Peer-to-Peer

Peer-review enters the courts

A High Court judge today ruled that Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth can be shown in UK schools only if it is accompanied by a disclaimer to explain nine scientific errors. The Times Online carries a list of the nine errors specified by the judge.

In The Times newspaper edition today (11 October), Lewis Smith, the paper’s environment correspondent, reports that despite the errors, the judge said "many of the claims made by the film were fully backed up by the weight of science. He identified “four main scientific hypotheses, each of which is very well supported by research published in respected, peer-reviewed journals and accords with the latest conclusions of the IPCC”. "

Is this the first time that peer-review has helped to decide what can be shown, and taught, in schools in the United Kingdom?

Climate Feedback, the blog of Nature Reports Climate Change, features some more details of the story, together with some links to other articles and opinions.

The Royal Society’s overview of the current state of scientific understanding of climate change is here.

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