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From then until , the total number of Fellows was always between and The period did lead to some reform of internal Society statutes, such as in and The most important change there was the requirement that the Treasurer publish an annual report, along with a copy of the total income and expenditure of the Society.


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These were to be sent to Fellows at least 14 days before the general meeting, with the intent being to ensure the election of competent Officers by making it readily apparent what existing Officers were doing. This was accompanied by a full list of Fellows standing for Council positions, where previously the names had only been announced a couple of days before. As with the other reforms, this helped ensure that Fellows had a chance to vet and properly consider candidates. By , the congestion at Somerset House had increased thanks to the growing number of Fellows.

Therefore, the Library Committee asked the Council to petition Her Majesty's Government to find new facilities, with the advice being to bring all the scientific societies, such as the Linnean and Geological societies, under one roof. In August , the government announced their intention to refurbish Burlington House and move the Royal Academy and other societies there.

The Academy moved in , while other societies joined when their facilities were built. The Royal Society moved there in , taking up residence in the East Wing. One flaw was that there was not enough space for the office staff, which was then approximately eighty.

When, for example, the Society organised the British contribution to the International Geophysical Year in , additional facilities had to be found for the staff outside Burlington House. On 22 March , the first female Fellows were elected to the Royal Society.

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Rescuing Science from Politics Regulation and the Distortion of Scientific Research

This followed a statutory amendment in that read "Nothing herein contained shall render women ineligible as candidates", and was contained in Chapter 1 of Statute 1. Because of the difficulty of co-ordinating all the Fellows during the Second World War , a ballot on making the change was conducted via the post, with Fellows supporting the change and 37 opposing. The blazon for the shield in the coat of arms of the Royal Society is in a dexter corner of a shield argent our three Lions of England, and for crest a helm adorned with a crown studded with florets, surmounted by an eagle of proper colour holding in one foot a shield charged with our lions: supporters two white hounds gorged with crowns , with the motto of nullius in verba.

John Evelyn, interested in the early structure of the society, had sketched out at least six possible designs, but in August Charles II told the society that it was allowed to use the arms of England as part of its coat and the society "now resolv'd that the armes of the Society should be, a field Argent, with a canton of the armes of England; the supporters two talbots Argent ; Crest, an eagle Or holding a shield with the like armes of England, viz. The words Nullius in verba ".

This was approved by Charles, who asked Garter King of Arms to create a diploma for it, and when the second charter was signed on 22 April the arms were granted to the president, council and fellows of the society along with their successors. The helmet of the arms was not specified in the charter, but the engraver sketched out a peer's helmet on the final design, which is used. This is contrary to the heraldic rules, as a society or corporation normally has an esquire's helmet; it is thought that either the engraver was ignorant of this rule, which was not strictly adhered to until around , or that he used the peer's helmet as a compliment to Lord Brouncker , a peer and the first President of the Royal Society.

The society's motto, Nullius in verba , is Latin for "Take nobody's word for it". It was adopted to signify the fellows' determination to establish facts via experiments and comes from Horace 's Epistles , where he compares himself to a gladiator who, having retired, is free from control. The society's core members are the fellows: scientists and engineers from the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth selected based on having made "a substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science and medical science".

The rights and responsibilities of fellows also include a duty to financially contribute to the society, the right to stand for council posts and the right to elect new fellows. The society also elects royal fellows, honorary fellows and foreign members. Royal fellows are those members of the British Royal Family , representing the British monarchy 's role in promoting and supporting the society, who are recommended by the society's council and elected via postal vote. There are currently [ when? Six honorary fellows have been elected to date, including Baroness O'Neill of Bengarve.

Eight are elected each year by the society and also hold their membership for life. The appointment of fellows was first authorised in the second charter, issued on 22 April , which allowed the president and council, in the two months following the signing, to appoint as fellows any individuals they saw fit.

This saw the appointment of 94 fellows on 20 May and 4 on 22 June; these 98 are known as the "Original Fellows". After the expiration of this two-month period any appointments were to be made by the president, council and existing fellows. It was therefore necessary to secure the favour of wealthy or important individuals for the society's survival.

The society is governed by its council, which is chaired by the society's president , according to a set of statutes and standing orders.

Biomedical Research and Corporate Interests: A Question of Academic Freedom

The members of council, the president and the other officers are elected from and by its fellowship. The council is a body of 21 fellows, including the officers the president, the treasurer, two secretaries—one from the physical sciences, one from life sciences—and the foreign secretary , [56] one fellow to represent each sectional committee and seven other fellows. Members are elected annually via a postal ballot, and current standing orders mean that at least ten seats must change hands each year.

The President of the Royal Society is head of both the society and the council. The details for the presidency were set out in the second charter and initially had no limit on how long a president could serve for; under current society statute, the term is five years. The current president is Venkatraman Ramakrishnan , who took over from Paul Nurse on 30 November The Cruelty to Animals Act left the president as one of the few individuals capable of certifying that a particular experiment on an animal was justified.

In addition, the president is to act as the government's chief albeit informal advisor on scientific matters. Yet another task is that of entertaining distinguished foreign guests and scientists. The society is assisted by a number of full-time paid staff. The original charter provided for "two or more Operators of Experiments, and two or more clerks"; as the number of books in the society's collection grew, it also became necessary to employ a curator.


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  • The staff grew as the financial position of the society improved, mainly consisting of outsiders, along with a small number of scientists who were required to resign their fellowship on employment. The society has a variety of functions and activities. It publishes several reports a year, and serves as the Academy of Sciences of the United Kingdom. The premises at 6—9 Carlton House Terrace is a Grade I listed building and the current headquarters of the Royal Society, which had moved there from Burlington House in Frederick held his court there until his death in , after which it was occupied by his widow until her death in In , the then-Prince of Wales George bought the house, instructing his architect Henry Holland to completely remodel it.

    When George became King, he authorised the demolition of Carlton House, with the request that the replacement be a residential area. John Nash eventually completed a design that saw Carlton House turned into two blocks of houses, with a space in between them. Carlton House Terrace underwent a series of renovations between and November to improve and standardise the property. New waiting, exhibition and reception rooms were created in the house at No.

    The centre held its first scientific meeting on 1 June and was formally opened on 21 June The society introduced the world's first journal exclusively devoted to science in , Philosophical Transactions , and in so doing originated the peer review process now widespread in scientific journals. Its founding editor was Henry Oldenburg , the society's first secretary.

    Through Royal Society Publishing, the society publishes the following journals: [79]. Philosophical Transactions is the oldest and longest-running scientific journal in the world, having first been published in March by the first secretary of the society, Henry Oldenburg. It now publishes themed issues on specific topics and, since , [80] has been divided into two parts; A, which deals with mathematics and the physical sciences, [81] and B, which deals with the biological sciences.

    Notes and Records is the Society's journal of the history of science. Royal Society Open Science is an open access journal publishing high-quality original research across the entire range of science on the basis of objective peer-review. The Royal Society presents numerous awards, lectures and medals to recognise scientific achievement. The Croonian Lecture is still awarded on an annual basis, and is considered the most important Royal Society prize for the biological sciences. Pro 10 The vast majority of biologists and several of the largest biomedical and health organizations in the United States endorse animal testing.

    Pro 11 Some cosmetics and health care products must be tested on animals to ensure their safety. American women use an average of 12 personal care products per day, so product safety is of great importance. Pro 12 Religious traditions allow for human dominion over animals.

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    The Bible states in Genesis "And God said Pro 13 Relatively few animals are used in research, which is a small price to pay for advancing medical progress. Con 1 Animal testing is cruel and inhumane. According to Humane Society International, animals used in experiments are commonly subjected to force feeding, forced inhalation, food and water deprivation, prolonged periods of physical restraint, the infliction of burns and other wounds to study the healing process, the infliction of pain to study its effects and remedies, and "killing by carbon dioxide asphyxiation, neck-breaking, decapitation, or other means.

    Con 2 Alternative testing methods now exist that can replace the need for animals. In vitro in glass testing, such as studying cell cultures in a petri dish, can produce more relevant results than animal testing because human cells can be used. Artificial human skin, such as the commercially available products EpiDerm and ThinCert, is made from sheets of human skin cells grown in test tubes or plastic wells and can produce more useful results than testing chemicals on animal skin.

    Computer models, such as virtual reconstructions of human molecular structures, can predict the toxicity of substances without invasive experiments on animals. Con 3 Animals are very different from human beings and therefore make poor test subjects. The anatomic, metabolic, and cellular differences between animals and people make animals poor models for human beings. Con 4 Drugs that pass animal tests are not necessarily safe. The s sleeping pill thalidomide, which caused 10, babies to be born with severe deformities, was tested on animals prior to its commercial release. Con 5 Animal tests may mislead researchers into ignoring potential cures and treatments.

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    Some chemicals that are ineffective on, or harmful to, animals prove valuable when used by humans. Aspirin, for example, is dangerous for some animal species. The AWA covered , animals used for testing in fiscal year , which leaves around 25 million other animals that are not covered. These animals are especially vulnerable to mistreatment and abuse without the protection of the AWA. Con 7 Animal tests do not reliably predict results in human beings.