House Science, Space and Technology Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) led a hearing on climate science, 29 March 2017. Photo U.S. House Science, Space and Technology Committee

By Alex Kasprak
29 March 2017

(Snopes) – On 29 March 2017, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held a hearing titled “Climate Science: Assumptions, Policy Implications, and the Scientific Method,” which heard the testimony of four scientists.

Just one of those espoused views and research that represents the mainstream scientific consensus surrounding anthropogenic climate change. That scientist, Dr. Michael Mann, Director of Penn State University’s Earth System Science Center, was asked by Representative Ami Bera what Mann would do if he were to guide the convened committee in the future.

During a testy exchange, Mann began his answer by suggesting that the chairman of the committee, Texas Representative Lamar Smith, had been abusing the the term “scientific method”, and pointed to an article published in Science magazine regarding Smith’s recent statements at a Heartland Institute conference to suggest that his words betrayed a lack of interest in the actual science, and a clear interest in furthering a preconceived viewpoint:

[…] DR. MANN: [Smith] indicated at this conference that he, according to Science, and I am quoting from them, he sees his role in this committee as a tool to advance his political agenda rather than a forum to examine important issues facing the US research community, as a scientist I find this deeply disturbing.

CHAIRMAN SMITH: Who said that?

DR. MANN: This is according to Science Magazine, one of the most respected outlets when it comes to science …

CHAIRMAN SMITH: Who are they quoting?

DR. MANN: This is the author, Jeffrey Mervis.

CHAIRMAN SMITH: That is not known as an objective writer or magazine.

[…] As Science is one of the oldest and most widely-respected scientific publications in the world, scientists and journalists (and audible members of the hearing’s viewing gallery) were shocked by Smith’s allegation that the outlet, or its writers, were not objective. Originally founded with financial help from Alexander Graham Bell, the periodical has been in continuous publication since 9 February 1883, as discussed in a history of its origins.

Among the numerous monumentally significant papers published in the journal are Albert Einstein’s formulation of gravitational lensing, the complete map of the entire human genome, the first evidence of a link between HIV and AIDS, and numerous Nobel Prize winning discoveries. Based on a combination of factors (including the number of times its papers are cited), Science is consistently ranked (including by the NIH, an organization over which Smith’s committee has jurisdiction) as being among highest-impact journals in all of science. [more]

Chair of House Science Committee Says the Journal ‘Science’ Is Not Objective



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