When personal, ad hominem attacks are launched against a scientist there is no upside for science. People who care about science discuss the science, not the scientist’s-biography. Instead there are five potentially ugly outcomes that the mudslingers are presumably aiming for:
- The target scientist may be effectively silenced: spectators tune out. Weaker journalists feel less inclined to cite them for fear of the push-back against themselves.
- Another day where the scientific national conversation wallows in the gutter instead of discussing science.
- The target scientist feels dissuaded. Who needs this hassle?
- The message to thousands of silent skeptical scientists is unmistakable – “don’t speak” or you’re next.
- Philanthropists, and corporate donors feel the heat too, and may (if they are not made of strong stuff) figure that their funding does more harm than good. This starves independent science of essential support.
These attacks don’t raise a single scientific argument. Their aim is not “better science”. Let’s turn the pain back on the mudslinger and those who aid and abet. It won’t be so much fun for them if each attack makes us stronger, crystallizes support, and exposes their anti-science intent.
This mud-ball is begging to be turned
We don’t want to play in the stupid-theater of mud, but they picked the fight, and the sooner we win, the sooner they stop. Why wait? With every email to the target and in support of the target, we win. The Smithsonian and its senior management need to hear from the good smart people of this world. Christopher Monckton, David Legates, and Matt Briggs have written a scathing report and letter inviting the Smithsonian to investigate, apologize to Willie Soon, and repair the damage. All you need to do is add your name.
For the sake of the science-donors, the other university deans, the journalists, fence-sitting politicians, and the thousands of silent onlookers, let’s stand up and stand together. Let’s let them know there are thousands of people who will not let them get away with their anti-science pogrom.
To support Willie Soon, this letter and good science, send an email with your full name and your academic qualifications to monckton[-at-]mail.com.
Christopher Monckton, David Legates, and Matt Briggs:
Our letter invites the Regents to ensure that the Smithsonian investigates the wrongdoing by the Smithsonian and its senior officials identified in our report, and, when they have confirmed that our report is in substance correct, to see to it that the Smithsonian issues a public apology to Willie, pays him just and full restitution, and meets his legal costs.
If you are willing to support Willie by signing the letter, please send an email with your full name and your academic qualifications to monckton[-at-]mail.com. Your name and qualifications will be added to the list of signatures, which is led by Professor Nils-Axel Mörner, the distinguished international expert on sea level rise, who has written more than 600 papers in his half century of studying sea level.
[Name and address of Smithsonian Regent]
Dear [Name of Regent],
Recent misconduct by senior managers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
We are friends, colleagues, or supporters of Dr Willie Soon, a solar physicist who has been on the strength at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, part of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, for a quarter of a century. Recently, with Lord Monckton, Professor David Legates and Dr Matt Briggs, Dr Soon co-authored a paper in the Science Bulletin of the Chinese Academy of Sciences that led to widespread but false allegations by the Smithsonian, echoing various advocacy groups, that he had improperly failed to disclose a source of his funding for his work on the paper.
When those allegations were proven false, the extremist advocacy group originally responsible for them circulated further false allegations that in 11 earlier papers Dr Soon had acted improperly in not having disclosed the source of his funding. However, the Smithsonian had negotiated a contract with the funder in question by which the funder’s identity was not to be published. The only papers in which Dr Soon had not disclosed his funders’ identity were those papers covered by that contractual obligation of confidentiality, for which the Smithsonian, not he, was solely responsible.
The Smithsonian, however, unlawfully and publicly issued a series of statements intended to blame Dr Soon, though it was at fault for having improperly agreed to the obligation of confidentiality by which he was bound. His three co-authors of the Science Bulletin paper have investigated the allegations by the Smithsonian and various political advocacy groups against their colleague. Their findings are set out in the first two pages of their report to the Regents, attached hereto, followed by the evidence.
We now ask you –
(1) to instruct the Inspector-General of the Smithsonian to investigate the co-authors’ findings (pages 2-3) and the evidence in support of the findings (pages 4-17) as part of his investigation of this matter,
(2) to investigate Dr Alcock’s malicious and dishonest interview with the Chronicle of Higher Education; his subsequent refusal to make any correction of his falsehoods upon request by Dr Soon and separately by Dr Soon’s lead author; and his failure to pass on to the general counsel the lead author’s freedom of information request;
(3) to request the Attorney-General of Massachusetts to investigate those aspects of the conduct of the Smithsonian in general and of Dr Alcock in particular that constitute a fraudulent campaign of connected and co-ordinated deceptions, persisted in despite requests to cease and desist and, therefore, intended to cause not only continuing reputational harm but also financial loss to Dr Soon; and
(4), if the report’s findings are in substance correct, to order the Smithsonian to apologize publicly to Dr Soon and to make just and full restitution to him for the loss and damage it and its defalcating senior management have caused.
Monckton of Brenchley; Professor David Legates; Dr Matt Briggs
More details are on WattsUp. Attached to the letter is a report with details, dates, and names showing how Willie Soon was put in an impossible bind by the Smithsonian, but has acted at all times in an outstanding way:
These many falsehoods and false implications, within days of each other, were intended to reinforce each other, to cause severe financial loss to Dr Soon and to compound the damage the Smithsonian had already done to his health, reputation, livelihood and career as a solar physicist. The inexplicable and continuing refusal by the Smithsonian to correct the record, despite Dr Soon’s requests and ours that it should do so, further aggravates the damage to him and evidences the Smithsonian’s intent to cause him loss and damage.
Dr Soon is manifestly blameless. He has acted at all times correctly, in compliance with the policies of the Smithsonian and with the terms – however repugnant – of his donor’s funding contract with his employer. Dr Soon declared his sources of funding all his published papers that were not funded by the Smithsonian, being under no contractual obligation not to disclose the funders’ identity. It was only in the 11 papers to whose funding Southern Company had contributed that he did not disclose the funders’ identity, for – through the Smithsonian’s fault and not his – he was bound in law not to disclose it.
Yet the Smithsonian and its personnel acted incorrectly in agreeing to the confidentiality clause, in failing to honor it once they had agreed it, in failing to follow its own FOIA policies, in failing to come to the aid of a long-standing and award-winning colleague suffering because he had complied with a contract term to which they had improperly consented, in conducting a campaign of coordinated and false allegations and implications intended to damage him, in failing to correct the record when asked, and in failing to respond to our legitimate FOI request for copies of the Center for Astrophysics’ founding documents.
We are asking the Inspector-General of the Smithsonian and the Attorney-General of Massachusetts to investigate the Smithsonian’s misconduct. When they have confirmed our findings, the Smithsonian must apologize to Dr Soon and make just and full restitution to him for the loss and damage it has caused.
Viscount Monckton of Brenchley: firstname.lastname@example.org: +44 7814 556423
Professor David Legates
Dr Matt Briggs
Christopher Monckton invites emails in support and to obtain the full report.
“If you are willing to support Willie by signing the letter, please send an email with your full name and your academic qualifications to monckton[-at-]mail.com. Anyone who would like the full report, which includes the evidence in support of our findings, should email me.”