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submitted the article, titled "Global cooling has arrived, global warming is dead" last month, she was told it would not be published owing to space constraints.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

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Programme Director (GSA Singapore) GLASGOW SCHOOL OF ART

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

  • Boats docked in Port Hercule, Monaco

Richard Murphy praises a bold effort to halt tax-dodging by the 1 per cent

It’s a question with no easy answer, finds James Derounian

  • James Fryer illustration (19 November 2015)

With no time for proper peer review and with grade inflation inevitable, one academic felt compelled to resign

  • Lisa Mckenzie, Class War Party candidate, Chingford

Anarchist academic reflects on what her recent brush with the law says about threats to academic freedom

  • Worker checks thin-film silicon solar module, Truebbach

Asia doubles representation while European countries face varied performance