AAAS’s Selective Outrage

by William Yeatman on July 5, 2011

in Blog

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Last week the American Society for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) board issued a statement decrying “attacks on researchers that question their personal and professional integrity.” As an example, the AAAS board cited the American Tradition Institute’s recent Freedom of Information Act request for thousands of emails from Dr. Michael Mann, creator of the disputed “hockey stick” reconstruction of historical global temperatures. Notably, the AAAS board omitted mention of a new Greenpeace report noting that all of the research funding received since 2003 by Dr. Willie Soon, a Harvard astrophysicist and climate skeptic, came from hydrocarbon industries, information that was obtained by a FOIA request. Nor did the AAAS board mention that Greenpeace filed a FOIA request for the financial records of climate skeptic Dr. Patrick Michaels.

The Science and Environmental Policy Project had an interesting take on the AAAS board’s statement in the July 2nd edition of its weekly newsletter, The Week That Was:

The AAAS board expresses laudable goals: to bring civility, transparency, and open discussion on scientific issues. The question is, will it enforce such goals on its signature publication Science? This would require a major change in editorial policy. If so, we should expect a public statement that the magazine is accepting competent articles from researchers who question the IPCC. The new policy would announce that those submitting articles must submit their data and computer source code so that other researchers can replicate the results. Any truncation of data must be carefully explained; otherwise, the article will not be published, or, if published, publicly retracted. The fawning review of the recent book by Oreskes and Conway who smeared distinguished scientists without presenting evidence would be publicly retracted with apologies. The rebuttal by Fred Singer, the only one of the scientists still alive, which was rejected due to claimed lack of space, would be published.

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