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Topic: Industry is Not the Enemy


Dear GSA Today,

As a recent geology graduate employed in the petroleum industry, I appreciate Dr. Parrish’s defense of those that work in industry (GSA Today, v. 19, no. 6, p. 11–12).

However, I believe she misses the main point regarding many earth scientist’s desire to disassociate from industry. Namely, it is the unwillingness of those in industry to accept scientific conclusions that they feel are at odds with their political, ideological or economic beliefs.

Businesses and many scientists employed by them routinely reject without merit sound science that does not support their political views or that addresses negative effects of their business. This, more than anything, threatens the earth science profession. What is particularly disturbing is the willingness of scientists within those industries to criticize and dismiss the work of respected and accomplished scientists, despite the fact that none of them would accept criticism of their daily work from a scientist outside their discipline.

Regarding climate scientists in particular, they are at best accused of being amateurish, incompetent and hysterical; at worst they are accused of conspiracy, deception and fraud. Is it any wonder that there are many earth scientists who wish to disassociate themselves from industry?

If companies wish to have the respect of other scientists, then they and the scientists they employ must respect science, both the method and the men and women who practice it. This is an issue that only the industry, and industry scientists, can resolve.

Jerome Guynn

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