As a climate scientist, I'm under pressure to be a political advocate.It is the strident advocacy of many climate scientists that have so damaged the public’s trust in science. And it isn’t just climate science, but a number of other disciplines where advocacy has outweighed the actual science that has damaged the reputation of science. (The vaccination/autism link, anyone?) Their attacks upon those who disagree with their hypothesis (so-called ‘denialists’) and the conspiracy amongst a number of them to silence critics of their work even though their critics were just as knowledgeable and prestigious as they were. The science got lost in the “we’re right and you’re stupid” debate.
I believe advocacy by climate scientists has damaged trust in the science. We risk our credibility, our reputation for objectivity, if we are not absolutely neutral. At the very least, it leaves us open to criticism. I find much climate scepticism is driven by a belief that environmental activism has influenced how scientists gather and interpret evidence. So I've found my hardline approach successful in taking the politics and therefore – pun intended – the heat out of climate science discussions.
What makes this scientist's opinion even more extraordinary is that it was reported by the UK's Guardian newspaper, a very left-leaning publication.