Donna Laframboise replies:
Dear Mr. McStone,
Thank you so much for your note. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me. Please forgive me if I dispute your logic.
We have been told repeatedly by government officials from around the world, and by the most senior IPCC officials, that the IPCC is a body of the world's top experts and best scientists. When that body first gathered together 21 people from the entire world to examine the incredibly important topic of how climate change might affect human health it beggars belief to imagine that there was no one better equipped for this task than a 25-year-old who had yet to publish a single scholarly paper. I think one has to have a very poor opinion of the medical profession to imagine that a more suitable person could not have been found.
The onus is on the IPCC to demonstrate that it has, indeed, recruited the best experts. It is not up to the rest of us to do the tremendous legwork of demonstrating, in each chapter (there were 44 in the 2007 IPCC report), that others are more qualified. However, since you've posed the question and I happen to have a ready answer, I can advise you that while a significant chunk of that first IPCC health chapter dealt with malaria, not one person among those 21 authors appears to have published a bona fide research (as opposed to review) paper on malaria prior to their involvement in writing that chapter. This is more than odd.
Numerous scholars have devoted decades of their lives to the study of malaria. Among the far more suitable candidates for that IPCC chapter are malaria specialists such as Paul Reiter (who spent 21 years with the CDC in Atlanta before joining the Pasteur Institute in Paris), Simon Hay, Bob Snow, Dennis Shanks, Andrew Spielman, and Duane Gabler.(sic)*
Once again, thanks for taking the time to write. All the best to you,
* I think Donna means Duane Gubler
So there we have it. Must add to the list of Donna's many skills "authoritative evaluator of malarial expertise and relevance in the field of environmental epidemiology".
That suggests I might be a little out of my depth here, but I'll venture Donna isn't able to support the inference that a single one of these eminent individuals has been overlooked in favour of Dr Kovats. Stay tuned.