Snouts in the trough: Martin Rowson's Guardian cartoon on the greed surrounding fracking is as relevant now as it was two years ago.

Snouts in the trough: Martin Rowson’s Guardian cartoon on the greed surrounding fracking is as relevant now as it was two years ago.

This sordid story of the corruption that surrounds the fracking industry and the lengths to which those involved will go to silence objective evidence against the process is lengthy, and what follows is just a fraction.

It may shock. Visit Pride’s Purge for the full story.

You can contribute to David Smythe’s legal fight to regain access to data so he can continue his research here.

And his personal website can be seen here.

When retired geophysics professor Dr David Smythe wrote a highly technical academic paper critical of fracking processes, he expected the usual questioning from academic colleagues that goes with peer reviewed academic publications.

What he didn’t expect was to see his academic reputation smeared in two national newspapers.

The Telegraph and the Daily Mail – not publications normally interested in micrite layers of subsurface geology – both ran bizarre smear stories claiming Smythe had ‘fabricated’ his qualifications.

Dr Smythe was even more surprised to see a colleague from his alma mater Glasgow University – a prof Paul Younger –widely quoted in the newspaper articles, fiercely criticising him for supposedly ‘lying’ about his academic credentials and calling him a “fraud”.

Without warning or explanation, Glasgow University suddenly blocked Smythe’s online access to the banks of data he needed for further research, after 17 years of trouble-free access.

It is a devastating and unprecedented move to make against an academic involved in research – effectively barring him from producing any more studies into fracking.

Internal university emails showed the person responsible for the move to bar Smythe from his research was also a prof Paul Younger – in his position as Rankine Chair of Energy Engineering at Glasgow University.

Unfortunately for Dr Smythe, Younger doesn’t just have an academic interest in fracking processes.

He also happens to be on the very lucrative payroll of a company called Cluff Geothermal – an energy company highly involved in fracking.

Source: Extraordinary story of how a fracking company is silencing academic criticism with smears and payoffs | Pride’s Purge

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