De mortuis nil nisi bonum is a Latin phrase which indicates that it is socially inappropriate to say anything negative about a (recently) deceased person. Sometimes shortened to nil nisi bonum, the phrase derives from the sentence "de mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est" and is variously translated as "Speak no ill of the dead", "Of the dead, speak no evil", "Do not/ Don't speak ill of the dead" or, strictly literally, "Of the dead, nothing unless good".There are times when social conventions need to be violated. This is one of those times.
Lynn Margulis died last Tuesday (November 22, 2011) at the age of only 73. Margulis is rightly famous for her endosymbiotic theory of the origins of mitochondria and chloroplasts. We known that she was right and she deserves credit for that part of her theory.
However, since then (about 1970) her record has not been stellar and it's only appropriate that we keep this in mind as we reflect on her contribution to science. Here's a video of Lynn Margulis "defending" science by promoting the idea that one of the buildings of the World Trade Center in New York was brought down on Sept. 11, 2001 by explosives that had been planted in the building months before.
[Hat Tip: Why Evolution Is True]