Royal Society of Chemistry backs sharing of data in contrast to Jones “standard practice” statement

While Dr. Phil Jones prattles on about withholding code and data being “standard practice” The Royal Society of Chemistry has made a statement to the Parliamentary inquiry saying they as an organization support open data sharing. They now join the Institute of Physics in making a strong statement on the practices of UEA/CRU.

https://i1.wp.com/www.ch.cam.ac.uk/events/openday/openday2003/rsc.gif

They write:

“…the benefits of scientific data being made available and thus open to scrutiny outweigh the perceived risks. To this end, scientific information should be made available on request as outlined in the Freedom of Information Act.”

Dr. Jones position of “standard practice” isn’t looking good. Not good at all.

Here’s the statement published on the UK parliament website:

Memorandum submitted by the Royal Society of Chemistry (CRU 42)

Source: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/memo/climatedata/uc4202.htm

Summary

· It is essential that the public and all non-specialists remain truly confident in the scientific method to provide a sound scientific evidence-base on which strong decisions can be made. Correspondingly, it is in the interest of scientists and the public that society as a whole has an understanding and an appreciation of science.

· Access to reliable, up-to-date information is vital to advancing research and enabling the discovery or development of solutions to global issues. Sharing information is especially important in multi-disciplinary research, where progress is very much dependent on willing and effective communication between different speciality areas.

· The RSC firmly believes that the benefits of scientific data being made available and thus open to scrutiny outweigh the perceived risks. To this end, scientific information should be made available on request as outlined in the Freedom of Information Act.

Submission

1. The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) welcomes the opportunity to submit formal written evidence to the consultation on the disclosure of climate change data from the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia.

2. The RSC is the UK Professional Body for chemical scientists and an international Learned Society for advancing the chemical sciences. Supported by a network of over 46,000 members worldwide and an internationally acclaimed publishing business, our activities span education and training, conferences and science policy, and the promotion of the chemical sciences to the public.

3. The document has been written from the perspective of the Royal Society of Chemistry. It is noteworthy that the University of East Anglia is a member of the RSC Partnership Scheme, however this in no way constitutes a conflict of interest. The RSC’s Royal Charter obliges it “to serve the public interest” by acting in an independent advisory capacity, and we would therefore be very happy for this submission to be put into the public domain.

· What are the implications of the disclosures for the integrity of scientific research?

4. The apparent resistance of researchers from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) to disclose research data has been widely portrayed as an indication of a lack of integrity in scientific research. The true nature of science dictates that research is transparent and robust enough to survive scrutiny. A lack of willingness to disseminate scientific information may infer that the scientific results or methods used are not robust enough to face scrutiny, even if this conjecture is not well-founded. This has far-reaching consequences for the reputation of science as a whole, with the ability to undermine the public’s confidence in science.

5. It is essential that the public and all non-specialists remain truly confident in the scientific method to provide a sound scientific evidence-base on which strong decisions can be made. Correspondingly, it is in the interest of scientists and the public that society as a whole has an understanding and an appreciation of science. The RSC strongly supports the dissemination of chemical knowledge to foster and encourage the growth and application of the chemical sciences, as stated in its Royal Charter. This includes the dissemination of scientific knowledge as a means to advance public understanding and the learning of science.

6. The dissemination of scientific information is central to progressing scientific developments, as it is based on a sound knowledge of preceding research.[1] Access to reliable, up-to-date information is vital to advancing research and enabling the discovery or development of solutions to global issues. Sharing information is especially important in multi-disciplinary research, where progress is very much dependent on willing and effective communication between different speciality areas.

7. It is also imperative that scientific information is made available to the wider community for scrutiny: the validity and essence of research relies upon its ability to stand up to review. In fact, advances in science frequently occur when the prevailing view is challenged by informed scepticism, this is fundamental to the scientific method and should be encouraged, even if controversial. The RSC firmly believes that the benefits of scientific data being made available and thus open to scrutiny outweigh the perceived risks. To this end, scientific information should be made available on request as outlined in the Freedom of Information Act. Furthermore, research needs to be presented in an accurate and reliable manner in the correct context in order to optimise this process. It may also be necessary to incorporate an independent auditing system into peer review with the ability to demand access to raw data sets to ensure best practices are being adhered to.

8. With the increased use of electronic media, access to information is widespread for scientists and the public alike. While this is a great benefit to society, the quality and validity of information available raises complex problems as valid scientific information and general opinion are presented side by side. The inability to decipher which information is legitimate, results in confusion, misinterpretation and may lead to mistrust of ‘science’. There needs to be a clearer understanding in the public domain of what constitutes a reliable source, including an appreciation for the process that is used for disseminating research and the advantages of peer review.

9. The peer review system is central to the credibility of science: its purpose to prevent the dissemination of unwarranted claims and unacceptable interpretations. Formally published scientific research is subject to this authoritative process whereby a community of qualified, impartial experts examine the information and possess the ability to prevent publication. Authors generally protect their data until it has been peer-reviewed and published in a formal publication due to the competitive nature of research.

10. The issue of misinformation in the public domain must also be tackled. Just as the scientific community must be open with regard to their evidence base, those who disagree must also provide a clear and verifiable backing for their argument, if they wish their opinions to be given weight. When disagreements occur, the validity of the analysis must be established before credence can be given to any opinion. Increased understanding of the process of scientific research, firstly in the government, but also within the media and general public, is vital in order to foster a more open sharing of information.

11. Support from the scientific community is needed to provide context and to explain the process by which conclusions are reached. Encouraging scientists to openly engage with the public can only be achieved if researchers are given the necessary backing in the face of any unfounded arguments against their work. This support must come from the highest levels, sending out a strong message on the importance of scientific methodology and research and promoting open sharing of information between scientists and the wider community.

· Are the terms of reference and scope of the Independent Review announced on 3 December 2009 by UEA adequate?

12. The terms of reference and scope of the independent review are adequate, although some wider reaching aspects must also be examined. The effect on other researchers working in this area such as independent researchers, as well as those collaborating with CRU, should be explored. The impact of this incident on the public perception of the CRU and UEA as a whole should also be considered as a measuring stick for the implications of such actions in the public domain. The manner in which the findings from the items set out are interpreted and applied will determine their value.

13. As has been set out in the review, it is necessary to investigate the email exchanges which were discovered along with other relevant CRU information to establish whether data have been manipulated or suppressed. This is, not only needed in order to identify any unacceptable behaviour, but also to verify the results which have been published. This is vital in clarifying the severity of the acts carried out by those scientists at the CRU involved, i.e. whether it was a misguided protection of their work or a malicious misrepresentation of data.

14. The review of practices surrounding CRU’s use of peer review and dissemination of data should be used to shed light on how these comply with established best scientific practice. Any failings in this area should be examined in the context of the research methods used and any deviations should be assigned either to the individual researchers or to inadequate updating of the best practice to suit research in the digital age.[2] This will beget more valuable information on the motivation and the reasoning behind the conduct of researchers at CRU.

15. Research institutions should review established protocols regarding the management of, and access to, research data to ensure that they remain up to date and clear. This process must be developed in collaboration with researchers so that its importance can be understood. The current practices in CRU and UEA must be examined to ensure the unit and the institution fulfil public regulations and that they offer support to researchers to ensure compliance.

16. The review of the security issues surrounding the release of information is an important internal issue for CRU and UEA. Furthermore, the RSC supports investigations into the highly irregular manner in which information was obtained from the researchers.

· How independent are the other two international data sets?

17. From the information available, the RSC cannot comment on this issue.

Royal Society of Chemistry

February 2010


1 although serendipitous advances are also well recognised

[2] “Ensuring the integrity, accessibility and stewardship of research data in the digital age” Committee on Ensuring the Utility and Integrity of Research Data in a Digital Age; National Academy of

Sciences, 2009

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58 thoughts on “Royal Society of Chemistry backs sharing of data in contrast to Jones “standard practice” statement

  1. Real scientists UNTIE!

    …or is it UNITE(?)

    Good to see mainstream groups who allegedly represent proper science stop overlooking junk like this. So far we have had a Physics and Chemistry group stand up to say hell no (more or less).

    I’m not going to hold my breath on NSF and APS, but maybe… just maybe there’s hope for real science(?)

  2. As a qualified chemist and ex-member of the Royal Society of Chemistry can I congratulate the Society on their forthright statement. Surely it must be right to make scientific data available to all to question on such an important,but unproved issue such as AGW ?

  3. Hopefully, with statements from physics and chemistry the scientific inquiry will be more rigorous than the CRU/UEA effort. Today’s questioning was less than ‘robust’ and some of the answers that were allowed without challenge were laughable.
    How could they exclude the main ‘sceptic’ protagonists; a disgrace.

  4. The institutions for Physics and Chemistry with Royal Charters have weighed in on the side of openness and informed scrutiny being the basis of good science. It seems we are waiting for the Phrenology Association to back the position of the EAU and CRU.

  5. Excellent paper from the RSC.

    I could understand “data hoarding” in a private sector lab doing proprietary, applied research. But in a public institution conducting basic research at public expense? Is it really possible that Mr. Jones (and Mann, Schmidt, Hansen, et. al.) is sincere in his belief that sharing data is not “standard practice”?

  6. Just in case the members forget, the RSC reminds them that:

    “16. The review of the security issues surrounding the release of information is an important internal issue for CRU and UEA. Furthermore, the RSC supports investigations into the highly irregular manner in which information was obtained from the researchers.

    Another reference to the hackers?

  7. I love this. If the “perceived risk” is that others might find the flaw in your work and cause problems, then I would call this “delusional risk”, as the “scientists” in question obviously do not understand how scientific inquiry works.

    Just as a crook is not paranoid about being caught. He/she SHOULD be worried about being caught.

    Here, the “perceived risk” involved the chance of being caught doing unscientific things with the data. This is a very real risk to a crooked scientist and not a risk to an honest, rational-thinking scientist.

  8. “· How independent are the other two international data sets?

    17. From the information available, the RSC cannot comment on this issue.”

    So CRU’s data set appears to be thoroughly discredited, perhaps we should shift some of our focus to the NASA GISS and NOAA data sets. Senator Inhoff seems to be making some progress on the criminal investigation front;
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/mar/01/inhofe-climate-mccarthyite
    but this will likely some time, possibly until after the Nov 2nd US mid-term elections, to really start to bite. In the interim what can we do to figure out if the key players at NASA GISS and NOAA are also guilty of malfeasance?

  9. Masterly.
    One shouldn’t- or indeed couldn’t- ask for more.
    It’s down to parliament now.

  10. Excoriating is the word here. Climate Science is now as oxymoronic as Military Intelligence or Political Integrity.

    We have a new third great lie now:
    1. The money is in the post.
    2. Of course I’ll still love you in the morning.
    3 The Science is settled.

  11. The RSC is correct. Especially when the policies contemplated as a result of the data analysis have such great potential monetary and human life costs. This sharing of data must also be done by NASA and NOAA.

    MJPenny

  12. 13. As has been set out in the review, it is necessary to investigate the email exchanges which were discovered along with other relevant CRU information to establish whether data have been manipulated or suppressed. This is, not only needed in order to identify any unacceptable behaviour, but also to verify the results which have been published. This is vital in clarifying the severity of the acts carried out by those scientists at the CRU involved, i.e. whether it was a misguided protection of their work or a malicious misrepresentation of data.

    Hopefully they actually do what they describe in paragraph 13 above, particularly- “to establish whether the data has been manipulated or suppressed; verify the published results; and to clarify whether it was misguided protection of their work or a malicious misrepresentation of data”.

    I think it’s all of the above.

  13. The crux of the scientific method is reproducibility of results. Until something can be independently reproduced, it is not considered “proven” (yeah, yeah, I know, you cannot prove only disprove.) How can you do that without the data and methods used?

  14. Looks like the RSC is interested in the wider issues: effects on researchers outside of CRU, and verifiability of the science. The RCU wants the e-mails and related data to be examined “to identify any unacceptable behaviour” and “to verify the results which have been published.” I suppose the latter is beyond the capabilities of the Parliamentary Inquiry. Hopefully, an increasing number of scientists is willing to take up this investigation.

  15. 18. We are still in support of the warmist agenda no matter the cost and we don’t give a damn about freedom. CO2 is a bigger threat to society than Jones but we are more than willing to sacrifice Jones so we can continue the scare and protect the consensus.

  16. Is it me or does point 12 seem self defeating, the scope cannot be adequate if the society has other items it wants looked at, even so this is good news for the side of good.

  17. Paragraph 7…last sentence
    “It may also be necessary to incorporate an independent auditing system into peer review with the ability to demand access to raw data sets to ensure best practices are being adhered to.”

    Well never too late!

  18. There is only one reason that AGW fraud climatologist want to operate in secret. I can’t think what it is right now, but I am sure it will come to me.

    In case it hasn’t occurred to other scientist not associated with the AGW fraud crew, they better step up and put a stop to the fraud, else they will land in the same dirty bucket … Where on one believes a thing they say in the future.

    Science itself stands in the balance.

  19. “4. The apparent resistance of researchers from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) to disclose research data has been widely portrayed as an indication of a lack of integrity in scientific research.”

    Has been portrayed as? More like “is”

    “A lack of willingness to disseminate scientific information may infer that the scientific results or methods used are not robust enough to face scrutiny, even if this conjecture is not well-founded.”

    Indeed.. someone might “try and find something wrong with it”. How rude would that be?

    “This has far-reaching consequences for the reputation of science as a whole, with the ability to undermine the public’s confidence in science”

    Amen. No further reading required.

  20. Jones lied again. What he said in e-mails doesn’t match what he said in the hearing. It seems the people in the hearing see Jones is obviously full of himself and deceptive. He really piled more damage on himself and did so with very few statements.
    This is why Algore will not have a discussion except one that has prewritten questions.
    Based on Jones, I will not sell my snow shovel or snow blower.

  21. I’m very glad to see some real scientific organizations finally weighing in on the issues. Sigh, better late than never, I guess.

  22. Other than not passing judgement on the actual research itself, this is a damning letter against CRU and their practices. It is a very welcome rebuttal to JOnes, Mann and Schmidt.

  23. I’m just disappointed that it even had to come to this. What is Jones’ alma matre? Where did Mann matriculate from? There are far too many “researchers” inflicted with egregious behavior to attribute it solely to a few isolated instances of science gone awry. It simply boggles the mind.

  24. OT
    To what is the Guardian (or Wong) likely to attribute this? Could be useful to Al in his search for new evidence …

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/7345574/Australian-town-326-miles-from-river-hit-by-raining-fish.html

    “Residents in a remote desert town in Australia, 326 miles from the nearest river, are recovering after witnessing two days of fish raining from the sky. …. Joe Ashley, 55, from Jabiru an outback town in the Northern Territory, said: “Usually fish are in the water now they are falling out of the sky what if anything bigger falls out of the sky next? It could be crocodiles that would be real scary.”

  25. The thing is, they aren’t real scientists. A real scientist would cut their arms off before behaving like this.

    They’re pretty much sociologists with a bit of physics.

  26. Great, just great.

    The CRU and UEA are now beyond the pale for two scientific associations. Ms. Curry: Please note how scientific trust can be restored: stand up for the truth (even if it is inconventient) and say out loud that you don’t recognize that kind of practice. Isn’t this the ultimate trial by your peers?

  27. I think it is easy to conclude from the actions of the CRU crew they had something to hide, no need to guess. …. Now all they need in the UK is a law making it a felony to release fraudulent data and push it as true.

    The USA has the “Data Quality Law” which binds all government aganecies, contractor and grantees action to that standard. So when NASA/NAOA/GISS start their shenanigans, there is a place to turn. I haven’t seen it used much but it should be.

    Maybe it’s applicable on the current EPA endangerment finding as well.

  28. davidmhoffer (16:19:13) :

    The Royal Statistical Society has also weighed in,

    ……………………………………………………………………..

    link?

  29. RitchieP
    “Residents in a remote desert town in Australia, 326 miles from the nearest river, are recovering after witnessing two days of fish raining from the sky. …. Joe Ashley, 55, from Jabiru an outback town in the Northern Territory, said: “Usually fish are in the water now they are falling out of the sky what if anything bigger falls out of the sky next? It could be crocodiles that would be real scary>>>

    I’ve seen something like this but it was frogs. A whirlwind sucks water off the top of a lake causing a water spout and deposits it a few miles inland. Nothing bigger than two or three inches though, so I think crocodiles are unlikely. Of course that was when i was a kid, way before global warming started, so I’m sure the waterspouts are bigger now….

    But when frogs start landing all around you and you are eight… well its pretty freaky.

  30. Being a trial lawyer for the most of my adult life, I never considered myself to be overly naive when it came to “scientists” – lord knows I,….er, my courtroom opponents, hired enough scientific whores to be considered Madams. But, there was always one saving grace in a trial – discovery. We could learn the ins and outs of a maggot’s ass about what evidence the “expert” relied upon, and that which he ignored or discredited, and why. We could learn exactly how he came to his conclusion(s), what principles he applied and how. The expert was required to give us all of his data and the basis for his conclusion(s), and then sit for deposition as well as cross-examination in court.
    If he was an especially accomplished “expert” who provided excellent services, one would have to respond in kind and dig deep into the pockets to pay for an equally accomplished “expert” – one who could not only effectively counter the testimony of the other side, but also be able to teach me enough to effectively cross-examine the other expert.
    The other side, of course, would have equal access to my expert. If the “science” didn’t warrant the cost of this process – that is if you were wrong, the smart thing to do was settle.
    If I seem somewhat cynical about this process, I am. But what does that make me “seem” about the process as described by Phil Jones in the previous posting? What utter, complete cow cookies. It’s 10 times worse than the information presented at a trial. Not only do they “hide the decline” – hell, they hide everything except that which will provide minimum cover for their agenda. That an article such as appears above must be published is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the particular endeavor known as “climate science,” especially as it is practiced by the most notable AGW proponents, has gone horribly off the tracks of science, at least as compared to what I learned about the “scientific method,” eons ago.
    Unless and until the complete, unadjusted data, as well as the methodology, theories, algorithms, computer programs, etc. are fully out in open and subject to rigorous questioning, the AGW proponents can shove their theories where Leif Svalgaard don’t study.

  31. aMINO aCIDS iN mETEORITES (16:47:35) :

    davidmhoffer (16:19:13) :

    The Royal Statistical Society has also weighed in,

    ……………………………………………………………………..

    link?
    check out the newest thread on WUWT :-)

  32. I found this little bit particularly relevant.
    “It may also be necessary to incorporate an independent auditing system into peer review with the ability to demand access to raw data sets to ensure best practices are being adhered to.”

  33. “lack of willingness to disseminate scientific information may infer that the scientific results or methods used are not robust”

    Eat your hearts out, RealClimate!!!!! LOL I nominate this bit for quote of the week…

  34. Interestingly, chemistry evolved from alchemy primarily through openness. It was the willingness of some later alchemists to disclose and share their data and results that permitted the growth of the “hard” science into chemistry. Perhaps the coming openness of “climate science” will permit it to evolve into a hard science, possibly called, ummm, climatology.

  35. Point 13:

    “This is vital in clarifying the severity of the acts carried out by those scientists at the CRU involved, i.e. whether it was a misguided protection of their work or a malicious misrepresentation of data.”

    Damning words.

  36. Overall a strong statement from the RCS.

    Points #10 & #11 however seemed to me to have ambiguous meaning and appear to defensive. They could be read as scientists organizing to defend themselves against attacks. Are they refering obliquely to the blogosphere?
    John

  37. I’m reading much more into these. While the words are nice and the sentiments proper, I see rats running from a sinking ship, and they are determined not to be dragged down too. They have fully scapegoated Jones, and will now insist the net be cast wider, in fear of their own vested interests, financial, political and personal. This is damage control in full regalia, a full court PR press, that will soon take on world proportions. Billions of dollars rest on the outcomes of this, liabilities abound, and an awful lot of people are now going to make damn sure they’re not swept up in it.

  38. I too was a chartered chemist and member of the Royal Society of Chemistry and am pleased and surprised that the society has made such a strongly worded submission. Under its chief executive Richard Pike, it has taken a very proactive position in promoting the cause of anthropogenic climate change. I wonder if his oil background affects his views on the issue. He met with Milliband only in January to discuss the aftermath of Copenhagen.

    http://www.rsc.org/AboutUs/News/PressReleases/2010/PikeMilibandMeeting.asp

    I think that the committee who produced this submission decided that they must look to their charter and uphold its values rather than close ranks and support fellow “professionals” from another discipline. I think that this professional cronyism is one of the reasons that the AGW movement has thrived. Scientists are always very unwilling to criticise fellow scientists, which has been used by climate science to claim wide support from the scientific community. Scientists inherently have faith in the integrity of fellow scientists and so may be among the last to criticise fellow scientists. Even so, I have despaired on occasions at the overt warmist leanings of the society and their complete lack of scientific objectivity and have wondered how these people could follow in the footsteps of our great pioneering chemists who set up this venerable old institution.

    Whilst I applaud the position taken on this submission, I am far from convinced that the RSC could at this time offer unbiased adjudication within an expert panel looking at verifying published results on the temperature data sets.

  39. I like the RSS stand on the data and methods more than than that of the RSC. There should be absolutely no need to invoke FOIA to get at data and methods. It should be published when the paper is published. Period.

  40. MIke O Said:

    The crux of the scientific method is reproducibility of results. Until something can be independently reproduced, it is not considered “proven”
    I really believe that they have made so many different adjustments, homogenizations coming from so many different programs that they are at the point where even they can’t reproduce what they’ve done.

  41. I find it strange (OK, not really) how the governments are going to be the last to come around to enforce open data sharing. I have a few friends in the pharmaceutical industry and the US gov’t is currently mandating (and then auditing for compliance) that all companies that sell drugs here post the results of any research that could possibly be safety related into public databases. This will cost companies tens to hundreds of millions of dollars to comply. Yet these same politicians will be the last on the bandwagon for open sharing and archiving of climate science data.

  42. The Wikipedians in the discussion page for the Climategate article (whatever it’s called this week) are being driven nuts by all this. They’re still trying to argue that there’s only a rock and water in the pot, when it clearly is rock soup now.

    Next they’ll have to change the “Scientific method” article to reflect the standard practice in climate terrorism. (Well, isn’t it terrorism when people are so terrified that they kill themselves?)

  43. 13. As has been set out in the review, it is necessary to investigate the email exchanges which were discovered along with other relevant CRU information to establish whether data have been manipulated or suppressed.

    Dum Dee Dum Dum …
    (The dragnet tightens.)
    …………..
    The RSC should have inserted the boldfaced words below:

    A lack of willingness to disseminate scientific information may lead others to infer that the scientific results or methods used are not robust enough to face scrutiny

  44. 8. “…There needs to be a clearer understanding in the public domain of what constitutes a reliable source, including an appreciation for the process that is used for disseminating research and the advantages of peer review.”

    The function of this board demonstrates a viable solution to this question. WUWT is blessed with the regular, informed contribution of scientists, many dedicated to the field of discussion. Two such scientists debating an issue observable by the public – provide the means for the public to draw their own conclusions. Many people here have become educated on AGW and tangential fields simply by following threads and links. This creates a more immediate and broader based method of education.

    While this process may appear to threaten established societies like APS, RCS, it in fact is new opportunity for them. If these bodies of knowledge assign members to make regular contributions to discussion groups like this one – the public readily sees “reliable” opinion from establishment science. Such transparency protects against usurpation of segments of science which may have enormous societal impact. This is being demonstrated at WUWT daily.

    By all means peer review should continue, albeit under a revamped method of ensuring unbiased referees. Add to this the power of community review of published studies, and the scientific method is broadened, strengthened and democratized.

    The days of hijacked science as Jones and UEA have attempted – are over.

  45. “Formally published scientific research is subject to this authoritative process whereby a community of qualified, impartial experts examine the information and possess the ability to prevent publication. ”

    I don’t think that they have explained this very well and it does nothing to clarify what happened at UEA.

    Generally, the editor of a journal will contact the authors of a piece with queries or objections raised by those doing the peer reviewing.
    The authors may chose to address those deficiencies by re-writing and clarifying or, if the work contains a serious error that they completely overlooked, withdraw the work.
    Its not usual that a journal would refuse to publish a piece without a valid scientific reason.

    Where a journal degenerates to the point where it just becomes a cosy vehicle for a small clique of reviewers and publishers, it starts to lose credibility in the wider scientific community and researchers start to submit their papers elsewhere.

    Then any article associated with that journal becomes devalued and not cited in any reputable paper.

  46. All this is extremely admirable.

    There is only one question to be asked:

    If ‘scientists’ are regarded in higher esteem than ‘non-scientists’, would you agree that the punishments inflicted upon them must be higher if they abuse their status to continue backing inaccurate religion rather than data-supported reason?

    Particularly if ad hominem attacks by them on the ‘non-scientists’ is considered ‘acceptable collateral damage’………

  47. Ref – Rhys Jaggar (03:43:55) :
    “…If ’scientists’ are regarded in higher esteem than ‘non-scientists’, would you agree that the punishments inflicted upon them must be higher if they abuse their status to continue backing inaccurate religion rather than data-supported reason?..”
    _________________________

    That’s the same question Joe the Plumber asks about Hollywood and Congress, unfortunately the 9th Circuit and the respective ethics committees have consistantly held that special folks deserve special strokes.

  48. My goodness, real scientists are finally daring to speak out. I wonder if the RSC gets government funding. If it does it can probably kiss the money goodbye now. Very ‘off-message’.

  49. “Encouraging scientists to openly engage with the public can only be achieved if researchers are given the necessary backing in the face of any unfounded arguments against their work.”

    Hmmm………?
    A two edged sword, methinks.

  50. Rob M (09:52:27) :

    “Encouraging scientists to openly engage with the public can only be achieved if researchers are given the necessary backing in the face of any unfounded arguments against their work.”

    Hmmm………?
    A two edged sword, methinks.”

    If the data and method are open then this statement makes no sense whatsoever especially in chemistry or other hard sciences. Either the science is reproducible or it is not period. Unfounded arguments are just hot air that can be ignored. To me, a chemist, this smells of protecting the guilty.

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