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Have you forgotten who pays your salary?

March 3, 2010

Today’s New York Times quotes NASA climate modeler and Real Climate blogger Gavin Schmidt as follows:

“Climate scientists are paid to do climate science…. Their job is not persuading the public.”

Apparently Schmidt is a bit confused about who his boss is.

I suppose climate scientists can be forgiven for expressing frustration about recently escalating barrages of criticism and doubt. And perhaps PR is not an explicit part of their job description.

But on the other hand, they are in the public eye because their work is extremely important. The implications of climate science have the attention of the world, climate science has, as a result, received billions and billions of dollars in public funds. More than $30 billion in the US alone since 1990.

The recipients of such funds might want to take their relationship with the public a little more seriously.

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