Institute denies censoring 'global cooling' article

August 13, 2009

A physicist claims she has been "censored" by her learned society after it refused to publish an article questioning global warming that she submitted to a branch newsletter.

Terri Jackson, a former lecturer at Belfast Metropolitan College, has been a member of the Institute of Physics for 30 years and founded its High Energy Physics Group.

In April, she approached the London and South East branch with the offer of an article on "global cooling" for its local newsletter.

She received a positive response from the editor, who commissioned a piece that would "include solid scientific facts and proof" for the autumn issue of the newsletter.

But when she submitted the article, titled "Global cooling has arrived, global warming is dead" last month, she was told it would not be published owing to space constraints.

"It is a flimsy excuse ... they commissioned it about three months previously," Ms Jackson said. She believed the "real reason" for the change of heart was because the article "questioned the whole basis of global warming".

It was "censorship of the worst kind", she said. "It is scientific suppression."

The article, an earlier version of which was published in the Belfast Telegraph newspaper in May, argues the Earth has now "entered a period of global cooling", citing what it says is "overwhelming ... evidence" from various bodies.

In a statement, Beth Taylor, director of communications and external relations at the IoP, says that the institute is not in the business of either "censoring articles" or "publishing them without any proper validation or peer review".

"The right place to publish an article on this kind of topic would not be in a branch newsletter, which is really intended to report branch meetings, outreach activities and other regional events, but in a scientific journal where it would have the benefit of peer review," she says.

The spat came in the same week that IoP journal Environmental Research Letters published a paper titled "Tripping points: Barriers and bargaining chips on the road to Copenhagen", about political barriers to tackling global warming.

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

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Professor of Operations and Project Management NOTTINGHAM TRENT UNIVERSITY (NTU)
Safety and Compliance Manager UNIVERSITY OF GREENWICH
Lecturer/Assistant Professor in Finance UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN (UCD)
Senior Lecturer, Nursing OPEN UNIVERSITY

Most Commented

Home secretary says government will support 'best' universities

Man handing microphone to audience member

Academic attainment of disadvantaged students can be improved if they can decide how they are assessed, study claims

Woman drinking tea from saucer

Plugging a multibillion-pound deficit exacerbated by June’s poll result may require ‘drastic measures’, analysts have warned

Italy's gold medallist

New measures to ensure universities are ‘not penalised’ for taking poorer students also outlined for next stage of TEF

Classroom, school

Higher education institutions can and should do more to influence education at a secondary school level, says Edward Peck