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Is transparency bad for science?
Date:11/30/2011

As thousands more emails from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU) are leaked on the internet, the latest issue of Index on Censorship magazine, 'Dark Matter', calls for a debate into science and transparency.

Emails were previously leaked from the CRU back in 2009. In his article, 'Information Gap', leading science writer Fred Pearce argues that 'if CRU had been more open with its data from the start, a great deal of time and angst on the part of its scientists and a great deal of public uttering of paranoid nonsense from climate deniers would have been avoided'.

Within the scientific community, there is resistance to data sharing and the belief by some that transparency is damaging scientists' work. Earlier this year, Nobel laureate and president of the Royal Society Sir Paul Nurse said that FOI was being used to harass scientists and has called for new guidelines. But Pearce argues that, 'the world is increasingly unwilling to accept the message that "we are scientists; trust us". Other people want to join the scientific conversation. Good scientists, interested in finding truth, should want to encourage them, not put up the shutters'. For the full article, go to: www.indexoncensorship.org/2011/11/climate-change-secrecy-freedom-information

In 'Secret Trials', Deborah Cohen from the British Medical Journal, reveals the consequences of what can happen when critical evidence is unavailable to the medical profession. The article brings together her investigations into secrecy within the pharmaceutical and medical devices industry for the BMJ, Panorama and Channel 4. For the full article, go to www.indexoncensorship.org/2011/11/science-medicine-secrecy-drug-studies-lives-risk

Also in this issue: Tracey
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Contact: Jayne Fairley
Jayne.fairley@sagepub.co.uk
44-207-324-8719
SAGE Publications
Source:Eurekalert

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