... NAS - The National Association of Scholars :: Articles and Archives What’s Going on Behind the Curtain? Climategate 2.0 and Scientific Integrity H. Sterling Burnett.
While all of these e-mails paint a troubling betrayal of the scientific method, the last two are particularly troubling to me. The pursuit of knowledge through science can’t proceed if scientists refuse to share data and methods. In defense of their refusal to share data, suppress its release or even destroy it, climate scientists have claimed that because those asking for the data are skeptics, they will only use the data to try and undermine their results. So what? Either the data and methods stand up to scrutiny and the results are robust or they are not. Either way, the skeptics have done the world a service. If the skeptics’ attempts to recreate the results end up confirming the results, then the findings are on more solid ground and the public can lend the work greater credence. If, on the other hand, skeptics do find flaws in the data, methods or results, then from the point of view of knowledge, the world is still better off. Rather than continuing down a blind path, or worse, making policy based on flawed research, scientists can reassess where the original research went wrong and determine if it can be corrected or if an entirely new hypothesis, or research methodology, is called for.