Blatant censorship of dissenting scientific opinions on the subject of climate change and its causes is the post-modern trend. After recent attempts to ban the scientifically undesirable paper by renown scientists Spencer & Braswell and the ban of the climate-critical conference at the Belgian Society of European Engineers and Industrialists (SEII) by IPCC Vice Chair Prof. J. van Ypersele, the Faculty for Physics and Geosciences of the University of Leipzig, Germany, is the next to suppress open scientific debate.

Last Tuesday, University of Leipzig science faculty dean Prof. Dr. Jürgen Haase barred a climate seminar organized by (his own) geography professor Werner Kirstein, as well as the use of an auditorium of his own institute (!) and participation by European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE) Vice President Michael Limburg as one of the the main speakers. Fortunately the ban was later relaxed and the seminar was allowed to go ahead.

The reason for originally having banned the seminar was a dissertation authored by Michael Limburg, which was critical of climate-science and was submitted to the faculty in March 2010. Two reviewers rejected the dissertation claiming, among other points, that it was inadequate. This is why Limburg was not welcome as a speaker, according to a letter from the Dean. The fact that the same dissertation had been recommended for acceptance by 4 other renowned professors went unmentioned by Haase. Limburg immediately challenged the ban.

What was so inconvenient about Limburg’s dissertation?

Under the supervision of Prof. Werner Kirstein, Limburg had written a dissertation that examined the quality of historical global temperature and sea level data in detail. His conclusions were damning. Using accepted rules for science and measurement, Limburg’s results showed that the datasets did not allow sea level and temperature change over the last 120-150 years to be determined anywhere near the alleged accuracies of millimetres or tenths of a degree Celsius respectively as claimed by the IPCC. The range of uncertainty, in both global mean temperature and sea level, is considerably greater than the total respective changes given by the IPCC. Every factor in attributing the possible causes of the changes was, at best, scientifically questionable.

Naturally, the faculty searched – and found – the “right” reviewers for assessing Limburg’s dissertation. In his decision to ban Limburg from speaking, Haase quoted only the objectively unfair and negative assessments. The fact that four other university professors had recommended the dissertation be accepted got no mention by Haase. Limburg officially contested the assessment delivered by the two reviewers, but they have taken their time to respond. Up to today there is still no response. Now a legal battle appears inevitable. Science has again been cast aside.

The high point of the whole affair is the open attempt by the University of Leipzig to silence Lim¬burg – even though he had been officially invited by a full professor. The Leipzig University faculty appears to be completely oblivious to this unworthy conduct.

Open debate is essential for the progress of science

This brings up Voltaire, the most famous philosopher of our time, and his words to his harshest opponent: ‘Sir, I do not agree with your opinion and I fully oppose you. But I would give up my life to assure that you will always be allowed to publicly express your opinion’. At the University of Leipzig, there has to be some colleagues among the philosophy faculty who are familiar with those words. But it looks as if the University leadership is not among them.

Sources: Press release by EIKE,, originally translated from German by Pierre Gosselin,