Comments on “Scientific Integrity”

Interesting things about blogs.. I decided to look at how people got to this blog and noticed that some were linking from Judith Curry’s climate blog here. Turns out that they are having a discussion of some of the points in the post I wrote for Roger Pielke Jr.’s blog, with many more comments (318) than at Roger’s blog here (2, so far) or when I posted it here (0). So if you are interested in this discussion, check it out.

Here’s a quote from her post.

Sharon… makes the following four recommendations:

Here are my four principles for improving the use of information in policy, (1) joint framing and design of research with policymakers (2) explicit consideration of the relevance of practitioner and other forms of knowledge (3) quality measures for scientific information (including QA/QC, data integrity and peer and practitioner review), and (3) transparency and openness of review of any information considered and its application to policy.

The bolded statement is of particular relevance to this topic. In the politics of climate expertise, which experts should be paid attention to?

Steve Schneider had very clear views on this, as evidenced in this interview with Rick Piltz shortly before his death, about the PNAS paper. It is the elite climate scientists (which includes geophysical scientists, ecologists and economists) as judged by their number of publications and citations. Many reputable scientists such as Syun Akasofu (a solar physicist and climate skeptic) were not included in the statistics because he had not published more than 20 papers that were judged to be on the topic of climate. Seems to me that Akasofu has more knowledge about detection and attribution than nearly all of the biologists and economists included in the “list”?

Given the breadth of the topic of climate change, its impacts, and policy options, it seems that considerable breadth of expertise is needed, i.e. “all hands needed on deck.” But there seems to be a turf battle over “which experts,” as evidenced by the PNAS paper and the continued appeal to the IPCC consensus.

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