Obiter was pleasantly surprised to learn about Lord Neuberger’s scientific background in his address to the Royal Society in London last week.
The president of the Supreme Court said he spent four years ‘trying’ to be a chemist, ‘even rather ineptly carrying out research into semi-synthetic proteins, until I realised that such abilities as I had were suited to another discipline’.
Such is Neuberger’s passion for science (his father and younger brother were distinguished biochemists and fellows of the Royal Society), he still harbours ‘a vestige of a sentiment that practising in any discipline other than a scientific one is a second best’, he said.
But who knew Neuberger was also so knowledgeable about hip hop music?
Highlighting string theory as an example of an area where there is no right answer, he told the society: ‘From a non-scientist’s point of view, perhaps the rapper RZA had it right when he said: “People can talk about string theory, parallel realities, different dimensions, it’s still one plus one is two, baby.”’