That there is a gag in place is not in dispute. The question is why?

The chief of the world’s leading physics lab at CERN in Geneva has prohibited scientists from drawing conclusions from a major experiment. The CLOUD (“Cosmics Leaving Outdoor Droplets”) experiment examines the role that energetic particles from deep space play in cloud formation. CLOUD uses CERN’s proton synchrotron to examine nucleation.

CERN Director General Rolf-Dieter Heuer told Welt Online that the scientists should refrain from drawing conclusions from the latest experiment.

“I have asked the colleagues to present the results clearly, but not to interpret them,” reports veteran science editor Nigel Calder on his blog. Why?

Because, Heuer says, “That would go immediately into the highly political arena of the climate change debate. One has to make clear that cosmic radiation is only one of many parameters.”

True, as far as it goes, but it’s hard to imagine any scientist in any field getting gagged by higher-ups if their science backs up the global warming narrative. What we have seen, though, is scientists pushing the global warming thesis despite the faults in their models and the holes in their own data, and overall encouragement across many disciplines to push the AGW line whether it’s directly relevant or not.

Cosmic rays’ impact on earth’s atmosphere and climate is very poorly understood and research is extremely difficult to carry out. To my knowledge, no climate model has ever taken them into account at all, and their impact may be very significant (or not; we don’t really know) even though some research suggests that cosmic rays can trigger cloud formation. It’s important research, and free inquiry about it and its implications is vital as well. CERN should not muzzle its scientists, whatever opinions they form based on the research. Science shouldn’t be held to CERN’s evident politically correct strictures.

(hat tip CR)