When Scientific American editor Michael Moyer was invited to appear on Fox & Friends, America's number-one-rated morning show, a producer asked him to talk about future scientific trends. Moyer said he wanted to talk about climate change. He was told to talk about something else.
The show had originally asked Moyer to come on air to talk about the technologies of tomorrow – basically, what futuristic tech (teleportation, for instance) was science likely to make possible in the next half century. Moyer explains what happened next in a recent blog post at SciAm:
I agreed to do the spot, but I said that it's a fool's game to guess at what technologies are going to exist in a half-century. Instead I could do a "trends for the future" in science. They said OK. A 50-year-timescale is pretty far out. About the only interesting thing that the scientific community is sure will happen in the next 50 years is that climate change is going to get worse, and that we're going to have to deal with the impacts. So I put that as one of my talking points.
I understood that there was little chance the topic would make it into the show, but I'm not going to self-censor myself from the get-go. I also included as talking points some topics that we have recently covered in the magazine: robot drivers, gene therapy and rocket technology. The Fox producer came back and very politely and matter-of-factly said that we would have to replace the climate change item. [Moyer has since included the specific language used, which was "can we replace the climate change with something else?"] So I included a talking point about how we were poised to soon discover more Earth-like planets. This all happened [Tuesday], well in advance of my [Wednesday morning] appearance on the show.
Fox's refusal to so much as mention a subject as widely supported as anthropogenic global warming may not be surprising (as Moyer himself acknowledges, "Fox comes with a political point of view, one which has served them well in the ratings hunt"), but it's still reckless and irresponsible, a point Moyer intimated in a series of tweets following his Wednesday morning TV appearance.
Things sort of devolved from there. When Fox & Friends learned that Moyers had taken to twitter to make the show's censorship public, the hosts bashed him for "stabbing them in the back," called him a "'Scientific' Coward" (scientific in quotes there, as seen above), and asked viewers to tweet at Moyer in case they "wanted to reach him."
And reach him they did, some eloquently so:
@mmoyr Your ignorant
— gRAPE VAN (@terrybollman) May 1, 2014
Moyer's decision to appear on the show anyway may strike some as irresponsible, as well, but we applaud his decision to make his exchange with the show's producer public.
Fox has since pulled the segment from the Fox & Friends online archive, but The Raw Story managed to snag it before it was taken down.