Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: Gaiver disappoints

A lecture called “The Strange Case of Global Warming” by Ivar Giaever was given on February 8, 2012 at RPI. It was a classic armchair science critique. It was peppered with anecdotes, such as how much more nervous he was about a long ago conference appearance than he was at RPI (he meant to amuse I suppose—but how many in the audience realized that he was insulting them?). He also freely used ridicule, for example, expressing incredulity that anybody could measure global temperature. He then contradicted himself when he claimed that the global temperature had not risen recently. He wound up concluding that global warming was a pseudoscience (“absolutely”).

I have to give the students and faculty who attended the lecture credit. A good number of them challenged Giaever on both interpretation and on facts.

It is sad that a man with such a distinguished career (he won a Nobel Prize in physics) should find it acceptable to impugn the integrity of a whole community of scientists self-admittedly on the basis of nothing more than his own opinions and Google searches.

Harry Roy

Professor of Biology