The Royal Society & the Scottish Referendum

Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

Why did a scientific organization issue a statement about the Scottish independence vote?

royal_soc_scottish_ref click for source

The Royal Society, the world’s oldest scientific academy, is supposed to be about science. When one of its officials gets quoted, we naively imagine that Science – with a capital “S” – has spoken.

But the past few presidents of the Royal Society have demonstrated little ability to erect a firewall between their own personal views and precise, scrupulous science.

I can image no better illustration of this than the fact that Paul Nurse, its current president, thought it appropriate, prudent, and wise to issue a public statement in the wake of last week’s referendum on Scottish independence.

What was this man thinking? Why would he go near that nakedly political topic with a ten-foot pole?


Again and again in the climate debate, we’re told that prestigious organizations such as the…

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