Science Museum Prove It! poll now closed – surprising results

Today (1 December 2009) Professor Chris Rapley CBE, Director of the Science Museum and Professor of Climate Science at UCL said:

“More work needs to be done to convince people of the reality of human-induced climate change and of the urgency with which we must agree an international solution. Public organisations, like the Science Museum, have a responsibility to lay out the evidence and open up public discussion.”

He added:

“Over the past month the Science Museum has provided a channel for people to engage with the scientific evidence for climate change through a temporary exhibit and accompanying website called ‘Prove It!’. There is currently plenty of debate around climate change research and I believe it is important for the Science Museum to provide a means for people to engage with the issues. Prove It! has created a space for visitors, to the Museum and website, to consider the scientific evidence, come to their own conclusions and express their opinion. The indications from Prove It! are consistent with a recent Pew Centre survey and a 2007 Ipsos Mori poll: a large proportion of people do not believe in the reality of man-made climate change.

Furthermore, Professor Rapley said:

“The Science Museum is uniquely placed to engage with people about climate change, facilitating discussion and decision making based on evidence. I look forward to launching a new dedicated climate change gallery next June as the culmination of our Centenary year.”

The statement was made to coincide with the revealing of the results of a poll carried out by the Science Museum to tie in with the Prove It! project. The poll suggested that a significant number of people are not convinced by the evidence for man-made climate change so do not support strong action by the UK government at the forthcoming Copenhagen conference.

Prove It! remains open until January 2010 and is free to visit.

For further information please contact Andrew Marcus, Science Museum Press Office, on 020 7942 4357 /


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Charles. U. Farley

So given that most people think the earth is actually round, Professor Rapley still sees it as his mission to “convince” us that its flat.
They simply dont get it.
MSM starting to pick up on this in the UK.
1st daily has these as its headlines.
Daily Express- “The Big Climate Change Fraud”.
“Dont blame us say scientists, its all a con to raise tax”.


FFS more honesty is needed on letting people make up their own minds about this. “Educating the masses” takes us back to Germany late 30’s and that led to a very poor outcome for all concerned.. Where do these people want to take this?? Oiling my guns!


Good result, but when I looked a couple of days ago, the ‘OUT’ vote was only c2000 ahead. WUWT ?

Mark Fawcett

The indications from Prove It! are consistent with a recent Pew Centre survey and a 2007 Ipsos Mori poll: a large proportion of people do not believe in the reality of man-made climate change.
(Above emphasis mine)
The above says it all really – they’re not open for debate and discussion, they simply want to “educate” us ignorant peasants.

DJ Meredith

It’s nice that The Science Museum is uniquely placed to engage with people about climate change, facilitating discussion and decision making based on evidence.
Better yet, it’s free! (Too bad, I was willing to accept a carbon credit payment from them to visit)
I would suggest that Rapley revise his statement, like “More work needs to be done to convince people of the reality of Mann-induced climate change and of the urgency with which we must agree an international solution.”

DJ Meredith

…..Oh yeah….of the 3408 people who “counted in”….how many were impressionable 6th graders? Just how scientific was THIS study?

John Wright

New dedicated climate change gallery, eh? Which old gallery will have to be taken down to make room for it?

Maybe that ought to talk to the UEA folks about what needs proving…
The public has clue and is getting more clue fast. Beware a well informed public weilding a “clue stick”…

Phillip Bratby

I can’t wait for the Science Museum to “lay out the evidence”.
I wonder what happened to all those comments that were sent in when people responded.

John Moss

Hmmm, something odd here.
I looked at this a couple of days ago and it was 6k count me in and 8k count me out.


“The poll suggested that a significant number of people are not convinced by the evidence for man-made climate change so do not support strong action by the UK government at the forthcoming Copenhagen conference.”.
In spite of the warning issued today by the ‘country’s leading authority on climate change’ Lord Stern, that ‘the Copenhagen summit is the world’s last chance to save the planet from “catastrophic” global warming’ and propaganda campaigns paid for liberally by tax payer’s money, the public still prefer to make up their own minds one way or another.
I wonder if the credibility of the AGW movement is improved by the fact that anyone with an internet connection can check Lord Stern’s credentials as a leading authority on climate change. He appears to have no scientific training whatsoever though he has an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Warwick University.


Re: alleagra (01:34:22)
Sorry: should be ” tax-payers’ money “

Richard Heg

This BBC report has the same conclusion.
“Why people dispute man is the cause of climate change”
Answer: we need more educating because apparently we the public are too stupid and selfish.
True the public can be stupid, ask the most simple question with an obvious answer and you will get some percentage going against the majority, if you filter out the extremes you usually find the silent majority somewhere in the middle and here lies the truth.

Adam Gallon

I’ve received a response to my letter complaining about ceratin aspects of this from Prof Rapley.
In precis.
1) Political nature and attempts to influence Government.
The good Prof claims the museum is politically neutral and is just offering the public a platform to engage in discussion and to..
“..decide wether or not they want to urge the government to secure a strong, effective, fair deal at the Copenhagen conference.”
Doesn’t sound neutral to me!
2) I complained about their bit about sharing wealth between people and suggested that this was somewhat political in nature.
Dear Prof responds that it’s “some experts” quote they’re using, whomare contrasting this to “conventional economics” and it’s all so visitors can “better understand the significance of the Copenhagen negotiations”
3) Climate section.
The IPCC’s illustration of radiative forcing from the WG1 report (Adapted from Figure 2.20) is reproduced.
I noted that they make no mention of Beck’s work on CO2.
Prof nots that it’s not included because “they’re far out of line with other published findings, including the IPCC reports”
He even gives a link to Real Climate’s “Beck to the future” piece!
I pointed out that they haven’t mentioned the 700 year lag in ice core data.
He responds by quoting a piece from The Royal Society, that it’s CO2 from burning fossil fuels we’re seeing now.
I noted that no mention of Loehle’s work on temperature reconstructions was made and another Surreal Climate link is given from December 2007.
I noted that Ryan M’s work on Hurricanes and the article about more hurricanes being reported due to improved detection systems. His response is that p19 of The Copenhagen Diagnosis supports their stance.
Ice got it’s share, again Copenhagen was quoted back- p32
I queried their statement that natural effects were damping down human-caused warming curently and got a link to chapter 9 of the AR4 report, p665.
Prof’s quote above
“More work needs to be done to convince people of the reality of human-induced climate change and of the urgency with which we must agree an international solution.”
Doesn’t read like a neutral position to me. Thye must be spitting tacks that there’s a near 3-1 stance against AGW in their online pole. Dare one suggest that the ~5-1 pro stance from the exhibition results is from teacher-led voting by school parties?

Tony Brookes

No scientist has ever produced a paper showing that current levels of CO2 cause a rise in atmospheric temperatures. Only the IPCC summaries linked CO2 to temperature rise.

But why should we do anything at all about it? This is from Nigel Lawson’s ‘Appeal to Reason’ (review on the Telegraph site):
Lord Lawson then notes that the IPCC predicts that, at this level of temperature rise, global food production will actually increase. He takes the IPCC’s gloomiest prediction of the economic effects of global warming over the same period. By its own figures, the difference between what would happen with global warming and without it amounts to this: in a hundred years’ time, people in the developed world would be “only 2.6 times better off than they are today, instead of 2.7 times, and their contemporaries in the developing world would be “only” 8.5 times as well off as people in the developing world are today, instead of 9.5 times better off”.

some bloke

Great result, I’ve been following that poll for a month or so; It was a rigged question and the creepy stuff with the e-mail and telling the government would have put many off but at least the Science Museum had the grace to publish the result and include the comment “The indications from Prove It! are consistent with a recent Pew Centre survey and a 2007 Ipsos Mori poll: a large proportion of people do not believe in the reality of man-made climate change.”
A similar poll from a fake charity in Scotland had 10,000 responses voting 94% no to alcohol price fixing, they just disappeared it one night.


Please, Please don’t spin this with the highlight pen:-
Including the gallery votes:-
Total Counted in approx 6000
Total Counted out approx 8300.
It does not need spinning?

Fred Lightfoot

And the heavy gun of climategate has not yet registered.


Interesting to see those who took the poll in the museum are overwhelmingly in support of the statement but those who took it online were not.
Maybe the online poll was part of a malicious campaign to distort the results, which would be much harder to do in the museum itself. Or maybe those in the museum after been presented with the evidence in person were then more convinced. The education of the reality of AGW seems to be a problem for the majority of the general public and we need to look at how we better get this information across.

Numbers are not right with Ric’s count:
Another “hide the decline”?

Stephen Shorland

Thinking about my flyer design. (THIS BOARD COULD DO WITH A FAQ)! 1 According to Pielke Snr,(3 of the 4?) databases have 90%-95% overlap. 2 Briffagate,’hide the decline’. 3 Mcintyre and the Hockeystick,Wegman’s revelation of 42 ‘scientists’ writing papers together and also ‘peer reviewing’ eachother’s ‘work’. 4 a link to’s scandal is still cooking but it’s too early for that one).
That and the links will fit nicely on 1 side of A4.
Roger Harrabin on the Radio4 news this morning. Mentioned Jones’ stepping aside but was really worried about a US Senate investigation.He’s a true-believer,you can hear it in his voice as well as the pro-agw nature of his report.He’s worried about who will chair the Senate investigation.So am I.I’m also worried about the terms of reference!


The clue is in that statement, the Science Museum has already set the criteria, that global warming ™ is man made, and is now doing exactly what Jones et al have been doing, making the evidence fit their conclusion.
What a pity, perhaps in more enlightened times organisations like the Science Museum might have suggested that the whole rational for man made global warming ™ needs to be investigated OPENLY!
What a missed opportunity!


“In the PROVE IT! gallery, 3408 people chose to count in and 626 chose to count out. On the website, 2650 users counted in and 7612 counted out.”
This is weird! When I last looked at the website a couple of days ago the Ins were about 7,200 and the Outs were about 8,500.
The figures have been bouncing up and down all month. Either they have been incredibly sloppy about collating the responses or someone has been fiddling.
Fiddling on both sides, perhaps? On the part of the Science Museum and certainly on the part of the voters!


When I looked at the numbers on the website a few days ago, it was showing (as best as I can recall) over 6,000 “Ins” v. over 7,000 “outs”. NOW they tell us that the ACTUAL web results were 3:1 in favour of the “outs”. Looks like what they’d been doing on the website was amalgamating the “ins” that had been through the brainwashing in the exhibit (mainly school kids on field trips, I’d venture to suggest) with those who’d voted online to make the web vote look closer than it really was.
They just can’t let the facts speak for themselves can they…….

Jack Thompson

While the “Prove it!” poll was comendable, Prof Rapley is not opening up public discussion – he wants to do “more work to convince people of the reality of human induced climate change” – (Come into my parlour said the spider to the fly.) Why doesn’t he give the people credit for some intelligence and say – hey wait a minute, maybe they have a point?

Brian Johnson uk

Where is the scientific proof of the reality of human-induced climate change Professor Rapley?
All I want is the Facts, Prof, just the plain simple, ordinary mortal, Facts!
I am not holding my breath…………


Britain’s Tories Backing Out of “Hair Shirt” Environmental Policies
Cameron hit by Tory backlash on environment
David Davis condemns flagship green policies as senior Tory MPs question climate change consensus
“David Cameron is facing a growing challenge to his authority from senior members of his own party who say they have doubts about the Conservatives’ stance on global warming. Leading figures including Peter Lilley, the former cabinet minister, Andrew Tyrie and Ann Widdecombe are openly questioning the political consensus on climate change.
“And today David Davis, the former shadow Home Secretary, warns in The Independent that the policy of tough targets to cut carbon emissions, supported by Mr Cameron, is “destined to collapse”. He criticises “the fixation of the green movement with setting ever tougher targets, in the face of failure to meet earlier promises”. He adds: “The ferocious determination to impose hair-shirt policies on the public – taxes on holiday flights, or covering our beautiful countryside with wind turbines that look like props from War of the Worlds – is bound to cause a reaction in any democratic country.”…
“…Mr Cameron has described the Copenhagen summit as “so important”, saying: ” What we need to see emerge from those discussions is an effective, binding and fair deal to cut carbon emissions that includes all major economies.”
“But Peter Lilley, who is tipped for a return to government if the Tories win power, told The Independent that while he believed the climate was changing the effects were being overstated. “There is an irrefutable scientific process [on global warming]. I just think its effects tend to be exaggerated.” He added: “It is unrealistic to expect a satisfactory deal in Copenhagen. It is just not going to happen. The interests of the industrialising countries [such as China and India] differ so greatly from the already-industrialised countries.”
“Some Tory frontbenchers are also said to have private doubts about climate change. John Maples, the deputy Tory chairman, told the Commons last year that he no longer accepted the consensus on the issue. “I do not believe that the science is anything like as settled as the proponents of the [Climate Change] Bill are making out,” he said. He declined to comment yesterday.
“Philip Davies, Tory MP for Shipley, said: “I would like to see some proper cost-benefit analysis [at Copenhagen] on the impact on the economy, rather than this charge towards trying to be trendy and to please the environmental lobby. Everyone has gone completely mad on this. It has taken on the hallmarks of a religion rather than a policy issue. Anyone who says ‘hang on a minute’ is completely decried and treated like a Holocaust denier,” he said.
“Graham Brady, Tory MP for Altringham and Sale West, said: “There is some room for debate about why the climate is changing and the best ways of tackling it. It is a good idea to reduce carbon emissions, but I would not want to see the whole economy destroyed in the process. There is a balance to be struck.”…
“…In the European Parliament last week, two Tory MEPs, Daniel Hannan and Roger Helmer, voted against a motion calling for the Copenhagen talks to agree an 80% cut in emissions by 2050 – the official Tory policy. They were among 18 members of the breakaway European Conservatives and Reformists Group, including its Polish leader Michal Kaminski, to oppose such a deal.
“Last month Mr Helmer accused the Church of England of having “abandoned religious faith entirely and taken up the new religion of climate change alarmism instead”.”

Mike G

PROVE IT! proves nothing; it is propaganda and bullying advocacy. The web feature contains no evidence whatsoever, nothing but pages of turgid text full of claims and projections and unproven relationships. What a tradgedy that a reputable institution can seek to corrupt young minds in this way.
My complaints to the Science Museum have elicited only a fatuous response so far.


“More work needs to be done to convince people”…
Is this the Science Museum or the Scientology Museum?


John, if you are not a troll, you are comparing 4000 brainwashed elementary students marched through the exhibit by their teachers during school hours to the rest of the voters who chose to come to the website on their own.

Chris Knight

This must be the song of the AGW camp:
“One wheel on my wagon, And I’m still rolling along Them Cherokees after me I’m all in flames, at the reins But I’m singing a happy song…”

A Robertson

The good Professor Chris Rapley CBE will just need to adopt the same principle as the EU, keep having polls until he gets the result he wants, because those of an opposing view get fed up!


“Interesting to see those who took the poll in the museum are overwhelmingly in support of the statement but those who took it online were not.”
Presumably because children were allowed to vote?

James P

BBC Radio 4’s ‘The Moral Maze’ is discussing science and morality tonight, with reference to the CRU debacle. Nice (and surprising) to find the Beeb giving airtime to scepticism on the subject, but I suppose we’ d better wait to see who they talk to!

Gene Nemetz

“More work needs to be done to convince people of the reality of human-induced climate change and of the urgency with which we must agree an international solution…..”
More work needs to be done to convince the people that keep trying to convince ‘people of the reality of human-induced climate change’ that they have to stop trying to convince ‘people of the reality of human-induced climate change’.

“Prove It.” What a misleading and unscientific survey title. Since when have consensus numbers “proved” anything?
The Professor must surely be aware that science advances by a process of testing and falsification, a sceptical process of replacing weaker explanatory theories by theories that better fit the facts. When can we ever say we know it all, it’s proven.”The science is settled.”

Brian Johnson uk

Kate 02:03:11
I sent this email to David Cameron 2 years ago. Not a word back!
I have sent others since to no effect but then with Zac Goldsmith as his advisor I should not expect any correspondence.
“Dear Mr Cameron,
I question why you are sticking to the “Green” ticket when
there is not one shred of evidence that CO2 is
the “Devil’s Gas”.
Of Mankind’s 3% CO2 the UK provides barely 1.6%. CO2 is 0.036% of our atmosphere. Water vapour is more active and a much bigger component.
Even if my Maths are
1000% inaccurate it won’t change our contribution very much will it?
Is that really going to make any difference to anything? All your
Green pals have agendas that have more to do with
comfortable incomes than saving the Planet [which does not need
saving anyway]
If you want to get voters attention, set up a debate/conference
for some accredited Scientists both for and against
and you will realise that the truth is not inconvenient [Al Gore
Propaganda] and the money wasted on ‘saving’ the Planet
could be invested in fighting crime, lowering taxes, improving health
All Global Warming predictions are based on totally inaccurate
Computer Models.
Warming predictions via Computer Models are as useful and on the same
level as Fools Gold and Witchcraft.
A lot of Conservatives have similar thoughts to my own. Don’t
count on my or their votes if you will not allow an even
playing field to debate Global Warming/Climate Change.”

Mike Core

Rather than assume people are selfish and stupid, perhaps our elite scientists should take a look at the wisdom of crowds:
There is a lot more on this subject and it is worth a five-minute search.

Peter Plail

I hope thay had a mechanism in place that prevented people voting in the gallery going home and voting again on-line.
I suspect I know the answer!
Which means that there could have been considerable double voting based on the 5:1 proportions of the gallery.
All in the best traditions of balance, just like the statement about convincing people of the “reality” of global warming.


Did anyone think to ask Prof. Rapely if they turned the raw data over to CRU for “correction” yet?


I’m “tempted, very tempted, to beat the crap” out of Professor Chris Rapley CBE, Director of the Science Museum and Professor of Climate Science at UCL.
Ben Santer – the gift that keeps on giving!!

Don Keiller

This is not at all surprising, Professor Chris Rapley has a long track record as a “warmist”.
Back in 1997/8 (when I was working there on secondment) he took over as Director of British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and completely redefined their mission- to one aimed at “proving” climate change.
All those scientists who didn’t follow this agenda, or were working in areas unlikely to support it were removed.

Dr Duck

This poll was Pharyngulatd by PZ Myers the other day, so it will be interesting to see if the trend has changed. PZ commonly links to polls about religion and intelligent design, so that the hoards of Phryngula readers can upset the theists by overwhelming the poll. The comments on his blog in regards to this are interesting, though I think the formidable PZ knows more about evolution than he does about the current state of play in climate science.


Well Adam Gallon,
Some people prefer to get their “science” pre-packaged and ready to eat handed to them conveniently by “those who know best,” whereas others prefer to go out and seek their own science the traditional way – searching for papers, reading articles and comparing results.
I guess the latter are those whom the good prof reckon are denying the “reality” of man made climate change.

Taco Bell

I actually searched that site for convincing evidence for man’s CO2 contribution driving temperatures and all I found was them pointing to a higher authority (IPCC).
They really need to do better than that.


I love how they spun the results by including a seperate sample of the idiots who actually turned up at the museum. Well ya obviously those that actually went to their global warming soiree would believe it wouldnt they?
More dishonest behaviour from the agw freaks.


“Prove It! remains open until January 2010 and is free to visit.”
They can’t even give it away for free…..

Nigel Alcazar

Can sombody explain why a plastic bag of coffee which doesn’t bio dergade is better than a glass bottle which can be recycled? Advertisers jumping on the climate change band wagon maybe. Could it be Kenco can not make decent coffee so have changed to trying to appeal to peoples conscience. If the coffee was in a paoer bag there might be something in it.
I do however agree that packaging is a problem and the best way to help is avoid supermarkets.

John R. Walker

I have already Emailed and asked the Science Musuem if they can quantify the number of children – particularly in school parties – and adults who may have voted in the skewed internal poll result? Or if they have any other rational explanation?
It’s been clear for several years that schoolkids in the UK, and across the EU, are being brainwashed about AGW – there’s a huge amount of ‘free’ course material available to schools and everything I have seen looks more like propaganda than science.