The Royal Society and the integrity of Science

Lord Rees is coming under fire for his defence of 'man-made climate change' on radio 4 on 11 Mar 2010.

Martin Rees is President of the Royal Society, a body which for most of its long history has had an excellent reputation as a supporter of sound, evidence-based science.

However, Piers Corbyn, an astrophysicist with a wealth of experience in making long range weather and climate forecasts, describes Lord Rees's contribution to the radio 4 'Today' programme as a “dereliction of his duty to defend the integrity of science".

He goes on to say that Rees has surrendered to the politically-driven agenda of the UN. “Martin Rees is a great scientist but his support today of failed science over evidence-based factual observations is a betrayal of the scientific method in favour of anti-scientific dogma.”

I listened carefully to the interview, and then spent some time looking at the Royal Society website. I read their blurb on 'man-made global warming'. It gave the impression of having been written by DEFRA, or the IPCC, whose reputation is not what it was six months ago.

Here is one of the statements on the Royal Society 'Climate Change' page:

"It is certain that increased greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels and from land use change lead to a warming of climate..."


The Society's motto is "nullius in verba" which roughly translates as "take nobody's word for it".

My understanding is that the link between man made carbon dioxide and rising temperatures is not proven.

Piers Corbyn's article can be found at Lord Rees on radio 4.

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