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UK Physicists on Climategate

Intolerance, sub prime stats, wider enquiry needed

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The body representing 36,000 UK physicists has called for a wider enquiry into the Climategate affair, saying it raises issues of scientific corruption. The Institute of Physics doesn’t pull any punches in the submission, one of around 50 presented to the Commons Select Committee enquiry into the Climategate archive. The committee holds its only oral hearing later today.

The IOP says the enquiry should be broadened to examine possible "departure from objective scientific practice, for example, manipulation of the publication and peer review system or allowing pre-formed conclusions to override scientific objectivity."

It deplores the climate scientists’ "intolerance to challenge" and the "suppression of proxy results for recent decades that do not agree with contemporary instrumental temperature measurements."

The physics institute observes that "unless the disclosed emails are proved to be forgeries or adaptations, worrying implications arise for the integrity of scientific research in this field and for the credibility of the scientific method as practised in this context". More here.

The IoP’s submissions contrast with the establishment view. Quango Research Councils UK, which represents the seven Research Councils who channel much of the climate research cash, and fund East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit. The quango simply reaffirms its belief in the man-made greenhouse theory, but says it’s inappropriate to comment on the affair.

The Royal Statistical Society (est. 1834) also ducks, although it does point out the limitations of peer review and calls for putting data and models in the public domain.

The Information Commissioner from 2002 to last year Richard Thomas calls for the law to be changed and writes: "The issues arising at the University of East Anglia suggest that this should now be addressed as a heading for proactive and routine disclosure."

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