The science cavalry rides in at last

May 1, 2009

It’s good to see the NZ Association of Scientists declare (in a media statement released today):

NZ Association of Scientists concerned about freedom of speech

About time, too. The declaration of support for this principle was sparked by the sacking of NIWA scientist Jim Salinger, which happened a week ago.

Better late than never.

The media statement is nicley summed up in the final para, where two points are made: scientists must be free to speak out freely in their area of expertise; and the Government should take a hard look at the structure of our scientific institutions if we are to get the best from them and their staffs.
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Salinger’s sacking not a ministerial matter

April 29, 2009

Jeanette Fitzsimons is on the wrong tack, trying to embroil Wayne Mapp in the fuss over Jim Salinger’s sacking.

In Parliament yesterday she asked Mapp, our Minister of Research, Science and Technology, if he stood by his statement in the Dominion Post last Saturday that the dismissal of internationally renowned scientist Dr Jim Salinger from his position at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research is “an employment dispute, which must be handled by the chief executive and the board”?

Mapp stuck to his guns: “Yes, I do.”
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Giving Jim his Nobel dues

April 29, 2009

The Green Party’s persistence in describing climate scientist Jim Salinger as a Nobel Prize winner needs exploring.

Alf – uncharacteristically – might have been a tad dismissive two days ago.

At the time of the award, The NZ Herald recognised the work of Salinger (who composts his food scraps and uses energy-efficient light bulbs) and Dr David Wratt (who uses public transport and plants trees):

But the personal contributions of the Niwa climate scientists in tackling the issue of global warming go way beyond commitments to reduce their carbon footprints.

For years the pair have devoted huge amounts of time to the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which was this month awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.

The organisation shares the prize with former United States Vice-President Al Gore for his film An Inconvenient Truth, in recognition of their efforts to raise awareness and impetus around the threat of climate change.

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NIWA curbs talk about the weather

April 27, 2009

Sounds like that Barmy Banana bloke – or one of the Fijian strongman’s henchmen – has taken over our National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.

The result is the muzzling of NIWA scientists, most obviously manifest in the sacking of well known climate scientist Jim Salinger.

The story has been nudged along by Green Party expressions of outrage, although – true to form – if the Greens have a hot flush, they turn up the heat to grab a more sizzling headline. They described Salinger as a Nobel Prize winner.

Bollocks. But more of that later.
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