Eli has been searching for the right song for Soongate and he thinks he has found it
The lyrics just scream out for a rewrite by Horatio Algeranon, but Eli will not go there. No indeed, the Bunny has been a lot harder in this mess on the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics than on the good Dr. Soon, who, as Eli has pointed out and Dr. Soon has said, has had a hard time keeping body and soul together since his mainline grant funding disappeared before the end of the last century.
Now Eli is not going to link to the many, many comments, posts, and newspaper articles on this issue, nor is he going to discuss much who and why Rep. Raul Grijalva sent letters to various worthies' institutions. That is been best left to others, but a few words on Rep Grijalva's motivation.
From many sources, it is well known that science obfustication has been well funded by industries who have found research conclusions uncomfortable. As shown by the Tobacco Legacy Archive, this funding has been both direct and indirect. Astroturf was invented by those guys well before the Astrodome opened. For such issues as lead, tobacco, asbestos and of course tobacco, advertising agencies, public relations companies, think tanks and various other pass throughs have been used. There is no doubt that the hiding of such connections has become more professional, the latest variation being Donor's Trust,
So one may ask, who has been paying the academics testifying before Congress, state legislatures, and local government organizations on these issues and what have they bought? Further, what are the ethical issues about accepting the Exxon's shilling? What about other writings designed to influence public opinion such as op-eds or reviews, should a conflict of interest be declared when the writer has been monetarily encouraged?
Based on past history, Rep Grijalva is right to ask these questions. Did he ask for too much? He agrees
The communications back-and-forth is honestly secondary, and I would even on my own say that that was an overreach in that letter," Grijalva, the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee, told National Journal on Monday. "I want the disclosure [of funding sources]. Then people can draw their own conclusions.Does the funding of testimony given by academics have value? The funders think so.