BP Legal Strategy: Hire and Gag Scientists

Ben Raines of the Alabama Press Register is reporting that BP is trying to hire scientists who are doing research in the oil-damaged Gulf of Mexico and then binding those scientists with legal agreements that will enable BP to bury their work and prevent them from testifying against the company.

Cary Nelson, national president of the American Association of University Professors, has a good commentary about the matter here, condemning BP’s effort at censorship and calling for universities to work with their faculties to establish ethical standards for industry collaboration that champion the public interest and discourage faculty members from selling their freedom of speech and research to the highest bidder.


I have been appalled at CNN’s coverage of the “missing” oil. If they had an actual science reporter they would have known that oceanographers had found huge underwater plumes of oil in the gulf and that the oil in these plumes had recently been fingerprinted as coming from the Deepwater Horizon spill. This sort of lousy reporting, featuring their weatherman, Chad Meyers (a global warming denier, from all I can tell) is a horrible indictment of modern journalism.