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Paper 140: Inside and Outside Science: Beware of acting too hastily on Climategate

Harry Collins

`Climategate’ refers to the emails hacked from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit at the end of 2009.  What was found in those email caused shock headlines in the mass media and glee on the part of global warming’s critics.  But nothing unusual was happening; this is the normal to-and-fro of science that is normally invisible – it is ‘tidied away’ by the time the research papers are published.  The moral is that we have to take great care about how we interpret what we read, always bearing in mind the purpose and audience for which it was written.