07 September 2011

If it is not Open Science, it is not Science at All!

University of East Anglia's Phil Jones: Why should I give you this data when all you want to do is find something wrong with it?
On the Freedom Of Information Act, there is a little leaflet we have all been sent. It doesn’t really clarify what we might have to do regarding programs or data. Like all things in Britain, we will only find out when the first person or organization asks. I wouldn’t tell anybody about the Freedom Of Information Act in Britain. I don’t think the University of East Anglia really knows what’s involved. _Phil Jones email

Inquisition _Goya
In the infant field of climate science, "science" is practised a bit differently than has traditionally been the case. In climate science, data is held close to the vest, to prevent other scientists from finding something wrong with it. But is being so secretive with your data truly science? Probably not.
Some scientists are reluctant to share "their" data, even if it was generated with public money. In some cases this has led to Freedom of Information requests, which many see as intrusive.

...If you care about the place of science in society or are worried about the quality of information on the web, then openness offers massive potential to engage people more deeply, educate them about how science works and increase the store of quality information on the web.

If you care about evidence-based policy then making that evidence available for criticism and investigation by any interested party, including those you disagree with, can only be a good thing.

Above all, you should care because science thrives on new ideas and critical analysis, wherever they come from. Open science is better science. There will be growing pains as we figure out how best to enable that. But if we believe that science enriches society then we must accept that society can, and perhaps should, enrich our research. And that can only happen if it is open. _Cameron Neylon_NewScientist

An inquisitional atmosphere pervades the entire field of climate science practise, publishing, public relations, and politics. Within an inquisitional atmosphere, true science is impossible. And yet, that is what is happening. Here is a recent example:

Editor of science magazine forced to resign over "heretical" paper he allowed to be published
...this was highly unusual, to have an editor-in-chief resign over a paper that was not retracted.

Apparently, peer review is now carried out by reporters calling scientists on the phone and asking their opinion on something most of them do not even do research on. A sad day for science. _WUWT
This is a dominant pattern within the orthodoxy of climate science: maintain control of what is published via a tight circle of prominent peer reviewers, then attack anyone connected with any papers which manage to slip through the encirclement. This is not the first editor to be forced to recant and fall upon his sword for the climate orthodoxy, and it will not likely be the last.

Phil Jones is an interesting example of a climate inquisitor and cabalist. Professor of climate at the Climate Research Unit of UEA, he has never been particularly open with his data, nor has he been honest. Jones has been pampered by UK government investigators looking into his scientific misconduct. The UK media has circled the wagons around Phil Jones, trying to make him seem a victim and a rightful object of public sympathy.

Climate Science is the rotten apple of science, which needs to be thrown out to prevent the same type of quasi-religious corruption from contaminating the rest of science. Climate science is an inter-disciplinary field, made up of scientists trained in physics, meteorology, atmospheric sciences, oceanography, geology, computer science, and more. It would be best to allow further research into climate to take place under the auspices of parent disciplines, where the integrity of data and the scientific method are more likely to be honoured.

Inter-disciplinary research could still be carried out, with all of the data and codes available to everyone for examination and critique. But the integrity and reputation of long-established disciplines of science would have to stand behind the research and methods. "Climate science" is a one-trick pony that was not ready for prime time -- and cut too many corners and broke too many rules to be allowed to continue pretending to be a science.

If it is not open science, it is not science at all.

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6 Comments:

Blogger LarryD said...

Phil Jones's comment was a jaw dropper, did he fail Philosophy of Science when he was an undergrad? Did he think that no one in the public understood the fundamental process of how science works?

His remarks was what convinced me he is a fraud.

Wednesday, 07 September, 2011  
Blogger al fin said...

Right. The pattern runs deeply throughout the entire enterprise. No one should call this thuggish gang of unionised garbage handlers and mafia junk bonds salesmen scientists.

Wednesday, 07 September, 2011  
Blogger Ene said...

Climate Science is the rotten apple of science, which needs to be thrown out to prevent the same type of quasi-religious corruption from contaminating the rest of science.
Unfortunately it had already spread:
- you can't oppose (new)Keyensian economics models. Paul Krugman for example accuses his critics as anti science, and his theory strong as theory of evolution
- you can't oppose premises of social sciences wishful thinking. Try explaining why there are more men in phds in math and say that it's not due to discrimination. The same goes for different races/nations. Try saying that someone might be violent not just because of his surroundings, but also his genes...

Any complex system had many parameters contributing in many different directions. What scientists/politicians do is taking one subset of parameters and they sell it as a whole theory. The tactic is if you try to present the rest of the story you get ridiculed personally attacked and professional degradation:
- Jonathan Katz for his remarks about distribution of sexually transmitted diseases in gay population
- James Watson had problems because saying that it's logical that people who came from different parts of the worlds could have IQ differences, as they do, for example in 100m race
- Lawrence Summers, ex president of Harvard got fired because he said that male and female are different
.... the list goes on

I'd go so far to say that solving complex systems is doomed from the start because of human nature.

Thursday, 08 September, 2011  
Blogger al fin said...

Interesting comment, Ene. Thanks. Like a brisk cold slap of sea mist in the morning, that helps one to wake up.

Permit me a bit of loose speculation, if you will:

Human societies are likely to stratify in counter-intuitive ways, as old systems of economic, political, and social control grow less effective. (The corruption of science -- and society at large -- that you describe is one manifestation of the decay of societal systems.)

More vital, competent, and ambitious societal fragments will start to shed the old society like a snake sheds old skin.

A great deal of unrest and disorder is likely to occur along with this process, so one would be wise to find relatively safe areas to settle and build.

Persons of like mind, in this regard, will find each other inside these relatively safe havens, and self-organise for the future -- reasonably quietly and subtly to avoid undue attention.

Such transition processes have occurred automatically, multiple times in history, as civilisational foci have shifted due to external constraints and internal discoveries and innovations.

Complex systems will be solved slowly, in parts, using the synergy of different systems of cognition -- both animal and machine. Perhaps never completely solved, but close enough for our purposes.

Thursday, 08 September, 2011  
Blogger Miguel Antonio Cortés said...

The problem with "climate science" is that it has become an ethical issue and not a scientific one.

Thursday, 08 September, 2011  
Blogger Ene said...

@Al Fin
Well, I can see it as one of the possible scenarios. How probable, if I knew I'd share the coordinates with you. :)

@Migel
Agree.

Friday, 09 September, 2011  

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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