A scientist, actively campaigning against shale drilling in the UK, has recently come under heavy criticism from the Geological Society for "false claims" of being a chartered geologist. Dr. David Smythe, a former professor emeritus at Glasgow University, however, points out that the accusations of his opponents are based on their profit motives.
The Geological Society has informed Mr.Smythe that he can no longer claim himself a "chartered geologist" due to the fact his subscription expired more than a decade ago. Simultaneously, the governing body of the University of Glasgow, where the scientist worked 16 years ago, asked Dr. David Smythe in an open letter never to refer to the scientific community of the university researchers in his future publications or in media appearances. He should make it clear that the views he expresses are his own, the official letter stated.
"He has published nothing on [shale gas] in any proper scientific forum – no doubt because he knows he would never get past peer review with his pseudo-scientific scaremongering," explained Prof Paul Younger, professor of energy engineering at the University of Glasgow, cited by the Times.
"He falsely claims to be a chartered geologist … I am concerned about the damage to the reputation of the university by someone who never fails to use his university affiliation," he added.
Mr.Smythe, however, has exposed that Prof Paul Younger has got certain vested interests, being a director of the Newcastle-based coal gas drilling company Five-Quarter Energy.
The scientist stressed that his reports on shale drilling, being a part of the request for public inquiries, met very high standards as they were to go to the Juridical Review.
"A lot of British academics have in effect been bought off by the oil industry. They depend on grants from that industry so they dare not speak out critically," emphasized Dr. David Smythe, quoted by The Telegraph.