Thursday, December 3, 2009


Timid Scholars

Judith Curry in the National Journal tells how she is finding out that academics are cowardly:

Curry: Somebody who was named in those e-mails e-mailed me and was rather upset about my lack of support and my speaking about this. Out in the blogosphere, a lot of people picked up my message and seem to like it. But in terms of the people that I would see at conferences, they have not spoken out publicly and I've received only a few e-mails. I'm getting e-mails from people with Ph.D.s in chemistry or physics saying, "Thank you for what you're doing, can you come give a talk at my professional society meeting?" So I'm getting favorable feedback from serious people in other branches of science who are interested in the climate issue and see too much politics in the science.

My issue is that everybody [in the climate science branch] wants to fly below the radar screen on this because it is a hot potato. Most of the scientists out there are busy in the retreat-to-the-Ivory-Tower mode, and they don't pay much attention to the public discussion on this topic.... People don't want to be distracted from their research by a lot of noise, and they don't want to be put in a position where their personal or scientific integrity will be attacked.

Nobody [in the climate-science sector] wants to talk about this. When I put my essay out on, I thought I would be one of 500 people out there making statements, but oops, I'm out there by myself.

Scientists want to avoid publicly criticizing other individual scientists, [and] I have my own position about who did something wrong here, but I want to give them the chance to defend themselves and let the investigation proceed.


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