Emails hacked from Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia show researchers engaged in what may be a suppression of climate skeptics.
At this point I am not well enough up to speed on the specifics of the emails to comment on whether there was any gross misconduct and if so how much. However, I am a bit troubled by the nonchalant attitude that some bloggers have taken about this.
I understand that this does happen in science and it will continue to happen. However, given the gravity of the issue at stake the intellectual community cannot simply take a “boys will be boys” attitude about this. The public must be able to trust that at a bear minimum the scientific community itself believes in its ideals. That if people are caught suppressing important evidence that they will suffer damage to their careers.
We all know that researchers come to the table with bias and prejudice. This is precisely why a quasi-adversarial system, in which the weakness of each side are exposed through open debate, is so important.
I am sure everyone believes that small trends in the data which support their conclusion are important evidence and small trends which undermine their conclusions are anomalies. However, it is precisely because self-delusion is so natural that open debate is so important.
As a note, I have questioned the economic estimates of damage from global warming in the past.