The American Geophysical Union just lost whatever remaining credibility it had as a scientific society earlier today when it announced no change in policy regarding taking money from ExxonMobil.
Margaret Leinen, the AGU president, issued a communication today that says this:
Last week the AGU Board of Directors discussed the organization’s April decision to continue engagement with ExxonMobil after receiving additional information from several sources. The Board maintained its original decision after another careful and systematic review of hundreds of pages of both newly provided and previous documentation and a thoughtful and comprehensive discussion. We thank all those who made their voices heard.
AGU has always valued open dialogue and exchange of ideas, and we believe this decision best reflects AGU’s unique value to the scientific community: our ability to convene scientists of diverse views and from different backgrounds, disciplines, and industries. With membership spanning all Earth and space sciences, AGU has an increasingly important role to play – building on our recognized convening power – in providing a space for active, vibrant dialogue that advances collective scientific understanding of the world and our place within it. This is an important function and strategic goal of our organization as scientific issues continue to be top-of-mind for the public and legislators alike and as places for thoughtful discussion of diverging viewpoints become increasingly rare. We remain, as always, committed to cultivating a space that is inclusive to scientists working across all sectors of society in service of exceptional scientific research and discovery.
We welcome your questions and comments via comments on this blog post or by direct email to President@AGU.org.
See the key part? This: ” ability to convene scientists of diverse views and from different backgrounds, disciplines, and industries. With membership spanning all Earth and space sciences, AGU has an increasingly important role to play – building on our recognized convening power…”
The AGU is pretending that the range of normal activities among its lovely power giving constituency includes nefarious acts, paying for anti-science activities, and so on. They are not arguing that ExxonMobil is in the clear. They are arguing that it doesn’t matter.
The word “power” here is a clear — well, ok, veiled — dog whistle. Someone in the organization wanted us to see that word in this context. The real power in power companies is not the gas or electricity.
So, that’s it for the AGU. What’s next?