Friday, 18 September 2009

Penny Sackett and the Correspondence

My e-mail to the Chief Scientist dated 17/8/09

(Similar –posted on radio 2UE link e-mail.)

Dear Professor Sackett,

I have sent the following e-mail to 2UE after your interview yesterday afternoon:

On Wilton and Robertson's show on Sunday afternoon(16/8),  Australia's Chief Scientist Prof. Penny Sackett said that she did not know about any "peer-reviewed" paper that was against the hypothesis of anthropogenic (man-made) global warming(AGW).

As a committee member of the newly formed Climate Sceptics Party ( I found this remark to be either duplicitous or showing a great lack of research from the Chief Scientist of our great nation.

My e-mail contained the following references to peer-reviewed anti AGW papers:

I asked our party's Secretary, who holds dual qualifications in Law and Science to give me a list of peer-reviewed papers.

Here is his reply.

Hi Geoff,

here are 2 sources;

then there is this site;
then there is the reference list for the petition;

and don't forget the recent McLean, Carter and de Freitas paper;

And my paper with Dr Stockwell;
Not to mention numerous papers by Professor Stewart Franks;

Can you really say, Professor Sackett,  that you were not aware of any of these papers?

Yours sincerely

Geoff Brown


My e-mail attracted a generic reply from the Department but nothing from either 2UE or the Chief Scientist:-

I then sent the following by surface mail to 2UE Management with a copy to the Chief Scientist:

Geoff Brown
(address Supplied)
Ourimbah NSW 2258
Phone No Supplied

19 August, 2009

The Management,
170 Pacific Highway,
Greenwich NSW 2065

Cc -Office of the Chief Scientist
c/- Science and Research Division
Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research
GPO Box 9839 CANBERRA ACT 2601

Cc Mr Leon Ashby; Mr Anthony Cox; Climate Sceptics Party.

Dear People

Re Broadcast: Murray Wilton and Clive Robertson Interview with Prof. Sackett 16 August 2009.

During the course of this interview, the Chief Scientist made a dubious statement.

 I have e-mailed Mr Wilton twice. The first time requesting a transcript of the interview and the second time with many links pointing to the error made by the Chief Scientist.

I also sent the same email to the Chief Scientist.

As Spam filters often erase e-mails with many links, I am attaching hard copy of the e-mail.

Could you please keep the transcript and forward a copy.

With thanks in advance

Geoff Brown

I received nothing from the Chief Scientist but the following reply dated 21/8/09 from 2UE’s General Manager Tim McDermott:-
Dear Mr Brown,
Thank you for your letter dated 19 August 2009. 2UE always appreciates feedback from listeners.
When I listened to the referenced interview, I did not hear anything that concerned me. Even though you indicated that you “find it difficult to believe that Ms Hackett was not aware of certain information” (Interestingly, Mr McDermott’s quotes (“ “) but not my words!) that does not necessarily mean that her acknowledgement was inaccurate. In this instance, I am afraid I cannot agree with your concerns.

He then went on to say that they were not obliged to provide transcripts of broadcasts.

If they thought there was nothing wrong (and there was nothing wrong from their side), why not show goodwill by providing the transcript?

Snail mail sent 19/9/09 to 2UE's Mr Mc Dermott and Chief Scientist Prof Penny Sackett;

Geoff Brown
Address as supplied

19 September, 2009

Mr Tim McDermott
General Manager 2UE
PO Box 954
St Leonards
NSW 1590

Cc The Chief Scientist

Dear Mr McDermott

Thank you for your letter dated 21 August 2009.

Attached please find a Media release regarding this matter..

Perhaps you would like to share the attached Media Release with your newsroom.

Yours sincerely

Geoff Brown

Subject: Message from Office of the Chief Scientist [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
Date: 17 August 2009 5:58:20 PM

Thank you for your recent correspondence to Professor Penny D Sackett, Chief Scientist for Australia. Your e-mail has been received. This is an automatic response.

To find out more about the Chief Scientist, you can visit Professor Sackett's official website at

Yours sincerely

Office of the Chief Scientist
02 6276 1727

Prior to this interview, Prof. Sackett had attended a meeting between Senators Penny Wong and Steve Fielding (link) during which she was given the hefty volume NIPCC report which contained three pages of links to peer-reviewed papers. Did she, as her job would have warranted, look at this report and the linked peer-reviewed papers?

If so, she lied during the 2UE interview?

If not, she was derelict in her duties.


  1. Send a complaint to the Australian Communications and Media Authority:

  2. I write to complain about the 2UE General manager Tim McDermott. Other stations readily provide transcripts of their interviews and make them freely available on podcasts. Mr McDermotts protection of the Chief Scientists ignorance, or proclaimed ignorance, of many freely available important public papers refuting the AGW she supports is journalistic incompetence and active censoring. We have become used to this in the Fairfax press and the ABC so it should not be unusual to hear it on 2UE. However to remain silent is to condone. This man is corrupted by his actions. He can't predict the Chief Scientist opinions but he should not shield hide nor conceal them from public scrutiny once he has allowed them to be aired in his name on his program. I feel offended at his resistance to scrutiny of the interview.


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