Lord Rees , the President of The Royal Society, has taken issue with my Wall Street Journal article last criticizing the Society's attempt to defund critics of its climate policy. Here it is. His reply follows.
......Nullius In Verba
By RUSSELL SEITZ
In 1663, a group of savants formed a London club to discuss "useful knowledge." John Milton's "Areopagitica" was very much on the minds of those early scientists, for it warned that Puritan control of the press could turn into state control of thought. Dissent could get you killed in Restoration England, at sword's point if gentlemen took umbrage, or on the gallows if it traduced royal policy or Holy Writ. So they were mighty relieved when King Charles II agreed to join them, for, with such a patron, the Fellows of the Royal Society (including Oliver Cromwell's brother in law ) would not fear for their necks or purses when speaking truth to power or questioning authority -- until now.