Phil Jones, the climate scientist at the centre of last year’s media storm over stolen documents received hundreds of abusive and threatening emails, some of which threatened him and his family.
In an interview with the journal Nature, Phil Jones of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, UK, says that the level of personal abuse was the most difficult part of the affair and at one point he even contemplated suicide.
Now in recovery mode, Jones is in no mood to express regret. He questions why he received so little public support from his colleagues and stands by the disputed wording of a key 1990 temperature study of the impact of urbanization. He denies deleting emails to prevent them being requested under freedom of information laws and says it is “impossible” to pervert the peer-review process, as he was accused of doing. And he insists he responded “quite well” to requests for information and data. His one concession: “I’m a little more guarded about what I say in e-mails now.”