Saturday, December 14, 2013

No, Scientists Don't Just Sued for Their Data

The legal threats faced by scientists aren't usually about their data.

There was a panel at the AGU meeting titled "Facing Legal Attack: Scientists Tell Their Stories," and I wanted to bring out a comment received at my article at the YFCC&M.

John Garrett there wrote:
A scientist who is threatened by a request for his data is not a scientist.
As far as I know, no scientist has received a legal action asking for their data. The closest might be Joe Barton's request to Michael Mann, Ray Bradley, and Malcolm Hughes asking for (nearly) their entire professional life history, but it's unclear what legal authority Barton possessed.

But on the panel, Andrew Dessler offered this: he told of how he was invited to appear on Frontline after publicity from a FOIA request for his emails came from Chris Horner at the American Tradition Institute. Dessler said that after Horner saw that Dessler was on Frontine, Horner filed a second FOIA looking for emails between Dessler and Frontine.

As I replied at the YFCC&M, it is difficult to see how that those would be of any relevance whatsoever to any of Dessler’s work -- instead it looks like a pure fishing expedition.

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