SCIENCE is, above all, about being open-minded – which crucially includes being open to the possibility that the currently fashionable scientific ‘wisdom’ is at best incomplete, and in some cases just plain wrong. So the notion of ‘the facts’ to which Angela Topham refers in her recent letter (‘Must have facts’, SNJ, May 27) isn’t nearly as straightforward as she seems to assume.

Ms Topham criticises Karin Jarman’s earlier letter on the coronavirus, seeming certain that she has possession of ‘the truth’ on the C-virus, and that anyone who dares to deviate from this ‘truth’ is, ipso facto, the purveyor of fake news and ‘nonsense’ (her derisory term).

Personally, what I find even more scary than so-called ‘fake news’ is the arrogance of a totalitarian scientific worldview that wishes to silence any perspective that doesn’t fit in with its current ‘regime of truth’. For such an attitude is antithetical to, and a grave threat to, the free society most of us hold so dear - and also, ironically, it’s about as unscientific as one can get.

The SNJ team once again deserves our thanks for allowing different viewpoints to be expressed, and not to kowtow to the fashionable political correctness that currently prevails. It is part of a healthy cultural life that diverging viewpoints are heard and published – including those of Angela Topham – so long as they are offered respectfully and sincerely. Heaven forbid that our local, diversity-loving newspaper start censoring thoughtful or provocative contributions from its readers.

Dr Richard House