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attempts to prevent scientific data from being released(2,3), and even to destroy material that was subject to a freedom of information request(4).
Worse still, some of the emails suggest efforts to prevent the publication of work by climate sceptics(5,6), or to keep it out of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(7).

occurs in other controversial science branches? Would it excuse the above, even when considering "violent clash of egos, personalities, convictions and interests"?

by Nomad on Tue Nov 24th, 2009 at 10:33:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is the real question: How much bad science was going on at the CRU?

People exercising their pettiness, ire and general jerk-ness in online media is not what I, at any rate, would call an earth-shaking revelation. If there is nothing else, that part will blow over.

And if you know something is crap you would try to keep it out of a serious journal out of professional courtesy alone, so the "suppression" part is not a big deal.

But if they were doing tainted science...

How much substance do you see in these allegations?

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 24th, 2009 at 10:59:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Monbiot references all allegations with links to the contents of the emails. It's easy enough for anyone to decide for oneself how substantial these allegations are.

Personally, I note that there is significant vindication for the problems and speculations Steve McIntyre has continuously posed about major publications of these scientists.

by Nomad on Tue Nov 24th, 2009 at 06:01:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well:

  • I suppose yes. Especially the "efforts to prevent publication of opposing work" and keeping stuff out of official reports.
  • It's not a question of excusing. It happens. It is unfortunate that it happens, but it happens. If any sort of illegal activity occurred it should be punished. I'm not convinced that it's happening more so in Climate Science than in other areas, however. But we will never know because it is unlikely that many other fields of inquiry provide very strong incentives for hacking personal email accounts.

So I could ask: Do you think that standards of scientific conduct are more lax in climate science than in most other fields? Is legitimate research that runs counter to the reigning paradigm being silenced on a large scale? If not what else does this whole debacle teach us?

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue Nov 24th, 2009 at 11:33:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not exactly the type of phrase I'd pick.

I'd question if holds up to science, as it has simply not been possible to reproduce or test some of the work published by the scientists mentioned in the emails. I hold reproducibility as of the key pillars of scientific method.

Even before the emails were exposed, there was no "science". The emails simply confirm this.

by Nomad on Tue Nov 24th, 2009 at 06:04:10 PM EST
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To provide perspective, has the body of problematic findings reached even 1% of what we know happened in US Government agencies under GWB? Non-technical administrators directing scientific personnel to omit specific findings, to revise specific recommendations and to deny funding for critical investigations that might lead to the "wrong" conclusions. It must be borne in mind that that sort of intellectual climate in the USA was part of the context that led to some of the abuses found here. This is not justification but merely context. Fortunately, that seems to largely be a thing of the past in the US, for the time being.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Nov 25th, 2009 at 08:11:58 PM EST
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