“Frackademics” – Letter to Greg Clark MP, Minister for Universities, Science and Cities
Dear Greg Clark MP,
We are writing to you in connection with our latest report that analyses the relationships between academia, government departments, PR companies and the fossil fuel industry. Our report undermines the foundations of the four pillars (reports) that the Government and industry have relied upon to support their case for exploiting shale gas in the UK.The four scientific reviews commissioned by Government agencies are as follows:
• The Royal Society/Royal Academy of Engineering review of shale gas (2012);
• The Mackay-Stone review of the climate impacts of shale gas (2013);
• The Public Health England (PHE) review of the health impacts of shale gas (2014);
• The Scottish Government commissioned its own expert study on unconventional.
What should be of most relevance to you is the disturbing picture of the unhealthy relationships that exist and are being cultivated by giant fossil fuel companies, their PR representatives and scientific research/academic institutions. There is a grave danger this will result in a crisis in terms of the public’s confidence and trust in scientific research, and will put the credibility of academic institutions in jeopardy.
There are a number of institutions and Professors who frequently appear within our report and we would like to know whether you will take appropriate actions to protect the reputation of educational institutions involved, and what those will be? We have also written to many of the named Professors within the report, and associated heads of faculty/department, questioning their involvement and whether they think it is ethical for academics to put the credibility of their institutions at risk by engaging in PR initiatives from the oil and gas industry.
We look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.