Delingpole managed to look a bit silly all by himself!

  5. Alan Stringer

    RT @leftfootfwd: Telegraph columnist 'intellectually raped' by Royal Society scientist: http://bit.ly/htP25Q reports @JossGarman

  6. antonvowl

    Oh, Delingpole got made to look like a plum. http://bit.ly/fgE99g

  7. motogooroo

    RT @antonvowl: Oh, Delingpole got made to look like a plum. http://bit.ly/fgE99g

  8. Ogrizovic

    Does it all on his own. Fool RT @antonvowl Oh, Delingpole got made to look like a plum. http://bit.ly/fgE99g #climatechange #badjournalism

  9. Neil Milton

    There's little more satisfying today than watching Delingpole flounder wildly here… http://bit.ly/haFI7W

  10. David Dubost

    RT @leftfootfwd: Telegraph columnist 'intellectually raped' by Royal Society scientist: http://bit.ly/htP25Q reports @JossGarman

  11. Paul Wood

    RT @antonvowl: Oh, Delingpole got made to look like a plum. http://bit.ly/fgE99g

  12. John

    I enjoyed this very much, a right-wing journalist having his opinions shred to pieces by a scientist, and then responding with gibberish, and maintaining that his view (the one his newspaper wants to hear as it’s right) are correct. Peer to peer reviewing, by people on the internet, is certainly not the answer, as research would be meaningless. Improve basic scientific education and let people make their own decisions on the facts, not taking their opinions from journalists, who know nothing about it.

  13. Kevin Arscott

    Admits no expertise, but is certain he is right on climate… @antonvowl: Oh, Delingpole got made to look like a plum. http://t.co/xTDbkXE

  14. cllrmmills

    RT @leftfootfwd: Telegraph columnist 'intellectually raped' by Royal Society scientist: http://bit.ly/htP25Q reports @JossGarman

  15. Guppi Bola

    I can imagine that was a very enjoyable post to write 🙂 Well done Joss, was a great programme, and was great to be reminded of that!

  16. Nick Dixon

    RT @antonvowl: Oh, Delingpole got made to look like a plum. http://bit.ly/fgE99g

  17. Nick Dixon

    Impressive Nurse Destroys Enormous Cock: http://bit.ly/fgE99g (SFW)

  18. Mark Thompson

    Telegraph columnist 'intellectually raped' by Royal Society scientist – @leftfootfwd http://bit.ly/g849Mk [del.icio.us]

  19. tatarina

    RT @leftfootfwd: Telegraph columnist 'intellectually raped' by Royal Society scientist http://bit.ly/gHmshU

  20. Rhys Howell

    RT @leftfootfwd: Telegraph columnist 'intellectually raped' by Royal Society scientist: http://bit.ly/htP25Q reports @JossGarman

  21. Andy Buckley

    RT @leftfootfwd: Telegraph columnist 'intellectually raped' by Royal Society scientist: http://bit.ly/htP25Q reports @JossGarman

  22. Adam Bell

    The most amusing thing about the whole show is that Delingpole came off as looking dafter than the chap who thinks AIDS is caused by bacterial imbalances in the gut.

  23. Gregory Norminton

    The fallback strategy for extremists like Delingpole is to go from verbal assault to claiming victim status. His beloved Sarah Palin follows the same strategy whenever things turn against her – as we saw with her response to the Tucson massacre. It’s important for rationalists everywhere to understand the mindset of the antiscience crowd: a volatile mixture of narcissism, insecurity and plain, misdirected anger. Delingpole has found a niche for his very little talent, where (see his blog) he attracts people with similar hang-ups and prejudices. There will inevitably be plenty of scope for this sort of material online; but the time has come for The Telegraph to jettison its most unhinged and abusive blogger. They’ve got plenty of climate change deniers to keep the propaganda flowing. Delingpole, however, is beyond even the Barclay brothers’ pale. Or he should be, if the newspaper retained any credibility.

  24. Philip Bett

    RT @leftfootfwd: Telegraph columnist 'intellectually raped' by Royal Society scientist http://bit.ly/gHmshU – This is beautiful 🙂

  25. Cat Gee

    This is fookin' brilliant. Delingpole gets owned. (I've forgotten who posted it first, soz). http://ow.ly/3KJ8c

  26. James van Gils

    Climate change denier, James Delingpole, 'intellectually raped’ (his own words) by Royal Society scientist: http://tinyurl.com/6apxn79

  27. Robert Gordon

    Hand on heart!

    How many of your posters read the ‘peer-reviewed papers’. Surely then you will have come across numerous peer reviewed papers which challenge the coterie around the IPCC? The role of trace CO2 is well understood ,but the chaos of the climate is not. The models just don’t work.

    All your posters do is ‘interpret’to suit their political taste.

    PS The cancer cure analogy is different to the arguments about climate in that an individual must decide for himself/herself. The Christians go into the arena together, but die alone.

    Climate change (a natural, on-going physical process) is not medical science.

    The question reminds me of the standard Bundeswehr question conscientious objectors were asked at the hearings:

    Would you defend your sister if she were being raped by enemy soldiers?

    (at the time the enemy being Communist Russians, who had left a horrifying memory in the German sub-concious after 1945)

  28. Roger

    Pedants Corner: you don’t call a Sir Paul Nurse ‘Sir Nurse’ – he is ‘Sir Paul’ (or to a any good Republican “Sir” Paul or just Nurse).

    I used to only see this error from Americans (who to be fair fought a legthy war so they would no longer have to remember the nuances of our absurd ‘honours’ system) but it is becoming so common now amongst even well-educated writers that I can only conclude that people are just not reading Victorian and Edwardian novels any more…

  29. Shamik Das

    Roger, my apologies! But what a video eh?! Ex. Cell. Ent.

  30. Ben Niblett

    chuckling at this climate sceptic interview http://tinyurl.com/6apxn79 it cheered up my morning

  31. Ben Clowney

    RT @BenNiblett: chuckling at this climate sceptic interview http://tinyurl.com/6apxn79 it cheered up my morning < this is brilliant

  32. Cherie McClintock

    RT @BenNiblett: chuckling at this climate sceptic interview http://tinyurl.com/6apxn79 cheered up my morning < brilliant cc @benclowney

  33. Jamie Woolley

    @Robert: while medicine and climatology are very different areas of research, the same scientific principles are used in both, and I think that was the point Nurse was trying to make. Scientific methods are universal – you can’t accept them in one case while rejecting it in the other.

    And I have to confess I’ve not read a peer-reviewed paper in any field, but then I’m not trying to rubbish them.

  34. Onya Bags

    Telegraph columnist 'intellectually raped' by Royal Society scientist | Left Foot Forward: http://bit.ly/hxVD5A via @addthis

  35. Andrew Owen

    I find Horizon deeply disappointing of late. The incidental music used to ‘sex up’ the, frankly, banal dialogue of the programme presenters or narrators is hugely condecending and detracts from a supposedly serious science programme. They have made a true “science” of stretching 15 minutes of credible content into an hour. The BBC allowed Paul Nurse to present a virtually unchallenged one-sided view, with real credible opposition.

  36. Elephant

    Delingpole has not been attacking the use of consensus in science.

    He has been attacking the use of consensus in “climate science in particular with regard to catastrophic man-made global warming”.

    Everyone knows that “climate science” is a very immature science on an extremely complex global atmospheric, land and ocean, and planetary/solar/galaxy system that still has far too many major unknowns – the effect or Water and Clouds, for example – and therefore “consensus”, as regards catastrophic man-made global warming, has little value in this domain.

  37. Look Left – The Murdoch Menace | Left Foot Forward

    […] Joss Garman takes up the story: “Delingpole, who had just been attacking the use of consensus in science, […]

  38. Tim Holmes

    @JamesDelingpole From your performance in the video here, alas, I can only assume you mean that literally: http://bit.ly/fgE99g

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