I’ve been quieter on the blog this week while in Texas–where I must say I’m impressed at both the hospitality and barbecue. But that doesn’t mean I can escape the PR mess that is “ClimateGate.” Out at a local pub last night, surrounded by cheering basketball fans and $2.25 pints, it wasn’t long before a friendly new acquaintance inquired, “So what’s all this stuff on tv about scientists and data?”
I continue to believe that despite however many editorials are published in academic journals, however many science journalists come forward playing defense, and no matter how many scientists calmly (or not so calmly) explain that this email kerfuffle probably only serves to demonstrate that scientists are people too, the damage has been done. The entire episode is an unfortunate case study of our increasingly Unscientific America–an example of how the media distorts a story, partisanship spins the details to suit a particular agenda, and scientists are ill-equipped to manage the PR fallout.
I am saddened to observe the state of broad perception of climate science, but not surprised. Further, this is not “the public’s” fault. It’s up to us in the scientific community to figure out how to stay on message. If we aren’t prepared to speak up for ourselves in a united voice about the state of the planet, others with less noble intentions will. And we won’t like the result.
Links to this Post
- Unblogged Bits for Friday, 04 December 2009 | ***Dave Does the Blog | December 4, 2009
- The Right Wins the Frame Game in “ClimateGate” | The Intersection | Discover Magazine | December 7, 2009
- The Right Wins the Frame Game in “ClimateGate” | The Intersection | U Reader | Your daily news stop station ... | December 7, 2009
- Dear Discovery Institute: I Got Your ‘Note’ | The Intersection | Discover Magazine | December 9, 2009
- Dear Discovery Institute: I Got Your ‘Note’ | The Intersection | U Reader | Your daily news stop station ... | December 9, 2009