Saturday, December 14, 2013

AGU13: "Facing Legal Attack: Scientists Tell Their Stories"

I have one last piece up at the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media, covering the Thursday panel "Facing Legal Attack: Scientists Tell Their Stories" featuring Naomi Oreskes, Jeff Ruch, Kevin Trenberth, Michael Mann, Andrew Dessler, and Ben Santer.

An excerpt:
Young scientists should expect such travails, several of them said, and realize that help is available and that there is strength in numbers. And that one’s laboratory or academic management is not always of much help.

“The most important thing you can do is talk to people who have been in the same situation,” said Naomi Oreskes, a historian of science now at Harvard University. Science magazine was threatened with a lawsuit in 2004 after publishing an article by Oreskes, and, she said, she felt threatened by extension.

“It wasn’t about me and my work personally, but it was political,” she said. “It’s about a much bigger political issue that you’re caught in the crosshairs of.”

The threat never did materialize as a lawsuit, and in the long run her career was actually strengthened, she said. She became friends with Science editor-in-chief Donald Kennedy, wrote a book that sold well, and got invitations to publish elsewhere.

“But I wouldn’t wish it on anyone,” she said of the experience.
The article is here.

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