Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Peter Gleick is still a good scientist

(A raging climate-blogosphere story is a great excuse to start posting again!)

As I read many of the stories on Peter Gleick's pranking of the Heartland Institute (see this Guardian story for a pretty good summary), I find I mostly agree with Joe Romm who basically says that this is peanuts compared to what Heartland and their ilk are doing to our future planet with their obfuscation campaign.

Indeed I can't believe how many people are rushing to their fainting couch over this.

Peter Gleick is a trained scientist but amateur journalist.  His general-interest writing on water and climate issues is actually quite good.   Doing science and doing journalism are two different things.  If Dr. Gleick committed some kind of ethical lapse in his journalism exploits, that shouldn't have any impact on his standing as a scientist.

Scientists should not let themselves be boxed in as perfect beings who apply the ethical standards of science in every activity of their lives.  That's not a standard that human beings can meet and scientists are indeed human.