The ABC's Anna Salleh and Gregg Borschmann report (2.5.17) on leaked communications indicating fierce disagreements within CSIRO about whether the science agency's advice on climate science has been "missing in action" — and whether individual scientists are free to make their own public statements.
'Leaked emails from 2015 reveal a bitter dispute within CSIRO, Australia's leading science body, as management tried to prevent top scientists from breaking ranks before the Paris climate summit.
'The disagreement took place after CSIRO declined to make a formal submission to a government consultation about Australia's new emissions target.
'The emails detail internal concerns that, at key moments dating back to 2009, the organisation had been "missing in action" in providing advice on climate change, and that it should not be trying to "operate behind closed doors" with government.
'Critics say these tensions between CSIRO management and scientists are a symptom of ongoing self-censorship by an organisation fearful of offending government and losing funding.
'But CSIRO has defended its actions, arguing it is fully engaged in advising government and contributing to policy debates on climate change.'