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Germany’s Science Press Association Criticises Denunciation Of Journalists By Federal Environment Agency

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Wissenschafts-Pressekonferenz e.V

Germany’s Science Press Association (Wissenschafts-Pressekonferenz e.V. – WPK) considers it unacceptable that individual journalists are publicly named by the Federal Environment Agency and presented as incompetent just because they criticise leading climate scientists.

In its latest brochure on climate change (“And yet, it warms”), the Agency published the names of journalists whose positions “are not consistent with the state of knowledge of climate science.”

“It is not the task of a government agency to determine which opinions may be expressed and which are not,” said WPK CEO Martin Schneider. “Journalists may and must voice different positions, and they may and must question well-established scientists again and again.”

Moreover, it cannot be the task of a public institution to quasi officially declare certain scientific positions as true. Although anthropogenic climate change can no longer be doubted, there are intensive discussions among scientists about many details; for example about its consequences and about the validity of certain climate models.

“This discourse must be conducted within science, and journalists have to accompany it critically,” said Schneider.

The WPK called on Environment Minister Peter Altmaier to stop the further distribution of the Government brochure in this form.

Translation Philipp Mueller

Wissenschaftjournalisten, 3 June 2013

see also: Science Journalists Taking German Environment Ministry To Court For Defamation, Violating Neutrality