Extraordinary story of how a fracking company is silencing academic criticism with smears and payoffs

Pride's Purge

The sordid story of the geology professor, the fracking company, the old Etonian and the Tory Party fundraiser

When retiredgeophysics professor Dr David Smythe wrote a highly technicalacademic papercritical of fracking processes, he expected the usual questioning from academic colleagues that goes with peer reviewed academic publications.

What he didn’t expect was to see his academic reputation smeared in two national newspapers.

The Telegraph and the Daily Mail – not publications normally interested inmicrite layers of subsurface geology – both ran bizarre smear stories claiming Smythe had ‘fabricated’ his qualifications.

The ‘fabrications’ boiled down to the non-storythat on his retirement, Smythe had not renewed his subscriptions to membership of the Geological Society.

Dr Smythe was even more surprised to see a colleague from his alma mater Glasgow University – a prof Paul Younger – widely quoted in the newspaper articles, fiercely criticising him for supposedly ‘lying’ about his…

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