The chief of the world’s leading physics lab at CERN in Geneva has prohibited scientists from drawing conclusions from a major experiment.
The CLOUD (“Cosmics Leaving Outdoor Droplets”) experiment examines the role that energetic particles from deep space play in cloud formation. CLOUD uses CERN’s proton synchrotron to examine nucleation.
CERN Director General Rolf-Dieter Heuer told Welt Online that the scientists should refrain from drawing conclusions from the latest experiment.
“I have asked the colleagues to present the results clearly, but not to interpret them,” reports veteran science editor Nigel Calder on his blog. Why?
Because, Heuer says, “That would go immediately into the highly political arena of the climate change debate. One has to make clear that cosmic radiation is only one of many parameters.”
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The unusual “gagging order” could have been issued because the results of CLOUD are really, really boring, muses Calder. Or, it could be that the experiment invites a politically unacceptable hypothesis on climate.