Andrew Montford’s lucid account of the transformation of the UK Royal Society (here) starts with the 1753 “advertisement” to their journal, Philosophical Transactions:
…it is an established rule of the Society, to which they will always adhere, never to give their opinion as a Body upon any subject either of Nature or Art, that comes before them.”
It ends with the rueful worry of one of its fellows that an institution with such an eminent tradition has now become merely “another policy-driven quango”.
The role of recent presidents Robert May, Martin Rees and Paul Nurse comes in for special scrutiny. The latter two have been mentioned at CA on a couple of occasions. Rees acquiesced acquiesced in the University of East Anglia’s false claims that the papers examined by the Oxburgh panel had been selected by the Royal Society as representative of the issues in dispute – when in fact they were highly unrepresentative of CRU papers actually criticized at Climate Audit and had been selected by Trevor Davies of the University of East Anglia in a submission putting CRU in the best possible face.) Paul Nurse (as discussed in Montford’s paper) massively misrepresented the character and impact of FOI requests to East Anglia and has failed to respond to any requests for evidence supporting his untrue claims.
The report is written in Andrew Montford’s usual lucid style.