The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has given its prestigious award for Public Engagement with Science to climate scientist, Michael E. Mann.
No, this is not a joke – though it should be.
That’s Michael Mann as in the creator of possibly the most discredited artefact in climate science history: the ludicrous, fabricated “Hockey Stick.”
That’s Michael Mann, the litigious activist and vexatious Twitter troll who dismisses any scientist who disagrees with him as a “denier”; who was exposed in the Climategate emails trying to ruin the careers of his opponents and attempting to shut down the journals who published them.
That’s Michael Mann, the guy who has erroneously claimed to be a Nobel prizewinner on the hilarious basis that, as one of the hundreds of contributors to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, he sorta kinda qualifies on account of the fact that the IPCC won the prize in 2007.
That’s Michael Mann, the ferociously partisan, Trump-loathing bully who led the recent campaign to have Republican supporting donors removed from the board of trustees of the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
Yes, that Michael Mann.
But never mind Mann: he is who is. What’s far more shocking, in this instance, is that the AAAS – the world’s largest scientific society, founded 1848 – should choose to honor so dubious a figure.
Roger Pielke Jr gets it right:
My issue here is not with Mann. It is with the decision by AAAS to single out Mann as someone who embodies our highest values of the scientific community: a role model to emulate who engages in behaviors to celebrate.
With this award, what message is AAAS sending to the scientific community and to the public?
The AAAS is telling us that engaging in hyper-partisan, gutter politics, targeted against Republicans and colleagues you disagree with, using unethical tactics, will be rewarded by leaders in the scientific community.
AAAS could work to help to defuse the pathological politicization of science. Instead, it has thrown some gasoline on the fire.