20100719 concerned scientists climate ad 18
Biologist David Inouye is depicted as a curious rosy-cheeked boy in this ad campaign meant to soften the image of climate scientists. - 


Bill Radke: Remember the headlines a few months ago about so-called "ClimateGate"? Leaked e-mails between some climate scientists led to accusations that data were being fudged. Since then, a slew of investigations have cleared the scientists of any academic misconduct. Still, the affair got climate experts thinking, maybe they need a little work on their "brand". Marketplace's Krissy Clark has the story.

Krissy Clark: Maybe you've seen the ad campaign: a round-cheeked little boy in a baseball uniform peers through a magnifying glass at a cluster of daisies. It's supposed to be a younger version of biologist David Inouye.

David Inouye: people will look twice at that little boy in a little league uniform whereas they might not look twice at a picture of the real me, 60-year-old scientist.

Inouye says the idea is to put a human face -- an adorable one -- on climate scientists like him. The ads point you to a website where you can read more about their work.

Kevin Knobloch runs the Union of Concerned Scientists, the group behind the campaign. He says many of his members have been under attack lately.

Kevin Knobloch: Some climate scientists have received death threats, a drum beat of really disturbing e-mails from people who are often anonymous.

Knobloch wants that to change, once people understand who these scientists are, and what motivates them. While science needs to stick to the cold facts, he hopes to shift public opinion with a warm feeling.

I'm Krissy Clark for Marketplace.