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Newton, Einstein, Watson and Crick, were not peer reviewed

Sir Isaac Newton

Peer review by anonymous unpaid reviewers is not a part of the Scientific Method.

Once upon a time the fate of a scientific paper was dependent on an Editor whose reputation depended on making sound decisions about what to publish. Modern science shifted responsibility from a single identifiable editor to an anonymous “committee”. What could possibly go wrong?

From Zocalo Public Square

Melinda Baldwin looked at the history of peer review:

I was incredibly surprised to learn that Nature published some papers without peer review up until 1973. In fact, many of the most influential texts in the history of science were never put through the peer review process, including Isaac Newton’s 1687 Principia Mathematica, Albert Einstein’s 1905 paper on relativity, and James Watson and Francis Crick’s 1953 Nature paper on the structure of DNA.

A revolution in science happened without formal “peer review”. Who would have thought?

Crucially, journals without refereeing processes were not seen as inferior or less “scientific” than those that used referees. Few scientists thought that two anonymous readers would better judge a paper than, say, the great physicist Max Planck (who was on the editorial board of the prominent German journal Annalen der Physik). Scientists unaccustomed to refereeing did not see it as an obviously superior system.

In 1936, Albert Einstein—who was used to people like Planck making decisions about his papers without outside opinions—was incensed when the American journal Physical Review sent his submission to another physicist for evaluation. In a terse note to the editor, Einstein wrote:

“I see no reason to address the—in any case erroneous—comments of your anonymous expert. On the basis of this incident I prefer to publish the paper elsewhere.”

Watson and Crick’s paper might never have been published:

Nature’s former editor John Maddox was fond of saying that the groundbreaking 1953 DNA paper would never have made it past modern peer review because it was too speculative.

The full article has more information on the history of peer review:

Most existing historical accounts claim that peer review began at the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, founded in 1665. And indeed, Henry Oldenburg, the Royal Society secretary who managed the Transactions, did sometimes solicit opinions on papers that he was considering for publication. It would be far too simplistic to say that peer review emerged fully formed from the 17th century, however. Oldenburg consulting his friends about the occasional Transactions paper is a far cry from our current system, which generally involves anonymity and reports from multiple referees.

The first formalized refereeing procedures emerged at scientific societies in the 18th century. In 1731, the Royal Society of Edinburgh began to distribute submissions “according to the subject matter to those members who are most versed in these matters.” By the 19th century, the Royal Society of London consulted referees on nearly all papers submitted to the Transactions. These referees prepared reports on the papers, but authors generally would not see them—the reports were meant to help the editors decide which submissions to print, not to suggest revisions.

Many widely read specialist journals in the 18th and 19th centuries, however, had no systematic refereeing procedures at all. Commercial scientific journals (such as the Philosophical Magazine and Nature) were often run by dynamic editors who felt qualified to evaluate any contribution.

The term “peer review” only originated after World War II.  Baldwin doesn’t seem to understand why it has become dominant, and suggests it is partly because of the explosion in “Cold War financial investments in science” and the increase in number of papers being published, which, in the case of Physical Review, “rose from 2,310 in 1940 to 24,544 in 1969″. But the problem of the increase in submissions could be solved by increasing the number of journals and editors.

Obviously the term “Peer Review” is used by those in influential positions in the science world to guard their turf. It makes it harder for up and coming competitors, and is a bar to entry for risky, innovative or politically incorrect work.  It certainly doesn’t seem to stop self-evidently stupid papers from being published.

Given that many areas of science are now so dominantly government funded, by stacking the deck with supporters it’s no surprise that peer review has become the tool du jour to suppress inconvenient dissent in politicized areas of science. It doesn’t take a conspiracy — it’s just a systematic bias.

The answer lies, as always, with competition and individual responsibility. We need private science funding to compete with government funding. We need editors to be named, and their reputation should depend on their judgement. Palming the decision off to “the committee” was never going to work.

Ideally we need to return to funding of science  by patrons who stand to individually gain or lose reputation (or more) by the decisions they make, to have skin the  game, to intimately understand the area of research — even if, to make the best of the current big-government world, they are only doling out public money. Accountability, I say! Who is accountable for ARC debacles? See:  Are ARC grants for science or a form of government advertising disguised as research? See also: Lewandowsky gets $1.7m of taxpayer funds to denigrate people who disagree with him.

Image: Sir Isaac Newton Wikimedia

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210 comments to Newton, Einstein, Watson and Crick, were not peer reviewed

  • #
    Safetyguy66

    Thousands of people in many fields of expertise and endeavor do not agree with your post Jo. Therefore regardless of its factual content, it must be false.
    /sarc off

    You make a point I have been making about classical science for many years now. If Darwin/Newton/Pastuer Et Al. were working on peer review for their credibility I think the scientific truths of today may look considerably different.

    Science moves and shifts. Its almost (or perhaps actually) irrelevant how many people agree or disagree with your findings provided they are repeatable. Thats the big difference with climate science. Nothing is presented as a hypothesis and nothing is repeatable. Models (which are nothing more than hypothesis) are presented as observational evidence and when they utterly fail to even marginally predict outcomes that match actual observational evidence, the background theory is adjusted to suit the new observed outcome.

    Climate science is without doubt the most perverted form of scientific inquiry I have ever seen. It’s results are the equivalent of Newton predicting an apple would fly upwards from his hand and leave earths orbit in terms of how far the climate predictions are from the climate facts.

    Good article.

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    • #
      Steve

      The bloke who developed Metal storm knew nothing about ballistics, and now its one of the most useful ( and lethal ) area denial systems in the world….

      Wonder how it wouod have gone through “peer review”?

      It seems there is a concerted effort to make everything “group think certified” these days – perish the thought people might have independent thought.

      Thinking for ones self is becoming an endangered species – but this trait does need to be forstered and developed, especially in our kids.

      Training kids to think for themselves is critical to our species survival.

      Slavery is slavery – if people cant think outside a box to solve a problem, they are slaves to the midset that created the drone hive mind.

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      • #
        Safetyguy66

        You also have to ask yourself when is a “peer review” actually that.

        If you google “peer definition” you get quite a range of responses ranging from someone of the same age, to someone of similar legal status. So in the case of say Einstein, who was his peer or group of peers? Most of the time with the great scientists of our times, there would only be one or two genuine peers, who no doubt are busy with their own genius. The rest of the time its more like “junior review” than “peer review”.

        Then put yourself in the shoes of a junior climate scientist. You don’t know an awful lot, your wanting to get ahead in the field. You may indeed have doubts about the paper you are reviewing but when you consider your criticisms may in fact come back and bit you on the career at a later stage, no matter whether you were right or wrong, its probably easier to pick up a few spelling and grammar errors and wave the paper through.

        Once again, we probably don’t have a conspiracy here, we just have like minded folks acting like mindedly out of basic and understandable self interest. When lots of little self interests align, it can look conspiratorial when its really just safe and lazy behavior.

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      • #
        Brian

        The bloke who developed Metal storm knew nothing about ballistics, and now its one of the most useful ( and lethal ) area denial systems in the world….

        Wonder how it wouod have gone through “peer review”?

        It was “peer revieved”, found to be rubbish and the company has gone broke.

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      • #
        bananabender

        The bloke who developed Metal storm knew nothing about ballistics, and now its one of the most useful ( and lethal ) area denial systems in the world….

        You must be thinking about some other company. Metal Storm wasted tens of millions of dollars over 18 years. They didn’t sell a single weapon. They went bankrupt in 2102.

        AFAIK the defence community thought the Metal Storm concept was exceptionally stupid.

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        • #
          James the Elder

          Glorified shotgun without the ability to follow a target. A chain gun at 6000 RPM makes life miserable for anything in front of it.

          00

    • #
      Truthseeker

      The universe is not a democracy. The universe only works one way and does not care what you or I or other people think. Either what is being proposed matches the observations made or it doesn’t. Either it can be used to build something that works in the real world or it is speculation.

      Given the number of retractions and subsequent errors that are found in “peer reviewed” articles, peer review does not seem to be a value adding process.

      Peer review is just another form of control. We no longer need publishing houses that “print” journals on paper. The whole thing can be done online and everyone can participate equally.

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      • #
        Winston

        The clueless are the most threatened in a world of unfettered ideas.

        Peer review is an utter abomination, whose sole aim is to prevent human intellectual development beyond its present stasis point.

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        • #
          Peter Miller

          I think you should say,”Peer review, as practiced today, is an utter abomination.”

          The problem is that in ‘climate science’ peer review has become the principal censorship weapon of a largely alarmist Establishment.

          Whenever this censorship fails, then the Climate Inquisition is sent in to restore the status quo, which usually means loss of career and a comprehensive mocking of your reputation.

          The concept of peer review is not a bad one, the problem is that is has become totally corrupted by alarmist activists in support of the whims of their left wing political masters.

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          • #
            the Griss

            Peer review should NEVER be used to reject a paper, but to enhance the paper, correct silly errors and grammatical mistakes. etc

            Point out blatant maths or physics errors.

            It should NEVER be used to reject because the reviewer doesn’t understand, or disagrees with the conclusion.

            It should not be used to SILENCE a scientific hypothesis or to SILENCE a rejection of a hypothesis.

            Further more, it should be understood that peer review is but a FIRST STEP in the acceptance of an idea.

            NEVER AN END POINT

            and NEVER a point of fact.

            Until people realise that peer review DOES NOT MEAN that a paper is actually correct,

            and the sooner papers that fly contrary to an accepted meme are not rejected and remain unpublished, the better for all science.

            Let each paper, and ALL ITS DATA AND METHODS stand on its merits against the tide.

            Any paper that refuses to make ALL its data and methods open to totally scrutiny should be rejected OUTRIGHT !!!

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            • #
              the Griss

              OK. little mindless red thumb

              .. argue your point.

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              • #
                vic g gallus

                Not my red thumb but

                Peer review is necessary because of the sheer volume of papers submitted, and the “quantity not quality” assessment of a scientist’s worth. A better way to go about it in the age of the internet is to have a two tier system. As long as its not complete waffle, it gets published on line for people to comment, and amendments made (and tracked). That can then be officially reviewed and promoted to being worthy of making it into print.

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              • #
                Streetcred

                Vic … no doubt spurred on by the ‘publish or perish’ mantra … link university funding to quality teaching metrics and let’s see if this mantra continues.

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            • #
              Radical Rodent

              Until people realise that peer review DOES NOT MEAN that a paper is actually correct…

              A point that Diederik Stapel clearly demonstrates: “…published fabricated data in 30 peer-reviewed papers.” Why has the concept of peer-review become so vital as to become sacrosanct? I suspect that it might be a form of censorship, with contrary opinions being consigned to the litter-bin; at least on this site, the only way to express censure, or the desire to censor, is with the red thumb.

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            • #
              Backslider

              peer review DOES NOT MEAN that a paper is actually correct

              You just destroyed Michael The Surrealist’s whole World.

              60

          • #
            Winston

            I disagree Peter,

            I think anonymous peer review, or peer review by committee, allows mediocre minds to control the output of those they don’t agree with or don’t understand merely because they sit outside the mainstream. It is retrograde, antithetical to progress, counterproductive to lateral thinkers and inspired paradigm shifts, and more egregiously is not designed to seek the truth.

            Let the court of open scientific critical evaluation judge the merits of a paper, the weight of evidence and the persuasiveness of argument rather than a centralised politburo clique of “establishment” lackeys.

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            • #
              Bulldust

              Therein lies the difference between what peer review should be, and what it actually is in certain areas. Like deomcracy, it isn’t a perfect system, often far from it, but put forward a better system.

              Peer review is necessary ‘evil’ because of the sheer number of papers produced these days and the high degree of specialisation. No one editor can be the arbiter of what constitutes an acceptable paper. That might have worked back in the day when there were dozens of submissions, but not in the era of ‘publish or perish’ where every academic and wannabe has to churn out papers to secure their future career prospects.

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              • #
                Bulldust

                I shall answer my own question – I think online review is the way to go. That way papers which attract a lot of attention will receive a lot of feedback and quickly. Presumably moderators could keep the tone relatively civil and on topic where necessary. Some way of establishing identity would be required to avoid anonymous trolling.

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              • #
                Jon

                You are basically saying that the establishment have to protect them self from all the new scientists?

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              • #
                Jon

                When is Facebook and Internet going to be peer viewed?

                10

              • #
                vic g gallus

                Apologies for accidentally plagiarising your comments.

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            • #
              the Griss

              Really, what are the chances that , say, 2 reviewers will actually check a work of science properly.

              Peer review is a FIRST check. Nothing more.. and nothing less.

              Everyone makes little mistakes, everyone makes big mistakes.

              Let the paper through with ALL its data and methods wether you disagree or not with the conclusions.

              Let the paper stand on its merits in from of ALL.

              If it gets ripped to scientific shreds, like papers from Gergis, Cook, Lewendowsky or Mann etc, ok.. the author just has to grow up and wear it. !!

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              • #
                the Griss

                I make lots of typos.. wether I like it or not :-)

                Ewe no wot I mean !

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              • #
                Bulldust

                I guess your comment wan’t peer reviewed :D

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              • #
                Rereke Whakaaro

                I peered at it. I even squinted a bit, and then closed one eye.

                It still didn’t make any sense, so I figured the bloke who wrote it knew more about the subject than me, so I passed it without comment (apart from this one).

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            • #
              Peter Miller

              Winston

              That is the reason why I said “as practiced today”.

              Peer review should be used to pick up errors in facts, references and grammar.

              It should not be used to ‘correct’, or stifle findings and conclusions, just because you disagree with them and/or it could adversely affect your pay packet.

              The Climate Mafia/Global Warming Industry have a vested interest in spreading and maintaining the gospel of Imminent Thermageddon, although there is absolutely no evidence this is anything other than a complete myth – unless, of course, you want to believe the inaccurate, biased and all-proven-wrong-by-observation computer model forecasts.

              The ultimate bottom line is that the current system of peer review in ‘climate science’ is utterly corrupt and consequently there is a desperate need for the modern day equivalent of Hercules cleaning out King Augean’s stables.

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              • #
                Winston

                The benefits of peer review in applying these corrections in facts, references and grammar could be achieved better in open publication, with the author wishing to be taken seriously honour bound to correct when errors are pointed out.

                The cost on the other hand is stifling creativity, entrenching false paradigms and applying a whopping great brake to the wheels of human progress, all in the name of allowing those established in the mainstream to remain comfortably ensconced on their well-fed arses to the detriment of the advancement of knowledge. They are the ballast on the Titanic, and should be jettisoned overboard into the icy Atlantic at the first opportunity.

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            • #
              Rereke Whakaaro

              Academia.edu exists to allow people to share their research, and have it reviewed by true peers, without having to go through a formal journal publication process.

              It claims, “Academics use Academia.edu to share their research, monitor deep analytics around the impact of their research, and track the research of other academics they follow”. They also claim slightly less than ten million members.

              It seems to be backed by a number of Venture Capitalists, who obviously get early warnings on new developments, in the emerging fields where the real growth potential is.

              The thing I like about it, is that they don’t just reject papers, out of hand, on the grounds that you are “only” an applied scientist, or you do not work for a “recognised academic institution”.

              It seems they will talk to anybody. They talk to me.

              Thought for the day, regarding the Presidential Election in Egypt: Winning a democratic election makes you a democrat no more than eating lettuce makes you a rabbit.

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            • #
              Seth

              A active field of study produced far more papers than the interested party could reasonably read. So deferring to “the court of open scientific critical evaluation judge the merits of a paper”, would mean that most papers are simply never read by anyone, and would probably heighten the effect of current reputation of a particular scholar compared to the legitimacy of their work.

              “Genetics” in google scholar articles published in 2013 amount to 380 papers and books per day. Even the most dedicated follower of the science couldn’t hope to read 10% of those with any attention to detail. I don’t think that swamping these with a myriad of other research, some by young earth creationists, many by PR groups or people trying to sell an unproven treatment on the back streets of Guangzhou, is likely to help the situation.

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        • #
          King Geo

          Well said Winston. Peer review in many cases is complete and utter bullshit – excuse the language. In my field of geological expertise the “best original work” never gets published – this is because scientists like I work in Industry and our work is deliberately “kept in-house” – this helps us to maintain a competitive edge – in our game it is “publish & perish” – the total opposite of Academia. Let’s consider Climate Science. Piers Corbyn of WeatherAction uses in-house “unpublished astrophysical techniques” (mainly the effects of Solar input) for long term weather forecasting and he appears to be more successful than the UK Met Office, which has an annual budget of ~ 200 million UK pounds, completely ignores the effects of the Sun, makes a big deal about AGW, and provides inferior results to independent weather forecasters like WeatherAction – you have to feel for the poor UK tax payers who are getting “little value for money” from this large govt instrumentality.

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          • #
            Jon

            “UK Met Office, which has an annual budget of ~ 200 million UK pounds, completely ignores the effects of the Sun, makes a big deal about AGW, and provides inferior results to independent weather forecasters like WeatherAction – you have to feel for the poor UK tax payers who are getting “little value for money” from this large govt instrumentality”

            It’s about controlling the masses. The only value is for an ideology or leftist politicians as means to implement an agenda?

            20

          • #
            Streetcred

            BoM here is also getting one of the those UKMO super computers … that’ll enable them to make super stuff-ups more quickly.

            10

    • #
      Jon

      I think there is a chance that they wanted control over science papers and that the best way to do it was with “consensus” Peer review? Like take control over the means of production?

      30

      • #
        Jon

        Like take control, gatekeepers, over the means of production of climate and environment science papers?

        20

    • #
      GJM

      If a theory is true it will eventually come out regardless, if it isn’t true no amount of support will make it so.
      And unless a theory can be proved to be true it will always remain just another theory!

      10

  • #
    Leon

    Michael Mann’s work was peer reviewed, and even though it flew in the face of a thousand studies, it was immediately accepted as gospel by “2500 of the world’s top climate scientists”.

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    • #
      the Griss

      That was because he refused to release ALL of his data and methods.

      2 or 3 people is NOT a proper peer review.

      A proper peer review now happens after all data and methods are released to full scrutiny.

      But he doesn’t dare !!!!!!!!!!!

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    • #
      Jon

      “Michael Mann’s work was peer reviewed, and even though it flew in the face of a thousand studies, it was immediately accepted as gospel by “2500 of the world’s top climate scientists”.”

      Climategate clearly shows that the science is severely politicized and among many to also get rid of the medival warm period in order to promote the great political “cause”?
      Their UNEP designed climate treaty?

      10

  • #
    michael hart

    Nature’s former editor John Maddox was fond of saying that the groundbreaking 1953 DNA paper would never have made it past modern peer review because it was too speculative.

    That doesn’t seem to have stopped quite a lot of speculation being published about how the Earth will go hell in a thermal-handcart. It’s just done by computer these days.

    Be that as it may, I would qualify the quote by saying I’ve read quite a bit of speculation in some fields, but often only by well established big-cheeses when seen in the more ‘serious’ journals. Not just anyone gets to do it.

    I’ve also seen cases where someone has effectively discussed contradictory speculative theories (not necessarily in the same paper), and later received credit for being at-the-leading-edge when somebody else, somewhere else, actually did the work but probably wasn’t important enough to get their speculation published beforehand.

    An apocryphal story(I’m not sure of its veracity):

    I recall somebody quoting Einstein as saying that the key to scientific success was ‘an ability to disguise your sources’. The same person then said that Einstein had claimedly not read the key Michelson–Morley paper before or during development of his relativity theory, but had still managed to read the adjacent article in the same journal.

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  • #
    scaper...

    I sit here wondering how many possible scientific breakthroughs have been discarded because of this closed club peer review process.

    I was of the opinion that science was the vehicle for the betterment of mankind. Seems it is for the betterment of Mann-kind.

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  • #
    turnedoutnice

    Peer Review is fine for developed science because it (should) pick up mistakes and bad science, as defined by that area’s ‘consensus’. Now, here’s the problem: Climate Alchemy is not Science because at its heart is false physics, dating from Carl Sagan. Yup; he got the basic physics wrong when he thought he had analysed what made the atmosphere of Venus what it is, and that begat the IPCC ‘consensus’.

    So, I put in a paper for peer review a couple of years ago which completely tore up Sagan’s aerosol optical physics, as applied to clouds by dumping the absorption terms. It was introduced to Climate Alchemy in http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/la05000n.html

    I won’t go into all the details here but Sagan mistook earlier work by van der Hulst, ‘lumped parameterisation’, an intelligent curve-fit, as indicating just one optical process, Mie scattering. You see it in the root 3 (1-g) terms in the climate models. The supposed mechanism is that the light wanders in, bounces around then bounces back more, the greater the optical depth. Because of this, Sagan thought in his two-stream calculation that a planetary surface can emit real IR energy to its atmosphere as if it were a black body. In reality, he mistook Irradiance for a real energy flux.

    That is inherited by the climate models which by the same mistake, triple the surface to atmosphere energy transfer. They offset all but 60% of the increase by another mistake, common to atmospheric physicists all over the World, to assume a grey body so they can apply Kirchhoff’s Law of Radiation at ToA. This means that the IR energy from the surface in the ‘atmospheric window’ that goes straight to Space, is supposed to push the same IR flux down from ToA to offset itself! The same goes for the water vapour bands which come from about 2.6 km in temperate zones. In fact, the only IR to which Kirchhoff’s Law applies at ToA is CO2 and Ozone, generated locally!

    Now, back to the main feature: my paper was sent back in 48 hours, not peer reviewed, because the journal, in the Nature stable, judged that the mathematics was too complex for its readers, who clearly want a comic to reinforce their preconceptions. Yup, that is what peer review is about in Climate. I was advised to send my work to a Physics’ journal. But it’s all about no CO2 effect for ending ice ages because it’s biofeedback involving clouds, reversing the sign of the ‘AIE’ because Sagan got it wrong.

    No astrophysics journal will accept such a change unless we wait for the successors to Sagan to die too! His two-stream approximation underpins all that as well! His Atmospheric Physics fails to understand the difference between Irradiance and the real Power Dissipation as EM energy changes to heat, the vector sum of Irradiances, physically for each wavelength a standing wave at the amplitude of the cooler body with a superimposed travelling wave with the difference of amplitudes, carrying the net energy!

    So, peer review actually prevents major changes in science. As Planck said ‘Science proceeds one funeral at a time.’. In short, peer review is really ‘Only over my dead body’! I have to self publish as a monograph along with the real mechanism by which the atmosphere keeps CO2-GW near zero. Miskolczi had the same problem and i have taken on his ideas but dumped the mistaken heat transfer at the surface. Luckily, I’m retired so I don’t have to stack shelves which is what real scientists have to do nowadays At last Einstein worked in a patent office.

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    • #
      turnedoutnice

      PS the 60% increase in energy is used to produce the latent heat via ‘positive feedback’, plus a bit of sensible heat to get the extra temperature rise. That’s embarrassing because it messes up the hindcasting so they cheat by using c. 30% extra low level cloud albedo to pretend its cooler than reality under ocean clouds, hence the exponential evaporation kinetics biases the output to pretend positive feedback exists. They really are a clever bunch of shysters.

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      • #
        turnedoutnice

        PPS my analysis of the cloud physics has been confirmed from US satellite data. The albedo of low level clouds with a bimodal droplet size distribution (with ‘drizzle’) is 10% higher than unimodal clouds. The process explains why 90% albedo thunderclouds are so dark underneath – 80% SW is backscattered in the first few 100 metres, of the 20% that enters the cloud half goes up and half goes down. This is what happens on Venus, so Sagan got his energy calculations wrong.

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    • #

      That is a good observation. I always wondered “who was powerful enough” to dream up, and have accepted, the nonsense of some two way opposing power flux between two anything! There is no actual absorption of thermal radiant energy by a gas at, or tending to thermal equilibrium, as per Gus Kirchhoff!
      Not only Miskolczi, but also the Connolly family, used balloon measurements to indicate no thermal electromagnetic radiation from the surface is needed for the accumulating atmospheric exitance all the way through the stratosphere. The variable atmospheric water vapor strictly controls the energy leaving this planet in a very stable (overall) thermodynamic equilibriumn. No other feedbacks, forcings, or other claptrap need be invented!

      “He mistook Irradiance for a real energy flux.”

      Indeed, as do Warmists, Lukewarmists, and every young arrogant accademic!

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      • #
        turnedoutnice

        And all this is obvious to me, a mere engineer and part-time genius!

        Joking aside, Goody and Yung correctly devised the Law of Conservation of Energy as applied to the mixed EM and material worlds: qdot = – DIV Fv where qdot is the monochromatic heat generation rate per unit volume of matter and Fv is the monochromatic radiative flux density. From this you get at the surface qdotnet = – delta Irradiance where qdotnet is integrated over all wavelengths and the surface interaction volume.

        In the Trenberth Energy Budget (2009 data) qdotnet = [333 W/m^2 - 396 W/m^2] = -62 W/m^2. The negative sign means heat is lost as 63 W/m^2 net IR energy.

        The Climate models assume the atmospheric Irradiance at the surface bounces back so qdotnet = – [333 W/m^2 + 63 W/m^2] = – 396 W/m^2. Add in the 97 W/m^2 convection and evaporation and you get -493 W/m^2 which is 3x the real 160 W/m^2, a Perpetual Motion Machine of the 2nd Kind. This ties in with the many people who imagine falsely that a body above absolute zero emits ‘photons’ at the S-B level as a continuous process so they have to bounce back if there are no empty sites. ‘Photons’ do not exist except at the instant of energy transfer. Only the net travelling wave with superimposed random thermal oscillation matters.

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        • #

          @Andrew May 26, 2014 at 9:30 pm #5.2.1

          In 2010 you wrote that CO2 was a major contributor and stabilizer for climate. Do you feel the same way now?
          If so, What does CO2 do? Would 2000 ppmv hurt anything?

          “And all this is obvious to me, a mere engineer and part-time genius!”

          [SNIP]
          They fantasize about knowing! I build the instrument, I do the measurement, then because the numbers are weard, I try to figure out what I was really measuring. It was something, so do not truck with my numbers. My numbers are the best measurement of “something” you will ever get!

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        • #

          @turnedoutnice May 26, 2014 at 9:30 pm $5.2.1

          “Only the net travelling wave with superimposed random thermal oscillation matters.”
          For flux this is correct. For synchronous amplitude modulation of any radiative intensity, that modulation travels at the speed of light independent of any carrier flux in either direction, even with zero (net) flux over a modulation interval. Such modulation intensity can be recovered and measured at the point of opposing radiant intensity with a synchronus demodulator. This may be where Sagan and others got confused about broadband electromagnetic radiation.
          About that time, the HiTran database was developed to determine the effect of various atmospheres on such modulation (atmospheric seeing), at many wavelengths! Any mass in a radiative path can affect such modulation by absorption or scattering. The database was built by measuring that decrease in modulation never distingushing either. That database is fine for atmospheric seeing. It has no numbers whatsoever for radiant flux attenuation. Such flux attenuation is dependent on any gas parcel’s nearness to local thermodynamic equilibrium including any pass through radiant flux. Only when “not” in or near thermodynamic equilibrium can a mass with sensible heat have any difference in sensible heat input and output, including electromagnetic radiation that can affect that sensible heat.
          This is one of Kirchhoff’s laws. You just thought these folk are messed up. Each and every one is totally incompetent.

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            turnedoutnice

            Agree: it’s a total failure of their teaching in the US in the 1960s, and it comes down to Sagan.

            One of my Profs studied as a post doc with Planck in the 1930s and taught me how to work these things out from first principle.

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              @! turnedoutnice May 27, 2014 at 1:52 pm
              “Agree: it’s a total failure of their teaching in the US in the 1960s, and it comes down to Sagan.”

              Perhaps you are correct. Perhaps it is just academia! I got a BSEE in 64.
              After that I got an “education” by doing, and failing, with the help of truly gifted folk that could/would help! Perhaps even a bachelors degree should never be granted until the individual can demonstrate a capability of doing something useful!

              I like ‘pinning’ the current lack of distinction between “radiance” (a normalized field strength, or intensity) and “radiation” (the spontaneous result of a difference in intensity) on Carl! But I think he had lots of help from the not so smart in spreading such nonsense.

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      ferdberple

      went looking for a link to your paper but didn’t find one.

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        turnedoutnice

        There is no way any of my work will be published in a journal the warmists accept as valid.

        it’s because i challenge the very foundation of their pseudoscience.

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      Peer Review is there solely for the benefit of the publishers. It is designed to protect the reputation of the publisher from bogus papers. End of story.

      Oh, and in Klimate Seance, it also has the added benefit of keeping the troops in line, and on message.

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        Richard111

        Well, yes. I always thought ‘peer review’ was akin to ‘patent law’, in other words a check to see you weren’t claiming someone else’s work as your own. Whether it was valid or not would show up in repeatability tests.

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      turnedoutnice

      Thank you. I also wrote a review paper on radiative and IR physics. I trained in process engineering but have an applied physics PhD so cover far more ground than most scientists or engineers; it was not beyond me to go back to Kirchhoff and Planck, then to develop what Planck did not do, a simple explanation of how a warmer body transfers EM energy to a cooler body with no net emission by the cooler body to the warmer body, hence no ‘back radiation’.

      But this means you have to understand that IR Irradiance, what I call a (Thermal) Radiation Field, is a potential energy flux to a sink at Absolute Zero. You also have to understand that the atmospheric TRF at the surface comprises black body amplitude Poynting vectors in the self-absorbed GHG bands and these mutually annihilate the same wavelength ranges that would be emitted by the surface to empty Space.

      Sagan, and he has poisoned for 50 years the Atmospheric Science well, failed to understand as I do, being a humble engineer who has actually measured these aspects of physics, that on Venus the net surface IR emission is actually very low. The heating comes from gravity, dry adiabatic lapse rate modified by sulphuric acid fogs, an average of c. 8 K/km below 45 km.

      This whole science is a mess. They’ve failed to understand that there can be no thermalisation of the GHG-absorbed IR anyway because the proportion of activated molecules is set by temperature and the Law of Equipartition of Energy. What we have in Climate Alchemy is juvenile physics with negative understanding but an enormous budget. it’s a bit like Rome paying the Visigoths to destroy itself.

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    thingadonta

    Since the days of Socrates societies have had great trouble allowing the publication or expression of views that are different from, or draw people away from, the ‘morally superior’ values of the day.

    I don’t think the committee who put Socrates to death simply for pointing out uncertainties would have disfavoured ‘peer review’.

    How to solve it, however is another matter. One needs people to somehow determine what is good and proper to flourish and be published, whilst at the same time making sure those who are responsible or involved with this don’t become a self serving clique themselves.

    Science by democracy might just work better; I tend to get the impression that science at present is a very undemocratic process, that is too easily subverted by a self serving elite.

    But I don’t entirely know how to make it better, other than to make sure the people involved with it are at least following proper process. Various market-style techniques/forces might also help, such as various auditing processes developed within the market, being applied to science.

    I do tend to get the strong impression that ‘peer review’ can go off the rails, how to solve this however is not easy.

    Science is NOT as easy as it sometimes looks, many societies have struggled with these issues (which is perhaps why science took so long to get going). Various political forces of the day have a tendency to interfere with the proper scientific process, and scientists themselves know how to exploit this, and the system.

    Both the Middle East and East Asia more or less gave up ‘science’ altogether during the middle ages, as it didn’t serve the interests of religion and/or the elite of the day, so was not seen as necessary, or at worst subversive and against the elite (or the ‘gods’, or ‘religion’ etc etc).

    So at the least, these problems and issues aren’t new.

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      turnedoutnice

      There is no democracy in science: it’s brutal mind to mind combat. I take on, in my head, the Great physicists of the past, also people like Trenberth and Hansen. The former is a child. The latter is good but was like Lindzen, taught incorrect physics. Goody, who taught Lindzen has correct physics in his book with Yung, but accepts the 33 K scam because it’s based on Sagan, peer reviewed stuff. Hansen was taught by Van Allen, but then went on to follow Sagan.

      You couldn’t make it up how Sagan misled them all. It was because it was the cold war and the only opposition was Russian physicists. The fact that i have come to this conclusion makes me the worst denier on this era! I could be wrong, but by identifying what I think is the root cause of the science problem, I have honoured those who taught me never to take someone’s word without checking hard, and never to create a consensus based on a personality cult, which is what Sagan did.

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        thingadonta

        Interesting you say there is ‘no democracy in science’.

        I certainly agree there isn’t much, but not sure about none.

        I have been in science for about 20 years, and in some cases found that scientists don’t follow certain ‘rules’, or cultural norms, that they are supposed to, and that are also accepted by the broader community. Getting science, and scientists, to follow the broader values of society, and the rules of science itself, I would argue, is a kind of democratic, or at least regulatory, process.

        Because science is taught and run by people, and moreover largely paid for by the taxpayer, it is therefore at least partially subject to the values of the people of those around it-ie those of the broader society. They have to operate in certain ways, (for example they are not allowed to experiment physically or socially on people without consent, which is just one obvious example). They are also generally not allowed to enforce values on society which are not generally accepted by the broader society. Another example is that they are also not allowed to discriminate against individuals within science based on gender, race, religion, etc etc.

        I have a lot off issues with current climate science, which will become closer to reality, and also society’s values if the rules and values of science, and society, are more strictly enforced, for example. (This was partly the problem with the climategate affair-they ignored the rules, such as access to data etc). This is a kind of democratic process, and it does ultimately lead to greater accuracy.

        But I agree that other issues, such as what is published and what isn’t, is not easy to describe as ‘democratic’. Committees/ of peer reviewers, for example, are not ‘democratically’ elected (but perhaps they should be, somehow? At the least the process could be improved, such as how the ‘peer reviewers’ are selected in the first place, or whether, as the article above suggests, doing away with peer review entirely -which is a kind of democratic style idea similar to the idea of small government. It takes power away from the reviewers and gives it to something, or somebody, else)

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          turnedoutnice

          I come from Industrial Science, not academia. Most scientific innovation comes from interdisciplinary science and that’s what an Industrial Scientist does, as part of a project team. I have also taught in academia and came across the 20 wasted years of UK science where the academics went back to becoming narrower specialists, ‘democratically’ carving up the cake so it fitted the pecking order, and rejecting those who did not fit in. An old friend of mine was blocked at Cambridge from moving into Engineering from a Science discipline, so hoofed it off to the States.

          Science to be effective has to be done in project teams with a boss who has the scientific respect of the team members. Academics come up with stuff like Climate Alchemy because they had no-one like me to pose real, hard questions, such as prove you have got an energy balance. This is why no professional engineer accepts the Perpetual Motion Machines Trenberth has come up with to hide the fact that Sagan cocked up the physics.

          80% of these dorks in Climate Alchemy need sacking. They can then sue the people who taught them wrong physics. Only when we have had the cull can we permit them to govern themselves once more because for the moment they are ruining the careers of the younger people.

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            I take issue that good science requires teams. The problem is the composition of the team. If each member is an individual well grounded in the relevant science and driven to discover what-is no matter what, it works. However, if each member is an undifferentiated member of a hive it fails. In my experience, both academic and industrial teams tend toward the latter more than the former with the academic team tending more so.

            Isn’t it true that almost all breakthroughs that lead to new scientific concepts and working technologies are conceived by a single individual who themselves are a team? The rest of the so called team are most often merely dead weight. About all they do is attend meetings and write progress reports that say the project is 80% complete until 95% of the time and budget has been expended. Oh they might do what they call brainstorming sometimes but that produces mostly white noise.

            The reason the above is so painfully evident is that you must know and think clearly about what you know and be open to a wide range of superficially irrelevant information to discover the breakthrough. Thinking is a property of ONLY individual minds. A hive has no mind. All it has is behavior. That behavior is an endless repetition of what has been done before. The sacred tradition must continue even if it is an obvious failure. A hive is impervious to a new thought and oblivious to failure until the project is mercifully euthanized or consumes itself.

            The bottom line is that if a fundamentally new breakthrough is required the last thing you want is a team working on it.

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              turnedoutnice

              I have taken science to manufacturing in 18 months. It’s normally 15 years. You do it by focusing on the key issues and if necessary hiring new people with the right skills. Academia takes 18 months to retrain a researcher to a new technology; the researcher may cost half that of a professional but they take twice the time to achieve the end! That end is to make a viable business return by patenting, not to publish research papers.

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                I agree that time to market is a critical parameter to optimize for any product development project. However, the more fundamentally new content the vastly more difficult to accomplish short time frames. Hence, the best way to achieve minimum time to market is to eliminate the necessity for fundamental breakthroughs as much as is possible. Any more than ten percent or so and your project is doomed to schedule and budget overruns or even failure.

                However, please notice, you focused on doing only and exactly what had to be done and acquired people who were already skilled in doing exactly those things. They were not the usual undifferentiated members of a hive type team. They were the polar opposite and constituted a skunkworks. Because of that, it worked.

                To the degree that fundamentally new technologies or process are required to produce the target product, the challenge increases exponentially. Incidentally, also the greater the tenancy for the breakthrough being discovered by the right individual being in the right place at the right time having access to the right information. The so called team would have little to do with the breakthrough. However, they can significantly aid in the integration of the breakthrough into the product.

                I know because this is essentially the story of my professional life. I typically “managed” a project team by providing a flow of conceptual breakthroughs and technological artifacts. This provided a path of technological least resistance that enabled the project to be completed on time and on budget. However, the hive type team was useless. I typically had to form an unofficial skunkworks team within the hive matrix. At other times, I was the team.

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            the Griss

            “80% of these dorks in Climate Alchemy need sacking”

            No, according to John Cook, its 97%. ! :-)

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      GJM

      The reason science cannot be democratic is that it places any work to be judged at the hands of the most numbers agreed upon,which is exactly what peer review is,having the most supporters doesn’t make it correct!

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    Before dismissing peer review, we should ask what peer review can achieve and what it cannot.
    Proper peer review should check that the thesis of paper is original and properly references other works in the field. It should also make sure that the claims made are coherent, not demonstrably false, have a reason (or reasons) for originality, and all assumptions are clearly stated. It might also check to ensure that certain ethical boundaries are not breached. There is more basic checking, like that of an editor.

    Peer review cannot determine if the following criteria are valid:-
    (1) The ultimate truth. Make sure that the claims made are the last word on the subject. That is the thesis will never be falsified, contradicted, or supplanted by more general theories.
    (2) The best to date. Determine that the thesis is superior to what is already available. There is a place for literature reviews to do this.
    (3) That every point is correct, or every assumption known and stated.
    (4) That every conjecture that the paper is built upon is correct, or every assumption is valid. Certain stated hypotheses or conjectures might be themselves based upon other conjectures.

    Academic study is a combination of building on the work of that has gone before, whilst noticing the empirical or logical gaps and anomalies. It can be quite valid to making conjectures upon conjectures, as long as you do not lose sight that the falsification of a root conjecture will partially or completely undermine every piece of work built upon it. In climatology the vast majority of papers are built upon looking at the consequences of the catastrophic warming hypothesis. Falsifying CAGW will mean entire research programs will be null and void. That includes many studies in other areas such as economics and public-policy making.

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    the Griss

    “In climatology the vast majority of papers are built upon looking at the consequences of the catastrophic warming hypothesis. Falsifying CAGW will mean entire research programs will be null and void. That includes many studies in other areas such as economics and public-policy making.”

    And so many reputations, and so much money rests on that.

    No wonder every paper that even questions the hypothesis is shut down as quickly as possible.

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    Richo

    Peer review is a dated concept where self appointed, unelected gatekeepers impose the dead hand of orthodoxy on science, slowing down scientific progress. These self appointed, unelected gatekeepers seem to think that the community is too feeble minded to sort out good science from bad science. More power to the citizen scientist.

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      King Geo

      I agree with you Richo. For example there has been an avalanche of GIGO “Climate Computer Modelling” papers, peer reviewed of course, being published “ad nauseum”, with most of this trash being generated at Universities with ample funding from Govt and cashed-up “Green Groups”. There has been no better example of this in Oz than the Rudd & Gillard Govts (2007-2013) – an abominable waste of research funds. This waste of “Academic Resources” is gradually being addressed by the Abbott Govt. Hopefully there will be a focus on “real scientific research” at our Oz Universities in the near future.

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    [...] “Newton, Einstein, Watson and Crick, were not peer reviewed“, Jo Nova questions whether peer review is valid at all. I think the answer is somewhat more [...]

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    ROM

    Michael Nielsen who co authored the standard text on quantum computing, in his blog entry Three myths about scientific peer review quotes from a paper by David Hoorbin who has made a list of papers that were rejected by peer reviewers and journals but later became some of the most important scientific papers of recent years.

    Unfortunately due to one of my most despised characteristics of science today, the domination by the science publishing industry of science of every type and the consequent failure / refusal to make science papers already fully paid for by the public through their taxes, available for all to read except with another considerable financial impost that goes directly to the hip pockets of the scammers of the science publishing industry, we cannot access David Horrin’s paper to look at his list.

    Due to the total greed of the science publishing industry I can only access the abstract of Dorrin’s paper let alone have a perusal of his full paper and his conclusions on the cases where peer review and journal discrimination has turned down papers later proven to be very important for advances in science over a number of disciplines.

    Dorrin’s paper;

    The Philosophical Basis of Peer Review and the Suppression of Innovation

    If anybody can get access to this paper it might be interesting to see the list of peer reviewed rejected papers that later went on to be significant science discoveries and advances
    _____________

    Michael Nielsen has picked out a few of the more significant cases of peer review rejection from Dorrin which are listed below

    [ quoted ]

    What about the suppression of innovation? Every scientist knows of major discoveries that ran into trouble with peer review. David Horrobin has a remarkable paper (ref) where he documents some of the discoveries almost suppressed by peer review; as he points out, he can’t list the discoveries that were in fact suppressed by peer review, because we don’t know what those were. His list makes horrifying reading.
    Here’s just a few instances that I find striking, drawn in part from his list.

    Note that I’m restricting myself to suppression of papers by peer review; I believe peer review of grants and job applications probably has a much greater effect in suppressing innovation.

    *George Zweig’s paper announcing the discovery of quarks, one of the fundamental building blocks of matter, was rejected by Physical Review Letters. It was eventually issued as a CERN report.

    *Berson and Yalow’s work on radioimmunoassay, which led to a Nobel Prize, was rejected by both Science and the Journal of Clinical Investigation. It was eventually published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

    *Krebs’ work on the citric acid cycle, which led to a Nobel Prize, was rejected by Nature. It was published in Experientia.

    *Wiesner’s paper introducing quantum cryptography was initially rejected, finally appearing well over a decade after it was written.

    To sum up: there is very little reliable evidence about the effect of peer review available from systematic studies; peer review is at best an imperfect filter for validity and quality; and peer review sometimes has a chilling effect, suppressing important scientific discoveries.
    [ / ]
    __________

    As Nielsen says we have no idea of the number of papers which might have changed science in some or many disciplines perhaps radically and our world around us as a consequence as we have witnessed with Einstein’s Special Relativity but were rejected by peer review as they did not fit the current science dogma and / or science fashions.

    The only measure we have is the dramatic drop off in major advances in the most major sciences compared to the advances made in the hundred years prior to WW2, this drop off in radical new directions in science when the numbers of scientists have probably multipied tenfold compared to pre-WW2.

    The drop off in quality papers giving new directions and major advances and the overturning of old science dogma’s long fixed in time and science politics are all remarkably co-incident with the beginnings of a consistent and regular peer review regime associated almost entirely with the science publishing industry and it’s drive to dominate, control and direct new science into areas and directions of most financial benefit to itself.

    I suggest that not only has peer review been a major contributor to the stagnation in major new advances in science since WW2 but the main problem is the science publishing industry and it’s blatant gate keeping of new science through the use of the politically palatable peer review process.

    For a very curent example of the potential to overturn a well established article of cosmology have a look at the current WUWT post ‘Settled science’ – paper claims the Universe is static, not expanding and the hoo ha that has caused amongst the denizens.

    Mind you what with dark energy , dark mass, trigonometry or is it mathematics supposedly breaking down at cosmic distances, red shifts in the spectrum, different to shifts in other colours of the spectrum and etc and etc, there is so much back filling and invention of utterly implausible scenarios used to hide cosmologists lack of plausible explanations of these plus most other cosmological phenomena that it seems to be almost on a par with alarmist climate science.

    The difference being nobody minds much if cosmologists fight it out . It’s a spectator sport without any consequences for the spectators.
    All we onlookers do is acquire more popcorn and watch the fray with great interests and much gusto.

    With climate alarmist science grandiosing it’s way around the political sphere in it’s attempts to force it’s dogma and ideology onto the peoples of the world as well as making every effort at getting deep into our hip pockets and our personal lives at every possible opportunity plus corrupting very thoroughly the entire peer review and science publishing industry and is rapidly destroying the public’s perceptions of impartial and honest science being done in universities and other publicly funded sciences , it has managed to create a rapidly increasing level of contempt for itself now bordering on hate for anything emanating from climate alarmist science and it’s practitioners.

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    ROM

    Yikes! I had a number of goes at David Horrobin’s name and got them all wrong.

    I hang my head in shame :-(

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    blackadderthe4th

    ‘Newton……..were not peer reviewed’, well that would have been highly unlikely seen as Newton was more or less creating a new branch of science in many cases! Somebody has to be first! Anyhow they’ve stood the test of time, which is the strength of their validity!

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      Peter C

      A very good point BA4!

      Good papers will stand the test of time. But only if they can get past the Peer Review portcullis first and actually get published.

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      James Bradley

      BAD, I’d pretty much say that climatology is trying to create a new branch of science…

      … with a new peer review process, a new empirical data enhancement process, a new funding process, a new establishment hierarchy, and whole new versions of discrimination, intimidation, victimisation and inquisition.

      You know, if I didn’t know better I’d say that climatology was trying to start it’s very own religious cult.

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      Winston

      BA
      You are assuming the truth will out, no matter how many obstacles are placed in their way. Just ask Dan Schechtman who had to wait 25 years to convince his blockheaded peers of the quasi-periodicity of crystals were not only possible but demonstrable against a torrent of abuse and ridicule from the likes of no less a figure than Linus Pauling, who should have known better.

      Who knows how many other Dan Schechtman’s didn’t even make it that far against the brick wall of peer review obstinacy? What has been the opportunity cost of that BA, and where would we be advanced to by now across the spectrum of human scientific endeavour if that obstacle had just been removed. In WW2, great innovations occur precisely because the chains are loosened on innovation. Why do we have to wait for a war, when such a large percentage of the human population are without power, proper sanitation or even clean drinking water?

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      Heywood

      “Anyhow they’ve stood the test of time, which is the strength of their validity!”

      So using this logic, being a fairly new branch, Climate Science cannot be considered to have “stood the test of time” and therefore cannot be declared valid.

      Nice one BA4.

      BTW, you know what else isn’t peer reviewed?? YouTube clips of activists pushing their agenda on the BBC.

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      Louis Hissink

      The Newtons and Einsteins etc would never have appeared in our modern peer-review system. The mess it is in, is from its Gramscianism.

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    Tim

    97% of Climate Scientists could not possibly agree with this post.

    Their selected peers also totally agree with them on this, as do 97% of their sponsors.

    It has been agreed that global Media Releases will been arranged to discredit your post and denigrate you personally.

    /sarc off.

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    graphicconception

    I agree with the posts that say that peer-review is now outdated.

    In fact, the idea of having to publish via a journal is outdated as well. The concept of having to get a couple of scientists to read it before more scientists can read it does not make sense.

    As with the music industry, there is money to be made in publishing and the publishers are reluctant to give this up.

    In reality, there is no reason why every scientific paper should not be placed in a giant, web-based respository which can be searched – preferably by more than one search engine. Perhaps a nominal sum could be charged to cover expenses and to keep out most would-be spammers.

    The good papers will still be cited by others and the search engines’ rankings will be useful in sorting out the good from the rest.

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    The number one correction that needs to happen in peer review is to eliminate those with a conflict of interest from reviewing a given paper. One obvious way to implement that is to stop anonymous reviews, as I suggested in my 2003 letter to the OMB on peer review. (Other public comments, asked for at the time, can be found at “2003 Public Comments on Peer Review”.)

    More broadly, as I suggested (at Judith Curry’s “Climate Etc.” site) as early as January 2011, “Third, set up a new, independent authority, of hard scientists OUTSIDE of climate science, not in it, with the sole task of winnowing out the chaff that now inundates climate science, and identifying once and for all the true nuggets that should be built upon …”; I reposted my suggestions in 2012, adding, “I still say, climate science needs to be given over to non-climate scientists, to be redone.”

    (My first two suggestions in January 2011, by the way, were, “First, bring on the political revolution, to STOP ‘implementing climate policy’. Those who would implement know not what they do, get them stopped. Second, cast all of those defending the IPCC consensus, or even peer-review, out of their comfortable ‘authoritative’ positions, because theirs is the rottenness in climate science.” I think all of those recommendations are still most appropriate.)

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      turnedoutnice

      Agreed: a panel of professional scientists and engineers who have practised standard physics so have no connection with failed Atmospheric Science.

      Only then can the basic issues of the real radiative and IR physics in atmospheres and their interaction at the surface and with clouds, also conservation of energy be addressed independently of the need to protect reputations, politics and commercial interests.

      This failure is 50 years’ old. Actually, I tell an untruth, it’s about 70 years’ old because it came from a failure of the Meteorologists to understand that it’s warmer under a cloud because the radiation sink for atmospheric window net surface IR is higher than that of the cosmic microwave background of Space, 2.7 deg. K!

      Nobody who has studied heat transfer experimentally and has a decent science education accepts the mistaken physics, our version of the Phlogiston debate of the 18th Century.

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      Peter C

      One obvious way to implement that is to stop anonymous reviews,

      Could not agree more! Anonymity is the refuge of scoundrels. Secrecy allows all sorts of evil to exist and flourish.

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      Who is going to pay for this Revolution?
      Perhaps the Heartl.. never mind!
      OTOH a nice paid for yacht, with hot and cold running women for retired engineers, crusing the Caribbean, to provide ground truth for remote sea surface temperature recordings, might be something interesting to those with any personal integrity left!

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    rabbit

    Peer review is necessary.

    Science and technology is now so huge, so broad, that no one editor or small number of editors can keep up with what they need to know to make sound judgements on every paper except in the narrowest of fields. Instead these editors keep stables of peer reviewers with expertise in various areas that the editors can draw on. Some paper rich in Bayesian statistics? Call on Jim who’s an expert in that, and can properlty assess if the statistics are sound.

    That the peer review process is imperfect goes without saying, but I can’t think of anything better.

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      turnedoutnice

      The Well of Atmospheric Physics was soured by Sagan’s incorrect Physics; heat transfer, IR and cloud physics.

      Because its practitioners have been taught incorrect physics, they can’t peer review new papers: it’s a fetid, incestuous swamp of pseudoscience pretending to politicians that there’s a major problem, but for the moment they’ve mislaid a massive quantity of imaginary heat. “Continue paying us and we’ll continue pulling the wool over your eyes.”

      Cynical, Moi?

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        rabbit

        I am not impressed with the state of climatology. It shows many signs of being politicized. The field has been hijacked by a few highly vocal activists with scientific credentials who have managed to intimidate most of the rest, who likely only want to do science free of politics.

        The good news? The bullies won’t dominate forever.

        Climatology’s problems aren’t due to the nature of peer review; it’s because science is carried out by humans, and sometimes humans lose their bearings.

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          turnedoutnice

          Worse than that: the good people are driven out or retired because they threaten those on top.

          It happened to Miskolczi at about the time NASA were doing a finesse; to exclude Twomey’s work because he had warned there was a second optical process so you couldn’t apply Sagan’s optical theory to thicker clouds. AR4′s main conclusion, that there is CO2-AGW, but it was being mostly hidden by the ‘AIE’, depended on pretending the very high albedo of some clouds is because of reflection from the much higher surface area of small droplets. This is junk science but it’s on many NASA web pages.

          They gave Twomey the Schmit-Haagen Prize and he bowed out. Another example is the best US cloud physicist who proved from satellite observations that there is the second effect: he hasn’t been allowed to publish his work in this area. It may be no coincidence that he worked at Colorado S U, a Trenberth fiefdom I believe.

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      James Bradley

      Not sure I agree Rabbit, how many editors were up to speed on relativity when Einstein published his paper.

      Radical ideas require radical decisions not comfortably commercial, conform to the group-think, stick to the meme decisions.

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        rabbit

        Radical ideas require radical decisions not comfortably commercial, conform to the group-think, stick to the meme decisions.

        Someone with the journal has to make the decision as to whether to publish. An editor with the advice of reviewers is as good a system as any (it is not, by the way, “decision by committee”. The editor is the only decision maker.) In my experience editors bend over backwards to give submitted papers every chance of acceptance.

        I see little evidence that peer reviewers are commercial (whatever that means), or subject to group think, or that they “stick to the meme”. They are mostly successful researchers themselves who admire radical ideas so long as the ideas are well supported.

        The alternative is to open the journal up to all submissions, not a great idea for many reasons.

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          James Bradley

          Rabbit, I don’t question your ethics or integrity, but where do the alternative to the current IPCC authorised AGW/Climate Change meme papers get a run?

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    Radical Rodent

    I have long thought of peer-review of others within the field of expertise concerned reading the proposed paper in an effort to identify any mistakes in data, calculations, and/or logic in reaching the final conclusion, thus avoiding showing the author(s) up. I am but a simple Rodent, trying to seek, if not the vole truth, at least a part of it, so, presumably, I was wrong, though I cannot see for the life of me quite why a published paper is deemed invalid if it has not been peer-reviewed; surely, even if not with the much-vaunted tag, reading the paper yourself, and applying your own knowledge would enable you to assess the probable veracity and validity of the paper and its author’s(s’) conclusions. This utter reliance on peer-review led to an intriguing argument with a troll, when I raised a published paper to question the accepted view-points; the paper was dismissed out of hand because… Well, I’ll let you guess. (When I suggested that he review the paper himself, and point out its errors to me, he went strangely silent.)

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      Radical Rodent

      Dang! When will I ever learn – preview (self-peer-review?) before posting. Where is the edit button?

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        Peter C

        Edit button?

        The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
         Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit,
        Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
         Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

        OmarKhayyam.

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      turnedoutnice

      Did the paper confuse irradiance with net real EM energy flux, the vector sum of opposing Irradiances?

      Did it claim that the Earth’s atmosphere is a grey body emitter/absorber of IR energy?

      Did it claim that the main observational instrument, the pyrgeometer, gives a real energy flux instead of irradiance.

      If so it was wrong but complied with the incorrect teachings of Atmospheric Science. There can be no dialogue without common physics.

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        Radical Rodent

        At risk of upsetting Jo, it was Harry Dale Huffman (okay, it might be rather old now, but there is only so much time to read all that is out there!). While much of it might be beyond my ken, I am sure the information given should be enough for others to confirm its data, calculations and logic. It does present some rather radical (good enough reason to like it!) ideas behind the whole AGW farrago, and I would like to hear others views on it, other than outright dismissal as it has not been peer-reviewed.

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          turnedoutnice

          Yeah: read it. The basic premise that lapse rate is gravitational is correct; constant sum of potential plus internal energy of a given mass of atmosphere in the troposphere (defined as the zone in which convection is the main heat transport mode). However, the assumption that it’s hotter at 1 Bar on Venus than on Earth because of greater insolation is incorrect. The real reason is that at 1 Bar. 96% CO2 Venus is about 1.62x the mass of Earth’s atmosphere so gravity works harder!

          There’s also a secondary effect of slightly lower g which makes its DALR 8.8 K/km compared with our 6.5 K/km, more cooling with height . The insolation effect is small because Venus’ high albedo means that <10% of the energy is thermalised compared with 70% on Earth, a ratio of 0.2: 0.7. In fact, Venus' surface temperature would be much higher without the clouds, so it's in what is equivalent to one of our ice ages! Our GHE is c. 11 K, at the last glacial maximum it was c. 0.2.

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            turnedoutnice

            Sorry: our DALR is 9.8 K/km. 6.5 K/km is the MALR!

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            • #

              You could define or at least use the name not the acronym for the two lapse rates, for the rest of us! You claim retirement. You appear a full fledged Climate Scientologist.
              Perhaps kicking back with a beer and gigling at the ridiculousness of it all, would help some!

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                turnedoutnice

                Dry Adiabatic Lapse Rate

                Moist Adiabatic Lapse Rate

                Standard terms.

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              • #

                “Dry Adiabatic Lapse Rate
                “Moist Adiabatic Lapse Rate
                Standard terms.”
                Only for the Antropogenic Climate Scentologists,
                What means “dry”?
                What means “moist”?
                Have you ever measured the lapse rate at Zero atmospheric water vapour. Have you measured the lapse rate with saturated water vapour to the thermopause?

                All you ever have is made up fantasy! Where are the numbers? We that have personal integrity, demand answers to this FRAUD, else we cannot defuse the anger of the serfs that have been so SCAMMED

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                Radical Rodent

                I knew the terms, though it took a while, as I know “moist” ALR as “saturated” (SALR).

                What I did not know is that the lapse rate is calculated; my initial understanding was that it was derived from observations; now, it appears, it can be calculated.

                Now, going slightly off-topic, as you seem to know more about the subject than I do, perhaps you could explain quite how wind-chill is calculated (please, do not explain what wind-chill is – it is the standard response to the question, and I already know that – but how it is calculated).

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                Radical Rodent

                WJ: you are starting to get somewhat rude; perhaps you should tone it down.

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                @ Radical Rodent May 28, 2014 at 12:48 #19.2.1.1.4

                “WJ: you are starting to get somewhat rude; perhaps you should tone it down.”

                OK! your correct, I will try!
                I agree with most everything @ turnedoutnice aka Andrewx Lacis posts here! I do not agree with most of his publications With NASA’s J.Hansen, and G.Schmidt.
                It must be difficult to be allowed to publish crap, when you do know better! Sorry!

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    Morley Sutter

    So-called peer review ALSO is used in awarding research grants, to allow a committee to decide which grant application should be supported. Here its use is even more questionable than in deciding which research manuscript should be published.
    In applying for a grant one is supposed to be dealing with the future and there is a great temptation for the reviewers to support what they are familiar with, hence stifling innovation and encouraging conformity.
    It also is tempting for the applicant to seek funds for research already done, not for new work. Applying for funds for finished research ensures that the application can be detailed enough to satisfy the most conscientious “Peer-reviewer” thus improving the chances of success of the grant request.

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    Philip

    Peer review of scientific journals is mainly a marketing device. The journals charge a lot of money, arguably a lot too much money for their publications and so have to try to convince their customers that their signal to noise ratio is high.

    Peer acceptance or rejection has little to do with paper quality beyond ensuring that the journal content meets marketing requirements.

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    PeterS

    Peer review is just another term for biased closed shop self-righteous arrogance and ignorance.

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      rabbit

      I do peer review on a regular basis, and in my opinion most journals would be far inferior without it. Peer review is often carried out by people who are highly experienced in research and technical writing, and papers can be greatly improved by the reviewers’ feedback.

      In the journals I’m familiar with, rejection of papers is done reluctantly and only after consultation with different reviewers (unless it’s a truly bad paper). Reviewers generally bend over backwards not to impose their views over contentious subjects. They’ll often say things like “I’m not sure I agree with the authors over this, but they make a reasonable case.”

      That’s in a healthy science community. Sometimes, however, science communities can become polarized and tribal.

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      GJM

      Or lies agreed upon!

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    Eliza

    That’s why only journals that publish the raw data for others to decide are the only ones worth looking at

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  • #

    > I was incredibly surprised to learn…

    something that most scientists knew already. Score zero for cluefulness.

    > including Isaac Newton’s 1687 Principia Mathematica

    Principia is a book. Even today, books aren’t usually peer reviewed.

    > Modern science shifted responsibility from a single identifiable editor to an anonymous “committee”

    That’s not true. The usual way nowadays is for a journal to have an editorial committee, or a named editor for certain subjects; but those people are not anonymous. The reviewers may be anonymous (or nowadays may well now be), but the reviewers don’t make the decisions. They provide advice; the editors decide.

    > Ideally we need to return to funding of science by patrons

    Its not going to happen. Feel free to waste your words asking for it, of course.

    The only comment I can see here that makes any sense is Rabbit’s first. The problem is that most, or all, of the rest of you are talking about something about which you have no experience; so, you’re doomed to talk nonsense when discussing it.

    The only thing you know about peer review is that (a) the current, peer-reviewed, literature in climatology and related disciplines is overwhelmingly in line with the “IPCC view” (which is of course no great surprise since the IPCC view is constructed from the literature), (b) you don’t like the IPCC view, therefore (c) peer review must be broken. Peer review does indeed have its problems, as any fule kno, but your chain of logic is simply invalid.

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      vic g gallus

      The problem is that most, or all, of the rest of you are talking about something about which you have no experience;

      The problem with you is that you assert what is blatantly untrue. It should be obvious that most of the commentators have had some experience.

      I have written papers that have been published in peer-reviewed journals, including an American Chemical Society journal. I have even done a review of an article for the same journal. I have also had the unfortunate experience of twice being screwed around because I had a falling out with an important person in the field, my PhD supervisor.

      An example of the grief that you can get: having a paper rejected because the reviewer thought that you had ignored an important point which was covered in a section with a relevant heading and so was hard to miss. The editor then rejected it on the grounds that the grammar made it illegible despite it being a cut-and-paste job from a thesis that was passed by a leading university.

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        rabbit

        An example of the grief that you can get: having a paper rejected because the reviewer thought that you had ignored an important point which was covered in a section with a relevant heading and so was hard to miss. The editor then rejected it on the grounds that the grammar made it illegible despite it being a cut-and-paste job from a thesis that was passed by a leading university.

        Journals often get submissions that are in poor English since it’s not the native language of most researchers. That’s par for the course.

        The usual procedure is not to reject the paper, but to advise the authors to find a good technical writer to improve the English and then resubmit the paper.

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          vic g gallus

          It was an obvious excuse to appease my old supervisor. She complained about using “has been” instead of “had been” as an example. There was definitely no polite request to resubmit.

          My comments on this blog probably show that I don’t write very well when it comes to a first draft but after a few rewrites, it wasn’t as bad as some papers written by non-English speaking people.

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            James Bradley

            I’m feelin ya brother – I have written in a very competitive market from time to time over the years and for each piece published I have many, many more rejected.

            The pieces published are always those reviewed by a sole editor. I have found that the genuine, anonymous, peer-review process is quite brutal and out of a number of pieced submitted all but one was rejected on the first round and the partial success is still awaiting a fairly severe re-write.

            Although a rejection is never a personal attack the process is still not for the faint hearted.

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              vic g gallus

              You need to drink a cup of concrete and toughen up even when its not personal, but I’m not the only one for whom it became personal.

              For Billy, this is a science professor, a warmy to boot.

              Sir, The best description of peer review that I know is that (it is) the process whereby one group of scientists does its best to prevent another group from publishing.

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              Rereke Whakaaro

              I see it as a process of attrition. If you resubmit a paper (with a few minor changes) often enough, you can eventually get it published somewhere.

              10

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        > It should be obvious that most of the commentators have had some experience.

        I disagree. It seems obvious to me that most haven’t; that the few who have can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Prove me wrong: show me your papers. As our hostess said “We skeptics use evidence” – where is it?

        > unfortunate experience of twice being screwed around

        Cry me a river. Everyone has had problems. My “On the Consistent Scaling of Terms in the Sea-Ice Dynamics Equation” (Journal of Physical Oceanography . Jul 2004, Vol. 34 Issue 7, p1776-1780. 5p) was initially rejected by two independent reviewers: one for being obviously wrong, one for being trivially and obviously true. I managed to convince the editor that these couldn’t possibly both be true; that the paper was in fact correct; and that it couldn’t be trivial because of reviewer 1.

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        • #
          the Griss

          Anything from you is a SLIMY dose of mis-information.

          The barrel has no bottom where you are concerned.

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          vic g gallus

          Don’t you have to supply evidence for your assertion that everybody but rabbit has had no experience?

          Apart from my self (because I know my real name) there are a few here who used there real name and have publications under that name. Others have stated that they have gone through the process. Since you can count the number of people who use their real names on one hand, you’re guessing and being nasty as well.

          My paper was rejected for personal reasons you incredibly dumb git. It did get published almost exactly as submitted the first time.

          How can you possibly have an example of how flawed the peer-review process is and still disagree that the peer-review process is flawed?

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            Rereke Whakaaro

            I have a sneaking suspicion that logic is not his strong suit. I am still gathering evidence, however.

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              the Griss

              Do worms have logic ??

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                Rereke Whakaaro

                Yes. It is logical for a worm to avoid light and like noise, because birds logically need light or sound to find the worms.

                Mind you, I have never seen our guest in daylight, and he does seem to like making a lot of noise. Hmm, two more lines of research required, I think.

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                the Griss

                But I doubt that the worm actually uses logic.. just survival instinct.

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          • #

            > and still disagree that the peer-review process is flawed?

            We could have a more interesting conversation if you read what I say, instead of what you imagine I say. In the bit you’re responding to, I said “Peer review does indeed have its problems, as any fule kno”, and I endorsed Rabbit’s initial comment. Which concludes “That the peer review process is imperfect goes without saying, but I can’t think of anything better.” If you’d like me to say “flawed”, rather than “imperfect”, I’m happy to. Or, you could read my comment below:

            >> biased, unjust, unaccountable, incomplete
            >Over the top, but nothing any working scientist wouldn’t feel sympathy with.

            Or my reply to out hostess: “Peer review is *not* a hallowed institution. See my http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2014/01/20/peer-review/ … Most people working in the field are well aware of the problems of peer review”.

            Everyone knows PR is “flawed”; pretending that this is a sudden surprise is silly. Pretending that scientists think PR is “hallowed” or flawless is silly.

            > your assertion that everybody but rabbit has had no experience?

            Again, read what I write: “most, or all, of the rest of you”. I’m still waiting for a link to one of your papers, though. As our hostess said “We skeptics use evidence” – where is it?

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              the Griss

              Oh look The WC does a BA4 to try to get someone.. anyone.. to visit his blog . !!

              “Again, read what I write:”

              And seriously??? why would anyone read but a couple of words of anything you write…. Mephitic slop that it is.

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              vic g gallus

              You would make more sense if you didn’t accuse people of not knowing anything when you don’t actually disagree with them.

              My example was not about the process being imperfect. It was about a serious flaw. The editor should have realised that he was being a prick and found another reviewer. She has also been accused of stalling publication of an important paper for a year so that a friend of hers could publish almost exactly the same work first in another journal.

              These are serious and problems that are rife in academia.

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              • #

                > a serious flaw… These are serious and problems that are rife in academia.

                You’ve described a personal anecdote. Doubtless it matters greatly to you (though you seem to me to be clutching your bitterness rather closely to your chest); but you ought to appreciate that in the great wide world its a tiny thing. Your assertion that similar problems are rife, and that this constitutes a “serious flaw” is unverified. To know how rife it is, you’d need better than an anecdote or two. Or even, given the number of papers published, a hundred.

                > a H Dale Huffman, who I think is the same as above.

                It seems likely. Looking at google scholar, as you suggest, shows a thin record ending in 1996 and suggests no recent experience. But I could be wrong; perhaps you or he could point to a publication list, so we could just more accurately, rather than searches? I did find http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/hdhsciences which contanis a fascinating item: ‘A Simple Disproof of Plate Tectonics. By Harry Dale Huffman. Generations of earth scientists have utterly failed to note an anciently famous, mathematically precise and altogether simple symmetry of the landmasses on the Earth that precludes chance continental “drift” and any undirected physical process such as “plate tectonics”.’

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                Unlike you, Billy, I refused to bend over and was harassed out of science. I had a quick look at your note and I’m bitter that someone like you gets taxpayers money wasted on them. Many like you.

                Don’t harass Harry. What you wrote was pretty poor and you have no integrity to admit that your claim was wrong.

                He has gone through the publishing process. You didn’t check before you wrote.

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              vic g gallus

              And I was not sure about remaining anonymous so I’ll link to a paper from a H Dale Huffman, who I think is the same as above.

              See, searching Goggle Scholar instead of Wikipedia.

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              Rereke Whakaaro

              I think you will find that most, but not all, of the sceptics here are working in the commercial world. I have written well over a dozen research papers, but none were published under my own name. Does that bother me? No. Will you consider those papers to be valid in an academic sense? Probably not.

              Several have been cited under the name of the organisation I worked for. Would you recognise that as a “real” citation? I doubt it.

              Do you not recognise the incongruence in making a distinction between academic research and practical research? One group get their name on the cover, the other group does not. Is that really important? Only to the first group, who seem to be emotionally attached to their right fist.

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                the Griss

                I also have several conference papers (peer-reviewed), a couple of papers where I was the first writer(peer-reviewed), and several (peer-reviewed) where I was joint writer.

                Not under the name “Griss” though. :-)

                I actually found the peer-review quite useful, because it was NOT done by someone antagonistic to the ideas, but by someone actually interested in forwarding the subject.

                Climate science should really start to take this approach instead of being scared to let contrary papers through because they know their so-called science is so weak.

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              • #

                > Will you consider those papers to be valid in an academic sense? Probably not.

                Show me the papers, and I’ll tell you. Ask an abstract question about an unknown object, and I can’t possbily give an answer.

                > Would you recognise that as a “real” citation

                The standard here is whether ISI recognise it, not me. Ask them.

                > the incongruence in making a distinction between academic research and practical research?

                That’s a distinction you’ve made, not me. I’d judging the apparent lack of experience, by the commentators here, with PR based on their comments here.

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                the Griss

                Lack of experience manipulating other people’s words, you mean ?

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          vic g gallus

          I had a quick look at the note that you cited. I don’t think that the way you reasoned going from eq 1 to eq 3 is acceptable. Surely you don’t just redefine the two tau so that you can multiply them c. You state the two tau are a function of c and then have cT(α or w) maybe.

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          • #

            This is a noisy environment not suitable for fine technical discussions. If you want to discuss this, come over to my place & I’ll be happy to talk.

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              Rereke Whakaaro

              Said the spider to the fly …

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              the Griss

              Still trying to get someone to visit your irrelevant little blog.

              that really is so sad and pathetic.. !!

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              • #

                >> This is a noisy environment not suitable for fine technical discussions.

                > Said the spider to the fly …
                > that really is so sad and pathetic.. !!
                > Worms live in rubbish, and convert it to s**t.
                > William, So only published through bias.

                I rest my case.

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                the Griss

                Your blog is not suitable for ANY discussions.. as is obvious from its traffic. !

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              the Griss

              “come over to my place & I’ll be happy to talk.”

              Yep, that way you can edit anything that someone says you don’t like.

              Change the meaning to say what you want it to say.

              That is afterall, what you do.

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              the Griss

              Trying to emulate SkS but with even less visitors.

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              the Griss

              I must say I’m surprised that you haven’t “invented” someone to visit your blog yet.

              Only a matter of time, I guess.

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              the Griss

              Surely your own posts would be enough for your ego !

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          James Bradley

          William, So only published through bias.

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      ianl8888

      “The mistake, of course, is to have thought that peer review was any more than a crude means of discovering the acceptability — not the validity — of a new finding. Editors and scientists alike insist on the pivotal importance of peer review. We portray peer review to the public as a quasi-sacred process that helps to make science our most objective truth teller. But we know that the system of peer review is biased, unjust, unaccountable, incomplete, easily fixed, often insulting, usually ignorant, occasionally foolish, and frequently wrong.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Horton_(editor)

      Did you miss that one, Billy ?

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        the Griss

        Expect that to get changed soon. !

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        That’s a good quote. Your mistake (and its a mistake you “skeptics” make on oh so many matters) is to mistake a single opinion, quote, or paper as the last word on a subject.

        > discovering the acceptability — not the validity

        Is close to, but not quite, true. Within such a short (and context-free) quote, its fairly good. What determines validity is subsequent analysis and acceptance by peers (this, incidentally, is where the few “skeptic” papers that have passed peer review have fallen: even when they squeak through review, perhaps as “interesting, maybe wrong, but worth publishing on the off chance” they fail subsequent analysis). In a sense, that is the true “peer review”.

        “acceptability” doesn’t mean what you think; its not “political acceptability” its “passes the basic standards of the journal / science” acceptability. Or so I assert: and who are you to say otherwise?

        > biased, unjust, unaccountable, incomplete

        Over the top, but nothing any working scientist wouldn’t feel sympathy with.

        > easily fixed

        That, however, is foolish. Still, if he believes it, what was his brilliant-yet-easy plan for fixing it then?

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          the Griss

          ““acceptability””

          What would you know about “acceptability”..

          You have ZERO !!!!

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          ianl8888

          You really don’t have a clue what I may think, Billy boyo … apart from the quite obvious fun of watching you squirm around about some quote you missed censoring in Wiki

          You do lack any sense of satire or self-parody, though. This shines right through your squirmy sophistry. In short, Billy, you are a figure of fun … irretrievably so

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      William, the fact that papers like Lewandowsky 2012 & 2013, Lovejoy 2014 and Sherwood 2008 were published at all shows how pathetically non-rigorous “peer review” is. That would be fine if fans of the carbon disaster did not pretend that “peer review” was a hallowed institution.

      But then if you had actual empirical evidence (with a cause and effect link) you wouldn’t need to hail authority and deeply flawed bureaucractic mechanism, would you?

      And if you ask editors why they knock back a skeptic paper (or delay it for two years, or heck, shut the journal down) they usually can’t put forward an argument, instead they depend on a “breach” of their imaginary scientific process where the editors accidentally asked a Known Skeptic (!@$@) to review a paper, or they’ll say “a reviewer rejected the paper” — palming their responsibility off to an anonymous unaccountable person. In other words it is a defacto committee because the editor is not making a judgement — they rely on the committee to tell them whether they have “permission” to publish it. As the ClimateGate emails show, some climate researchers use intimidation and ostracism to bully editors.

      But you must defend “peer review” because bureaucratic rules are your best defense.

      We skeptics use evidence.

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        > if fans of the carbon disaster did not pretend that “peer review” was a hallowed institution

        Peer review is *not* a hallowed institution. See my http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2014/01/20/peer-review/; or you can have James Annan being critical (http://julesandjames.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/peer-review-problems-at-egu-journals.html). Most people working in the field are well aware of the problems of peer review, and you’ll find a far more knowledgeable and interesting critique of it amongst such than you will here. In particular, recent moves to a more open peer review system are welcome, but you ignore them, because you don’t know about them. As other people have already said: peer review is mostly still there because its better than the alternatives. But I will defend it against your ignorant attacks, though, which are (as I said) mainly based on not liking the conclusions, not on experience of the process.

        > Lewandowsky

        We disagree on this. I could defend it, and will if you ask again, but I’d rather not have the argument taken over by one bitter case. As for Sherwood 2008, I’m afraid I’m unfamiliar with your canon; I found http://camels.metoffice.gov.uk/quarc/Sherwood08_JClimate.pdf but it doesn’t seem obviously terrible.

        > And if you ask editors why they knock back a skeptic paper

        I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying here. As you write it, you appear to be saying that you *have* asked the question, and been dissatisfied with the answer. But provide no information. So, I think your case is imaginary. This looks to me, agani, a bit like a “canon” you’ve developed in your world, which outsiders don’t know about.

        Happily, we have a recent, rare example that is relevant: Lennart Bengtsson’s reviews, now available from http://ioppublishing.org/newsDetails/statement-from-iop-publishing-on-story-in-the-times And we find that the version leaked by LB was partial and misleading; that the reviewer had said “The overall innovation of the manuscript is very low”, which is fatal.

        > We skeptics use evidence.

        Our evidence is bigger than your evidence: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/contents.html But seriously: scatter-shotting arguments is kinda fun for rhetoric, but isn’t really going to go anywhere in a discussion like this. Pick one.

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          the Griss

          It is people like YOU that have destroyed society.

          I hope you are happy, and feel good about the NOTHINGNESS that you have become.

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          the Griss

          You have also been a major contributor to Wikipedia being considered an UNTRUSTWORTHY SOURCE of climate information.

          You are a dis-service to humanity.

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          bullocky

          William Connelley
          http;//www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/contents.html But seriously…..’
          -
          Could you be more specific?

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          • #

            > Could you be more specific?

            My point was that if we’re measuring evidence by weighing it, then the IPCC wins overwhelmingly and our hostess’s list loses. Note that I’m not, at this point, actually accepting her apparent assertion that such a way of measuring makes sense. If you want to consider argument-by-argument, then we can (though it seems rather off-topic for this thread). I have no particular preference for which points to address.

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              the Griss

              Do you mean the real IPCC or the political wing of the IIPC.?

              Oh, actually NEITHER of them has one solid bit of evidence to strap together. Nothing, Nada, ZIP !!

              Greenpeace, WWF activist comments are NOT evidence.

              And certainly nothing on Wikipedia about climate change should ever be taken seriously unless you have an alka seltzer handy.

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      Peter C

      including Isaac Newton’s 1687 Principia Mathematica

      Principia is a book. Even today, books aren’t usually peer reviewed.

      Today Google is celebrating Rachel Carson’s 107th birthday.. She wrote a book called Silent Spring, which has caused untold damage to societies both rich and poor.

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    Oliver K. Manuel

    Thank you for this posting, JoNova. Anonymous peer review became a tool to anonymously enforce adherence to standard models after 1945 in:

    1. Proposals for research support
    2. Publication of research results

    Governments adopted this control after WWII “To save the world from nuclear annihilation!”

    Because two key historical events in December 1922 and in August 1945 generated:

    1. FEAR and CHAOS, that were mostly hidden from the public in August 1945

    2. A GREAT DISCOVERY, acknowledged with a Nobel Prize in December 1922

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/CHAOS_and_FEAR_August_1945.

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    Roy Hogue

    Newton, Einstein, Watson and Crick, were not peer reviewed

    And probably all those who made some significant achievement in science were not peer reviewed either.

    What good would publishing in a peer reviewed journal have done for Jobs and Wozniak? Oops! They were more in the engineering field. But you get my meaning.

    Those who take giant steps don’t wait for reviewers.

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    GJM

    Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth -Albert Einstein(1901)
    I can’t remember the quote but Einstein was supposed to have said this (or something similar) after a large group of scientists didn’t agree with him,”why so many all it takes is one who is correct to prove me wrong”

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    Richo

    Hi WC

    Yeh, we fully understand what the peer review process is all about. Its all about enforcing orthodoxy and group think by left wing dates such as yourself. You basically have to kiss butt to get your paper published so you can maintain your academic tenure at some of our so called educational institutions or should I say prisons of the mind. That’s how warmists have been getting rid of skeptical professors that don’t conform to your world view out of universities.

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      Oliver K. Manuel

      “Its all about enforcing orthodoxy and group think” about STANDARD MODELS of:
      1. Earth’s climate
      2. The nucleus
      3. The planet
      4. The Sun
      5. The Galaxy
      6. The universe

      7. Etc., etc.

      The planned orthodoxy worked very well until the public realized that the Standard Model did not describe Earth’s climate. Neither does the Standard Model describe well the nucleus, the planets or the Sun, but the public has not yet realized that.

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      Those that can, do. Those that can’t, teach.

      It is an old saying, but it certainly applies to the modern world.

      Academia is often held up as being the pinnacle of excellence, but that is just “spin”. The real research is being done in commercial laboratories, where publication is frowned upon until it is wrapped up in patents.

      Example: In the reception area of the IBM Almaden Research Laboratory in the San Jose Valley, there was a plinth, with a large perspex box on top. Inside that box was a metal column surmounted by a round metal plate, slightly larger than a CD. On top of the Plate sat a small metal cube. When you pushed the button on the front of the plinth, the cube lifted off the plate, and hovered there.

      It was anti-gravity.

      The decade was the early 1960′s. The Academic wisdom of the day, said it could not be done. But that was alright, because IBM had its own Research Journal, where the scientific papers were actually published.

      I no longer have the references, but it is probably Googleable if anybody is really interested.

      The point of this story is to demonstrate that academia’s primary objective, is to preserve the historic concept that academia, and publication in “Reputable” Journals, is the pinnacle of learning, and research. It is not. Ask yourself this question, “Why would a really smart Scientist or Engineer spend a significant amount of time teaching, or preparing to teach, students, when they could be devoting that time to doing real work in the subject area that fascinates them?

      The number of published papers, is a false measurement of worth and ability.

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    RoHa

    That’s a relief.
    I never really liked either Newtonian or Einsteinian physics, so I now have good reason to dump them and stick to RoHanian physics.

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      the Griss

      “and stick to RoHanian physics”

      oh, oh , oh….. can I peer-review that for you, pretty please. ?

      I have a spell checker.. sort opf.. !

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    pat

    O/T

    27 May: Sky News: More cash an emissions fund possibility
    The door remains open for the Abbott government to ask treasury for more money if its climate change policy can’t meet its emissions targets within budget.The government has allocated $2.55 billion over four years for its emissions reduction fund, which which will provide cash incentives to companies that find ways to reduce their carbon footprint…
    But Parliamentary Secretary Simon Birmingham has confirmed the government could seek more money for its policy if it can’t meet its five per cent emissions reduction target by 2020.’We’re confident the task can be done, but the government will be considering future appropriations beyond the $2.55 billion in future budgets,’ he told a Senate estimates hearing on Monday…
    It comes as the Climate Institute released new modelling suggesting that ‘massive additional spending’ would be required towards the end of the decade if the five per cent target was to be met.
    http://www.skynews.com.au/news/politics/national/2014/05/27/more-cash-an-emissions-fund-possibility.html

    let’s do some name-calling:

    26 May: Guardian: Alex White: Could Australia really dismantle its carbon price?
    The conservative government in Australia proposes to be the first country in the world to abolish a legislated price on carbon emissions. Could Australia really go down this path?
    The new opposition leader Tony Abbott, elected with the support of the climate change denying camp within his party, and egged on by climate deniers in the conservative press, ramped up a scare campaign against the carbon price. Abbott notoriously described climate change as “crap” and on numerous occasions has repeated denialist talking points that global warming has stopped…
    The government’s direct action policy is fundamentally flawed, and part of this flaw is the lack of a cap.
    It has been strongly criticised by numerous organisations and experts, including by former Liberal Party leader Malcolm Turnbull who described it in parliament as “a recipe for fiscal recklessness on a grand scale”. Even former Liberal Treasurer Peter Costello has said the Coalition should scrap the policy…
    Clive Palmer may currently propose to frustrate Abbott’s plans to abolish the carbon price, but he is no proponent of climate change action.
    His public statements on climate change seem to be drawn from popular climate denialist websites…
    COMMENT: By Paul Moulton on following Lowy excerpt from the article:
    There is also this:

    -Fairfax reported recently that the Lowy Institute poll, which has tracked attitudes toward climate change, is seeing an “upward trend in the number of Australians who see climate change as a ‘serious and pressing problem’”.-

    If you look at the actual report what you read above is, to say the least, misleading.
    http://www.lowyinstitute.org/2013pollinteractive/climatechange.php
    The data are reporting yearly from 2006 to 2013. The percentages of people that want drastic action is down (68% to 40%), the percentages of people that want low cost measures is up (24% to 40%) and the people that want nothing done is up as well (7% to 16%). Clearly the people that are warmists, the ones wanting drastic action, are far fewer in number than before.
    The reason that the article was able to state what it did and be technically correct is that in 2012 the number of people that wanted drastic action was 36% while in 2013 it was 40%. So yes, it is up as they said it was. Accurate? Yes. Misleading. You bet. Hypocritical? Of course, but to be expected…
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/southern-crossroads/2014/may/26/carbon-price-abolish-tony-abbott-australia

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    ROM

    Why the need for science journals anymore which were the only real means of communicating science for some 200 years until the Internet and WWW drove into the public sphere about two decades ago.
    The world has changed dramatically since the advent of the internet and World Wide Web.
    Science publishing processes are now an anachronism shaped to fit the printing and publishing technologies of Johannes Gutenberg. circa 1340

    Bypass the journals.
    Let them go bankrupt.
    Put science, all of science onto the WWW and let the scientists, engineers, lawyers and and citizen scientists, those like Steve Mc Intyre do the reviewing.
    And then pay the paper’s authors who don’t need to be qualified scientists, a funded grant based on the reception the paper gets over say a three month period.

    Pay credentialled scientists a stipend of a good living wage.
    Let them borrow the money for their scientific research projects just like every other would be entrepreneur and those who want to establish and create a business has to do in our capitalistic society and does so based on his / her abilities and the promise or otherwise of the project they are putting up for financing.

    Venture Capitalists will arise to service such a science project market just as the Venture Capitalists have arisen in the USA to finance potentially lucrative new technologies and companies.
    Lots of failures for sure but the venture capatalists allow for all of that.
    Do likewise with science but with a large pool of public and private funds available for distrubution to scientists whose publicly internet published science has recieved favourable ratings via the internet preview process.

    In short Capitalize science where like every other reward seeking endeavor in a capitalistic based society you only get paid AFTER you have produced something that has an actual value, a value assessed by the public at large by it’s marketability.

    80% of scientists would probably go out of business but whats left would likely produce much more of highly advanced and beneficial to society science than ever is the case today and do so on a fraction of the public resources being channeled into science today .

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      Rod Stuart

      You might be onto something.
      Pareto would surmise that 20% of the ‘scientists’ produce 80% of the value.

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        Rereke Whakaaro

        Well done, Rod!

        I knew we kept you on, for a reason. An extra large bone for you tonight …

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        bananabender

        Pareto would surmise that 20% of the ‘scientists’ produce 80% of the value.

        In practice it is closer to 0.1% of scientists creating 99.9% of the value. The leading 1% of researchers produce >99% of the citations in any field.

        http://www.pnas.org/reports/most-cited

        Frederick Sanger won two Nobel Prizes for medicine or physiology. One of his papers has over 250,000 citations.

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      Peter C

      Brilliant ideas ROM.

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    pat

    the nasty, name-calling Guardian writer, Alex White:

    AlexWhite.org: Hello! I’m Alex
    I write about unions, campaigning, climate change and politics.
    I’ve spent my professional life working in the union movement and non-profit sector on campaigns, communications and social marketing. This site is all about progressive campaigning, communications and strategy, specifically for unions and progressive non-profits.
    http://alexwhite.org/

    reality:

    25 May: Bloomberg: Putin’s Energy Trumps U.S. Sanctions as Rosneft Extends Reach
    By Elena Mazneva and Ilya Arkhipov
    One by one, executives from some of the world’s largest energy companies climbed the dais to sign accords with OAO Rosneft (ROSN) chief Igor Sechin as Vladimir Putin stood behind his blacklisted ally, nodding approvingly.
    Executives from BP, India’s Oil & Natural Gas Corp. and companies from Norway, Abu Dhabi, Venezuela, Vietnam, Cuba and Mongolia all signed deals at Sechin’s table on the last day of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum…
    “It’s pure foolishness for countries to talk about cutting their energy dependency on Russia because that dependency can never be one-sided,” Putin said. “It’s always a case of mutual dependency and that means it increases reliability and stability in the global economy and in energy.”…
    Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), the largest U.S. oil company, went ahead with a deal to deepen its ties with Rosneft yesterday, even after the Obama administration urged American CEOs to skip Putin’s annual economic showcase…
    BP signed its first accord with Rosneft since the Moscow-based company’s $55 billion acquisition of BP’s TNK-BP venture with a group of billionaires last year. BP, based in London, agreed to $300 million of financing for a joint development of deposits near Kazakhstan…
    The deals cap a week in which Russia’s other dominant state energy company, OAO Gazprom (OGZD), struck a historic $400 billion accord with China to supply natural gas for 30 years…
    China agreed to pay $25 billion up front to help Gazprom finance the $75 billion it will cost to build a pipeline from eastern Siberia to the Chinese border and develop the fields to fill it. Putin said the project will be a boon for Russia’s entire Far East region.
    “I want to stress that this will be the world’s biggest construction site,” Putin said.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-24/putin-s-energy-trumps-u-s-sanctions-as-rosneft-extends-reach.html

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    pat

    more reality for Guardian’s Alex:

    following lists even more deals:

    24 May: Reuters: Rosneft signs flurry of deals in St Petersburg
    Rosneft is in talks on acquiring a significant stake in North Atlantic Drilling from Norway’s Seadrill, the state-run oil company said after signing a partnership agreement with Seadrill. North Atlantic Drilling is a subsidiary of Seadrill, the world’s biggest gas and oil rig company…
    https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/rosneft-signs-flurry-deals-st-160448141.html

    25 May: Moscow Times: BP, Rosneft to Jointly Seek Russian Shale Oil
    Rosneft chief executive Igor Sechin, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, has been targeted by U.S. sanctions along with some other members of Putin’s so-called inner circle following Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in March.
    Western energy bosses saved the St. Petersburg International Economic forum from a complete failure by effectively standing by Russia as heads of top banks and many other firms did not show up for fear of reprisals over the sanctions…
    Rosneft will hold 51 percent of the joint venture which will explore the so-called Domanic formation and BP will hold 49 percent. BP holds an almost 20 percent stake in Rosneft…
    “President [Putin] has urged us today to invest into shale oil … There are so many natural resources in Russia, the openness and partnerships Russia has with companies from all over the world is a good thing for energy,” Dudley said Saturday after meeting Putin in private along with other energy executives…
    The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates Russian recoverable shale oil resources at 75 billion barrels, more than the 58 billion barrels held by the U.S., now the leader in shale oil production.
    Rosneft has previously also reached agreements with ExxonMobil of the U.S. and Norway’s Statoil to explore for hard-to-recover oil…
    http://www.themoscowtimes.com/article.php?id=500823

    26 May: Bloomberg: Billionaire Fredriksen Bets on Russia With Rosneft Rig Deal
    By Mikael Holter and Stephen Bierman
    North Atlantic Drilling Ltd., the rig-owner controlled by billionaire John Fredriksen, signed a cooperation deal with OAO Rosneft that will make Russia’s biggest oil company one of its largest shareholders…
    The accord, signed as the U.S. and the European Union threaten further sanctions against Russia over Ukraine, will see Rosneft employ as many as nine offshore rigs for the equivalent of 35 rig years, the Hamilton, Bermuda-based driller said. Rosneft will buy “a significant” stake and Seadrill Ltd. will remain the biggest owner. Seadrill, 24.5 percent owned by Fredriksen, holds 69.7 percent of North Atlantic…
    Seadrill (SDRL) and North Atlantic Drilling see “huge possibilities” in the Russian market and aren’t concerned thetensions will be an obstacle, Seadrill Chief Financial Officer Rune Magnus Lundetrae said in a phone interview from Londontoday…
    Under the deal with Rosneft, due to last until at least 2022, North Atlantic will also venture into onshore drilling inRussia…
    North Atlantic rose as much as 8 percent to 54 kroner in Oslo, the most in almost three years. Seadrill climbed as much as 4.7 percent to 226.8 kroner, its highest level in three months, before paring gains to 3.3 percent. Rosneft rose 1 percent to 235.28 rubles in Moscow…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-26/billionaire-fredriksen-bets-on-russia-in-rosneft-drilling-deal.html

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    pat

    for poor Kenya, however, a “warning”!

    26 May: Reuters: Pius Sawa: Oil exploitation contradicts Kenya’s climate goals, legislator warns
    Yet while Kenya’s climate policy focuses on promoting low-carbon development, the current government is also prioritising mining and oil exploration. Petroleum discoveries have been made in Turkana, the Nyanza region around Lake Victoria and off the coast in the Indian Ocean. Coal has been found in Kitui in the east, and iron ore in Taita on the coast. The government has enacted a mining bill, and dedicated a new ministry to the sector…
    British company Tullow Oil, meanwhile, has sunk seven oil wells in the semi-arid northwestern county of Turkana. In a January update, it said it had discovered estimated reserves of over 600 million barrels, adding that the overall potential for the basin could top 1 billion barrels. The company’s exploration director, Angus McCoss, said results so far suggested the area could become “a significant new hydrocarbon province”.
    Kenya is hoping that resource exploitation will create jobs and wealth. But Ottichilo believes it runs contrary to efforts to tackle climate change. “Our policy and law is focusing on low-carbon strategy, meaning we want to go more towards renewable energy rather than fossil fuels for our development,” said the environmental scientist…
    The draft bill identifies activities that have increased Kenya’s emissions, including industrialisation, vehicle pollution, illegal charcoal burning and uncontrolled logging for firewood.
    Among the solutions it proposes are fines and jail sentences for polluters, solar equipment and energy efficiency in new buildings, and community kiosks that sell solar lamps and charge mobile phones using solar power.
    Under the law, land owners would be required to plant trees on 10 percent of their land, and farmers would be helped to adapt to climate change, especially in dryland areas…
    Martin Oulu, a climate change consultant in Nairobi and researcher in the Human Ecology Division of Sweden’s Lund University, said Kenya’s oil exploitation should be viewed from an equity perspective.
    “Even though Kenya might be seen as becoming a ‘polluter’ by exploiting its oil, the country’s emissions per capita will still be way lower than those in the more developed northern countries,” he said.
    Poverty levels remain high in Kenya, and it is off track to meet several of the Millennium Development Goals. If oil exploitation generates state revenue that is used to lift people out of poverty, and it is carried out with the best technology causing minimal pollution and harm to other economic sectors, then the potential rise in Kenya’s carbon emissions is more than justified, Oulu argued…
    This story is part of a series of articles, funded by the COMplus Alliance and the World Bank, looking at progress and challenges in developing nations’ efforts to legislate on climate change. The package runs ahead of the June 6-8 World Summit of Legislators 2014 in Mexico City, organised by the Global Legislators Organisation (GLOBE International).
    http://www.trust.org/item/20140526131230-mdjnu/

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    pat

    25 May: Bloomberg: Wael Mahdi: Saudi Arabia’s Key Clean Energy Strategist Leaves Post
    The official who designed Saudi Arabia’s strategy to lure $109 billion in investment for solar energy left his post, raising questions over how quickly the effort will progress.
    Khalid al-Sulaiman, a vice president of the King Abdullah City for Renewable and Atomic Energy, has departed because the government didn’t renew his contract, three people with knowledge of the decision said. Another person close to the executive said he retired. The people asked not to be named because they’re not authorized to speak on the matter publicly…
    “Al-Sulaiman’s departure is a big loss for Ka-Care and the kingdom,” said Vahid Fotuhi, head of strategic advisory Access, a Dubai-based consultant, and president of the Middle East Solar Industry Association. “He is a man of action, and his departure signals that he wasn’t given enough support by the central government to achieve what he was brought to do.” …
    By keeping Abulfaraj, the kingdom may be signaling that Ka-Care will concentrate its efforts on nuclear energy…
    Stimulating renewable energy would require new policies giving investors a framework for how they can make wind and solar installations pay off.
    The target was to bring 41 gigawatts of solar power to Saudi Arabia to 2032, a gigantic effort that would absorb almost all of the world’s panel output for a year. A gigawatt of electricity is almost the amount produced by a nuclear reactor…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-25/saudi-arabia-s-key-clean-energy-strategist-leaves-post.html

    NASA looking down instead of up:

    27 May: WaPo: Brian Palmer: This summer, NASA will begin keeping an eye on your garden
    When you’re working in the yard this summer, take a look up: Using a satellite, NASA scientists are paying attention to how healthy your lawn and garden are.
    Next month, the agency plans to launch the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2. Its primary aim is to create a global map of carbon sources and carbon sinks…
    A detailed map of photosynthetic activity and carbon absorption will better inform conservation efforts…
    Managing a garden from space sounds a bit futuristic, but horticulture is about to enter the space age. From now on, you’re not just trying to impress the neighbors with your green thumb.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/this-summer-nasa-will-begin-keeping-an-eye-on-your-garden/2014/05/23/8bc1f4de-df79-11e3-8dcc-d6b7fede081a_story.html

    what a joke, WaPo.

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      the Griss

      “From now on, you’re not just trying to impress the neighbors with your green thumb.”

      Ah, but if I astroturf the whole back yard.. they won’t be able to see me. :-)

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    handjive

    It’s the ‘worst’ science paper ever — filled with plagiarism and garble — and journals are clamouring to publish it

    Last year, science writer John Bohannon sent out a paper with subtle scientific errors and showed that predatory journals were often failing to catch them.
    Postmedia News covered his sting, published in Science magazine.

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      Mattb

      what do you want… serious journals to use peer review (even your link notes that real journals are rigorous) or there to be a free for all. After all I thought the argument was that everything should be published and that peer review should not be allowed to gatekeep.

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        handjive

        Hey Mattb.
        What I want is for this climate fraud to be over so I can get on with life.

        I provided the link as it was relevant. Thats all.

        Some might ask what evidence do I have of ‘climate fraud’?

        I say to those people, where is your evidence of catastrophic man made global warming from carbon(sic)?

        If vague links to UN-IPCC ‘science’ is a winning intellectual move in such a intellectually devoid forum:

        “In climate research, and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that long term prediction of future climate states is not possible.” UN-IPCC Third Assessment Report 2001, (section 14.2.2.2 page 774)

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        Rereke Whakaaro

        See my comment at 28.1

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    pat

    26 May: WSJ: The Myth of the Climate Change ’97%’
    What is the origin of the false belief—constantly repeated—that almost all scientists agree about global warming?
    By Joseph Bast And Roy Spencer
    The “97 percent” figure in the Zimmerman/Doran survey represents the views of only 79 respondents who listed climate science as an area of expertise and said they published more than half of their recent peer-reviewed papers on climate change. Seventy-nine scientists—of the 3,146 who responded to the survey—does not a consensus make…
    In 2013, John Cook, an Australia-based blogger, and some of his friends reviewed abstracts of peer-reviewed papers published from 1991 to 2011. Mr. Cook reported that 97% of those who stated a position explicitly or implicitly suggest that human activity is responsible for some warming. His findings were published in Environmental Research Letters.
    Mr. Cook’s work was quickly debunked…
    Of the various petitions on global warming circulated for signatures by scientists, the one by the Petition Project, a group of physicists and physical chemists based in La Jolla, Calif., has by far the most signatures—more than 31,000 (more than 9,000 with a Ph.D.). It was most recently published in 2009, and most signers were added or reaffirmed since 2007. The petition states that “there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of . . . carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.”
    We could go on, but the larger point is plain. There is no basis for the claim that 97% of scientists believe that man-made climate change is a dangerous problem.
    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303480304579578462813553136?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303480304579578462813553136.html

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    Sunray

    Thank you Jo, I am almost ashamed to say that I am enjoying the thought of the discomfort that this may cause, in the corrupted “consensus science” camp.

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    ROM

    Seems like Peer Review in science is getting a run everywhere and none of it is outright favourable to the current system of peer review.
    Re this via the Bishop Hill blog
    __________________

    Wouter De Baene
    ‏@wdebaene
    What is peer review exactly? pic.twitter.com/3JGbMn9mys via @tom_hartley

    Sir, The best description of peer review I know is that it is the process whereby one group of scientists does its best to prevent another group from publishing.

    I think that explains it precisely

    Professor Tony Waldron UCL.
    _______________________

    Science of course moves glacially in matters like this which can be summed up by the rather famous comment on the advancement of science from the german theoretical physicist Max Planck who won the 1918 nobel prize as the originator of Quantum theory.

    Max Planck quote; “Science advances one funeral at a time.”

    It appears that not much has changed in science if we take a look at another of Max Planck’s quotes

    “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”

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    bananabender

    Beginning in WW2 there was an exponential growth in the number of scientists for the next six decades.* Editors were overwhelmed by the sheer number of papers submitted (no editor can read 200 papers a week). So two things happened – the number of new specialists niche journals exploded and editors allowed unpaid referees to sort through the dross to eliminate the worst papers.

    *There are now 5-6 PhDs produced for every research position. [I remember visiting a small analytical laboratory a number of years ago that had half a dozen PhD qualified chemists performing routine lab tech roles.]

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    http://variable-variability.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/against-review-against-anonymous-peer.html is also worth reading. So is variable-variability.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/peer-review-gatekeeping-benefits.html, but you’ll like it less.

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      bananabender

      I always assumed that you were far too busy adding a pro-AGW bias to Wikpedia articles to visit this site.

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    PhilJourdan

    Radical innovations in science has no peers. The break out theories are created by single scientists (or small groups) that go against the mainstream. Eventually, those theories become mainstream, but they do so IN SPITE of the peers of the day. Not because of them.

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    Peer review? Read the hyroglifics. Does this make any sense?
    You are the the only significant peer! Read, accept, reject, or consider. Not a serf, not a Monarch, just a peer. What you do with that, strictly determines what currently “is”!

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    [...] Anyway Newton, Einstein, Watson and Crick, were not peer reviewed. [...]

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