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Difference between interim and final acid-rain reports

William Nierenberg's relatives disagree with our description of his role in the acid-rain debate in the early 1980s (Nature 466, 435; 2010). But their supporting evidence is a quote from The New York Times that is based on an interim report on acid rain, not on the final one.

We maintain that Nierenberg worked with the White House Office of Science and Technology to weaken the final report on acid rain (Nature 465, 686–687; 2010), despite the consensus of the peer-review panel — articulated in the interim report — that acid rain was a serious threat. Historical documents from the White House and from Nierenberg's own papers in the archives of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (for details, see N. Oreskes and E. M. Conway Merchants of Doubt; Bloomsbury Press, 2010) show how this was accomplished, and reveal the concern of other panel members when they discovered what had happened.

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Oreskes, N., Conway, E. Difference between interim and final acid-rain reports. Nature 466, 815 (2010).

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