There have been a number of recent letters to the editor regarding attempts to silence scientists. I believe the best example of these efforts is Michael Mann. For years, the prominent professor of meteorology at Penn State has had to fend off efforts by groups skeptical of climate change to discredit him.
For example, he had more than 1,000 emails to other scientists stolen by a hacker and dumped on the Internet. A free-market advocacy publication once labeled him "the Jerry Sandusky of climate science" and is defending a libel lawsuit filed by Mann because of that statement.
Mann was also targeted by Ken Cuccinelli, a politician and former attorney general of Virginia. Cuccinelli, according to The Washington Post, tried and failed to gain access to Mann's work papers to debunk his climate research. Mann once taught at the University of Virginia.
An energy lobby tried to follow up Cuccinelli"s efforts to obtain Mann's records, and the lobby eventually sued the university. The case went to the Virginia Supreme Court, which ordered the lobby to pay the university and Mann $250 in damages.
No scientist should face this type of harassment. We need scientists to be able to present their research, without fear of reprisals, especially as we debate interventions to combat climate change.
Lehigh TownshipCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun