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