The phone. He was traveling to collect data and I was settled at my desk. Having had a few other meetings, I felt moderately comfortable going into the exchange. I’d condensed my pitch. When he answered I thanked him for speaking with me and apologized that it had taken so many emails to find a good time for us to talk.
“Yes, well I am here now.”
I launched into my now familiar “about me, about the project” spiel. I explained how his research seemed to contain much poetic and aesthetic intrigue. He paused, “I will describe my research to you as I would describe it to a class of first-year undergraduates because that is where I think you are coming from.” He talked about the big picture and the small picture. He was factual. Some of what he said was new to me, some of it was not. Though I could still see the prose through his words I could tell he did not.
Objectivity, he asserted, was of paramount importance to his work. He talked about how climate science was discussed and debated. The only possible defense against the onslaught of doubt, he argued, was objectivity. He said he had to remove himself from political debates, emotion, and subjectivity. He said he was after the truth.