Dogma Danger, III

Ivar GiaverNobel prize-winning physicist Ivar Giaever resigned from the American Physical Society (APS) because the scientific group had become dogmatic on global warming. Their 2007 National Policy Statement on Climate Change emphasized two sentences by placing them apart in their own paragraph:

The evidence is incontrovertible:

Global warming is occurring.

“Incontrovertible” means “not open to question.” Professor Giaever’s letter of resignation noted the irony of their word choice.

In the APS, it is okay to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is ‘incontrovertible’?

The APS reiterated its support for the language in 2009.

A letter from 16 eminent scientists published the Wall Street Journal on January 27, 2012, noted that treating global warming as incontrovertible was stifling scientific inquiry by, for example, making it nearly impossible for a young scientist to conduct research that might call the dogma into question because to do so eliminated their chances at publishing, tenure, and funding.

 

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