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Scientific American responds to flap over environmentalism article

Previous Politech message:

"Scientific American assails prof who attacked enviro-article"


Date: Fri, 08 Mar 2002 10:53:22 +1100
From: Bernard Palmer <bwp@primaryfundamentalright.org>
To: declan@wired.com
Subject: [Fwd: from Scientific American]
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;

This is the reply I received from John Rennie, editor of Scientific 
American to my email suggesting he should apologize for the Lomborg fiasco. 
Bernard Palmer

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: from Scientific American
Date: 07 Mar 2002 12:44:19 -0500
From: "John Rennie" <mailto:jrennie@sciam.com><jrennie@sciam.com>
Reply-To: John Rennie <mailto:jrennie@sciam.com><jrennie@sciam.com>
To: <mailto:bwp@primaryfundamentalright.org><bwp@primaryfundamentalright.org>

It's unfortunate that a number of people who are fans of The Skeptical 
Environmentalist are spreading a misleading picture of Scientific 
American's dealings with him, to the effect that Scientific American has 
tried to stifle his response to our article. This is completely untrue.

I spoke with Lomborg by phone before the publication of our article and 
assured him that we were very interested in receiving his response to our 
authors' criticisms. Recently we received a reply for print from him, which 
arrives just in time for our May issue, which is when it is scheduled to 

When Lomborg first posted his reply on his web site, he posted the entire 
text of our article. This is an infringement of our copyright and 
interferes with our business of selling the article (which is, after all, 
how magazines stay in business). We make this request routinely to _anyone_ 
who republishes Scientific American articles without our permission. We 
told Lomborg that he could still pu
blish short quotations from it to ground his argument, however. His 
response was to post a slightly edited version of our article that still 
included 3/4 of the original text, which we saw as an act of bad faith. At 
that point we told him that he should remove all our text.

Note that we never complained about what he said or tried to restrict him 
from saying whatever he wanted; all we did was inhibit his unauthorized 
republication of our text. We have no objection to Lomborg saying or 
writing whatever he likes, however much we disagree with it. All we ask is 
that he respect our legal rights. No one needs to reprint an entire text to 
criticize it; like any book reviewers, our authors criticized Lomborg's 
book without quoting more than a few sentences from it. Lomborg can 
certainly do the same.

What Lomborg's web site does not acknowledge, moreover, is that when we 
first pointed out the copyright infringement to him, we volunteered to put 
his entire response onto our w
eb site, thus eliminating the copyright infringement problem. This posting 
will occur concurrently with our May issue.

Scientific American has no interest in trying to stifle debate on this 
subject and has done nothing toward that end. We are disappointed that 
Lomborg or some of his supporters might have anyone think otherwise.

John Rennie, editor in chief
Scientific American
415 Madison Ave.
New York, NY 10017
tel: 212-451-8813
fax: 212-755-1976

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