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Michael Mann’s $1 Million Defamation Verdict Resonates in a Still-Contentious Climate Science World

A D.C. jury hands a win to the climate scientist behind the ‘Hockey Stick’ graph, but less prominent researchers continue to feel threats over their work.

Inside Climate News | Marianne Lavelle | February 9, 2024

“It’s unusual to see a scientist fight back as much as Michael Mann has fought back,” [Lauren Kurtz] said. “I think a lot of people don’t realize the extent to which other climate scientists are being targeted, and for valid personal and professional reasons, are not able to take on this level of publicity in defending themselves.”

Cases that have come to the Defense Fund involved defamation threats for publishing new research, fears of employer retaliation for public speaking on climate change, and invasive open records inquiries—the kind that Mann himself faced earlier in his career.

For example, the Legal Defense Fund’s annual report said in 2023 it represented a professor at a public university who found herself the target of a subpoena from an oil and gas company that was asking her to turn over her research on the potent greenhouse gas methane. The Defense Fund did not name the professor, but said that by representing her pro bono, it was able to protect her from the company’s move, which it characterized as “an obvious attempt to silence and discredit her.”

Read the full article at Inside Climate News.

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