During the planning phase of last week’s transatlantic conference between the Museum of Science, Boston, and Cité des Sciences et de L’Industrie, Paris, organizers struggled over how (and whether) to address the “ClimateGate” scandal (the email accounts of researchers at the University of East Anglia were hacked and posted online; excerpts from these emails have been used by skeptics to “bolster” their denial of anthropogenic climate change).
If you’re also struggling with questions about this, these two articles might be worth reading:
This one from Nature has a good run-down of the implications:
“A fair reading of the e-mails reveals nothing to support the denialists’ conspiracy theories. In one of the more controversial exchanges, UEA scientists sharply criticized the quality of two papers that question the uniqueness of recent global warming… and vowed to keep at least the first paper out of the upcoming Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Whatever the e-mail authors may have said to one another in (supposed) privacy, however, what matters is how they acted. And the fact is that, in the end, neither they nor the IPCC suppressed anything: when the assessment report was published in 2007 it referenced and discussed both papers.”
It’s worth reading the entire article, particularly if your audience tends toward skeptical. And, if you’re interested in what IPCC Chairman Rajenda Pachauri and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had to say on the matter, check out this IPCC post from last week.