Paul Nurse gave the BBC's prestigious Dimbleby lecture last night, addressing science and its place in society.
I sensed that Nurse was desperately trying to keep his political side under wraps, as is only appropriate for such an occasion, but I think it's fair to say that hints of his activism crept to the surface occasionally. The presumption that the most likely solutions to global warming would come through some kind of world action and regulation of the nation state was one such, although it is fair to say that he also noted the problems of scaremongering by those with a predisposition towards world government.
I was struck also by this quote.
It is the ability to prove that something is not true which is at the centre of science. This distinguishes it from beliefs based on religion and ideology, which place much more emphasis on faith, tradition and opinion. As a scientist I have to come up with ideas that can be tested. Then I think of experiments to test the idea further. If the experiment does not support the idea then I reject it or modify it and test it again.
The contrast with the CAGW hypothesis is striking. Being able to test a hypothesis in principle seem to me to be very different to actually having tested it in fact. Global warming to me looks more like a "higher speculation" than a working hypothesis.
The full lecture is here.
The text of the lecture is here.