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Which scientists are bad at sharing? 92% of environmental scientists

Sharing data is one of the most essential principles of good science and has led to remarkable advances in areas like genetics. But one recent study showed the worst sharers were ecologists, as only 8% shared their data. This new paper by Soranno et al describes sharing data through publicly available datasets as “ethically obligatory”. (Did we need a paper to say that?) And she further claims environmental scientists are out of date. (Which all seems rather bleedingly obvious to anyone in the climate debate.) Soranno argues a cultural change is needed. Indeed.

It’s good to see recognition here of the value of citizen scientists, but the paper misses the elephant in the room. There is no recognition that the largest pool of citizen scientists on the planet are often formally trained, experienced, and seeking data from public institutions on such controversial, dangerous areas as tree rings and thermometers. Nor that the scientists with the worst sharing habits are not the ones who don’t release data, but the ones who ignore FOIA requests, then threaten legal action as well.

One day perhaps social scientists will recognize the real ethical fire burning in science.

 

Expanding the inner circle: Public access and citizen science 

By definition, data sharing increases access to information, not only for researchers but also for the public. There are growing grassroots movements, led by scientists and the public alike, toward greater public participation in environmental science and policy. Concurrently, there are growing expectations from funding agencies such as the NSF and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research for scientists to share their data from publicly funded research projects.

Citizen scientists and local experts, as well as the data that they collect and create, are increasingly being included in environmental research (Silvertown 2009, Miller-Rushing et al. 2012). Understood in this context, it is clear that data sharing is not solely connected to practical concerns such as technology and professional incentives. Instead, the issue of data sharing holds the potential for environmental scientists to align their practice with the discipline’s growing interest in issues of social consciousness, the  democratization of science, inclusion, and scientific literacy. This is particularly true in the realm of environmental policymaking, which, we argue, demands an inclusionary approach and, therefore, data sharing.

This combination of public sponsorship of research, participation in research, and connection with policy creates a set of circumstances that push environmental scientists—and particularly those who seek to broaden participation.

It is good to see some recognition of the value of citizen scientists, even the admission that people without formal training can help make research more robust. But

There are compelling arguments in support of the roundtable model for environmental science–policy interactions, many of them strongly tied to inclusion. First, the public has demanded that they be more involved in interpreting research for policy purposes, particularly in high-stakes situations and when the scientific information is complex and uncertain (Jasanoff 2005, Shrader-Frechette 2007, Ottinger and Cohen 2011). Second, stakeholders and the public are much more likely to accept scientific findings and policy decisions when they know that the results have been vetted through a transparent, open process (Dietz and Stern 2008, Röckmann et al 2012). Third, science-policy analysts argue that research can be made more robust between scientists and people without formal scientific training (Irwin 1995, Kleinman 2000, Walley 2004). For example, citizen science and community-based monitoring efforts are on the rise around the world in response to environmental concerns (Whitelaw et al. 2003, Silvertown 2009, Conrad and Hilchey 2011), and there are examples of direct applications of those efforts for conservation and policy (Crabbe 2012).

MSU Today Press release

Some scientists share better than others

While astronomers and geneticists embrace the concept, the culture of ecology still has a ways to go.

Research by Michigan State University, published in the current issue of Bioscience, explores the paradox that although ecologists share findings via scientific journals, they do not share the data on which the studies are built, said Patricia Soranno, MSU fisheries and wildlife professor and co-author of the paper.

“One reason for not sharing data is the fear of being scooped by another scientist; but if all data are available, then everyone is on the same playing field, there are more people to collaborate with, and you will have a bigger impact on science,” said Soranno, an MSU AgBioResearch scientist. “Think of the advances being made in genomics, for example, due to the human genome project and the free-flowing findings and data. Genomics is advancing at an unprecedented rate, and it’s having an impact on many other fields as well.”

The paper’s co-authors and the diverse fields they represent exemplify this new era for sharing in ecology and many other fields. The team comprised MSU researchers from the Lyman Briggs College, including Kendra Cheruvelil, fisheries and wildlife; Kevin Elliott, a philosopher in fisheries and wildlife; and Georgina Montgomery, history.

While many environmental scientists support the notion of sharing, the vast majority of them do not carry out their good intentions, according to a recent survey. Even with calls from funding organizations, scientific journals and even the White House, it’s still yet to instill sharing as a matter of practice, Montgomery said.

“If you advocate for inclusion in science, if you believe scientists should be engaged with the public and decision makers in policy, then you should walk the walk and share your data,” she said. “Collaboration, rather than competition, is the best way to continue to advance science.”

To improve the current culture, the team argues that increased data sharing will allow more diverse people to actively participate in research, such as early-career scientists and those from underrepresented groups; scientists from smaller or historically less-influential institutions; citizen-scientists; and scientists from the Global South, scientists from Africa, South and Central America, and much of Asia who are often excluded from leading research.

The culture is beginning to change, but now it’s time to find ways to implement it, Cheruvelil added.

“We’ll still need to work through the best way to make this the norm,” she said. “We’re not saying to share data as soon as it’s gathered, and we understand that there’s not a one-size-fits-all policy. Our hope is that scientists will change their practice because they are compelled by the argument that they are ethically obliged to, not because they are forced to share data.”

Future research will focus on scientist-driven approaches to making data more shareable and increasing incentives at an institutional level. Universities offer few, if any, motivations to share data. It would help to offer credit for sharing rather than for solely emphasizing published papers, Cheruvelil added.

Outside of universities, sharing data is key because there are many efforts to include community-based monitoring groups to help inform decisions and policies about the environment.

“If environmental scientists truly espouse the ethical value of inclusivity, including diverse groups of people at the tables of research, decision making, policy and public debate, it is not only necessary to share scientific data, it is ethically obligatory,” Elliott said.

REFERENCES

Miller-Rushing A, Primack R, Bonney R. 2012. The history of public participation in ecological research. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 10: 285–290.

Silvertown J. 2009. A new dawn for citizen science. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 24: 467–471.

Soranno, PA., Kendra S. Cheruvelil, Kevin C. Elliott, and Georgina M. Montgomery. It’s Good to Share: Why Environmental Scientists’ Ethics Are Out of Date. Bioscience, October 2014 DOI: 10.1093/biosci/biu169

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Which scientists are bad at sharing? 92% of environmental scientists, 9.0 out of 10 based on 81 ratings

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78 comments to Which scientists are bad at sharing? 92% of environmental scientists

  • #
    Rolf

    Ha ha ha, it’s like they will have universal suffrage in Hong Kong while there is still a communist government in Beijing. It will never happen, because you take the foundation they stand on away.

    60

  • #
    cementafriend

    Yes, all public institution should make data available and papers should be published in open Access journals such as this http://www.plos.org/open-access/ . Plos One has some great articles eg search here http://www.plosone.org/browse/earth_sciences. At least you will find many articles which have no climate alarm bias.

    40

  • #
    bemused

    Ecologist don’t share data? Perhaps if they did, they’d be found out.

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    • #
      Tim

      If you are working on a grant-funded project, why would you allow others to fact-check your money spinner? Bugger the science, make it sound reasonable and the client will pay up without the complication of any pesky peer-group review or criticism.

      260

      • #
        Olaf Koenders

        Exactly Tim. “Why would I release the data to you when all you want to do is find something wrong with it?”

        We all know the sleazebag that emanated from.

        220

      • #
        sophocles

        If it’s been pal ah, peer reviewd, then there’s absolutely no way you deniers need access to the data. You only want access to try and prove it wrong, so why should you get it?

        /sarc

        140

  • #
    Heywood

    Why would they want to share their data?? Someone might want to attempt to prove them wrong.

    We can’t have that.

    150

    • #
      john karajas

      Even worse, somebody might come along with research results that were discovered in the days prior to satellites or supercomputers which show the new work is a load of crap.

      120

    • #
      scaper...

      Maybe they have no data to share?

      70

  • #
    Ursus Augustus

    I’m not sharing. The PRECIOUS funding is MINE, MINE, MINE.

    140

    • #
      Olaf Koenders

      Not just the funding, but fame as well. Remember the smug mug on Mann, hugging the guts of a tree trunk that used to be alive? For shame greenies. Why the silence? Go spike some more trees so they can’t be safely cut down with chain saws. At least logging is adding to the economy. Mann and Briffa just killed them.

      I dare them to run railway spikes into themselves to avoid death.

      90

  • #
    Keith Willshaw

    The reason they wont share data is obvious, its of poor quality and manipulated using dubious techniques. Every time they have shared they have been shown for the duffers they are.

    140

  • #
    Gee Aye

    no medical scientist owns the human heart and no astronomer owns the moon but there is an ecologist who owns the intertidal zone of a west coast estuary in PNG.

    103

  • #
    Graeme No.3

    “Think of the advances being made in genomics, for example, due to …and the free-flowing findings and data. Genomics is advancing at an unprecedented rate, and it’s having an impact on many other fields as well.”

    Well, there’s your answer. AGW hasn’t advanced in 30 years. It’s the same old “CO2 causes warming” …”CO2 is going up”…”therefore we will all fry”. They can’t think of any other reason, and they don’t want to change the explanation nor change where the funds flood to.

    Let us face it, the majority of those involved in supporting “Global Warming/Climate Change/Disruption” are third rate scientists (if that) with limited ability for anything but retaining their current status. They have no intention of behaving properly if it means anybody finding out their misdeeds.

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    • #
      tom0mason

      Graeme No.3
      .
      “Climate science” it to real science as phrenology is to modern medicine.

      60

      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        Phrenology is my friend. It allows me to read the bumps on my head.

        They say, “Don’t just watch where you are putting your feet, in dense bush, but also look for low hanging branches”. Good advice for anyone, that.

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    • #
      Leigh

      Yes, I’m hearing you Graham 3.
      Speaking of maintaining funding with dubious data.
      Our BOM and equivalents around the world maintain the doom and gloom with “stories” that do nothing other than depress.
      I glanced at the weather page to see what was happening in my district today.
      Over on the right of the page there is a section titled weather news.
      The three or four highlighted storys caught my eye.
      If for nothing more than the depressive headlines.
      I clicked on the link and just read down through the many more depressive headlines and links to more storys.
      See if you can spot a “joyus” story about the postives of more CO/2 in the atmosphere by our BOM.
      Mine and your taxes are funding this government funded propoganda arm of the global warmists along with “our ABC”.
      http://www.weatherzone.com.au/news/

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  • #
    Safetyguy66

    I suspect the number of scientists not sharing data is closer to 97%.

    160

    • #
      Colin Henderson

      I would argue that the number of scientists not sharing their data is close to 0%, because is you won’t share you don’t deserve to call yourself a scientist.

      40

  • #
    pat

    abc has a positive spin on the EU fiasco on PM program, headlined ‘It’s a good start’: EU leaders strike deal on carbon emissions’ which includes “the director of research at environmental consultancy, RepuTex, Bret Harper, says the EU deal has raised the bar for Australia”. LOL. not so:

    24 Oct: UK Telegraph: Emily Gosden: End to wind farm quotas as EU agrees 2030 climate deal
    EU leaders vow to slash carbon emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 but do not impose national renewable energy targets
    Britain will no longer be forced to build wind and solar farms from 2020, under a new EU climate change deal that leaves countries free to choose how to cut their carbon emissions…
    Following UK lobbying, the deal does not impose binding national targets for renewable energy or energy efficiency…
    In the end the EU set a binding target for 27 per cent renewable energy and an indicative target for 27 per cent energy efficiency improvements, but crucially both only at EU level.
    “These targets will be achieved while fully respecting the member states’ freedom to determine their energy mix. Targets will not be translated into nationally binding targets,” the agreement said…
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/11185057/End-to-wind-farm-quotas-as-EU-agrees-2030-climate-deal.html

    lots more in the link below:

    24 Oct: OneWorld.org: EU climate deal ‘puts polluters before people’
    Brook Riley, climate justice and energy campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe,commented: “To describe 40% emissions cuts as adequate or ambitious, as EU leaders are doing, is dangerously irresponsible. 40% is off the radar of climate science. This deal does nothing to end Europe’s dependency on fossil fuels or to speed up our transition to a clean energy future. It’s a deal that puts dirty industry interests ahead of citizens and the planet.”
    Only the 40% emissions reduction target will be broken down into 28 nationally binding targets. The renewables target will be binding at EU level, and there is no clarity how it will be implemented. The energy savings target is only indicative…
    Molly Walsh, climate justice and energy campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe said:”The renewable energy target represents barely more than business-as-usual and will send a dangerous signal to national governments that EU renewables policy is being abandoned…
    Friends of the Earth Europe, Oxfam, Climate Action Network Europe, and the European Environmental Bureau were outside the summit today to protest about the lack of action being proposed to move Europe away from fossil fuels.
    Dressed as corporate lobbyists, they constructed a huge blockade of leaky oil barrels and bags of coal, to symbolise the dirty energy companies blocking action on climate change. Photos available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/foeeurope/sets/72157648519429630/
    Europe’s new climate and energy targets for the period 2020–2030 show a leadership out of touch with climate reality, said WWF’s Global Climate and Energy initiative leader Samantha Smith…
    http://oneworld.org/2014/10/24/eu-climate-deal-puts-polluters-before-people/

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  • #
    turnedoutnice

    This is what you get from Escargot Cult Eco-science…….:o)

    60

  • #
    pat

    O/T but too funny not to post:

    24 Oct: SF Chronicle: AP: Raf Casert: Britain protests EU demand for more funding
    Britain is protesting a European Union request for an additional 2.1 billion euro ($2.65 billion) contribution to the EU coffers at a time of increasing pressure at home for the country to leave the bloc…
    The Netherlands too has been asked for a big top-up, of 642 million euros, which Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem called “extremely surprising, unpleasantly surprising.”…
    Whatever the cause, Cameron and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte already discussed a common protest at the EU summit which ends Friday. The Netherlands too is facing an increasingly vocal anti-EU camp…
    Dijsselbloem said “we are not going to take this lying down.”…
    A longtime reluctant member of the EU, Britain has seen a surge in the popularity of the UKIP party, which wants to get Britain out of the EU, claiming its bureaucracy is profligate.
    “The EU is like a thirsty vampire feasting on U.K. taxpayers’ blood. We need to protect the innocent victims, who are us,” said UKIP leader Nigel Farage…
    http://www.sfchronicle.com/news/world/article/Britain-says-EU-is-asking-for-bigger-contribution-5844420.php

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    • #
      James Murphy

      No wonder the Netherlands are upset, they are unveiling “approximately 100m” (I have seen other reports of it being 70m, so someones definition of ‘approximately’ is a bit odd) of solar power bicycle track in the next couple of weeks, that probably set them back a few Euros…

      Strange time of year for the start of a solar power trial…

      60

      • #
        GregS

        Hmmm, top surface made of glass? Well I am glad that they are doing this in a dry climate cause it is going to be slippery for bicycle tyres if they did it in a location where it rains a lot.

        It is dry in the Netherlands isn’t it?

        30

      • #
        Greg Cavanagh

        I can invent a lot of dumb ideas. But that one beats anything I could have come up with.

        Dirt, grime, slippery surface, glare, maintenance. Naaa. It’s a great idea… I’m serial….

        30

  • #
    pat

    tired of sharing!

    24 Oct: Daily Mail: ‘Tell them to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine, Mr Cameron!’: Outrage over EU’s ‘illegal’ demand for an EXTRA £1.7billion from Britain – that’s £56 for EVERY taxpayer in the UK
    But France will receive £790m rebate because its economy is struggling
    by Matt Chorley & John Stevens
    The bill is due for payment on December 1, just days after the Rochester and Strood by-election, and will become an embarrassment for the Prime Minister as he tries to see off the threat from Ukip…
    As Mr Cameron arrived at the summit in Brussels this morning, he faced growing demands to make clear Britain will not pay.
    He appeared to attract the support of both the Lib Dems and the Labour party, which urged him to work with other countries facing demands for extra cash – including the Netherlands – to secure a better deal…
    Eurosceptic Conservative MPs have lined up the condemn the demand from Brussels, and urged the Prime Minister not to pay.
    Philip Davies, MP for Shipley, said: ‘The Prime Minister should tell them to stick their €2billion euro demand where the sun doesn’t shine”…
    Nick de Bois, the Tory MP for Enfield North, said: ‘Only the EU would demand more money when everyone is belt-tightening.
    ‘Only the EU would want to penalise growing economies to subsidise those that have not made the tough decisions. There is only one answer to such a ludicrous demand – No.’…
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2805663/Brussels-asks-UK-cash-economy-s-doing-Cameron-fire-MPs-Brussels-demands-surcharge-France-gets-790m-rebate.html

    110

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      pat:

      It will be interesting to see how Cameron handles his troubles.
      Firstly, the EU wants more money from the UK to reward France for financial incompetency.

      Just before a bye election when the ex-Conservative now UKIP candidate was supposed to lose (according to the Tories). He’s ahead now in the polls and this news will help him & UKIP enormously. Should he win Cameron will probably face a revolt over his leadership.

      Should he survive that, he has to hope that the UK can get through winter without electricity blackouts. That is looking uncertain, and the Gov. is panicking, now trying to restart “moth-balled” conventional power plants, and throwing money at people to install diesel generators (which will help the power supply, unless Putin cuts off russian gas).
      Blackouts will be enough for Cameron to lose the coming General Election, if he’s still leading the Tories.

      There are alligators in his swimming pool – OK, I made that one up, but that would be his least worry.

      And it is all deserved. He should never have left the Libdems in control of the Energy Dept. after the first of their 3 appointments demonstrated insanity. Since then the next 2 holders have proved even more detached from reality. I would not be surprised if there is a press release shortly from the last one, Ed Davey, welcoming the EU’s decision to vastly increase “renewables” and wanting to go full steam ahead, ignoring the fact that the whole thing is probably just a bargaining point for next year’s Climate Conference in Paris.

      Talk about chickens coming home to roost (large black, bald headed ones with hooked beaks).

      80

      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        Rumour has it, that Putin might “reduce” the gas supply this winter, in order to make the point that the EU should not be too keen to interfere in areas where Russia thinks it has hegemony.

        I shall watch with interest from my safe haven, twelve time-zones away. ;-)

        110

  • #
    Raven

    Hmmm . . .
    92% of environmental scientists don’t share data, so presumably no one else sees their workings.
    Yet in the climate field, they manage to arrive at a 97% consensus on global warming just the same.

    I’ll wait here for Philip Shehan.
    He’ll be along soon to outline how those high ~ 90% stats aren’t just correlated, they’re linked causally.
    Just for the hell of it, this time I’m going to agree with him. :-)

    Then again, climate scientists™ aren’t really “environmental” scientists, are they . . .

    130

  • #
    tom0mason

    So ‘climate science’ doesn’t share.
    Well that’s not a surprise, as ‘climate science’ as currently propagandized, is a half-way house between the worthless ‘social sciences’ and a poor creative writing class. Real science it is not.

    Yer it’s the hottest year eva – not.

    130

    • #
      James Bradley

      Whoa there, buddy,

      Pull up on bagging the ‘creative writing class’ – I might only get paid 6 to 8 cents a word for the odd spec fic story my publishers buy, but it does allow me: to wallow in the self pity of the unappreciated, an excuse for my arrogance, contempt for the general public, an explanation for a fondness of alcohol and bars, and above all, the ability to see claerly the ills of society and grapple with the hazards of rebuilding old muscle cars and early Trumpy’s. Goddammit.

      Oh and an appreciation for commas.

      70

    • #
      manalive

      Alex B. Berezow (microbiologist Ph D) makes the point about psychology but the same observations can equally apply to the other soft sciences like the ‘social sciences’ and ‘ecology’ as it is practiced by some:

      Psychology isn’t science. Because psychology often does not meet the five basic requirements for a field to be considered scientifically rigorous:
      + clearly defined terminology,
      + quantifiability,
      + highly controlled experimental conditions,
      + reproducibility
      + predictability and testability.

      It’s an attempt to redefine science. Science, redefined, is no longer the empirical analysis of the natural world; instead, it is any topic that sprinkles a few numbers around. This is dangerous because, under such a loose definition, anything can qualify as science. And when anything qualifies as science, science can no longer claim to have a unique grasp on secular truth.
      That’s why scientists dismiss psychologists. They’re rightfully defending their intellectual turf.

      120

      • #
        Safetyguy66

        Always maintained that very same view. I take a pretty purist approach to the word science and psychology, chiropractory, so called social sciences etc are at best a set of methodologies designed to collect sometimes interesting information, but science? Not really.

        + clearly defined terminology,
        + quantifiability,
        + highly controlled experimental conditions,
        + reproducibility
        + predictability and testability.

        Which also pretty much rules out modelling as an answer to anything. Modelling is just a fancy hypothesis, nothing more and sometimes, not so fancy.

        50

        • #
          Diogenes

          I’ve just been reading about diet in the Big Fat Surprise …

          I would argue that “nutrition” is also not a science – also lots and lots of parallels to th gore-bull warming story

          10

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    I could ask, whatever happened to plain old professional ethics, basic honesty? If you claim you have data showing X then it’s incumbent upon you to show the world what you have that shows X to be a fact.

    In my career I’ve done some unique things that others seemed incapable of figuring out, even violated what was thought to be a hard and fast rule about using the hardware so I could get faster performance. I never hid my code from anyone. Why would I do that?

    What are they afraid of? Is it fear of their shoddy work being discovered? I don’t know but that’s my guess.

    110

    • #

      My experience with exactly as you describe is that there is a fear of both success AND failure. The lengthening of a project is dependent upon uniformly mediocre results. After all, if The Problem is genuinely understood and actually solved, the project is over and the work and progress payments stop. A total failure also stops the work and the progress payments.

      However, if the work almost succeeds and doesn’t quite fail, the project is assured of a very long life. The claim will always be that more money, more time, more resources, and more people will solve the last few problems. Then recycle the almost success and almost failure until the deep pocket is either empty or the target customer gets tired of waiting. Then lurch onto the next project to be done in exactly the same way.

      In this context the doing of the thought impossible with the inadequate more quickly than anyone else can conceive, is a sure path to being terminated. Usually for being an uncooperative team player. This is why I work alone, defined my own work and work standards, and issue only final products. Thus even when it is thought what I do cannot be done, I simply show that it can be done.

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      • #
        Roy Hogue

        Lionell,

        I’ve been on the receiving end of the disapproval. I was once asked to do something requiring some clever use of C++ capabilities that would make the whole thing a lot easier to use. Yet when I turned it over, no one understood it and I was challenged about it. Apparently not all the programmers who claimed to speak C++ actually could speak C++, including the project architect. What I had done was, “…too complicated.” But these same people had been using other C++ classes that do the same thing I did and I just lifted the idea from Microsoft and incorporate it in my designed.

        I understand your point perfectly.

        10

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        I was once farmed out to an Air Force project that was well run and came in under budget, on time and working. The two top managers knew their stuff and had the thing organized well but not so bureaucratic that the managers got in the way. Problems were detected early and fixed. If you had an innovative solution the group leader’s door was always open to discuss it. And I got a change from the original analyst’s use of the law of cosines to keeping the calculation in vector form, approved at the lowest level possible — easier to understand and fewer arithmetic operations. How can you lose?

        I was very impressed with what those two accomplished. But most projects don’t want the lowest level manager approving even a small change like that.

        We had one hell of a party when the customer signed off on the project.

        10

    • #
      James Bradley

      It’s a fear of someone using their work and get a bigger slice of the pie.

      Like hoarders that never throw anything away because they fear someone else will use it.

      40

  • #
    R2Dtoo

    A number of focused projects would advance climate science a great deal. Someone should analyze the hundreds of computer “projections” and tell us what underlying assumptions worked the best and the worst. They also should run scenarios that use the 10 or so recent estimates of climate sensitivity to find the best match to reality (assuming we know what that is). They also should run programmes that include no CO2 forcing. How about a run based on original temperature data before the data are tortured? We don’t need dozens of academic and government centres with very expensive supercomputers. Rather, a centre in Australia, USA, two in Europe, one in China, one in Japan and one in Russia should be enough. If they include scientists from other nations, and share their results openly, some headway could be made.

    The supercomputers,and the centres not included can be used for other purposes (medical etc). Programmers (and other geeks) can apply their talents to any set of data, and the machines do what they are told. Climate research desperately needs to expand the networks of data collection – not just keep adjusting the poor data we now have.

    50

  • #

    “If you accept there is a problem in that the ordinary person doesn’t read far into any blog article once they perceive it as “sciency”, then the logical follow on thought is that such an article will never make an appearance in the mainstream media, which we should be aiming to be breaking into. If that isn’t where we want to be, then all the skeptic blogosphere is doing is intellectual incest.”

    http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/pick-your-targets-carefully/

    Jo’s article is the sort of top-level piece we need a lot more of, if we want to get read outside the sceptic blogosphere.

    Pointman

    110

  • #
    Tim

    When you are being paid to produce a pre-determined result, ethics and honesty go out the window.

    The fear comes from being caught out as a mercenary-puppet by your peers, so ‘hide the decline’, or whatever else you need to hide is necessary for the gravy train to continue.

    60

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      Being paid to produce a pre-determined result, is the role of the Applied Scientist, or Engineer, and any Intellectual Property created on the way, often belongs to those paying the piper.

      And that is where Climate Science sits. They do not do “research” to find new knowledge. They write computer simulations in support of a preconceived political idea. The only research is to find “neat tricks” to make the programming easier.

      Let us not confuse Climate Science with research into Atmospheric Physics.

      90

  • #
    John

    Hi Jo,
    Just in case you’re unaware of this site and your profile information related to news. Its a pretty amazing resource for tracking news topics.

    Joanne Nova: Person DB Profile
    http://climatechange.carboncapturereport.org/cgi-bin//profiler?key=joanne_nova&pt=2#vitals

    40

  • #
    jimbrock

    Interesting, isn’t it. The same eco-fanatics who demand the surrender of valuable trade secrets (frac fluid contents, for example) do not demand the same open-ness from the GRU and other climate “researchers”.

    60

  • #
    TdeF

    Seriously, how can you draw a conclusion, especially as a publicly employed scientist and not show disclose the data from which it is derived? Firstly you do not own the data. Then unless your conclusions can be independently verified from the data, they cannot be accepted as valid. In fact if you believe in seeking the truth, you expose the data and your methods just in case someone can prove you wrong. It does not matter who. That is real science. Einstein was a patent clerk.

    Otherwise, who needs data? You may as well just publish loony ideas and demand they be believed because of who you are. Increased CO2 produces global warming because I said so? When did hypothesis become fact? Even Galileo and Einstein had to prove their ideas publicly in dramatic experiments. Why not ecologists? Or are they some new species of scientist who only have to agree among themselves in a publicly funded secret society of like minded people? That is not science. It is a cult.

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  • #
    TdeF

    Man made carbon dioxide induced Global Warming was a complex hypothesis.

    Is the increase in CO2 actually man made? Does a carbon dioxide increase and this alone actually produce warming? Is an increase in temperature a bad thing? Is an increase in CO2 a bad thing? Is there a tipping point for runaway warming? Will we reach it? Does sea ice matter a damn? Why are polar bears so important anyway? All of these things can be questioned and have to be proven. There has been no proof, just a lot of graphs to show a recent rapid rise which has stopped. Michael Mann even thought to extend his temperature graph far into the future, with no data at all. What sort of science was that?

    Over the last twenty years, the largest, most expensive observational experiment in the history of mankind has proven at least that a CO2 increase and a CO2 increase alone categorically does not produce warming. The other ideas were never proven anyway, just conjecture.

    However can you imagine what we would be told today if temperatures had continued to rise? There would be rejoicing. Headlines. Even crowing. The windmill, solar and tide and hot rock industries would be throwing parties.

    It didn’t happen. We now know with the wisdom of hindsight and trillions of dollars, that ironically warming stopped at precisely the same time the Global Warming scare started but no one said anything.

    Now who are the deniers? Hiatus? How does anyone know? If temperatures continue to rise, another 50:50 bet, will that prove anything? When has so little been achieved by the vast expense of so much of the wealth of humanity over thirty years just to conclude that nothing is wrong?

    When did science become disconnected from proof? How can you have proof without data? How can you withhold data which supports your conclusion because the person who can prove you wrong might be a Patent Clerk?

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    • #
      PeterK

      TdeF: To paraphrase what you are saying:

      “Never has so much been written by so many about nothing.”

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    TdeF

    One more question. Is the level of CO2 in the atmosphere optimum? What sort of coincidence is that?

    So what is the chance it is not optimum, that it is what it is because we finally understand chemistry and could measure it? Very unlikely. Most things written about CO2 and the environment, temperatures and plant growth indicates that a lower level would be disastrous and that a higher level would be highly desirable.

    The people who want to stop change, who are afraid of change, the Luddites, are always running the argument that everything is fine right now and it was better when they were younger and possibly fantastic a few thousand years ago. It wasn’t. It is this group, the PAE, People Against Everything who are the targets of the communist Greens, the scared, the ignorant, the people who are prepared to believe in Jim Jones and L. Ron Hubbard and the Moonies and even the Rapture. People scared by life. They don’t want the data. They just want to be told what to do. The message is always the same. Send money.

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  • #
    Doug Proctor

    When you use one research project for 10 papers over a couple of years, you do not want to publish your data because someone else will do the other papers for you.

    Publish or perish and the number of papers and citations: this is what grants, prestige and community respect are based on. Not the amount of research, but the papers that come out of the research. It would mean that researchers would be scrambling to do new stuff, instead of milking what they have already done. After all, one trip to take tree core samples is one year, and maybe several pass before you can or do go back. But during that time, you gotta publish, keep up the activity.

    Same in industry: come up with a good idea and you have several years of messing with it. If you hand over your good idea to others, you are now looking for another good idea, and they ain’t easy to find.

    I see why the researchers are reluctant to hand over their data. Fact is, data is messy and less certain than the smoothed results. Once someone else looks at your data, they don’t see what you, with your developed ideas, see. They see the noise. You see the signal. So next you know, they are whispering behind your back – legitimately – but that is not a good thing for your life and work.

    Again, same thing in industry. Hear the story, check the facts or the source, and they are not as close as the speaker would have you believe.

    It is dangerous to have all your statements and reasons for statements out in public for close review. Why do you think both Mann and Gore refuse to take part in a scientific debate? Headlines are clean, but the story on page 3 is not.

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    • #
      ianl8888

      More succinctly, why do academics fight with each other so viciously ?

      There is so little to fight over

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      • #
        Debbie

        They are most certainly vicious.
        I sometimes feel like I need to take a shower after I read some of their OPs at warminist blogs and places like the conversation.
        I am often gobsmacked by the vicious personal attacks.

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  • #
    Neville

    The Bolter will have Dr Patrick Moore as a guest on his TV show tomorrow at 10am and 4pm. This gent from the Catallaxy files has some depressing news to report on the Moore meeting he attended . The list of promoters and religious observers of CAGW is indeed a big and perhaps insurmountable problem.

    http://catallaxyfiles.com/2014/10/25/its-not-easy-being-non-green/

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  • #
    dp

    If this 92% figure is accurate then why do we still call them scientists? They appear more correctly to be tax-funded political lobbyists in every respect.

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    • #
      Debbie

      I think there are courses in some tertiary institutions that are called something like ‘science & advocacy’?
      Will have to look it up tomorrow.
      I don’t think it’s in Australia yet?
      I noticed a scientist at ‘Deltoid’ bragging about it recently (one of those occasions when I felt like I needed to have a shower) :-)

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  • #
    Leonard Lane

    I don’t know how it is in OZ, but in the US Sociology used to be the easiest class on campus, so a lot of barely passing students took it to bring up their grade point average up. Sadly, it was required and it was probably the most dumbed-down and useless class I ever had.
    But these days in the US, Sociology has been replaced by Environmental Science as the easiest class on many campuses. And, climate change studies and ecology are a large part of the Environmental Science major.
    So these results shouldn’t surprise anyone in the US that ecologists won’t share results.

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    • #

      …..has been replaced by Environmental Science as the easiest class on many campuses. And, climate change studies and ecology are a large part of the Environmental Science major.

      And these graduates then go on to become the voice from authority telling us all how we need to move towards renewable power to save us from the CO2 emissions.

      When it comes to the maths for all this, they are hopelessly out of their depth.

      I came across a spruiker for solar panels in the aisle of our local shopping mall. I do everything I can to avoid these centre aisle set up things, and again, I was assiduously trying to avoid this young man, with his female sidekick, as they seem to work in pairs, but alas, he virtually walked right up to me.

      The casual opening line was, well, sort of what I expected.

      “Hey mate, do you know anything about solar power?”

      Now annoyed, my reply was simple.

      Why yes I do. What would you like to know?

      He smiled, another sucker to the flame look on his face.

      The smile infuriated me even more.

      So, then, I said, what will it be? Rooftop solar, commercial solar PV, concentrating solar, Stirling Engine, Compact Fresnels, Power tower, parabolic trough, with heat diversion, without heat diversion, how much time for heat diversion, Capacity, Capacity Factor. total power actually delivered.

      No sir, we’re only doing rooftop panels here.

      Oh sorry, was my reply, so I asked him about panel ratings, total power, Inverters, what I would need to be self sufficient, capacity factor, which I always like to say slowly, battery backup, the maths associated with how much battery backup, three days or five, feed in tariff.

      Mostly followed just dumb looks really.

      So I asked him if he could explain Islanding to me.

      Dumb look.

      Then having had my fun, I gave him the killer line which always ends these cold calls etc stone motherless dead.

      Sorry, mate, we’re only renting.

      Oh then, I can’t help you I’m afraid.

      Him! Help me! What!

      As we walked away, my good lady wife asked me, somewhat sarcastically, I suppose you think that was fun then.

      Cheered me up no end.

      Life is good!

      Tony.

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    the Griss

    Yes, bought a grim to my face.. but no roflmao at the moment !

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    Greg

    Fact is, 90% or more of their ‘science’ is publically funded. It should be illegal to not share their data with the public that is paying for it. Ironically the other 10% is likely funded in large part by ‘big oil’ through a process of shame and blame, combined with extortion.

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