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From Matt Ridley’s Blog:
Policy-based evidence making
Published on Tuesday, December 09, 2014, updated Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Science is being corrupted by political bias
My column in the Times, with post-scripts:
As somebody who has championed science all his career, carrying a lot of water for the profession against its critics on many issues, I am losing faith. Recent examples of bias and corruption in science are bad enough. What’s worse is the reluctance of scientific leaders to criticise the bad apples. Science as a philosophy is in good health; science as an institution increasingly stinks.
The Nuffield Council on Bioethics published a report last week that found evidence of scientists increasingly “employing less rigorous research methods” in response to funding pressures. A 2009 survey found that almost 2 per cent of scientists admitting that they have fabricated results; 14 per cent say that their colleagues have done so.
This month has seen three egregious examples of poor scientific practice. The most recent was the revelation in The Times last week that scientists appeared to scheme to get neonicotinoid pesticides banned, rather than open-mindedly assessing all the evidence. These were supposedly “independent” scientists, yet they were hand in glove with environmental activists who were receiving huge grants from the European Union to lobby it via supposedly independent reports, and they apparently had their conclusions in mind before they gathered the evidence. Documents that have recently come to light show them blatantly setting out to make policy-based evidence, rather than evidence-based policy.
Second example: last week, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a supposedly scientific body, issued a press release stating that this is likely to be the warmest year in a century or more, based on surface temperatures. Yet this predicted record would be only one hundredth of a degree above 2010 and two hundredths of a degree above 2005 — with an error range of one tenth of a degree. True scientists would have said: this year is unlikely to be significantly warmer than 2010 or 2005 and left it at that.
In any case, the year is not over, so why the announcement now? Oh yes, there’s a political climate summit in Lima this week. The scientists of WMO allowed themselves to be used politically. Not that they were reluctant. To squeeze and cajole the data until they just crossed the line, the WMO “reanalysed” a merger of five data sets. Maybe that was legitimate but, given how the institutions that gather temperature data have twice this year been caught red-handed making poorly justified adjustments to “homogenise” and “in-fill” thermometer records in such a way as to cool down old records and warm up new ones, I have my doubts.
In one case, in Rutherglen, a town in Victoria, a recorded cooling trend of minus 0.35C became a reported warming trend of plus 1.73C after “homogenisation” by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. It claimed the adjustment was necessary because the thermometer had moved between two fields, but could provide no evidence for this, or for why it necessitated such a drastic adjustment.
Most of the people in charge of collating temperature data are vocal in their views on climate policy, which hardly reassures the rest of us that they leave those prejudices at the laboratory door. Imagine if bankers were in charge of measuring inflation.
Third example: the Royal Society used to be the gold standard of scientific objectivity. Yet this month it issued a report on resilience to extreme weather that, in its 100-plus pages, could find room for not a single graph to show recent trends in extreme weather. That is because no such graph shows an upward trend in global frequency of droughts, storms or floods. The report did find room for a graph showing the rising cost of damage by extreme weather, which is a function of the increased value of insured property, not a measure of weather.
The Royal Society report also carefully omitted what is perhaps the most telling of all statistics about extreme weather: the plummeting death toll. The global probability of being killed by a drought, flood or storm is down by 98 per cent since the 1920s and has never been lower — not because weather is less dangerous but because of improvements in transport, trade, infrastructure, aid and communication.
The Royal Society’s decision to cherry-pick its way past such data would be less worrying if its president, Sir Paul Nurse, had not gone on the record as highly partisan on the subject of climate science. He called for those who disagree with him to be “crushed and buried”, hardly the language of Galileo.
Three months ago Sir Paul said: “We need to be aware of those who mix up science, based on evidence and rationality, with politics and ideology, where opinion, rhetoric and tradition hold more sway. We need to be aware of political or ideological lobbyists who do not respect science, cherry-picking data or argument, to support their predetermined positions.”
If he wishes to be consistent, he will therefore condemn the behaviour of the scientists over neonicotinoids and the WMO over temperature records, and chastise his colleagues’ report, for these are prime examples of his point.
Please read the complete article here, and consider the whole picture. The science institution has much to explain.
Reblogged this on TheFlippinTruth.
Yes, science has been corrupted by limited, but arrogant minds, that can not grasp a universe composed of only two forms of one fundamental particle –
1. The neutron, and
2. The hydrogen atom
Further explained by subatomic electrons and protons held together by the force Max Planck described in his 1944 speech at Florence, Italy.
Quarks, gluons, bosons, etc. are imaginary solutions to imaginary problems by arrogant minds that cannot grasp the concept of an invisible force guided by a Higher Power, Spirt of the Universe or God’s Creative and Intelligent Mind .
Hence the imaginary conflict between modern physics and religions.
I have not read his book yet, but Edgars Alksnis may be coming to a similar conclusion:
Oliver K. Manuel
There is an awesome beauty in the simplicity of the universe. On that one point, honest science and major religions agree.
History tells us (but we never seem to learn from it), that every man concocted theory is subject to potential falsification. For the simple reason that however intelligent the best brains, they are depending on observations limited by our sensory perceptions. Not only that but, as observers, we are right in the middle of what we observe. We can only stand apart from what we observe in our imagination and that does not provide for impartial, scientific conclusions to be reliable.
That applies to theoretical science.
In the case of “climate science”, there is the added complication of deliberate abuse (scientifically criminal behaviour, if you like), of accepted scientific principles. Not only are incorrect theories being accepted as “settled”, even when proven incorrect by “reasonable doubt”, the doubters are ridiculed and vilified.
How’s that for an example of human behaviour gone awry? Educated, intelligent, academic individuals who either cannot see the wood for the trees, or who allow their judgment to be adulterated by personal concerns.
Your referenced link deserves exposure and consideration.
FEAR of nuclear annihilation in Aug-Sept 1945 apparently convinced world leaders to
1. Unite the Nations in Oct 1945
2. Pay scientists public funds to hide the energy that destroyed Hiroshima
3. Falsify textbooks of nuclear and solar physics and cosmology
4. Scare the public with exaggerated claims about radiation dangers
See: Galen Winson’s video:
Hello everyone in the world, the Earth hopefuly.
Please watch this, read my posts, and share the info.
Ok, once I got down to the ‘English’ translation I became very interested in your blog. Happy to accept comment and will follow your blog.
It may interest some of my readers.
Comments posted on E.M. Smith’s blog show that chemists contributed to the Orwellian control of society and false chemistry to unsafe practices in medicine and agriculture.
But perhaps more damaging is the “scientific” misrepresentation of energy that powers the cosmos – creating, destroying and sustaining atoms, lives and worlds: Einstein’s 1905 discovery that mass is stored energy: E = mc^2 !
Aston’s valid 1922 concept of “nuclear packing fraction” to identify nuclear energy was replaced in textbooks after WWII with von Weizsacker’s deceptive concept of “nuclear binding energy.”
Nuclear binding energy (B.E.):
_ a.) Exaggerates proton repulsion
_ b.) Minimizes neutron repulsion
_ c.) Is higher for radioactive H-3 than stable He-3; C-14 than stable N-14
_ d.) Is less accurate after the nuclear structure changes at ~150 atomic mass units (amu) making NEUTRON REPULSION the dominant nuclear force in neutron-rich cores of all atoms, planets, stars and galaxies with mass greater than 150 amu.
Kuroda’s autobiography explains the importance this misunderstanding of nuclear energy and its importance in deciding the winner of WWII: “My Early Days at the Imperial University of Tokyo”
Click to access PKKAutobiography.pdf
See Aston’s 13 June 1936 lecture and audience responses on pages 5-8