Scientist admits sending ‘awful’ e-mails that suppressed data on climate change

March 2nd, 2010 - 5:48 pm ICT by ANI  

London, March 2 (ANI): Reports indicate that Professor Phil Jones, a climate scientist, has admitted that he had “written some very awful e-mails”, that attempted to suppress crucial data on climate change.

The Institute of Physics said that e-mails sent by Professor Jones, head of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, had broken “honourable scientific traditions” about disclosing raw data and methods and allowing them to be checked by critics.

According to a report in The Times, Professor Jones admitted to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee that he had “written some very awful e-mails”, including one in which he rejected a request for information on the ground that the person receiving it might criticize his work.

In a written submission to the committee, the institute said that, assuming the e-mails were genuine, “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”.

The e-mails contained “prima facie evidence of determined and co-ordinated refusals to comply with honourable scientific traditions and freedom of information law”, it added.

The institute said that it was concerned by suggestions in the e-mails that Professor Jones and other scientists had worked together to prevent alternative views on global warming from being published.

“The e-mails illustrate the possibility of networks of like-minded researchers effectively excluding newcomers,” it said.

The institute said that doubts about the veracity of climate science could be overcome if scientists were required to make all their data “electronically accessible for all at the time of publication (of their reports)”.

Professor Jones stood down from his post during an independent inquiry into allegations that he manipulated data and attempted to evade legitimate requests for data under the Freedom of Information Act.

The committee did not ask him about several of the most damaging e-mails he had sent, including one in which he asked a colleague to delete information that had been requested.

The committee had been asked not to press him too closely because he was close to a nervous breakdown.

Professor Jones denied that he had tried to prevent alternative views being published by influencing the process of peer review under which scientific papers are scrutinized. (ANI)

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