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Climategate & IPCC Scandals Undermine Public Trust In Science

University leaders in Australia have called for a public campaign aimed at restoring public trust in science following the controversial Climategate scandal.

Peter Coaldrake, chairman of Universities Australia said: “I am concerned about the way the climate change debate has flowed. It worries me that this tabloid decimation of science comes at a time when we have a major issue in terms of the number of people taking science at university.”

Other leading experts and academics worldwide have voiced concern over the backlash generated by e-mails taken from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit and continued criticism of Rajendra Pachauri, head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

An independent review “is much needed,” said University of Colorado environmental studies scientist Roger Pielke Jr. “The IPCC has a long road ahead to regain trust,” Pielke told the Associated Press.

Stanford University climate scientist Chris Field, a chairman of one of the IPCC’s four main research groups backed the idea of an independent review of how it makes reports.

“The IPCC clearly has suffered a loss in public confidence,” he said. “One of the things that I think the world deserves is a clear understanding of what aspects the IPCC does well and what aspects of the IPCC can be improved.

“Rajendra Pachauri said in a statement: “We recognize the criticism that has been levelled at us and the need to respond.”

Associated Press, 4 March 2010