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Rights and Responsibilities : A Guide to Legal Issues for Scientists (Paperback) (Joshua Wolfe)
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The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) has found a non-profit home in Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) which provides it fiscal sponsorship and logistical support. CSLDF lets scientific colleagues and the public directly help climate scientists protect themselves and their work from industry-funded legal attacks. In recent years, these legal charges have intensified, especially against climate scientists. The fund is designed to help well known scientists like Professor Michael Mann cope with the legal fees that stack up in fighting attempts by climate-contrarian groups to gain access to private emails and other correspondence through lawsuits and Freedom of Information Act requests at their public universities. The CSLD Fund started this past fall which helps cover the legal bills of scientists who get dragged onto the political stage and to date, CSLDF has raised $70,000.
Creating this book will be a part of the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund’s effort to better prepare the scientific community for legal challenges. The Fund was established with one goal: to protect the scientific endeavor. Over the last twenty years, a small handful of politically motivated think tanks and legal foundations, because they disagreed and questioned the validity of certain scientific findings, have taken legal action against scientific institutions and individual scientists. In recent years, the legal invasions have intensified, especially against climate scientists. The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund seeks to make sure that these legal claims are not viewed as an action against one scientist or institution, but that they are seen as actions against the scientific endeavor as a whole. As such, the Fund defends climate scientists who are dragged into litigation and acts aggressively to protect the interests of the scientific endeavor.
Scientists have legal rights and responsibilities to their funders, their employers, and to the scientific community at large. The interactions among these groups can be challenging from a legal perspective. For example: What happens when a university's counsel and a funding agency’s counsel disagree? Who owns the intellectual property created under a government grant at a private university? What happens when a Freedom of Information Act request for raw data is filed before a scientist has had a chance to publish his or her results? This book will tackle these questions and many others, and it will help prepare scientists for a variety of potential challenges, both big and small. Today, a serious concern has been that legal battles have taken many brightest scientific minds away from their research.
The inspiration for this book came from a collaboration between the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund and the American Geophysical Union. Over the past year, the two groups have partnered to offer webinars, workshops and in-person consultations to the scientific comm