Science’s Credibility: Science under attack

'Climategate' had an impact on the credibility of science

This blog also points readers in the direction of other material that may be of interest

The BBC’s Horizon series turns to the integrity of science and why public trust in scientific theories has been eroded. Watch for yourself (UK users only).

The section when ‘climategate’  story breaker James Delingpole is interviewed is interesting and rather exposes the way that political views have infiltrated the media reporting science. James Delingpole has since complained of being ”intellectually raped” on Horizon during the interview with Nobel prize-winner Sir Paul Nurse.

The refusal to acknowledge that climate change is still agreed upon by scientific consensus, and in any other field that would be enough, highlights the entrenched views of sceptics who themselves aren’t entirely honest (Climate sceptic ‘misled Congress over funding from oil industry‘), and political motivation. The Telegraph, the paper that broke the story, is a strictly conservative paper and therefore having views similar to those of republicans in the USA (Why Republicans Deny Climate Change).

It is the public that suffers from this bias reporting that is normally reserved for political opinion and not scientific work.

Science must improve its relationship with the media to become more transparent to gain the confidence of the public and ensure that only facts are published and not interpretations of facts which invariably become muddled.


Reflection on 2010: The climate stories

So now its the new year and resolutions have already fallen by the wayside it seems like a good time to look back at what has happened over the last year.

It began with the coldest winter (Dec-Feb) here in the UK since 1978-79, while there were record high temperatures in Russia as Moscow sweltered in 38.2C heat, the warmest for 91 years, causing drought and the warmest summer on record. The year ended with floods in Queensland, Australia that are currently submerging much of the city of Brisbane.

NOAA’s map of significant events for last year (click image for large view)

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Indonesia Tsunami – News update and explanation

South-East Asia was recently the victim of yet another natural disaster in the form of a tsunami that has so far claimed the lives of at least 435 with another 100 thought to be missing.

More than 23,000 people have been displaced by the tsunami in a region where in the shadow of Mt Merapi, central Java, people are only just returning to their villages to check if homes and farms are still there following volcanic activity that killed 36 people last week.

Many homes were destroyed by waves after the 7.7 magnitude quake, which struck 20km (13 miles) under the ocean floor near the Mentawai islands. Ten villages on the islands were completely swept away by the  tsunami reported to have been between3-6 metres high.

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