This is one of the main stories here at the AAAS meeting in San Diego:
SAN DIEGO—A symposium organized here at the last minute by two of the world’s most prominent scientific organizations addressed recent attacks on an increasingly beleaguered climate science community. The panel met in the uncertain aftermath of the release of e-mails stolen from prominent climate scientists and critiques of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The panel of academics was convened by National Academy of Science President Ralph Cicerone, in conjunction with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (which publishes ScienceNOW), which is holding its annual meeting here. At a time when the biggest headlines on science have been over the flaws or legitimacy of climate science, said Cicerone, recent skirmishes over climate research “have really shaken the confidence of the public in the conduct of science [overall].” He cited a number of recent polls, which show a “degradation” in the respect of the public for science in general.
A little more about the issue. One problem here is that a very well-funded political group of organizations have worked very hard to create these attacks on researchers. It is very similar to what happened with the Swift Boaters attack on Kerry. In fact, I would not doubt that some of the same people are involved.
They took a politician who was actually involved in fighting on the ground and water in Vietnam and made him look like a coward. They discredited an actual vet all for political reasons. Swiftboating is now a strong industry. Similar attacks on researchers are now in process. Simply because their science threatens the political views, and commercial interests of some people.