There’s a great editorial in the most recent edition of the scientific journal Nature Geo Science that takes on the illegal hacking of emails at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit.
The editorial is behind a firewall, so here’s a few of the main points for those who don’t have a subscription:
Amidst the calls for more caution in communication, it must be remembered that e-mails are an essential scientific tool when research groups span continents and schedules are tight. Yes, there is a limit to what should be put in writing. But in messages that are not meant for the public eye, there must be room for an open-minded and opinionated discussion, for example, of the quality of papers published by other authors. And when writing to someone who is familiar with the context, there is generally no need to choose every word quite so carefully.