I just got this from Tom Stafford of the campaign at Idiolect. As you will know academic publisher Reed-Elsevier, who publish journals such as the Lancet, also organise the DSEI arms fayre in London, selling weapons and torture equipment to some highly dodgy states. To many people – like, er, me, and loads of other people – this has always felt rather at odds with working for the good of humanity by increasing the sum total of human knowledge about health. Even the editors of the Lancet have written to the company in the past expressing their dismay.
It seems they have backed down and are pulling out of the arms trade. As well as this email there is a story a few minutes ago on the wires manifesting eg here. Bravo and about time too.
â€œReed Elsevier announced today that it is to exit the defence
exhibitions sector. This portfolio of five shows is part of Reed
Elsevierâ€™s global Business division and represents around 0.5% of group
annual turnover. â€
An email from the CEO of RE, Crispin Davis says
“Over the last year or so it has become increasingly clear that growing
numbers of important customers and authors, particularly in the science
and medical markets, have very real concerns with our involvement in
this sector. They believe strongly that our presence here is
incompatible with the aims of the science and medical communities. I am
also very aware this is a view shared by a number of our employees. We
have listened closely to these concerns and we have concluded that the
long term interests of Reed Elsevier as a leading publisher of science,
medical, legal and business content would be best served by withdrawing
from defence exhibitions. We intend to complete the withdrawal during
the second half of 2007.”
Thanks to everyone who has worked towards this, who signed the petition
or the open letter or wrote directly to RE.
More news when this is confirmed, and I get more details