Scientists Cope with Personal Attacks

Nice article on livescience.

Gavin Schmidt: “You realize there is this Internet doppelganger that has your same name and your same place of work and your same publication list, but who is a monster who believes in terrible, terrible things. It isn’t anything to do with anything you’ve actually said or done.”

Yes, I start to know what he means by that.

Mike Mann: “Any icon in the climate-change debate is immediately attacked by professional climate-change deniers. So we have been in the crosshairs of deniers ever since.”

Certainly. My point in the Easter Island story. As soon as a story escapes the academy to become “iconic”, as soon as it captures the popular imagination, then and not before, it picks up dedicated opposition which is only secondarily interested in the scientific debate, but is primarily interested in muddying the public view of it.

Mike Mann again: “They’re actually working entirely against what they claim to want, which is vigorous discourse in the scientific community. They are, in fact, impeding that.” Yes. They are also impeding openness and honesty. Those few who are serious ought to reconsider the extent to which they should be treating science with such virulent contempt as an opening gambit.

I think we should all try to open climate science up, and get as many people participating as we can, at as many levels as possible. This will not reduce the demand for professionalism. It will increase it. But this openness is really the last thing the attackers seem to want.


  1. CBS News carried the Live Science article on friday, which I thought was a good thing, considering the typical MSM coverage.;contentBody

    I left a few comments there, (okay about 20) and suggest others do also. There are more eyeballs at the MSM than at these blogs, as excellent as they are.

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