Stanford professor upends convention by suing academic critics for defamation

In a notable departure from the give and take of academic debate, Stanford professor Mark Jacobson is suing fellow climate scientist Clark Clack and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for defamation. Jacobson was upset that after PNAS, Proceedings of NAS, ran a article written by Clack and others critical of Jacobson’s research, NAS failed to comply with Jacobson’s editorial suggestion. (techdirt, November 8, 2017, by Mike Masnick)

The lawsuit filed on September 29 asks for $10 million in damages in claiming that in making 30 false and five misleading statements to NAS and that the article hurt Jacobson’s career by arguing that he and colleagues made basic computer modeling errors. (Mashable, November 1, 2017, by Andrew Freedman)

Jacobson was making the case that 100 percent renewable energy is a viable energy target so the U.S. could power its grid without fossil fuel or nuclear energy. One of the main points of contention was Jacobson’s assumption that hydropower facilities could be improved to enable it to step in when wind and solar could not cover demand. (Green Tech Media, November 2, 2017, by Julian Spector)

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