Archive for December 28th, 2009

The Book I'm Most Anticipating For 2010

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | December 28, 2009 11:47 am

Vanessa Woods is not only one of my dearest friends, she’s also an extremely gifted writer. Currently at Duke University, she studies the cognitive development of chimpanzees and bonobos at sanctuaries in the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Next June, Vanessa’s latest book, Bonobo Handshake, will be published–and I can’t wait…

Check out this video and read the description below:

Bonobo Handshake

In 2005, Vanessa Woods accepted a marriage proposal from a man she barely knew and agreed to join him on a research trip to the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. Settling in at a bonobo sanctuary in Congo’s capital, Vanessa and her fiancé entered the world of a rare ape with whom we share 98.7% of our DNA. Vanessa soon discovered that bonobos live in a peaceful society in which females are in charge, war is nonexistent, and sex is as common and friendly as a handshake.

A fascinating memoir of hope and adventure, Bonobo Handshake traces Vanessa’s self-discovery as she finds herself falling deeply in love with her husband, the apes, and her new surroundings. Courageous and extraordinary, Almost French meets The Poisonwood Bible in this true story of revelation and transformation in a fragile corner of Africa.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Books, Conservation, Culture, Education
MORE ABOUT: vanessa woods

My Cameo in the "ClimateGate" Emails

By Chris Mooney | December 28, 2009 9:34 am

It has been brought to my attention that I am mentioned, once, in the “ClimateGate” email stash. If you go here and search for my name, you find this, an email from Tom Wigley of NCAR, who I have interviewed for various stories:

From: Tom Wigley <>
Subject: Re: [Fwd: [Fwd: FW: Press Release from The Science & Environmental Policy Project]]
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2007 17:17:14 -0700
Cc: carl mears <>, Frank Wentz <>, Tom Wigley <>, Steven Sherwood <>, John Lanzante <>, “‘Dian J. Seidel'” <>, Melissa Free <>, Karl Taylor <>, Steve Klein <>, Leopold Haimberger <>, “Thorne, Peter” <>, “‘Philip D. Jones'” <>

Dear all,

I think the scientific fraud committed by Douglass needs to
be exposed. His co-authors may be innocent bystanders, but
I doubt it.

In normal circumstances, what Douglass has done would cause
him to lose his job — a parallel is the South Korean cloning
fraud case.

I have suggested that someone like Chris Mooney should be
told about this.


In searching my emails, I was never told about this, and certainly never wrote anything about the situation, which I am not familiar with. As a journalist, though, I certainly do want to receive tips of things to write about, and I frequently do from a wide variety of folks. With only the most rare of exceptions, I never get around to writing anything; but in this case, I wasn’t even tipped.

Still, I can see why scientists concerned about global warming, and accepting of the scientific consensus, would want me to cover the topic, including its political side. By 2007 I already had a track record for exposing the misinformation campaign to mislead the public about climate change, something I continue to do today. And given that there is such a misinformation campaign–with “ClimateGate” being the latest and perhaps the most severe example–we need scientists and journalists alike striving to set the record straight.

I guess that that’s my way of saying that, as with virtually all of the “ClimateGate” emails that I have seen, the single one mentioning my name is not very surprising–especially as it regards me, who never even heard of this until now.


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