Scientists Don’t Like Inquisitions. Who Knew?

November 25, 2015


“Science” Committee’s Bully tactics not getting any love from the science community.
Inquisitions not popular among the intellectually curious.

Who knew?

Washington Post:

A top House lawmaker’s confrontation with government researchers over a groundbreaking climate change study is provoking a national backlash from scientists, who say his campaign represents the most serious threat Congress has posed to scientific freedom.

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, has subpoenaed scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and demanded that they turn over internal e-mails related to their research. Their findings contradicted earlier work showing that global warming had paused, and Smith, a climate change skeptic, has accused them of altering global temperature data and rushing to publish their research in the June issue of the journal Science.

So far, NOAA officials have resisted Smith’s demands, and the showdown has escalated.

On Tuesday, seven scientific organizations representing hundreds of thousands of scientists sent an unsparing letter to Smith, warning that his efforts are “establishing a practice of inquests” that will have a chilling effect.

The Post article indicates the science committee may have blinked.

A legislative aide at the Science Committee said this week that Smith is open to discussions with NOAA to resolve the conflict.

2 Responses to “Scientists Don’t Like Inquisitions. Who Knew?”

  1. Andy Lee Robinson Says:

    If Lamar pushes any further, it would hopefully go to the supreme court for them to decide, where a defeat for Lamar would be really embarrassing and bring even more attention to his stupid ideological crusade to suppress reality.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Don’t count on this bunch of Supremes to do anything but support Lamer if it should go that far.

      The whole “contempt of congress” thing is a real can of worms—-take a look at this link—shoot right to the bottom for some recent cases.

      We can hope that the explosion of outrage from the scientists and the universally bad PR will force Lamer to back off before it goes that far. The response letter that Lamer’s clever young lawyers wrote for him indicates that they are ideologically driven and can’t see the forest for the trees re: the science and methodology of the study, and since he’s too dumb to do anything but be a puppet and lets his staffers and the Kochs pull his strings, this may go on for a while.

      PS If anyone is into conspiracy theory today, you can bet that a congressman from TX that has taken a lot of oil money has hidden oil lobbyists on his office and committee staffs and among his legal advisers. In case anyone is not aware, a piece of legislation is often written by a group consisting of only a small handful of congressional staffers and several times their number of lobbyists from the special interests involved. Lobbyists in DC outnumber Congressman by about 20 to 1.

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