Posts Tagged ‘attacks on scientists’

Can Attacking Scientists Be a Political Liability?

Politicians attack scientists to score points with voters and their backers, whether it’s members of Congress attacking individual government grantees or belittling scientists whose research undermines their legislative priorities.  It got so bad that UCS put out a guide for scientists who find their work under an unusual amount of scrutiny (still a good idea to take a look before you’re in that situation).  But yesterday’s election in Virginia may showcase how these sorts of attacks can backfire, making a candidate look extreme and out of touch. Read More

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Interference in the Science of Atrazine (Again): Syngenta Tears a Page from the Tobacco Industry Playbook

In last year’s report Heads They Win, Tails We Lose, we laid out the strategies used by corporations to interfere in the development of science-based policy. We pulled from diverse examples—from ozone standards to medical devices to protection of workers from silica dust—in order to showcase the many ways corporations have interfered with the science. But it is only a rare case where a single issue encompasses these many strategies—and now Syngenta Crop Protection has done just that. Read More

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A Dangerous Approach: Lawmaker Proposes Changes to How the National Science Foundation Funds Science

The targeting of specific government grants has become old hat in Washington DC, an easy way to score cheap political points. Targets have included fruit fly research in Paris, studies of duck genitalia, and research involving shrimp on a treadmill, but in all cases, further investigation has shown that the seemingly odd projects have direct ties to real-world applications. These skirmishes have now escalated into power grabs that serve to undermine entire fields of research. Read More

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Angry Summer Down Under: Murdoch Paper Hosts Op-Ed that Attacks Scientists while Australia Sizzles

INTRO NOTE: My colleague Melanie Fitzpatrick has just come back on board here at UCS. She’s a climate scientist who originally hails from Australia. She’s traveled the world doing scientific research on the climate, including in Antarctica. We’re very happy to have her back and she’ll have her own blog up soon. In the meantime, we wanted to share her thoughts on climate change in Australia and a disturbing op-ed recently published in The Australian. Read More

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No Doubt About It: Climate Denialists Have Undermined Public Understanding of the Science

Last night, FRONTLINE premiered its new documentary, Climate of Doubt, a chilling chronicle of the decade-long-plus campaign to confuse the public and policy-makers about the reality of human-induced climate change. As the PBS press release puts it, “Climate of Doubt describes the individuals and groups behind an organized effort to attack science by undermining scientists, and to unseat politicians who say they believe there is current climate change caused by human activity.’ Read More

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New Guide for Scientists: Responding to Criticism and Personal Attacks

Scientists find themselves under scrutiny now more than ever before, and that scrutiny intensifies when their research is at the center of a public policy debate. Sometimes, this scrutiny helps educate the public and clarify what we know; at other times, this scrutiny is designed to confuse the public and policymakers. Today, UCS is releasing a guide that helps scientists deal with harassment and other unwarranted attacks on their integrity and their work. Read More

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Breaking: Climate Change Scientist Michael Mann (and Scientific Inquiry) Win in Virginia FOIA Case

Climate Scientist Michael Mann is reporting that in a ruling from the bench, Virginia Circuit Court Judge Paul F. Sheridan has affirmed the right of the University of Virginia to protect the privacy of its researchers from overly broad open records requests.  Read More

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CEI Compares Climate Scientist to a Child Molester

Competitive Enterprise Institute’s space technology and policy analyst, Rand Simberg, recently wrote a blog post in which he compared Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann to former university football coach and convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky. CEI published the post on its own blog, and the National Review decided it was appropriate to pass along. Michael Mann has rightly demanded that the National Review retract the blog post and issue a public apology.

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Speaking Up for Scientists Who Receive Death Threats

“I hope someone puts a bullet between your eyes,” reads one email to British climate scientist Phil Jones after he became the target of climate change science deniers. “Please, for Christ’s sake, kill yourself,” reads another. “Expect us at your door to say hello,” reads a third.

This is not what a scientist signs up for when he or she dedicates his or her life to the pursuit of knowledge. Read More

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Who’s the Crazy One Here?

The Heartland Institute, a leading climate denialist organization, has launched a billboard campaign in its hometown of Chicago  featuring Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, mass murderer Charles Manson, and Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. The message? They “believe” in global warming, and they’re crazy; by implication, so are you if you “believe” in it too. Read More

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