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Climategate Pty Ltd December 6, 2009

Posted by honestclimate in Discussions.
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Climategate Pty Ltd

Quadrant Online, December 2, 2009

Scientists trade their lab coats for pin stripes

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, David Penberthy reduced his belief in climate change to a simple proposition. “[W]hen it comes to the basic questions of science,” he wrote, “forgive me for sticking with the guys in the lab coats.” Whether or not this coincides with majority opinion, as he assumes, it reflects a quaint view of scientific practice.

Does Penberthy hold to the romantic image of scientists depicted in Hollywood classics like Madame Curie? Is he thinking of ascetics in white coats, toiling over test tubes in dingy laboratories, ruining their health for truth and human progress? If so, he needs to broaden his perspective. For one thing, he needs to catch up with the transformed higher education landscape of recent times.

The media’s groupthink on climate change suppresses some natural questions. What should we make of the near-unanimity of opinion among a cohort of scientists in such a complex and dynamic field? Is there more to it than consistent measurements, experimental results and interpretations?

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