The tweet which led to my last post also led to an exchange on Twitter which I found somewhat peculiar as it involved things like being told I was promoting conspiratorial nonsense. Despite my best efforts, I was unable to find out what this nonsense was, and alas, it appears we may never know what conspiracy theories I have been espousing.
That mystery aside, the exchange allowed me to state why I think people deriding the pursuit of e-mails from climate scientist via legal means like Freedom of Information requests are in the wrong. It's not that I care about the e-mails themselves. I don't. However:
The only reason I might want those e-mails (and I can't say I would) is there is a lot of data/information that was never published.
— Brandon S? (@Corpus_no_Logos) September 20, 2017
There has been a long history of climate scientists involved in the global warming debate refusing to share information/data. One of the most famous examples was when climate scientist Phil JOnes responded to a person asking for data by saying:
We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.
This sort of reaction is not limited to climate science. Examples of it have been discussed in many fields. I think it's silly. If you're a scientist who believes in his/her work, you should have no problem with people examining it. Refusing to share information/data with people, especially because of perceived traits you believe that person has, is completely unscientific.
When scientists behave in such an unscientific manner, I see no problem with people trying to get access to information they were denied in other ways, such as using the legal system. I don't think that's a remarkable view, but my tweet above led to this response:
How can you know if there is 'a lot' if it was never published? In any case, I think the quest for scientists' emails is sad and desperate.
— Kevin Anchukaitis (@thirstygecko) September 20, 2017
I think that question is silly as it seems it should be easy to see at least some examples of what i referred to. If a person publishes a paper and refuses to archive the data used in it, the lack of such an archive can often be apparent. If an author of a paper fails to describe steps they took in their analysis, that can often be apparent. So forth and so on.
That said, the person I was exchanging these tweets asked me to state what data I cannot find several times so I offered to write a post highlighting some examples. What comes next will be a list of just a few examples of data and/or information I have wanted to examine but been unable to because researchers refuse to share it.