Thursday, December 10, 2009

Kickin' It Spanish Inquisition Style

how to form a consensus

The Met Office has embarked on an urgent exercise to bolster the reputation of climate-change science after the furore over stolen e-mails.

...One scientist said that he felt under pressure to sign the circular or risk losing work. The Met Office admitted that many of the signatories did not work on climate change.

“The Met Office is a major employer of scientists and has long had a policy of only appointing and working with those who subscribe to their views on man-made global warming,” he said.

These are political tactics—not scientific ones.
Scientific tactics look like this: “Look, here at all these verifiable facts, our tested theories, our reproducible results [g’head - reproduce ‘em] and, over here, is a pile of facts and data that doesn’t fit. Any ideas?”

Political tactics look like this: “Look how many people agree with me! [nevermind that guy with a gun to their heads] You wouldn’t want to not be in the In Crowd, would you???”

Professor Slingo denied that the Met Office had put anyone under pressure. “The response has been absolutely spontaneous. As a scientist you sign things you agree with, not because you are worried about what the Met Office might think of you,” she said.

Sorry, Blokes. Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof.
Finish your assignment!

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

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