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Monday, November 25, 2002

Lord (Robert) May, The President of the Royal Society (The UK National Academy of Science) gave a talk at the Oxford Earth Summit entitled "The role and limits of science."

Quotes include: "Some of the limits to science are uncertainty." "Science is there to constrain the discourse, to make sure it is not taking place in cloud-cuckoo land, beyond that it leaves it up to democratic processes in open societies." "Our activities today rival the scale and scope of natural processes and that is truly unique in the history of life on this planet." "Small actions now are much more important, leveraged by non-linear effects, than the activities that clearer evidence will force in 50 years, but it is hard to act now in the interests of a distant future." "Consult widely, embrace dissent, engage people even if they don't come forward voluntarily who are likely to disagree with you, expose the argument and expose uncertainty."