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Prominent climate scientist Michael Mann is suing a right wing author and a policy analyst for defamation in a trial currently taking place in a Washington D.C. courtroom. Attacks on scientists and their work are increasing, but scientists have yet to find an effective way to respond. Mann gained recognition for creating the 'hockey stick graph' that illustrated the impact of human activity on global warming, and this made him a target for climate science deniers funded by the fossil fuel industry.
"Because it became such a powerful image, it was under attack from the beginning," he says.
The defamation trial involving climate scientist Michael Mann, currently taking place in D.C., holds significance for the field of climate science. Mann gained prominence for his creation of the 'hockey stick graph' which illustrated the impact of human activity on global warming. The attacks on Mann and his work have come from groups that reject climate science, many of which are funded by the fossil fuel industry. This trial is occurring at a time when attacks on scientists and the spread of misinformation about their work are on the rise.
"The case comes at a time when attacks on scientists are proliferating," says Peter Hotez.