Boundaries, Breaches, and Bridges: The Case of Climategate
Research Policy, Forthcoming
39 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2012 Last revised: 30 Jul 2015
Date Written: July 18, 2013
We examine the incident known as “Climategate” in which emails and other documents relating to climate scientists and their work were illegitimately accessed and posted to the Internet. The contents of the files prompted questions about the credibility of climate science and the legitimacy of some of the climate scientists’ practices. Multiple investigations unfolded to repair the boundary that had been breached. While exonerating the scientists of wrongdoing and endorsing the legitimacy of the consensus opinion, the investigating committees suggested revisions to some scientific practices. Despite this boundary repair work, the credibility and legitimacy of the scientific enterprise were not fully restored in the eyes of several stakeholders. We explore why this is the case, identify boundary bridging approaches to address these issues, and highlight policy implications.
Keywords: Climate science policy, Boundary work, Scientific controversies, Hybrid forums, Boundary repair, Boundary bridging
JEL Classification: L3, M1, O3, Q2, D82, D81, F42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation