Climate of confusion

July 28, 2016

David Petley from the University of East Anglia confuses two separate issues in his comments about open access to data (“Beware ‘nefarious’ use of open data, summit hears”, News, 11 July). The “Climategate” controversy in 2009 was about public (and possibly illegal) access to climate scientists’ “private” emails – emails that were indeed used to cast a smokescreen over climate science. However, it was also, and more fundamentally, about legitimate public access to important climate data. Here the issues were by no means as clear cut as Petley suggests. The most important lesson from Climategate, which most climate scientists and scientific institutions have subsequently taken to heart, is to make one’s data publicly available. This principle of openness does not “damage science”, however inconvenient it may be to act upon it.

Mike Hulme
Professor of climate and culture
Department of geography
King’s College London


Send to

Letters should be sent to: THE.Letters@tesglobal.com
Letters for publication in Times Higher Education should arrive by 9am Monday.
View terms and conditions.

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Analyst

Greenwich School Of Management Ltd

PhD Research Fellow in Medical Physics

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

Senior Knowledge Officer

European Association For International Education

Postdoctoral position in Atmospheric and Space Physics

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu
See all jobs

Most Commented

Doctoral study can seem like a 24-7 endeavour, but don't ignore these other opportunities, advise Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman

Matthew Brazier illustration (9 February 2017)

How do you defeat Nazis and liars? Focus on the people in earshot, says eminent Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt

Improvement, performance, rankings, success

Phil Baty sets out why the World University Rankings are here to stay – and why that's a good thing

Warwick vice-chancellor Stuart Croft on why his university reluctantly joined the ‘flawed’ teaching excellence framework

people dressed in game of thrones costume

Old Germanic languages are back in vogue, but what value are they to a modern-day graduate? Alice Durrans writes