Royal Society Bemoans Freedom of Scientific Information
This is a collection of articles related to the In an interview with the Guardian by Sir Paul Nurse of the Royal Society that in connection with FOI:
I have been told of some researchers who are getting lots of requests for, among other things, all drafts of scientific papers prior to their publication in journals, with annotations, explaining why changes were made between successive versions. If it is true, it will consume a huge amount of time. And it’s intimidating
For the record, I personally have never submitted an FOI request to any UK organization. The Bishop Hill article linked below shows the depth of known claims.
Here’s the reactions:
Freedom of information laws are being misused to harass scientists and should be re-examined by the government, according to the president of the Royal Society. Nobel laureate Sir Paul Nurse told the Guardian that some climate scientists were being targeted by organised campaigns of requests for data and other research materials, aimed at intimidating them and slowing down research. He said the behaviour was turning freedom of information laws into a way to intimidate some scientists. -– Alok Jha, The Guardian, 25 May 2011
It’s rather as if the science has taken a leave of absence from the Royal Society and only the scientists remain. -–Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, 26 May 2011
The solution to Sir Paul’s problem is simple: If academics do not like the scrutiny that comes with being paid by the taxpayers, they should stop accepting public money. –Richard Tol, 26 May 2011
Bob Ward says that the intention is to trawl through scientists work and find errors. He obviously doesn’t like the idea. There is a name for the process of looking for errors in someone else’s work. It’s called science, —WardRe, 26 May 2011
Dear Climatologists: It is very simple. My taxes have been used to pay you to collect data on my behalf. If you do not feel able to allow me access to that data, I feel no need to continue paying you. What you do on your own time is yours. But what you do on my dime is mine. Simple. —Joe Sixpack, 26 May 2011
The problem with the tactic of denying information and protesting is that no-one believes it any more. So it makes the communication and sales problem worse and worse. The general public concludes that there must be something wrong or they would release it all. What this is doing, its producing ever more skepticism about AGW and climate science. You cannot get there from here. The only solution is to publish the lot, immediately. It then might be that all kinds of holes will emerge. But trying to keep it all secret is not going to work either. You cannot avoid the conclusion that climate science is really in crisis. It is destroying itself as a credible discipline by the public conduct of its most aggressive advocates. —Michel, 26 May 2011
Barack Obama has snubbed Britain’s most eminent scientists by refusing to attend a Royal Society banquet in his honour at which he was to be awarded with a prestigious medal. The US President rejected the invitation from the world-leading group of scientists and instead chose to visit a south London state school. Sources close to the state visit said members of the Royal Society were “deeply offended” by the snub and had accused Mr Obama of being obsessed with his “street cred”. –Heidi Blake, The Daily Telegraph, 26 May 2011
I want to look at what they’ve given us and examine what they’ve withheld and see why it’s been withheld. The more they stonewall, the more they’re making Richard Nixon look like a choirboy. — Robert G. Marshall, The Washington Times, 25 May 2011
I haven’t heard of any incidents in which anyone requested “drafts of scientific papers prior to their publication in journals, with annotations, explaining why changes were made between successive version”, let alone “lots of requests” of this nature to multiple scientists.
Are any readers aware of any such requests? Or is this more fantasizing by climate scientists? Like the time reversal mechanism assumed by Nature when they blamed data obstruction by climate scientists back in 2005 on FOI requests in summer 2009. –Is this a Nursery Story? Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit