The desire to crush politicians is usually the sole preserve of downtrodden, namely the common man, or plebeian, like those in high office fondly regard us as, so it's somewhat different to hear no less than a distinguished knight of the realm make noises about how politicians should be 'crushed and buried.'
Sir Paul Nurse has a bee in his bonnet and a chip on his shoulder. Politicians who do not believe in climate change wind him up. So much so he wants to see them 'crushed and buried.'
Sir Paul just happens to be the new president of the British Science Association, so in terms of climate change, his words carry a little bit of weight.
In an extraordinary outburst, Sir Paul went to town on, "Politicians live in a world where the strength of their rhetoric means much more than scientific content."
The snarling knight also promised to, "Take on the serial offenders who cherry pick scientific facts to suit their arguments."
It's pretty damning stuff, but Sir Paul is on a mission and speaking in London yesterday, he revealed his mission statement.
The Daily Mail reported that Sir Paul said:
"Today we have those who mix science up with ideology and politics, where opinion, rhetoric and tradition hold more sway than adherence to evidence and logical argument. "There have been ministers - recent past ministers - who have paid attention to some parts of science with respect to genetically modified crops and apparently not other parts with respect to climate change."Sir Paul added:
"Politicians live in a world where the strength of their rhetoric means much more than scientific content.They can't play with science - they have to listen to science and scientists. But when they are serial offenders - and there are serial offenders - they should be crushed and buried.Sir Paul has long been an outspoken critic of what he sees as the politicization of science. The winner of the Nobel Prize for Physiology in 2001, has previously criticised US politicians for their opposition to the teaching of natural selection in schools.
"I think if we cannot get politicians and lobbyists to take scientists seriously we need to take them on. And I am certainly prepared to do that. I have done in the past."
Sir Paul continued:
"Scientists should think hard about our relationship with politicians. We should not just sit on the sidelines and sneer and criticise all the time. We have to work on good relationships so that they feel ashamed to say some of the things they say."Director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Dr Benny Peiser, was quick to address Sir Paul's comments and accused the knight of the realm as using 'the language of extremism.'
The doctor said:
"If he can't live with critics and sceptics that is too bad. But there is no need to use this kind of violent and aggressive vocabulary. "Scepticism used to be a sign of science itself. When scientists cannot cope with that, and instead use this language of extremism, it is a sign of desperation, a sign they are losing the plot."