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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    A government anti-drugs campaign featuring an image of a "crazy chemist" dishing out harmful substances has been criticised by scientists.

    The Royal Society of Chemistry said the posters, warning students about the dangers of legal highs, use a "lazy stereotype of the chemist as unhinged scientist".

    It has called for them to be withdrawn.

    The Home Office said its character was clearly fictional and resonated well with young people.

    It added that it made the point that these drugs were being developed by unscrupulous dealers using dangerous chemicals.

    But the Home Office says on its website that the posters and postcards being distributed around universities feature "an eye-catching and menacing scientist" to convey the unscrupulous nature of people who create and sell such substances.

    The RSC's director of science and education, Jim Riley, said it was totally irresponsible that the government had decided to use such an image for its important campaign.

    "Chemists in the UK and elsewhere invest significant amounts of time to use chemistry to solve health-related issue and, consequently, improving people's lives," he added.

    "Rather than reinforcing unhelpful stereotypes, the government needs to be sending a clear message that we need chemists because they are able to offer positive solutions to the issues facing our society, not contributing to them.

    "The people dealing in legal highs in towns and cities are not chemists and should not be referred to as such."

    'Legal but dangerous'
    He said that his organisation would have been happy to have given its advice on how best to tackle this issue.

    Launching the campaign, minister for crime prevention James Brokenshire said: "The legal highs market is changing. Unscrupulous drug dealers constantly try to get around the law by peddling chemicals, which are often harmful, to young people.

    "Through this campaign we want to send a clear message to anyone tempted to try a new drug, that just because something is advertised as 'legal' does not mean it is safe and it may already be banned.

    "There is increasing evidence that substances sold as 'legal highs' often contain harmful illegal drugs."

    16 September 2010


  1. godztear
    They should have made the Chemist in the picture Chinese. That would have really put another nail in the coffin.

    I don't see what the Royal Science of Chemistry is so upset about really. It's just a poster and it's not like it says "Death to Chemists!" On the contrary the message is quite clear that most of the "legal high" substances are not tested for human consumption by any practical standards.
  2. corvardus
    Perhaps it is the trend of university recruitment to pure chemistry courses that they are referring to, which I believe has been under decline for a number of years now especially in favour for pharmaceutical sciences and the like, if students decide to go for sciences at all.

    I believe the RSC membership is aging somewhat and it might be their belief that they need to have some good PR in order to maintain current recruitment levels rather than assassinate them even more.

    Not to mention the ongoing sowing the seeds of mistrust that Government has been performing towards science and scientists for a while now. David Nutt anyone?
  3. MrG
    I've noticed that they've removed this evil looking man and his nonsense from the 'TalktoFrank' website.

    Previously they used it to make the most absurd statements. On the 'Crazy Chemist's' GBL section, they said it was 'prepared in a lab' and gave, get this, an 'artificial high'!

    I'm not sure how BASF would feel about being called 'Crazy Chemists' and I sure as hell know that there's no such thing as an 'artificial' high. You're either high or you're not.
  4. enquirewithin
    Talking of Chinese anti-drug propaganda-- it's very primitive.

    This is a typical poster:

    They are still on "Just say no" in Hong Kong. Too silly to comment on much. Another poster has a picture of a filthy toilet and says "Taking drugs is eating dirt!". What can anyone say?
  5. corvardus
    Have you noted their latest poll

    Difficult to find but I was searching what it had to say about "Poppers" and the poll at the side said:

    "Do you think if a drug is legal, it's likely to be safe?"

    Yes - 24.01%
    No - 75.99%
    Don't know - 0.00%
    62362 responses

    LOL. That is pretty much testament to how behind the times those in power truly are. The vast majority know that legal highs are safe... safe in the respect of being prosecuted. They have no delusions that these drugs can and sometimes are dangerous.
  6. erineseye
    why cant they just legalize them all, let people who wanna take them, do so, same as alcoholics and their drinking, let the shops sell drugs in normal trading hours, let tax be charged and maybe the recession will come to end a bit quicker.
    if people wanna take them then they will. these people who rally "harmful to young people" are those who have never put a fag in their mouth. young people are not stupid, they know what they are taking and they know there are unknown risks involves, exactly the same for someone buying coke of some back alley dealer that they've never used, trust is hardly in the equation.
    free speech, freedom to do what you want with your own body who is anyone to tell anyone what they can and cant out into their bodies..
    far too much time and resources spent on this clamp down on legal highs, what about the job losses, unemployment hike, rising government spending, drug dealers selling known ILLEGAL drugs, robberies, murders, rapes the list is endless. how much government time has been spend on these topics in comparison? i would love to see a nice breakdown on that!
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