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Nature editor resigns from ‘climate-gate’ review

Cross posted from Daniel Cressey on The Great Beyond

campbell.pngNature’s editor in chief has stepped down from the Russell Review inquiry into aspects of the ‘climate-gate’ emails, just hours after the inquiry team was unveiled.

Philip Campbell stood down after it emerged he told a Chinese reporter last year that the scientists at the centre of the climate-gate row “have behaved as researchers should”. A key aspect of the review headed by Muir Russell is whether scientists at the University of East Anglia followed proper scientific procedures.

In a statement released to the media yesterday, Campbell said “I made the remarks in good faith on the basis of media reports of the leaks. As I have made clear subsequently, I support the need to for a full review of the facts behind the leaked e-mails.”

“There must be nothing that calls into question the ability of the independent Review to complete this task, and therefore I have decided to withdraw from the team.”

Russell added, “I have spoken to Philip Campbell, and I understand why he has withdrawn. I regret the loss of his expertise, but I respect his decision.”

Russell’s team yesterday announced the scope of their investigation, which was triggered by a vast number of emails stolen from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit and published online. Some of the questions they are seeking to answer involve research published in Nature.

Although Campbell and Russell faced questions over the independence of their review yesterday, it was the emergence of the Campbell’s interview with Chinese state radio that forced his resignation.

“The scientists have not hidden the data. If you look at the emails there is one or two bits of language that are jargon used between professionals that suggest something to outsiders that is wrong,” Campbell said. “In fact the only problem there has been has been some problem with the official restrictions on their ability to disseminate their data. Otherwise they have behaved as researchers should.”

See also

Head of climate-gate inquiry defends independence

Image: Philip Campbell / Nature

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