18 November 2009

How Climate Scientists Talk to Each Other on Email

A very prominent climate scientist, who writes from a .gov address, sends this to my father after my father simply responded to a scientific query from another climate scientist who put the .gov guy (his colleague) on the distro list (along with a bunch of others, including me):

Please remove me from your email distribution list. I have no desire to communicate with you. Ever.

That message comes across a bit like sticking your fingers in your ears and screaming "I'M NOT LISTENING I'M NOT LISTENING". Climate science has a few remarkable human beings in it, that is for sure.

Of course, this would be just a bit of silliness, but the unnamed scientist above has a major role in international and national climate science assessments, and is undoubtedly an active peer reviewer. Do you think based on that email he is going to give my father's scientific work a fair shake? And to the extent he is representative of a broader set of individuals, climate science is a deeply troubled institution of science. Makes me glad to be a social scientist.