Request list of scientific experts who attended and minutes of high-level seminar on man-made global warming

Mike Post made this Freedom of Information request to British Broadcasting Corporation

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Sir or Madam,

At the website below the BBC states (page 40): "The BBC has held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts, and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus."

Can you please provide me with a list all the best scientific experts who attended your high-level seminar and provide me with the minutes of the seminar.

With thanks in anticipation.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/assets/fil...

“Climate change is another subject where dissenters can be unpopular. There may be now a broad scientific consensus that climate change is definitely happening, and that it is at least predominantly man-made. But the second part of that consensus still has some intelligent and articulate opponents, even if a small minority.
Jana Bennett, Director of Television, argued at the seminar that ‘as journalists, we have the duty to understand where the weight of the evidence has got to. And that is an incredibly important thing in terms of public understanding – equipping citizens, informing the public as to what’s going to happen or not happen possibly over the next couple of hundred years.’
Roger Mosey, Director of Sport, said that in his former job as head of TV News, he had been lobbied by scientists ‘about what they thought was a disproportionate number of people denying climate change getting on our airwaves and being part of a balanced discussion – because they believe, absolutely sincerely, that climate change is now scientific fact.
The BBC has held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts, and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus. But these dissenters (or even sceptics) will still be heard, as they should, because it is not the BBC’s role to close down this debate. They cannot be simply dismissed as ‘flat-earthers’ or ‘deniers’, who ‘should not be given a platform’ by the BBC. Impartiality always requires a breadth of view: for as long as minority opinions are coherently and honestly expressed, the BBC must give them appropriate space. ‘Bias by elimination’ is even more offensive today than it was in 1926. The BBC has many public purposes of both ambition and merit – but joining campaigns to save the planet is not one of them. The BBC’s best contribution is to increase public awareness of the issues and possible solutions through impartial and accurate programming. Acceptance of a basic scientific consensus only sharpens the need for hawk-eyed scrutiny of the arguments surrounding both causation and solution. It remains important that programme-makers relish the full range of debate that such a central and absorbing subject offers, scientifically, politically and ethically, and avoid being misrepresented as standard-bearers. The wagon wheel remains a model shape. But the trundle of the bandwagon is not a model sound.”

Yours faithfully,

Mike Post

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

Dear Mr Post,

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000, as detailed in your email below. Your request was
received on 25th November, 2009. We will deal with your request as
promptly as possible, and at the latest within 20 working days. If you
have any queries about your request, please contact us at the address
below.

The reference number for your request is RFI20091627.

Kind regards

The Information Policy & Compliance Team

BBC Freedom of Information
Room 2252, BBC White City
201 Wood Lane
London W12 7TS

www.bbc.co.uk/foi
Email: [BBC request email]

Tel: 020 8008 2882
Fax: 020 8008 2398

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FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Post
Please find attached the response to your request for information, which
has been dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act
2000. The reference number for your request is RFI20091627.

<<RFI20091627 - Final Response.pdf>>
Yours sincerely
C Gibson

BBC Information Policy and Compliance
Room 2252, 2nd Floor, White City
201 Wood Lane
London W12 7TS, UK

Website: [1]www.bbc.co.uk/foi
Email: [2]mailto:[BBC request email]
Tel: 020 8008 2883
Fax: 020 8008 2398

[3]http://www.bbc.co.uk
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Dear British Broadcasting Corporation,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of British Broadcasting Corporation's handling of my FOI request 'Request list of scientific experts who attended and minutes of high-level seminar on man-made global warming'.

Whilst I concede that the minutes of the seminar can be construed as 'held for the purposes of journalism, art or literature' and is certainly associated with the creative activities of the BBC in relation to its imaginative climate change reporting, there is no conceivable way that the names of "the best scientific experts" on climate change who attended the seminar is held for the purposes of journalism, art or literature. Please supply me with a list of the names of all attendees as a matter of urgency.

Copy to Ms M J Butler Fountain Court

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/re...

Yours faithfully,

Mike Post

Francis Irving left an annotation ()

Blog post referring to this request: http://biased-bbc.blogspot.com/2009/12/n...

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

Dear Mr Post

Thank you for your further email of 11 December 2009.

As per the appeal rights section of our response, the BBC does not offer
an internal review when the information requested is not covered by the
Freedom of Information Act 2000. If you disagree with the BBC's
decision in its response, you can appeal to the Information Commissioner
at: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF; telephone 01625 545 700.

As we advised you in our response of 10 December 2009, the BBC has
previously received a Decision Notice from the ICO regarding a similar
request for information and the Commissioner agreed with the BBC, in
that the requested information was held for the purposes of 'journalism,
art and literature' and therefore the BBC is not obliged to disclose
this information under the Act. This Decision Notice should be
available on the ICO website in the near future.

Yours sincerely

C Gibson
Advisor

BBC Information Policy and Compliance
Room 2252, 2nd Floor, White City
201 Wood Lane
London W12 7TS, UK

Website: www.bbc.co.uk/foi
Email: mailto:[BBC request email]
Tel: 020 8008 2883
Fax: 020 8008 2398

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Dear FOI Enquiries,

"As we advised you in our response of 10 December 2009, the BBC has
previously received a Decision Notice from the ICO regarding a similar
request for information and the Commissioner agreed with the BBC, in
that the requested information was held for the purposes of 'journalism,
art and literature' and therefore the BBC is not obliged to disclose
this information under the Act. This Decision Notice should be
available on the ICO website in the near future."

Can you please give me the details of the FOI request that you are citing as a precedent including the summary title and the originator's name. Thank you in anticipation.

Copy Ms M J Butler Fountain Court Chambers

Yours sincerely,

Mike Post

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Post

Thank you for your further email of 14 December 2009.

Please find attached a copy of the Decision Notice that the BBC was
referring to in its response of 10 December 2009; reference number
FS50176386. I have removed the personal details of the original
requestor from this document, in line with the ICO's practice when it
publishes Decision Notices. This document should be available on the
ICO's website in the near future.

Yours sincerely

C Gibson

BBC Information Policy and Compliance
Room 2252, 2nd Floor, White City
201 Wood Lane
London W12 7TS, UK

Website: www.bbc.co.uk/foi
Email: mailto:[BBC request email]
Tel: 020 8008 2883
Fax: 020 8008 2398

show quoted sections