* The original quote, “Speak truth to power”, is thought to have been coined by Bayard Rustin in 1942 and referred to the role of religious groups.
Science plays an increasing role in modern society, identifying problems and then developing and testing solutions – climate change being a prime example. Individual scientists often make discoveries, but professional/scientific societies are arguably more persuasive in influencing practice and policy. The Nigerian Academy of Sciences orchestrated the country’s successful programme to contain the Ebola outbreak according to Andrew Green, writing in the Lancet. He gives further examples of successful policy interventions prompted by African Academies. The CLAHRC WM Director was reminded of the iconic advice, often attributed to Germaine Greer, “Don’t complain, organise.”
— Richard Lilford, CLAHRC WM Director
- Green J. The Origin of the Phrase “Speaking Truth to Power”. [Online].
- Wilson B, Thornton JG, Hewison J, Lilford RJ, Watt I, Braunholtz D, Robinson M. The Leeds University Maternity Audit Project. Int J Qual Health Care. 2002; 14(3): 175-81.
- Green A. African science academy initiative reflects on progress. Lancet. 2014; 384: 1836.