Nature, 9 September 2009:
Research cannot flourish if data are not preserved and made accessible. All concerned must act accordingly.Nature, 2 December 2009:
If there are benefits to the e-mail theft, one is to highlight yet again the harassment that denialists inflict on some climate-change researchers, often in the form of endless, time-consuming demands for information under the US and UK Freedom of Information Acts. Governments and institutions need to provide tangible assistance for researchers facing such a burden.Letter to Nature, not yet online, 12 January 2010:
Your Editorial (Nature 462, 545; 2009) castigates “denialists” for making “endless, time-consuming demands for information under the US and UK Freedom of Information Acts”. But you do not mention the reason — that the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia has systematically tried to avoid revealing data and code.
Science relies upon open analysis of data and methods, and the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has a clear data-sharing policy that expects scientists “to cooperate in validating and publishing [data] in their entirety”. The university’s leaked e-mails imply a concerted effort to avoid data sharing, which both violates the best practice defined in NERC policy and prevents verification of the results obtained by the unit. Asking for scientific data and code should not lead to anyone being branded as part of the “climate-change denialist fringe”.