Advertisement

Climategate documents released

Data and other files connected to the work of climatologist Michael Mann have been released to a conservative think tank that sued to gain access.

By | August 26, 2011

University of Virginia, the RotundaWIKIMEDIA, URIS

The University of Virginia (UVA) released some of the documents—data, emails, and other files—pertaining to climate researcher Michael Mann on Wednesday (Aug 24th), to a lobbying group that sued for access, according to ScienceInsider.

But the American Tradition Institute (ATI), a conservative environmental lobby group, is still not satisfied, saying that UVA only released about a third of the documents requested—providing only those they were required to hand over under Virginia's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) laws.

Mann, who was faculty at UVA from 1999 to 2005, was at the center of the "Climategate" controversy, which became international news when hackers copied and published several emails from a server belonging to the University of East Anglia in 2009. Climate change deniers pounced on those messages—some of which mentioned Mann's research or were penned by Mann, now at Penn State University—citing them as evidence of a scientific conspiracy to overemphasize human's input into global warming. Last month, a Penn State investigative panel cleared Mann of any wrongdoing in the case.

ATI  had also requested and been granted access to documents that were likely to be exempt from the FOIA request under state law. Although ATI would be under a gag order restricting their ability to publicly release the exempt documents, four advocacy groups wrote an open letter to the university's president requesting that the documents be reviewed not by ATI's lawyers, but by a judge, as they stated was common practice in Virginia.

Last week, the National Science Foundation closed its investigation into Mann's alleged data manipulation and put out a memorandum exonerating him of any research misconduct, stating "There is no specific evidence that the Subject falsified or fabricated any data and no evidence that his actions amounted to research misconduct," reported The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Advertisement

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You

You

Processing...
Processing...

Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Comments

Avatar of: RobertD

RobertD

Posts: 1457

August 26, 2011

ATI is urgently seeking document access before the rising sea level destroys the data storage facility...   :)

Avatar of: Faux News

Anonymous

August 26, 2011

They couldn't possibly make up lies spuriously based on these documents.  Right? They're obviously only interested in the truth, right?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 26, 2011

ATI is urgently seeking document access before the rising sea level destroys the data storage facility...   :)

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 26, 2011

They couldn't possibly make up lies spuriously based on these documents.  Right? They're obviously only interested in the truth, right?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 26, 2011

ATI is urgently seeking document access before the rising sea level destroys the data storage facility...   :)

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 26, 2011

They couldn't possibly make up lies spuriously based on these documents.  Right? They're obviously only interested in the truth, right?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 28, 2011

Some readers of comments by conspiracy theorists, on the subject of what factors contribute to global warming, may notice something I've noticed.

Profits of industries that pollute are enormous,  It does cut into those profits a little, if those industries if they have to limit their release of such things as formaldehyde, mercury, benzene and sulfur dioxide, acids, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide into air or water ways (as applies to each).

From time to time some dishonesty turns up in lots of places.  Occasioally a judge will get caught taking a bribe, but there is little outcry that courts of law are all unnecessary.  A police officer will get convicted of beating his wife, but there will be no outcry that police are all unnecessary.  A cancer researcher will get exposed for cooking his statistics, but no outcry arises insisting that cancer is fake, and there is no such thing, and nobody should go to an oncologist.

There is no PROFIT involved in those things.

In pollution, however, profits could be enhanced if no polluter were required to reduce the amount of something into the air or water that causes illnesses, or death.

How interesting it is that in relation to pollution or global warming, even some off the cuff remark is enough to result in an outcry from industries in advertisements claiming there is no such thing as global warming, or the certain gasses in the atmosphere contribute to a hot house affect.

Recently a researcher formerly associated with no less prestigious a place than St. Jude's was exposed for fudging some figures, and was forced to retract some papers he had published.  Yet no one ranted and raved that there is no such thing as cancer in children, or that St. Jude's is a sham and should be shut down, or that scientests all over the world have conspired together to fake evidence that some cancers in children can be cured.

There is no PROFIT to be made by arguing there is no such thing as crime, and courts are all just a nuisance.  There is no PROFIT to be made from letting children die from cancer, instead of treating them.  There is no PROFIT to be made from claiming that baseball is a conspiracty, and those games are only pretenses, and all the players are just actors, playing out a script.

The is, however, PROFIT to be extended for polluters to put ads in periodicals claiming that the evidence (and there are MOUNTAINS of that evidence) indicating certain greenhouse gasses do -- no matter whether in a test tube or anywhere else -- store and retain heat in direct proportion to their increase in a given space.
There is PROFIT in lobbying congresspeople to bring pressure on agencies set up to protect people from pollutants.  There is PROFIT to be increased to the extent lobbying and campaign donations to the politicians who repeat the right propaganda and sound bites.  And, of course, there is PROFIT in the form of perks and gifts and bribes to the politicians who can persuade a following of ranters and ravers to chant
that something is a lie on grounds one researcher out of a hundred, or less, questions some of the data or its interpretation.

If anyone wonders why there are some things that scientists all over the world find evidence that cries out... the results in much screaming and hollering that all the evidence is wrong, if any is wrong, while OTHER things scientists find out are not challenged, there is one pattern that can be found in every case to explain the difference.

The profit motive, and lots of money wanting the public to believe something is a lie... when it is not a lie.    

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 28, 2011

Some readers of comments by conspiracy theorists, on the subject of what factors contribute to global warming, may notice something I've noticed.

Profits of industries that pollute are enormous,  It does cut into those profits a little, if those industries if they have to limit their release of such things as formaldehyde, mercury, benzene and sulfur dioxide, acids, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide into air or water ways (as applies to each).

From time to time some dishonesty turns up in lots of places.  Occasioally a judge will get caught taking a bribe, but there is little outcry that courts of law are all unnecessary.  A police officer will get convicted of beating his wife, but there will be no outcry that police are all unnecessary.  A cancer researcher will get exposed for cooking his statistics, but no outcry arises insisting that cancer is fake, and there is no such thing, and nobody should go to an oncologist.

There is no PROFIT involved in those things.

In pollution, however, profits could be enhanced if no polluter were required to reduce the amount of something into the air or water that causes illnesses, or death.

How interesting it is that in relation to pollution or global warming, even some off the cuff remark is enough to result in an outcry from industries in advertisements claiming there is no such thing as global warming, or the certain gasses in the atmosphere contribute to a hot house affect.

Recently a researcher formerly associated with no less prestigious a place than St. Jude's was exposed for fudging some figures, and was forced to retract some papers he had published.  Yet no one ranted and raved that there is no such thing as cancer in children, or that St. Jude's is a sham and should be shut down, or that scientests all over the world have conspired together to fake evidence that some cancers in children can be cured.

There is no PROFIT to be made by arguing there is no such thing as crime, and courts are all just a nuisance.  There is no PROFIT to be made from letting children die from cancer, instead of treating them.  There is no PROFIT to be made from claiming that baseball is a conspiracty, and those games are only pretenses, and all the players are just actors, playing out a script.

The is, however, PROFIT to be extended for polluters to put ads in periodicals claiming that the evidence (and there are MOUNTAINS of that evidence) indicating certain greenhouse gasses do -- no matter whether in a test tube or anywhere else -- store and retain heat in direct proportion to their increase in a given space.
There is PROFIT in lobbying congresspeople to bring pressure on agencies set up to protect people from pollutants.  There is PROFIT to be increased to the extent lobbying and campaign donations to the politicians who repeat the right propaganda and sound bites.  And, of course, there is PROFIT in the form of perks and gifts and bribes to the politicians who can persuade a following of ranters and ravers to chant
that something is a lie on grounds one researcher out of a hundred, or less, questions some of the data or its interpretation.

If anyone wonders why there are some things that scientists all over the world find evidence that cries out... the results in much screaming and hollering that all the evidence is wrong, if any is wrong, while OTHER things scientists find out are not challenged, there is one pattern that can be found in every case to explain the difference.

The profit motive, and lots of money wanting the public to believe something is a lie... when it is not a lie.    

Avatar of: Guest

Anonymous

August 28, 2011

Some readers of comments by conspiracy theorists, on the subject of what factors contribute to global warming, may notice something I've noticed.

Profits of industries that pollute are enormous,  It does cut into those profits a little, if those industries if they have to limit their release of such things as formaldehyde, mercury, benzene and sulfur dioxide, acids, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide into air or water ways (as applies to each).

From time to time some dishonesty turns up in lots of places.  Occasioally a judge will get caught taking a bribe, but there is little outcry that courts of law are all unnecessary.  A police officer will get convicted of beating his wife, but there will be no outcry that police are all unnecessary.  A cancer researcher will get exposed for cooking his statistics, but no outcry arises insisting that cancer is fake, and there is no such thing, and nobody should go to an oncologist.

There is no PROFIT involved in those things.

In pollution, however, profits could be enhanced if no polluter were required to reduce the amount of something into the air or water that causes illnesses, or death.

How interesting it is that in relation to pollution or global warming, even some off the cuff remark is enough to result in an outcry from industries in advertisements claiming there is no such thing as global warming, or the certain gasses in the atmosphere contribute to a hot house affect.

Recently a researcher formerly associated with no less prestigious a place than St. Jude's was exposed for fudging some figures, and was forced to retract some papers he had published.  Yet no one ranted and raved that there is no such thing as cancer in children, or that St. Jude's is a sham and should be shut down, or that scientests all over the world have conspired together to fake evidence that some cancers in children can be cured.

There is no PROFIT to be made by arguing there is no such thing as crime, and courts are all just a nuisance.  There is no PROFIT to be made from letting children die from cancer, instead of treating them.  There is no PROFIT to be made from claiming that baseball is a conspiracty, and those games are only pretenses, and all the players are just actors, playing out a script.

The is, however, PROFIT to be extended for polluters to put ads in periodicals claiming that the evidence (and there are MOUNTAINS of that evidence) indicating certain greenhouse gasses do -- no matter whether in a test tube or anywhere else -- store and retain heat in direct proportion to their increase in a given space.
There is PROFIT in lobbying congresspeople to bring pressure on agencies set up to protect people from pollutants.  There is PROFIT to be increased to the extent lobbying and campaign donations to the politicians who repeat the right propaganda and sound bites.  And, of course, there is PROFIT in the form of perks and gifts and bribes to the politicians who can persuade a following of ranters and ravers to chant
that something is a lie on grounds one researcher out of a hundred, or less, questions some of the data or its interpretation.

If anyone wonders why there are some things that scientists all over the world find evidence that cries out... the results in much screaming and hollering that all the evidence is wrong, if any is wrong, while OTHER things scientists find out are not challenged, there is one pattern that can be found in every case to explain the difference.

The profit motive, and lots of money wanting the public to believe something is a lie... when it is not a lie.    

Avatar of: Stephen Fraser

Anonymous

August 29, 2011

The "climategate" emails and their content  indicates conduct and personal principles that are not becoming of a scientist; hence I have no problem in believing in Mann-made climate change.

Avatar of: mjonesx

mjonesx

Posts: 2

August 29, 2011

Sure, and I bet you actually read it too!
 

Avatar of: mjonesx

mjonesx

Posts: 2

August 29, 2011

I've heard they are digging up Roy Cohn and his buddy to head the panel of review!

Avatar of: Guest

Anonymous

August 29, 2011

If a hundred million people were persuaded there is no such thing as a muon, while fifty scientist argued that there is such a thing, that would not establish that the scientists were wrong.  The contest would not, I would not think, be one fitting many notions of what science is, or should do.

On the other hand, if some physicists, say, were to get into a shouting match over whether there is or not there can be any such thing as a sub-particle of an atom of an element which sub-particle has no mass -- and the debate was over whether or not there could be sub-particles whose mass is so infinitesimally small by comparison to other sub-particles that the exponent of difference would cross this page entirely, that might be science by a many a definition, provided any of the debaters believed there were the slightest chance their hypothesis is, or will become, testable under some as yet unperfected technology... that would fit some definitions of "science," if not all.

Based upon advances in the sciences in, say, the past hundred years, it may be more "scientific" today to assume something as new and different as the first radio telescope, or the first electron microscope, or the fiest channeling-tunneling observation technology... it becomes increasingly less far-fetched to exercise more latitude in saying what is or is not scientific in being contemplated or hypothesized about today than in, say, a hundred years ago.

Core studies, along with innumerable other kinds of proxy studies provide veritable additive "pixels" of a picture.  Millions of dollars... hundreds of millions of dollars... go into the creation of argumentations and sound bites that question current consensuses, or posit something resembling hypotheses, which are motivated by one thing, and that one thing, only.  That thing being whatever conduces to the
maximization of profits net of costs to produce those profits.

Science -- by any definition that would fit what has been accomplished by some small minority of humans over the past millenium or two -- has something of a supportive track record to offer. 

Those with a profit motive have something of a supporting track record, too, insofar as earning money is involved.

In some ways the two have not clashed so head-on that one or the other, or both, won out or mutually deleted one another.  In many ways each has benefitted the other on the whole, and in many ways each has impeded the other.

The profit motive has become increasingly dominant over scientific objectivity over the course of this past century, the question becomes increasingly important as to whether the bulk of the human species will end up having scientific curiosity and objectivity trumped by those in power (power and wealth being able to name the trump suit) that what is called science would be reduced to obedience.

In any event, no greater harm can befall any cause (profit motive or objectivity) than for one or more of one's own team to turn out to be corrupt.

Corruption can be found wherever human ego and self-aggrandizement are a factor. And, in the affairs of humans, those factors are ubiquitous. 

Avatar of: Guest

Anonymous

August 29, 2011

The best of all solutions -- and one that most assuredly is practiced throughout research -- is that any cheating be pointed out by peers, than by those with a motive to refute what is reputable and sound.

Lest anyone forget, Bank of America raked off trillions of dollars through documented policies and acts of criminal fraud at the highest corporate levels.  Yet no politician who likes big donations to his campaign funds -- if he is in his right mind -- would fail to discourage prosecution of the Bank of America goose that lays his golden eggs.  Even the F.B.I. does not go after the CEO or other top-level principals.  The same is true of quite a few other law breakers.  And the claim of some politicians that it would be too hard to prosecute criminally is false, because sufficient documentation already exists and is public knowledge.  The F.B.I. goes after little people, far down the totem pole, from the top, where the greatest, most blatant culpability goes unmentioned in its public reports.

Other agencies, designed to protect the public from pollution, gouging of clients (credit card companies), and other greatly harmful actions and policies, are similarly handled by politicians with kid gloves.

Yet those same politicians -- spurred on by enormous campaign contributions and hundreds of millions spent on lobbying them (and providing perks both legal and illegal -- scream bloody murder if they hear of even so much as a remark off the record, in the private communications of a scientist.

As a former employee of a federal enforcement agency, I have personally heard comments made off the record that clearly (to me) represented character weakness or racial bias that, fortunately, was not representative of a fellow worker's job performance.  If you have not heard people say things that would regret having said in private, on every job, in every organization, you need a hearing aid.  It's ubiquitous.

Such things are often said as an expression of momentary idiocy, and are not necessarily indicative of what a person would say, or do, or act in accordance with, in a professional capacity.  But humans who think it will go no further than a passing remark in private, can say some really stupid things.

George Bernard Shaw may have said it best when he or one of his fictional characters said, "We all have thoughts that would shame hell."

Thank goodness all our private thoughts, and not all our unthinking little remarks or emails are not "hacked" and exposed to the world.

If every CEO of every corporation that wants to be able to pollute had his private remarks recorded, or his private communications hacked into and exposed to the world, scientists would probably come off looking like saints by comparison.  And how would this old writer know that?  Shucks, dude, I've BEEN  THERE, heard it, read it, shrugged it off for what it was:  casual, private unthought-through remarks that were not processed through the "censoring" part of the brain.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 29, 2011

The "climategate" emails and their content  indicates conduct and personal principles that are not becoming of a scientist; hence I have no problem in believing in Mann-made climate change.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 29, 2011

Sure, and I bet you actually read it too!
 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 29, 2011

I've heard they are digging up Roy Cohn and his buddy to head the panel of review!

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 29, 2011

If a hundred million people were persuaded there is no such thing as a muon, while fifty scientist argued that there is such a thing, that would not establish that the scientists were wrong.  The contest would not, I would not think, be one fitting many notions of what science is, or should do.

On the other hand, if some physicists, say, were to get into a shouting match over whether there is or not there can be any such thing as a sub-particle of an atom of an element which sub-particle has no mass -- and the debate was over whether or not there could be sub-particles whose mass is so infinitesimally small by comparison to other sub-particles that the exponent of difference would cross this page entirely, that might be science by a many a definition, provided any of the debaters believed there were the slightest chance their hypothesis is, or will become, testable under some as yet unperfected technology... that would fit some definitions of "science," if not all.

Based upon advances in the sciences in, say, the past hundred years, it may be more "scientific" today to assume something as new and different as the first radio telescope, or the first electron microscope, or the fiest channeling-tunneling observation technology... it becomes increasingly less far-fetched to exercise more latitude in saying what is or is not scientific in being contemplated or hypothesized about today than in, say, a hundred years ago.

Core studies, along with innumerable other kinds of proxy studies provide veritable additive "pixels" of a picture.  Millions of dollars... hundreds of millions of dollars... go into the creation of argumentations and sound bites that question current consensuses, or posit something resembling hypotheses, which are motivated by one thing, and that one thing, only.  That thing being whatever conduces to the
maximization of profits net of costs to produce those profits.

Science -- by any definition that would fit what has been accomplished by some small minority of humans over the past millenium or two -- has something of a supportive track record to offer. 

Those with a profit motive have something of a supporting track record, too, insofar as earning money is involved.

In some ways the two have not clashed so head-on that one or the other, or both, won out or mutually deleted one another.  In many ways each has benefitted the other on the whole, and in many ways each has impeded the other.

The profit motive has become increasingly dominant over scientific objectivity over the course of this past century, the question becomes increasingly important as to whether the bulk of the human species will end up having scientific curiosity and objectivity trumped by those in power (power and wealth being able to name the trump suit) that what is called science would be reduced to obedience.

In any event, no greater harm can befall any cause (profit motive or objectivity) than for one or more of one's own team to turn out to be corrupt.

Corruption can be found wherever human ego and self-aggrandizement are a factor. And, in the affairs of humans, those factors are ubiquitous. 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 29, 2011

The best of all solutions -- and one that most assuredly is practiced throughout research -- is that any cheating be pointed out by peers, than by those with a motive to refute what is reputable and sound.

Lest anyone forget, Bank of America raked off trillions of dollars through documented policies and acts of criminal fraud at the highest corporate levels.  Yet no politician who likes big donations to his campaign funds -- if he is in his right mind -- would fail to discourage prosecution of the Bank of America goose that lays his golden eggs.  Even the F.B.I. does not go after the CEO or other top-level principals.  The same is true of quite a few other law breakers.  And the claim of some politicians that it would be too hard to prosecute criminally is false, because sufficient documentation already exists and is public knowledge.  The F.B.I. goes after little people, far down the totem pole, from the top, where the greatest, most blatant culpability goes unmentioned in its public reports.

Other agencies, designed to protect the public from pollution, gouging of clients (credit card companies), and other greatly harmful actions and policies, are similarly handled by politicians with kid gloves.

Yet those same politicians -- spurred on by enormous campaign contributions and hundreds of millions spent on lobbying them (and providing perks both legal and illegal -- scream bloody murder if they hear of even so much as a remark off the record, in the private communications of a scientist.

As a former employee of a federal enforcement agency, I have personally heard comments made off the record that clearly (to me) represented character weakness or racial bias that, fortunately, was not representative of a fellow worker's job performance.  If you have not heard people say things that would regret having said in private, on every job, in every organization, you need a hearing aid.  It's ubiquitous.

Such things are often said as an expression of momentary idiocy, and are not necessarily indicative of what a person would say, or do, or act in accordance with, in a professional capacity.  But humans who think it will go no further than a passing remark in private, can say some really stupid things.

George Bernard Shaw may have said it best when he or one of his fictional characters said, "We all have thoughts that would shame hell."

Thank goodness all our private thoughts, and not all our unthinking little remarks or emails are not "hacked" and exposed to the world.

If every CEO of every corporation that wants to be able to pollute had his private remarks recorded, or his private communications hacked into and exposed to the world, scientists would probably come off looking like saints by comparison.  And how would this old writer know that?  Shucks, dude, I've BEEN  THERE, heard it, read it, shrugged it off for what it was:  casual, private unthought-through remarks that were not processed through the "censoring" part of the brain.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 29, 2011

The "climategate" emails and their content  indicates conduct and personal principles that are not becoming of a scientist; hence I have no problem in believing in Mann-made climate change.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 29, 2011

Sure, and I bet you actually read it too!
 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 29, 2011

I've heard they are digging up Roy Cohn and his buddy to head the panel of review!

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 29, 2011

If a hundred million people were persuaded there is no such thing as a muon, while fifty scientist argued that there is such a thing, that would not establish that the scientists were wrong.  The contest would not, I would not think, be one fitting many notions of what science is, or should do.

On the other hand, if some physicists, say, were to get into a shouting match over whether there is or not there can be any such thing as a sub-particle of an atom of an element which sub-particle has no mass -- and the debate was over whether or not there could be sub-particles whose mass is so infinitesimally small by comparison to other sub-particles that the exponent of difference would cross this page entirely, that might be science by a many a definition, provided any of the debaters believed there were the slightest chance their hypothesis is, or will become, testable under some as yet unperfected technology... that would fit some definitions of "science," if not all.

Based upon advances in the sciences in, say, the past hundred years, it may be more "scientific" today to assume something as new and different as the first radio telescope, or the first electron microscope, or the fiest channeling-tunneling observation technology... it becomes increasingly less far-fetched to exercise more latitude in saying what is or is not scientific in being contemplated or hypothesized about today than in, say, a hundred years ago.

Core studies, along with innumerable other kinds of proxy studies provide veritable additive "pixels" of a picture.  Millions of dollars... hundreds of millions of dollars... go into the creation of argumentations and sound bites that question current consensuses, or posit something resembling hypotheses, which are motivated by one thing, and that one thing, only.  That thing being whatever conduces to the
maximization of profits net of costs to produce those profits.

Science -- by any definition that would fit what has been accomplished by some small minority of humans over the past millenium or two -- has something of a supportive track record to offer. 

Those with a profit motive have something of a supporting track record, too, insofar as earning money is involved.

In some ways the two have not clashed so head-on that one or the other, or both, won out or mutually deleted one another.  In many ways each has benefitted the other on the whole, and in many ways each has impeded the other.

The profit motive has become increasingly dominant over scientific objectivity over the course of this past century, the question becomes increasingly important as to whether the bulk of the human species will end up having scientific curiosity and objectivity trumped by those in power (power and wealth being able to name the trump suit) that what is called science would be reduced to obedience.

In any event, no greater harm can befall any cause (profit motive or objectivity) than for one or more of one's own team to turn out to be corrupt.

Corruption can be found wherever human ego and self-aggrandizement are a factor. And, in the affairs of humans, those factors are ubiquitous. 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 29, 2011

The best of all solutions -- and one that most assuredly is practiced throughout research -- is that any cheating be pointed out by peers, than by those with a motive to refute what is reputable and sound.

Lest anyone forget, Bank of America raked off trillions of dollars through documented policies and acts of criminal fraud at the highest corporate levels.  Yet no politician who likes big donations to his campaign funds -- if he is in his right mind -- would fail to discourage prosecution of the Bank of America goose that lays his golden eggs.  Even the F.B.I. does not go after the CEO or other top-level principals.  The same is true of quite a few other law breakers.  And the claim of some politicians that it would be too hard to prosecute criminally is false, because sufficient documentation already exists and is public knowledge.  The F.B.I. goes after little people, far down the totem pole, from the top, where the greatest, most blatant culpability goes unmentioned in its public reports.

Other agencies, designed to protect the public from pollution, gouging of clients (credit card companies), and other greatly harmful actions and policies, are similarly handled by politicians with kid gloves.

Yet those same politicians -- spurred on by enormous campaign contributions and hundreds of millions spent on lobbying them (and providing perks both legal and illegal -- scream bloody murder if they hear of even so much as a remark off the record, in the private communications of a scientist.

As a former employee of a federal enforcement agency, I have personally heard comments made off the record that clearly (to me) represented character weakness or racial bias that, fortunately, was not representative of a fellow worker's job performance.  If you have not heard people say things that would regret having said in private, on every job, in every organization, you need a hearing aid.  It's ubiquitous.

Such things are often said as an expression of momentary idiocy, and are not necessarily indicative of what a person would say, or do, or act in accordance with, in a professional capacity.  But humans who think it will go no further than a passing remark in private, can say some really stupid things.

George Bernard Shaw may have said it best when he or one of his fictional characters said, "We all have thoughts that would shame hell."

Thank goodness all our private thoughts, and not all our unthinking little remarks or emails are not "hacked" and exposed to the world.

If every CEO of every corporation that wants to be able to pollute had his private remarks recorded, or his private communications hacked into and exposed to the world, scientists would probably come off looking like saints by comparison.  And how would this old writer know that?  Shucks, dude, I've BEEN  THERE, heard it, read it, shrugged it off for what it was:  casual, private unthought-through remarks that were not processed through the "censoring" part of the brain.

Follow The Scientist

icon-facebook icon-linkedin icon-twitter icon-vimeo icon-youtube
Advertisement

Stay Connected with The Scientist

  • icon-facebook The Scientist Magazine
  • icon-facebook The Scientist Careers
  • icon-facebook Neuroscience Research Techniques
  • icon-facebook Genetic Research Techniques
  • icon-facebook Cell Culture Techniques
  • icon-facebook Microbiology and Immunology
  • icon-facebook Cancer Research and Technology
  • icon-facebook Stem Cell and Regenerative Science
Advertisement
Advertisement