Community guidelines

The Royal Society provides a number of opportunities for people to discuss content that we publish. We expect participants to abide by these guidelines.

Our aim is to ensure this website and are social media accounts are inclusive and safe and that discussions are constructive and polite.

Moderation rules
We ask that all comments be brief, polite, on subject and legally sound.

We welcome debate and dissent, but personal attacks (on authors, other users or any individual), persistent trolling and mindless abuse will not be tolerated.

We acknowledge criticism of the content we publish, but will not allow persistent misrepresentation of anyone, including the Royal Society, our Fellows or our staff to be published on our website.

We try to respond to some of the comments and questions but we are unable to respond to all of them.

We will use the following guidelines to determine whether a comment should be published. We will not publish comments which:

  • Are considered likely to disrupt, provoke, attack or offend others
  • Are racist, sexist, homophobic, sexually explicit, abusive or otherwise objectionable
  • Contain swear words or other language likely to offend
  • Break the law or condone or encourage unlawful activity. This includes breach of copyright, libel, defamation and contempt of court.
  • Advertise products or services for profit or gain
  • Are seen to impersonate someone else
  • Include contact details such as phone numbers, postal or email addresses
  • Are written in anything other than English
  • Describe or encourage activities which could endanger the safety or well-being of others
  • Are considered to be "spam", that is posts containing the same, or similar, content posted multiple times
  • Are considered to be off-topic for the discussion
  • Are inflammatory or written with the intention of disrupting the conversation

On our blogs we operate a policy of pre-moderation and on other services we moderate comments once they have been published. We reserve the right to refuse publication or remove a comment based on any of the above criteria.

We try to moderate content within a 24 hour period during the working week. Comments added over the weekend or bank holidays will be moderated on the first subsequent working day.

Please note that the Society’s decision about whether a comment should be published is final. In most cases we are unable to enter into discussions about why a comment has been refused.

Participants who seriously, persistently or wilfully ignore the community guidelines or terms and conditions will have their posting privileges withdrawn.

Please remember that by using the Royal Society website community features you also agree to our terms of service.

If you have suggestions or questions about any aspect of community participation on the Royal Society website, you can contact 'website queries'.

Our mission

To recognise, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity.

Our priorities

  • Promoting science and its benefits
  • Recognising excellence in science
  • Supporting outstanding science
  • Providing scientific advice for policy
  • Fostering international and global cooperation
  • Education and public engagement