Boundaries, Breaches, and Bridges: The Case of Climategate

39 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2012 Last revised: 30 Jul 2015

See all articles by Raghu Garud

Raghu Garud

Pennsylvania State University

Joel Gehman

George Washington University - Department of Strategic Management & Public Policy

Arvind Karunakaran

Stanford University

Date Written: July 18, 2013

Abstract

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

Garud, Raghu and Gehman, Joel and Karunakaran, Arvind, Boundaries, Breaches, and Bridges: The Case of Climategate (July 18, 2013). Research Policy, Forthcoming, University of Alberta School of Business Research Paper No. 2132720, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2132720

Raghu Garud

Pennsylvania State University ( email )

431 Business Bulding
Pennsylvania State University
State College, PA 16803
United States

Joel Gehman (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Department of Strategic Management & Public Policy ( email )

Washington, DC 20052
United States

Arvind Karunakaran

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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