The world’s largest scientific community, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) warned in a statement Tuesday that personal attacks on climate scientists create a “hostile environment” for necessary research, The Hill’s Andrew Restuccia reports.
The attacks—which have included death threats and legal challenges—will have a “chilling effect” on research AAAS argues. “Reports of harassment, death threats, and legal challenges have created a hostile environment that inhibits the free exchange of scientific findings and ideas and makes it difficult for factual information and scientific analyses to reach policymakers and the public,” the statement says. “This both impedes the progress of science and interferes with the application of science to the solution of global problems.”
The statement was released in light of a recent move by an anti-climate change group to sue NASA for access to climate advocate Dr. James Hansen’s personal records. Such moves, the AAAS asserts, go beyond reasonable requests for data and “serve only as a distraction,” while making “no constructive contribution to the public discourse.”