Public understanding of science: The BA, The Royal Society and COPUS
My involvement in the public understanding of science in the UK came through a critique of claims for a genetic basis for IQ differences between races. That led to my chairmanship of the Royal Society's Committee on the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS). The main thrust of its 1985 report was directed at the need for scientists to learn how to communicate with the general public in all its guises, and to consider it a duty to do so. The formation of COPUS brought the Royal Society and the British Association for the Advancement of Science together and initiated a movement for scientific organizations to take engagement between scientists and the public seriously. © 2010 The Royal Society.