Lawrence Solomon: IPCC to Scientists: Shut Up!

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on July 5th warned the scientists in its camp to avoid talking to the press. The warning came just before the Muir Russell report into the Climategate Email scandal stated that IPCC scientists needed to enter “a new world of openness” because their bunker mentality was harming the cause of science.

The July 5th letter, written by IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri to hundreds of scientists preparing the IPCC’s next mammoth report, expected to be published in 2013, stressed the importance of managing the media through the IPCC’s PR department:

“I would also like to emphasize that enhanced media interest in the work of the IPCC would probably subject you to queries about your work and the IPCC. My sincere advice would be that you keep a distance from the media and should any questions be asked about the Working Group with which you are associated, please direct such media questions to the Co-chairs of your Working Group and for any questions regarding the IPCC to the secretariat of the IPCC.”

The scientists may have trouble reconciling Pachauri’s instructions with those from Muir Russell, who stated that “Climate science is a matter of such global importance, that the highest standards of honesty, rigour and openness are needed in its conduct.”

Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post, July 16, 2010

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