The American Geophysical Union – can it be saved?
Seriously: the 2012 Convention included Mann, Gleick, Lewandowsky, Oreskes and Cook.
If you are one of the 58,000 members, you could ask yourself if you want to be aligned to an organization that thinks “science” means sometimes you need to impersonate someone else, steal their documents, and hide your own data. Is it AGU science if you use algorithms so badly that you could replace your data with a phone book and produce the same result? What if your data is used upside down? The AGU thinks you should speak twice.
Is it the AGU’s idea of “rigorous” if you make headlines out of irreproducible results that use flawed samples, fake data, and issue a press release months before your paper is even ready to be published? Is a sample size of ten in a self-selecting internet poll enough to publish a paper? Do you find out the opinions of one group by interviewing the people who hate them, but then present the results as if you surveyed the first group? Is it OK to call people who disagree with you insulting names? John Cook does, and he was invited to speak as well. Does it bother the AGU that neither Cook nor Lewandowsky can provide a scientific definition for their terms, or even an English one? How about a career built on making ad hominem attacks against senior scientists? Naomi Oreskes fits that bill. She is the Merchant of Doubt, seeding doubt about whistleblowing scientists who are doing their damnedest to keep standards of science alive.
Steve McIntyre was there: see “AGU Honors Gleick”
“Gleick’s welcome back to AGU prominence – without serving even the equivalent of a game’s suspension – was pretty startling, given his admitted identity fraud and distribution (and probable fabrication) of a forged document. Last year, then AGU President Mike McPhadren, a colleague of Eric Steig’s at the University of Washington, had stated on behalf of AGU that Gleick had “compromised AGU’s credibility as a scientific society” and that his “transgression cannot be condoned”. McPhadren stated that AGU‘s “guiding core value” was “excellence and integrity in everything we do” – values that would seem to be inconsistent with identity fraud and distribution and/or fabrication of forged documents, even by the relaxed standards of academic institutions.
Although McPhadren had stated that Gleick’s “transgression” would not be “condoned”, AGU’s warm welcome to Gleick shows that McPhadren’s words meant nothing, because AGU has in fact condoned Gleick’s actions.”
To all the members of the AGU who think the AGU is worth saving, that it has higher standards than this, tell the world, and especially tell the AGU Executive Committee, its Board of Directors, and the President.
To all the members who think this canoe is already over the waterfall, you know what to do. Don’t forget to send a message to the AGU on your way out.
When the AGU or one of its members makes a public statement, the public assumes that the 58,000 members of the AGU vouch for its value. The organizers of the AGU convention are using the reputation amassed by thousands of good scientists to promote witchcraft and runes and potions with magic fairy spells. It’s worse than junk. You may think your voice means nothing, but if 300 emails arrive in AGU committee in-boxes this week, they will surely notice. There will be committee members who are deeply uneasy at the way the AGU is being exploited for political means. Knowing they have your support will help them speak up and stop the slide. The more people who write, the more power the spokesman has.
Lest it be thought that I want to silence anyone, let it be known that if the AGU organized open debates with the aforementioned, and their scientific critics, I would think that would be a very useful forum. On past form though, all of the above would run a mile from answering their critics face to face. It’s not that I want to silence anyone, it’s the idea that ad hominem attacks, poor research, tragic statistics, and dismal reasoning have any place at the AGU.
It ain’t science.