Sensenbrenner's hypocrisy and a SwiftHack science update

Posted on December 3, 2009

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Allow me to present you with two quotes from Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), one from March 2007 and one from December 2009:

[T]he Administration is allegedly curbing Federal scientists from presenting scientific findings that are at odds with its policies. Before we start screaming “McCarthyism,” we should examine how little merit these accusations actually have. (Source)

and

These e-mails betray the true thoughts and motives of many leading climate scientists. It shows a pattern that’s closer to scientific fascism than the scientific method.(Source)

The first was Sensenbrenner defending the Bush Administration from accusations (later proven) that scientists were being pressured and their work interfered with for political reasons. The second refers to the Swiftboating of CRU scientists (aka Swifthack – see here for the best roundup of links on this subject I’ve found on the Web).

Care to explain your apparent hypocrisy, Rep Sensenbrenner?

Also, two different journal publishers have publicly said that the contents of the emails are not sufficient justification to open an investigation into scientific misconduct.

The journal Nature:

The stolen e-mails have prompted queries about whether Nature will investigate some of the researchers’ own papers. One e-mail talked of displaying the data using a ‘trick’ — slang for a clever (and legitimate) technique, but a word that denialists have used to accuse the researchers of fabricating their results. It is Nature’s policy to investigate such matters if there are substantive reasons for concern, but nothing we have seen so far in the e-mails qualifies.

The American Meteorological Society (and publishers of eleven different journals):

AMS Headquarters has received several inquiries asking if the material made public following the hacking of e-mails and other files from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia has any impact on the AMS Statement on Climate Change, which was approved by the AMS Council in 2007 and represents the official position of the Society.

The AMS Statement on Climate Change continues to represent the position of the AMS….

For climate change research, the body of research in the literature is very large and the dependence on any one set of research results to the comprehensive understanding of the climate system is very, very small. Even if some of the charges of improper behavior in this particular case turn out to be true — which is not yet clearly the case — the impact on the science of climate change would be very limited.

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