Democratic members of Congress are demanding information about researchers who have testified against scientists’ climate consensus in Congress. In response, and with mixed clichés, a combination of the offended testifiers and outraged conservative media pundits is charging “witch hunt,” neo-McCarthyism, and in at least one case, Lysenkoism. Representatives of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Association of University Professors, and the Union of Concerned Scientists agree that the demands for information justify at least some concern for academic freedom.
The New York Times incited this climate-science street fight in a Sunday, 22 February, front-page article above the fold. Members of Congress widened it. The conflict escalated still further a few days later, when conservatives struck back in kind.