All arguments considered, Dawidoff’s profile strikes me as legitimate in conception, but flawed in execution. Petit is right—to “squelch” this article would have been a shame. While exploring the importance of honest and transparent skepticism (as opposed to the more duplicitous kind proffered by people like Will) to science overall, however, Dawidoff could have done more to challenge the idea that, in this particular instance, Dyson is doing more good than harm.

Curtis Brainard is the editor of The Observatory, CJR's online critique of science and environment reporting. Follow him on Twitter @cbrainard.