"Malice, mischief and Machiavellian manoeuverings"

“The malice, mischief and Machiavellian manoeuvrings revealed in the illegally hacked megabytes of emails from the University of East Anglia’s prestigious Climate Research Unit, for example, offers a useful paradigm of contemporary scientific conflict. Science may be objective; scientists emphatically are not. This episode illustrates what too many universities, professional societies, and research funders have irresponsibly allowed their scientists to become. Shame on them all.

The source of that shame is a toxic mix of institutional laziness and complacency. Too many scientists in academia, industry and government are allowed to get away with concealing or withholding vital information about their data, research methodologies and results. That is unacceptable and must change. …

What is more, there are no denials around the researchers’ repeated efforts to avoid meaningful compliance with several requests under the UK Freedom of Information Act to gain access to their working methods. Indeed, researchers were asked to delete and destroy emails. Secrecy, not privacy, is at the rotten heart of this bad behavior by ostensibly good scientists.

Why should research funding institutions and taxpayers fund scientists who deliberately delay, obfuscate and deny open access to their research? Why should scientific journals publish peer-reviewed research where the submitting scientists have not made every reasonable effort to make their work – from raw data to sophisticated computer simulations – as transparent and accessible as possible? Why should responsible policymakers in America, Europe, Asia and Latin America make decisions affecting people’s health, wealth and future based on opaque and inaccessible science? …

Public interest suggests scientists and their sponsoring institutions be made as legally, financially, professionally and ethically as uncomfortable as possible about concealing and withholding relevant research information.

If the University of East Anglia had been sharing more of its data and the computer models and statistical simulations running that data, the email hack would have been much ado about nothing.

When doing important research about the potential future of the planet, scientists should have nothing to hide. Their obligation to the truth is an obligation to openness.” “Secrecy in science is a corrosive force

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