Beamish Me Up Dicky
Dr. Dick Beamish - DFO's recently retired head of the Pacific Biological Station - is expected to be beamed back down on the witness stand this morning at the Cohen Inquiry in Vancouver. Unless that it is he has been abducted by aliens.
In yesterday's testimony, which saw his career flash before his eyes like Klingons off the starboard bow of the Star Trek ship 'The Enterprise', Dr. Beamish said: "Maybe it's aliens" before adding unbelievably: "Obviously I don't believe in aliens".
Dr. Beamish certainly doesn't believe that sea lice from salmon farms are killing wild salmon and spent his career staunchly defending the Norwegian-owned salmon farming industry. At last year's 'Sea Lice 2010' conference in Victoria, Dr. Beamish refused to answer questions on sea lice from salmon farms. This was even more incredible since Dr. Beamish was the plenary speaker in a session on 'Wild/Farmed Interactions'.
The audience in the public gallery at the Cohen Inquiry yesterday were left in no doubt which side Dr. Beamish was on when he greeted Mary-Ellen Walling, executive director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association. "My inspiration," he gushed as he hugged her like an old flame.
"This is bad science?" asked lawyer Greg McDade as he ripped apart Dr. Beamish's scientific work. Thankfully, Dr. Beamish recently called last orders on his career with the DFO. His future scientific credibility would be in jeopardy otherwise.
Dr. Beamish's work has already been heavily criticized. Back in 2004, Professor Neil Frazer famously called for Dr. Beamish to retire for peddling 'junk science' and for misleading the public "by chanting that there is no proof of disease transfer from farm fish to wild fish".
"DFO science leadership is like a guy who stops at a bar on the way home and loses the family home in a poker game," wrote Professor Frazer in a letter to Rafe Mair. "When he gets home his wife asks him why he's late, and he says that he stopped at the bar. What he says is true, but it's the least important part of the truth".
Professor Frazer continued:
"DFO science leadership deserves public ridicule. They have had every chance to do the right thing, and they have consistently not done so. When politicians use government scientists to deceive the public, the scientists are supposed to protest or resign. The education and all the professional activity of government scientists are paid for by the public, which asks only that they work on things they think are important and be as truthful as they can".
And finally he recommended back in 2004:
"Firing someone with the Order of Canada would be a national embarrassment, so Beamish should be forcibly retired as soon as possible".
Shamefully, Dr. Beamish only retired in May 2011. Now he has more time to play golf and video games like 'Willy Beamish' and gorge on farmed salmon with his "inspiration" Mary-Ellen Walling.