The last chief scientist of Australia, Penny Sackett, was disappointed not to be invited to the cabaret at Copenhagen. She quit after she she felt “ignored” . Possibly she belated realized that the government may have appointed her to just so she would not disagree inconveniently with any of their pet projects, thus neutralizing the role of Chief Scientist and reducing it to a rubber stamp.
The new chief scientist is Ian Chubb, Vice-Chancellor of ANU, and a neuroscientist. Unlike Sackett, he’s already said he will “leave the climate debate to politics”. Surprisingly, his actual views on climate science are not easy to pigeonhole. He didn’t mind getting money to buy huge supercomputers for ANU climate modelers (what vice chancellor wouldn’t?). But when he spoke at an event at the ANU climate change conference in Oct 2007, many of his statements can be read both ways.
Is it possible… could it be, that he is a scientist enough to know what the scientific method is and be willing to be a guardian of it? Refreshingly, he does not like the name-calling and the hyperbole of the climate debate. He repeated calls for rational debate, from both sides. He wants a [...]