There has been an interesting exchange of letters in the Forum section of the American Geophysical Union’s weekly newspaper, EOS. Last year, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) took the remarkable step of giving a fiction writer, Michael Crichton, its journalism award. Representatives of the American Quaternary Association (AMQUA )1 took offense and wrote a letter to EOS about it. Then Fred Singer and Kevin Corbett wrote to AGU to complain about AMQUA’s letter.
Singer claims to be defending the AAPG, though it is by no means clear that the official position of AAPG is representative of its members (see the discussion on AAPG’s website, here (Note: subsequent to this article, these pages were put back into the members-only area)). For his part, Corbett accused the American Geophysical Union of “trenchant advocacy for a preferred political agenda.” We think that AGU’s official response was right on the mark: “AGU does not have any agenda in this arena beyond ensuring that the best available science is used in making public policy.” You can read the complete letters, and AGU’s response, here.