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Fernhurst group stand by anti-fracking scientist

David Smythe was an advisor to West Sussex County Council, which held a fracking meeting at Pulborough earlier this year

David Smythe was an advisor to West Sussex County Council, which held a fracking meeting at Pulborough earlier this year

ANTI-FRACKING campaigners have stood by a professor who has been told to stop calling himself a chartered geologist.

Retired geologist David Smythe has been prominent in anti-fracking campaigns across the area, including at Fernhurst and Kirdford and Wisborough Green.

But the Geological Society has written to Mr Smythe to demand he stop claiming he is a chartered geologist. The University of Glasgow, where Mr Smythe worked until 1998, has also asked him not to suggest its academics share his views.

Leading Frack Free Fernhurst (FFF) campaigner Marcus Adams said: “For the record, Professor Smythe has not advised FFF, but we are aware he has in a personal capacity submitted an objection to the Fernhurst application.

“The revelations that Professor Smythe is no longer a chartered geologist seem to be a desperate attempt by the fracking industry to undermine his evidence.

“He held a senior position at Glasgow University and is one of the few independent experts on the subject, while many of the opposing view are actually sponsored or receive funding from the oil and gas industry.

“FFF believes Professor Smythe’s contribution to the debate remains valid and valuable.”

Mr Smythe said: “My work is completely independent and meticulously researched. I believe in honest meticulous science, undistorted by commercial and political pressures. The Geological Society awarded me a prestigious prize, the Lyell Fund, in 1985. I obtained the rank of chartered geologist, also awarded by the Geological Society, in 1990. The society is now by great coincidence concerned about my twice wrongly claiming the status of chartered geologist. I was astonished to learn that by ceasing to pay annual fees in 1996, it meant I was immediately thereafter deprived of chartered status.”

 

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