The Threat that Lawsuits Pose to Science: Radio Edition

Yesterday, the NPR affiliate in San Diego aired an interview about my recent paper with Aaron and Pieter Cohen on the risks that lawsuits can pose to science. The jumping-off point for the interview is a recent lawsuit filed by Professor Mark Jacobson against a group of researchers who called into question his conclusion that the country could shift entirely to renewable energy by 2050.

Jacobson sued Clack [a former researchers at the University of Boulder] and the National Academy of Sciences, which published the paper, in late September. He said Clack’s work defamed him by calling his work into question even after Jacobson pointed out supposed errors in Clack’s interpretations. He also claimed the National Academy of Sciences improperly published the critique as a research paper, instead of as a letter, which are shorter and less detailed. Jacobson is seeking at least $10 million in damages.

Clack responded in a court filing Monday, saying that the dispute should continue to play out in academic journals under peer-review, a system designed to ferret out inaccurate or misleading work.

I’m on Team Clack. You can listen to the interview here!


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