Nullus in Verba or why 2011 was a great year for science

It’s been a wonderful year for science. Why? Because 350 years ago a bunch of eminent thinkers in London decided to get together and form a club to “look with favour upon all forms of learning”. They called it the Royal Society and it’s still going strong today. In order to emphasise their desire for “experiments to shape out new philosophies or perfect the old” they also developed a motto: Nullus in Verba; Take Nobody’s Word For It. It reminds us that at heart all scientists are skeptics — a dirty and loaded word in certain fields but it’s a philosophy which this year has been beautifully upheld in full glare of the public eye. Read more