When I was young I wanted to be a scientist. It was the time of moon landings, nuclear power, lasers, computers, etc. Britain really did pull above its weight in science. Both my wife and I did science at University and I have nothing but respect for all the lecturers and researchers at St.Andrews and latterly Glasgow University.
There still are some great scientists in the UK and even after this affair there will continue to be great scientists, almost despite the scientific establishment in the UK. I may dislike the way UK science has taken us down an economic alleyway on manufacturing and engineering**, but the people involved are on the whole just keen to do science – and it is not exactly the best paid job.
So, I feel very sorry for these ordinary scientists who have been let down. The episode in the UEA shouldn’t affect all the other people in science, but it will. The problem is that it was not just sloppy work. It was a lie; a lie that underpins the whole unprecedented global warming claims and which led to a hugely expensive policy costing as much as £1trillion worldwide. But far worse, like Watergate it led to a conspiracy by the UK establishment to cover up the original lie.
I can only hope that they realise that by acting promptly, effectively and above all fairly (as in science, the law requires proof beyond reasonable doubt), that they can still do something to redeem the status of UK science.
So, it is with deep regret that I feel I have:
- Informed the Norfolk police of a likely crime at the UEA.
- Asked my MP (Jo Swinson) to inform the appropriate parliamentary authorities that they appear to have been lied to.
- Written to Sir Muir Russell (by way of the judicial appointments board) making him aware of these allegations.
- Initiated a complaint with the UK civil service against Sir John Beddington.
**UK science has taken us down an economic alleyway and pushed aside engineering. For example the “science and engineering” committee of parliament became “science and technology”, and there is not a single engineering advisor to government but shed loads of scientist.