Climategate: the role of the social sciences
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- Lahsen, M. Climatic Change (2013) 119: 547. doi:10.1007/s10584-013-0711-x
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As has been widely documented, lavishly funded media campaigns by political and financial elites and corporations with vested interests against climate policy are a central instigator of the climate backlash and a threat to democratic processes. However, it would behoove the environmental coalition, including sympathizing academics, to reflect on how they help create conditions that enable and magnify the impact of the backlash campaigns and incidents such as Climategate. This editorial argues that prevalent idealized understandings of science increase public vulnerability to backlash campaigns, and that academic analysts reinforce these understandings when they avoid to perform critical analyses of the science and scientists promoting concern about climate change.