WUWT is the focus of a seminar at the University of Colorado

Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. sends word of this via email. I’m a bit amused, but not surprised, as we know WUWT has been pushing the traditional media envelope, and we often tackle subjects they can’t or won’t. I liked this statement about skeptical blogs:

They serve as extended peer communities as put forth by post-normal science, however, blog users themselves do not see post-normal science as a desirable goal.

She’s got that right. Just wait til she sees what is coming up next. – Anthony

CSTPR Noontime Seminar

Fall 2012 Series

Thursdays 12:00 – 1:00 PM

The Communications-Policy Nexus

Media, messages, and decision making

* Tuesday September 11, 2012

THE CONTRARIAN DISCOURSE IN THE BLOGOSPHERE: WHAT ARE BLOGS GOOD FOR ANYWAY?

by Franziska Hollender, Institute for Social Studies of Science, University of Vienna

CSTPR Conference Room, 1333 Grandview Avenue

Free and open to the public

The media serve to inform, entertain, educate and provide a basis for discussion among people. While traditional media such as print newspapers are facing a slow decline, they are being outpaced by new media that add new dimensions to public communication with interactivity being the most striking one. In the context of climate change, one question has arisen from recent events: what to do with the contrarians? Some propose that the contrarian discourse is merely an annoying sideshow, while others think that it is science’s responsibility to fight them. Blogs, being fairly unrestricted and highly interactive, serve as an important platform for contrarian viewpoints, and they are increasingly permeating multiple media spheres.

Using the highly ranked blog ‘Watts up with that’ as a case study, discourse analysis of seven posts including almost 1600 user comments reveals that blogs are able to unveil components and purposes of the contrarian discourse that traditional media are not. They serve as extended peer communities as put forth by post-normal science, however, blog users themselves do not see post-normal science as a desirable goal. Furthermore, avowals of distrust can be seen as linguistic perfomances of accountability, forcing science to prove its reliability and integrity over and over again. Finally, it is concluded that the climate change discourse has been stifled by the obsession of discussing the science basis and that in order to advance the discourse, there needs to be a change in how science as an ideology is communicated and enacted.

========================================================

http://cires.colorado.edu/calendar/events/index.php?com=detail&eID=605

Can anyone go? Pielke Jr. reports he will be traveling.

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September 1, 2012 10:00 am

Congratulations! You are finally getting their attention.

katabasis1
September 1, 2012 10:06 am

This bothers me in so many ways:
– That, as evidenced in events like the Lewandowsky paper, climate scepticism is framed as some kind of pathology (“what to do with the contrarians?”)
– The assumption – again! – that “science” is some kind of homogenous entity – (“others think that it is science’s responsibility to fight them”) and contra to the sceptics.
– That our contributions are now being analysed (“discourse analysis of seven posts including almost 1600 user comments”). Something I’d have no problem with ordinarily (I write bots to do exactly the same thing to trace how stories or information is spreading and where from). But it suddenly feels a little oppressive and Orwellian given the above assumed pathology.
– “avowals of distrust can be seen as linguistic perfomances of accountability, forcing science to prove its reliability and integrity over and over again.” – I thought that WAS the essence of the scientific method? It worries me that I’m increasingly encountering this slack post-normal attitude to science. A few years ago had a falling out with an ex-girlfriend who is a microbiologist over a campaign she was supporting for science funding in the UK. The promo page contained several outright economic falsehoods and on the grounds that they would not correct them I refused to support the campaign. She said “but its for a good cause…”. I’m really starting to worry hearing that type of reasoning from people who really should know better…..
– “the climate change discourse has been stifled by the obsession of discussing the science basis” – huh? The discourse is more important than the science (discussion of which is “obsessive”)?
– “in order to advance the discourse, there needs to be a change in how science as an ideology is communicated and enacted.” – Good god. I’d like to know what they mean by “ideology” here as I don’t think it will match up with my own expectations of what it means to follow the scientific method given the above….

gene
September 1, 2012 10:07 am

I can’t go – I don’t have Boulder visa.

September 1, 2012 10:07 am

stifled by the obsession of discussing the science basis and that in order to advance the discourse, there needs to be a change in how science as an ideology is communicated and enacted
Here she is dead wrong. Science is not an ideology and should not be communicated as such.

Eric Dailey
September 1, 2012 10:07 am

Beware the Social Studies Professors bearing gifts.

Gerry Parker
September 1, 2012 10:15 am

Science as an ideology? Really? I think ideology should be separate from science, but perhaps that is a result of my time. I think science and engineering principles are not about what you believe or want to be true, but what data, observations and experiments demonstrate. Nature is not what you want it to be, it’s what it is. As an engineer or scientist, it is for you to determine from these things, not to project upon.
Gerry Parker

Richard111
September 1, 2012 10:21 am

I’m lost again. What is post-normal science?

wobble
September 1, 2012 10:25 am

Finally, it is concluded that the climate change discourse has been stifled by the obsession of discussing the science basis

Hilarious!
Franziska thinks that climate change discussions (discourse) have been stifled by skeptics wanting to discuss the science.
It doesn’t get any better than that? Perfect material for a Josh cartoon.

September 1, 2012 10:25 am

The abstract should be a subject of peer-to-peer reviews via this blog. Help formulate the issues and the important elements not mentioned. It would be fitting.
BTW, what should be name for the type of on-line, free access, accountable, review and critique of papers and talks?
“Blog Review” – that is condescending. One person with a blog no one reads posts one comment. No. Blog is not the critical element.
Peer-to-Peer Review — that is closer. It involves a community, it implies openness and it sounds official (which is not necessarily the case). But then “Peer Review” sounds more official than “Pal Review” it too frequently becomes.
Crowd Review — a cousin to Crowd Source, it embodies the more unruly nature of a pre-publication review. It is not limited to blogs. A twitter stream (shudder!) at a live presentation would also count.
Social Review — Peer Review by Social Media. I don’t like it — It brings to mind up turned noses.
Other ideas?

Steve Crook
September 1, 2012 10:26 am

@Leif
I was wondering about the ‘ideology’ thing myself, then thought perhaps she was referring to the principles that scientists are supposed to adhere to, and I think you could argue that’s an ideology.
The first definition I came across is this: “the body of doctrine, myth, belief, etc., that guides an individual, social movement, institution, class, or large group”
Assuming that were allowed to drop myth and belief I’d probably accept that definition, but ideology is a fairly loaded word and wouldn’t be one I’d use for preference.

davidmhoffer
September 1, 2012 10:26 am

“what to do with the contrarians? Some propose that the contrarian discourse is merely an annoying sideshow, while others think that it is science’s responsibility to fight them. ”
So they have to decide what to “do with” me?
Either I’m an annoying side show to be ignored, or it is the responsibility of “science” to fight me?
I can’t go, but this pi$$es me off to the point that if I was in the area I certainly would go and I gaurantee that there would be some “disruption”.
What complete arrogance surpasses only by their self imposed ignorance.

Bloke down the pub
September 1, 2012 10:28 am

I used to worry that we were living in a world run by accountants. Now I worry that we’re living in a world run by sociologists.

polistra
September 1, 2012 10:29 am

“Some propose that the contrarian discourse is merely an annoying sideshow, while others think that it is science’s responsibility to fight them. ”
Note the elitist bubble. “Skeptics: Pest or Menace?” These are the two opinions of the Establishment, not the two opinions of the whole world of science. Non-elite opinions do not exist in Franziska’s mind.
Also she seems to be confused by “post-normal”, which is understandable. The term has no fixed meaning. Most of us on the factual side would take “normal” to mean the Establishment, so post-normal means us. But Jerome Ravetz, whose article was probably the one Franziska “analyzed”, used post-normal in a more complicated way. He may have been referring to the Establishment climatologists as post-normal. Frankly, I couldn’t tell what Ravetz meant, and I don’t think he knew what he meant.

wobble
September 1, 2012 10:29 am

forcing science to prove its reliability and integrity over and over again

Yes, science SHOULD be forced to prove its reliability and integrity every time it makes a new claim.
Someone claiming to be performing “science” doesn’t get a free pass simply because past scientists were able to build television systems or put men on the moon.

vigilantfish
September 1, 2012 10:31 am

@ katabasis1 and Dr. Svalgaard:
I cannot express my concerns with this piece of condescending acatrivia (academia + trivia) more succinctly than you have done.
What ‘discourse’ is science supposed to advance, that WUWT and similar blogs are obstructing? Surely humility in the face of nature and natural events, aided by curiousity, should be the sum total of the ‘ideology’ of science.
If any of the seminar participants is looking at this thread, this tenured and publishing historian of science wishes to point out that historically there have been many discourses in science, and often the prevailing but later jettisoned discourse is the main thing that stands in the way of newer and more fruitful understanding (I’m of course avoiding here references to ‘truth’ or ‘progress’ to honour the Kuhnian and social constructivist biases of sociologists of science.)
When, I wonder, is the mainstream of historians and sociologists of science, and their STS brethren, going to apply the reflexivity principle to their treatment of global warming and climate science? How about looking in the mirror if you want to identify an interesting pathology.

Fred Flintlock
September 1, 2012 10:32 am

“Finally, it is concluded that the climate change discourse has been stifled by the obsession of discussing the science basis and that in order to advance the discourse, there needs to be a change in how science as an ideology is communicated and enacted.” – U of C Journalism(?) Staff 2012
“It is the absolute right of the State to supervise the formation of public opinion.” – Joseph Goebbels 1934
I fear memories, especially at university, are growing shorter every day.

Erik Christensen
September 1, 2012 10:46 am

science as an ideology => Cargo cult science

September 1, 2012 10:46 am

Her prose makes my brain ache. What is she really trying to say? What is “discourse analysis”? How do you do it without asking those who made the comments to verify the interpretations of what they intended to say? This strikes me as so much post-normal nonsense.

JCrew
September 1, 2012 10:48 am

Today we have people of intelligence, people who have become educated, but the result is they speak Babel. They mentally get things confused and twisted. Could this have some aspect of age old prejudice in one’s beliefs?
Or could it be in part due to current society is very complex and there are many ‘educated’ people that lack the intelligence to see things sensibly? Such as the miss state in climate science and global warming?

Stephen Wilde
September 1, 2012 10:52 am

Everything has been hijacked as part of an overriding ideology.
The blogosphere is the only significant remaining arena of free public discourse.

Boulder refugee
September 1, 2012 10:52 am

Wow, that last sentence….
“…climate change discourse has been stifled by the obsession of discussing the science basis and that in order to advance the discourse, there needs to be a change in how science as an ideology is communicated and enacted.”
…is quite the whopper! Obsesstion of discussing the science…. Science as an ideology…
They’re right, the debate is over!
I’ll bet Max “Balance is Bias” Boykoff will be there to assert that “contrarians” should be censored, and maybe Ben Santer will show up to punch dissenters in their faces. And Michael Mann can threaten to sue anyone that misses Ben’s punches.
Looks like it could be a could show of cloistered climatologists.
I used to live and work in Boulder, but now reside in the Free American Sector of Colorado. Perhaps I’ll be able to head back north across the 40th parallel to witness this academic Reichsparteitag. I promise to be out of Boulder before dark.
Meanwhile, I’ll chicken out and not post my name with this. These Boulder types, well, they have ways…

Jimbo
September 1, 2012 10:52 am

First i read about us being heretics in the Guardian and now science is an ideology. I’m getting worried.

Andrew Newberg
September 1, 2012 10:54 am

Any idea on the what 7 posts?

Gunga Din
September 1, 2012 10:54 am

Gerry Parker says:
September 1, 2012 at 10:15 am
Science as an ideology? Really? I think ideology should be separate from science, but perhaps that is a result of my time.
===================================================================
It’s how science has been twisted and used by politics to promote a social(ist) agenda that has made “climate science” an ideology. Mann, Hansen etc. are willing “twisters” in promoting the ideology. It’s no surprise that there are attempts to marginalize WUWT and other such blogs are “untwisting” the science thus removing one of the tools of the politicians.
The internet is the uncontrolled “Free Press”.

Dave
September 1, 2012 10:57 am

This is the fundamental problem with the alarmist crowd. They truly believe science is an ideology that everybody, especially we “contrarians” are to accept without question. If only we would goose-step in perfect harmony with the CAGW brownshirts, our opinions might be acceptable. Galileo must be spinning in his grave at the sight of all this.

PaulR
September 1, 2012 10:58 am

“climate change discourse has been stifled by the obsession of discussing the science basis”
Social science is not a science, and consequently this person has no idea how science should be conducted. It is totally absurd that “social scientists” would pretend to pass judgement on others participating in a scientific debate as if there could ever be too much discussion of the science basis of a theory.

tallbloke
September 1, 2012 10:59 am

it is concluded that the climate change discourse has been stifled by the obsession of discussing the science basis and that in order to advance the discourse, there needs to be a change in how science as an ideology is communicated and enacted.
And there you have it. Agenda driven ‘science’, straight from the horses mouth. They are so arrogant in their assumption of invulnerability, they undermine their own position with statements such as these.
The trickle of papers making it into the literature that contradict the IPCC position is becoming a torrent. Not far to go now.

imoira
September 1, 2012 10:59 am

“Using highly ranked blog, ‘Watts up with that’ as a case study, discourse analysis…. reveals… ” (see above)
Discourse analysis is “…based on a view that is largely anti-scientific, though not anti-research.”
http://www.eamonfulcher.com/discourse_ analysis.html

Gunga Din
September 1, 2012 11:00 am

TYPO
“blogs are “untwisting””
Should be “blogs that are “untwisting”

September 1, 2012 11:03 am

Leif Svalgaard says:
September 1, 2012 at 10:07 am
stifled by the obsession of discussing the science basis and that in order to advance the discourse, there needs to be a change in how science as an ideology is communicated and enacted
Here she is dead wrong. Science is not an ideology and should not be communicated as such.
====================================================
Right, but what is traditionally thought of when referencing climate science is an ideology. And then there’s the ideology which believes science should have a large role in human governance.

Ben Wilson
September 1, 2012 11:03 am

Wow. . . . .
“Finally, it is concluded that the climate change discourse has been stifled by the obsession of discussing the science basis and that in order to advance the discourse, there needs to be a change in how science as an ideology is communicated and enacted.”
“. . . . . stifled by the obsession of discussing the science basis . . . . . .”
This is absolute proof that American Universities are sadly failing their students.

Joe Postma
September 1, 2012 11:04 am

Skepticism as post-normal science? Hey, I thought that was the label WE gave THEM and their denial of the scientific method!
Some interesting perspective here in regards to alarmism and the agenda’s on-going attempts to re-define how science is communicated and what its meaning is. No doubt, they would wish for a new way to perform & communicate science that doesn’t have to include such things as…the scientific method, which requires skepticism, rebuttals of postulates with facts, etc. They desire science to be not so much about science, but about dictatorial & essentially religious declaration.
This sentiment is not original…I can’t link any other sources at the moment, maybe someone else can, but we’ve seen these types of calls made numerous times already. These sentiments, put into words and posed as a question, as they are, are essentially a call for proposals. That’s a good way to think about it.
They have a program, a desired end point, like any project. It has been on-going for some time, but with real science entering the debate through blogs such as this and the many others, and more and more proper skeptical papers coming out showing that there is essentially zero evidence to support the alarmist or even the vanilla AGW agenda, they’re putting out a call for proposals for someone to invent a new way of doing science. We all know that, truly, these people hate science with religious-like zeal. They thought they could just hijack it and create a *simulacra* of science and that would be enough…the stupid sheople wouldn’t figure THAT out. And they succeeded with many stupid sheople…which apparently tend to a leftist orientation, although, perhaps this is an unimportant observation…then again…
In any case, the internet and the free flow of information it provides has provided a medium for rationality among a large enough number that has obviously been too great for them to overcome. They’re obviously losing and the public support just isn’t there. That is directly thanks to blog sites, to a large extent at least. They know they can’t shut down the internet and properly scientific skeptical blogs – although I am sure they have thought about it – so now they want to modify their modus operandi from merely creating a simulacra of science & reality, to re-defining science altogether. You can hear the desperate plea in her words: “We need science to be dictatorial; skepticism can not be part of the future of science; those in the position to do so will tell you what the appropriate things to think are; etc.” Once this is in place, the existence of blogs won’t matter, because the idea that science involves questioning and skepticism will be removed from the public conscious. This is essentially, and really quite directly, straight out of 1984. They’re still using the standard play-book.
Her talk is a call for proposals: how do we redefine science so that it is devoid of skepticism? With religion, that’s how. And they’ve got a good start on that one as well.

PaulH
September 1, 2012 11:06 am

I think that any discipline that requires “science” as part of it’s name isn’t real science. Consider: Political Science, Social Science, Social Studies of Science, Climate Science, etc. None of these take the Scientific Method seriously, but like to pretend they make use of some kind of scientific rigour. No one says “Physics Science” or “Chemistry Science”.
/snark

Bruckner8
September 1, 2012 11:07 am

Finally, it is concluded that the climate change discourse has been stifled by the obsession of discussing the science basis and that in order to advance the discourse, there needs to be a change in how science as an ideology is communicated and enacted.
WTFIUWT? “stifled by obsession of discussion of science basis?” Isn’t that part of the definition of science? Isn’t that the heart of the science, to discuss the hypothesis, and its conclusions, and how the hypothesis might need changing? What exactly is stifling about constant communication? Heck, even “consensus science” (oxymoron if I ever saw one) RELIES on the players to communicate the lie, staying on the same page, consistently communicating the message.
And what does “science as an ideology” mean? And what exactly needs to change? Is she promoting it as an ideology? I always thought that science TRANSCENDS all ideologies, and that’s why I love it so much! I suppose THAT in and of itself could be thought of as an ideology, but what needs changing about that? It sounds too political to me.

Mike D in AB
September 1, 2012 11:08 am

I would like to see a concise definition for “post normal science” presented, and then one of the “sceptics” translating it into English. I suspect it would resemble “If your definition of science promotes theory over observation, it’s not science. If the totality cannot be broken into testable sub-components, it’s not science. If experiments cannot be proposed to falsify the basic premises, it’s not science. If the theory is accepted as the null case and “it’s within the realm of natural variation” must be proven, it’s not science. If numbers must be carefully chosen from larger data sets, and data which does not support the theory is discarded/not displayed, it’s not science.” Post normal science trusts that what the fast-talking saleman from out of town has in the bag that he’s selling is actually a pig. We skeptics want to see it before we buy it, that’s why we’re more likely to let the cat out of the bag. (for non-North Americans, the sayings “buying a pig in a poke” and “let the cat out of the bag” are both related to a confidence game/fraud from an earlier time.)

September 1, 2012 11:10 am

The media serve to inform, entertain, educate and provide a basis for discussion among people.
That would be the ideal. But how close is that to reality? Howard Beale (as written by Paddy Chayefsky) summarized the trustworthiness of media best in Network (1976)

Howard Beale [addressing audience on live TV “Network News Hour”] So. A rich little man with white hair died. … And *why* is that woe to us? Because you people, and sixty-two million other Americans, are listening to me right now. Because less than three percent of you people read books! Because less than fifteen percent of you read newspapers! Because the only truth you know is what you get over this tube.
[strolling through audience] Right now, there is a whole, an entire generation that never knew anything that didn’t come out of this tube! This tube is the Gospel, the ultimate revelation. This tube can make or break presidents, popes, prime ministers… This tube is the most awesome God-dxmned force in the whole godless world, and woe is us if it ever falls in to the hands of the wrong people, … this company is now in the hands of CCA – … And when the twelfth largest company in the world controls the most awesome God-dxmned propaganda force in the whole godless world, who knows what sh!t will be peddled for truth on this network?
[ascending the stage] So, you listen to me. Listen to me: Television is not the truth! Television is a God-dxmned amusement park! Television is a circus, a carnival, a traveling troupe of acrobats, storytellers, dancers, singers, jugglers, side-show freaks, lion tamers, and football players. We’re in the boredom-killing business! So if you want the truth… Go to God! Go to your gurus! Go to yourselves! Because that’s the only place you’re ever going to find any real truth.
[laughing to himself] But, man, you’re never going to get any truth from us. We’ll tell you anything you want to hear; we lie like hell. We’ll tell you that, uh, Kojak always gets the killer, or that nobody ever gets cancer at Archie Bunker’s house, and no matter how much trouble the hero is in, don’t worry, just look at your watch; at the end of the hour he’s going to win. We’ll tell you any sh!t you want to hear. We deal in *illusions*, man! None of it is true! But you people sit there, day after day, night after night, all ages, colors, creeds… We’re all you know. You’re beginning to believe the illusions we’re spinning here. You’re beginning to think that the tube is reality, and that your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you! You dress like the tube, you eat like the tube, you raise your children like the tube, you even *think* like the tube! This is mass madness, you maniacs! In God’s name, you people are the real thing! *WE* are the illusion! So turn off your television sets. Turn them off now. Turn them off right now. Turn them off and leave them off! Turn them off right in the middle of the sentence I’m speaking to you now! TURN THEM OFF…
[collapses in a prophetic swoon as the audience erupts in thunderous applause]

So, whenever you hear some pure-as-snow statement like “The media serve to inform,” keep Howard in mind and know that the media will tell you anything you want to hear and others want you to hear.

Menth
September 1, 2012 11:13 am

@katabasis1
+1 Excellent comment.

John West
September 1, 2012 11:20 am

“the climate change discourse has been stifled by the obsession of discussing the science basis”
Perfect, that would be the goal; to keep draconian regulations from being enacted until it becomes painfully obvious to nearly everyone that they’re too stupid for words.
” and that in order to advance the discourse, there needs to be a change in how science as an ideology is communicated and enacted.”
Actually, I have to agree. An ideology being basically a set of beliefs that determines ones perspective and actions, therefore, the ideology of science would be one of rigorous experimental methodology, objective observation, and transparency in all activities from data collection to conclusion. So, a change in communicating and enacting that ideology is definitely called for when “scientists” stifle debate, make back room deals, hide declines, cherry pick data, fabricate memos, etc. etc. A change to open debate, open source, WHOLE TRUTH science would be refreshing indeed.

John Campbell
September 1, 2012 11:25 am

>> Finally, it is concluded that the climate change discourse has been stifled by the obsession of discussing the science basis …
Don’t they understand that with science, it’s the evidence that counts? And it’s so simple: Hypothesis –> Prediction(s) –> Test predictions by checking with reality (i.e. the evidence supporting the hypothesis). If evidence supports hypothesis, then hypothesis morphs into a “theory” (which is *always* open to rejection or modification if new evidence arises). If not, hypothesis is rejected.
Maybe they ought to teach what the scientific method is in elementary schools. After all, it’d take about 5 minutes, and is elementary. Why on earth is Franziska Hollender apparently ignorant of the scientific method, the invention of which was arguably the greatest leap forward for humanity since the late medieval times? Test: Who said, “And yet it moves…”? Hint – Italy, the Inquisition, a very well-known scientist (or “philosopher” as he would have been called in those days).

September 1, 2012 11:25 am

Sure, let’s communicate the science. However, let us do so according to the late Dr. Richard Feynman’s admonition: (paraphrased) with all the uncertainties, the short-comings, known errors and inaccuracies.
In climate science, we skeptics strive to point out the tremendous failings, including the horrible temperature data, the massive data manipulations and statistical mischief and nonsense, and then the utter failure of badly-formed models to predict essentially anything.
How would it be if we built nuclear power plants by using the identical standards of the climate scientists? Which of the true believers would have their homes next to and immediately downwind from such plants?
Or, oil refineries, or chlorine plants, or biological weapons plants?
For that matter, who would drive across a bridge, knowing it had been designed and built to the IPCC consensus standards?

michel
September 1, 2012 11:26 am

The interesting thing about this, and one finds it all the time in climate science but no place else, is the attempt to put old wine in new bottles.
For instance, we had today an article in the Guardian CiF section which was dancing around only allowing views on climate science to be published by certified consensus qualified writers.
It was not put like that, it was phrased in terms of self certification, but the endgame was clear. As Babel said in one of his last speeches before he was purged, the Party wishes to stop us from writing badly. Quite so.
In the present case we have the invention of something called post normal science. This is a form of science where we have insufficient evidence for hypotheses but wish to accept them anyway. Our desire is so strong that we invest a supposed new form of science. This new form of science, were we consistent, would also lead us to accept hypotheses which are incompatible with those we are using it to advocate accepting, but of course it will never be applied to them. Consistency of this sort is old fashioned, we are dealing with the post normal here.
In the same way, we have insufficient evidence to justify certain kinds of policy decisions, and we invent a whole new way of justification called the ‘precautionary principle’ by which they will be justified. Never mind that they will justify incompatible policy decisions, we will never apply the principle to them.
We have seen all this before. In the Soviet Union it ended up under different names for the same logical errors, in Lysenkoism. Here at least we have free comment and publication, so good argument over time will drive out bad. At least we must hope so.
But the emergence of real publicly acknowledged desire to base acceptance of hypotheses on essentially religious grounds, and decisions on public policy on essentially religious grounds, is a deeply worrying prospect to those of us who believe the inheritance we received from John Stuart Mill is one of our most precious social assets.

Sam
September 1, 2012 11:28 am

“Furthermore, avowals of distrust can be seen as linguistic perfomances of accountability, forcing science to prove its reliability and integrity over and over again.”
I’m almost positive that readers of this blog don’t believe science needs to prove its reliability again and again. You have -people who disagree over physics, people who think climate science is overly politicized/bunk, people who think climate science is fine but the claims people make about global warming are bunk, people who think cost/benefit favors inaction and people who think warming is something to be encouraged.
Aside from climate science posters show a healthy skepticism of social science and other fields that have a large number of confounding variables, are highly politicized, occur over long time periods and have a poor predictive rate. In harder and more tested fields (engineering, evolution, etc) posters show alot more appreciation for science. Just because skeptics may suffer from confirmation bias doesn’t mean there isn’t a reason behind it!
“Finally, it is concluded that the climate change discourse has been stifled by the obsession of discussing the science basis and that in order to advance the discourse, there needs to be a change in how science as an ideology is communicated and enacted.”
The time for that was the 1960s. We’ve had a ton of ecological doomsday predictions since then without having a doomsday. Somewhat unsurprisingly people have come to the conclusion that any prediction that has a whiff of doomsday about it is crap. It doesn’t help that the environmentalist movement leapt onto the issue- its anti-technology attitude, hodge podge of social movements and contridictory goals repells alot of the people here.
In short, better science communication will have no effect because the problem isn’t science communication. This site wouldn’t exist if global warming was just “the planet is warming”. The problem is global warming is “the planet is warming and we must do something about it”. As long as the “something to be done” is completely unhocked from reality and little more than a green wishlist, skeptics and denialists will treat it for what it is- a blatant political ploy. And once it is a political ploy, both sides will tighten ranks, lessen standards, view the opposition as evil, view their position in apocalyptic terms… you know, what generally happens whenever politics is injected into anything. Attempting to overcome that by changing the format you communicate science is a bit like yelling louder a a foreigner on the assumption that deep inside he really knows English.

Doug Hanes
September 1, 2012 11:28 am

Glad to hear they are going nuts. You posted early this year about CO2 saturation. This is what this following link is all about. It’s peer reviewed. It was published in The Journal of Cosmology and seems to fit all data from 1850 to present. Dr. Qing-Bin Lu who accidentally discovered this in 2009 is appointed to the departments of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo in Ontario Canada. I believe he is unbiased like you and his second paper on this subject of the cause of the global warming is a game changer. So far his second paper has not attacked. Just ignored….http://journalofcosmology.com/QingBinLu.pdf

GeoLurking
September 1, 2012 11:29 am

“…it is concluded that the climate change discourse has been stifled by the obsession of discussing the science basis…”
This is part of verification you idiot. If a proposed mechanism can not stand up to scrutiny, then there is pretty good chance that there may be something drastically wrong with it.

jimbrock
September 1, 2012 11:31 am

Gerry Parker hit it right on the nose. Science as an ideology! Science is a process, not an ideology. The scientific method revolutionized natural philosophy and these clowns with post-normal science want to do away with it? The basis for scientific study of any theory is twofold: replication and falsification. Climate science fails on both points…the Team will not provide enough information to replicate their results, and apparently there is nothing that can happen that will falsify their cagw beliefs.

Andrew30
September 1, 2012 11:31 am

Science is not a thing, it is a way of seeing.

Madman2001
September 1, 2012 11:33 am

I love this line: “the climate change discourse has been stifled by the obsession of discussing the science basis”. I believe they are saying that we here are obsessed with the science behind climate change? And that by focusing on that science we’re “stifling” political discourse?
How Orwellian.

eyesonu
September 1, 2012 11:44 am

“In the context of climate change, one question has arisen from recent events: what to do with the contrarians?”
=================
It’s a Saturday afternoon and by 2 beer response would be: Get on your knees and worship the intellectual superiority of the contriarian skeptics and ask for forgiveness for your ignorance.

Curiuos George
September 1, 2012 11:46 am

Institute for Social Studies of Science, Why stop there? Social Studies of Social Studies of Science? It’s a great (and expensive) alternative to an unemployment office.

Tom Jones
September 1, 2012 11:46 am

I thought science was an objective method for trying to understand the universe. The phrase, “forcing science to prove its reliability and integrity over and over again” just blew me away. As an earlier commenter said, that is the ESSENCE of the scientific method, is it not? This phrase reeks of a scentific establishment whose word is not to be questioned. Dissent is “post-normal science”? I don’t think so, it’s just plain old vanilla science.

Maus
September 1, 2012 11:47 am

Leif: “Here she is dead wrong. Science is not an ideology and should not be communicated as such.”
Yes, but the statement was not “science is an ideology” but “science as an ideology”. And quite certainly if you are stating that science should be ‘a’ or ‘the’ goto basis for informing public policy decisions then you are certainly taking on a ‘science as an ideology’ approach; quite aside from whether we are speaking of scientism or not.
The issue at hand here is not, of course, science as science (‘science basis’) but notions of communication, discourse, and narratives in managing the philosophical side of science; the scientific theories. This is all a rather terrible offspring of positivism that expresses itself as “hypothesis x posits y, and y was found under experiment z. Therefore the entire theory A is True.” And if you’re feeling surly you would not be incorrect to state that this is a canonical argument of many Philosophers who attempt to ‘prove’ their position by misusing empiricism as a religious touchstone. (Which owes much here to positivism in practice.)
Climate Science is and has been a poster child for this fallacious manner of backwardation in reasoning. There are other disciplines that make use of it as well, to be sure. But the notion is part of the modern narrative about scientific narratives. And I daresay it is pressing few individuals that realize that there is, or can be, a difference between data, experiment, model, and metaphysics. You are free to test yourself by delimiting where science is philosophical and where it is empirical. And then others on the same basis. I have little doubt that you will find the results rather depressing.
This is a basic issue of pedagogy about science and the scientific method rather than one of Climate Science in particular. But it is still the case that pedagogy involves narratives. And it is certainly the case that Climate Science narratives are used in advocating that legislative force be issued in support of those narratives.

games4us
September 1, 2012 11:50 am

I homeschool my kids, and we are studying General Science. This week we learned several things about science. 1. Science results are tentative; 2. Science is not 100% reliable; 3. You must use the scientific method. Because of these things, science can not PROVE anything. All you need is ONE counter-example to show that a hypothesis, theory, or law is wrong. You either have to modify the hypothesis, theory, or law, or throw it out and start over. There are plenty of theories that have been shown false eventually. Because of this, I think that political decisions (policy decisions) shouldn’t be justified by “science.” This is why we don’t buy the sky-is-falling rhetoric we hear.

September 1, 2012 11:51 am

I am continually amazed at how often supposed scientific discourse devolves into logically fallacious ad hominem attacks on those who advance contrary opinions or evidence. You’d
think a supposed advanced scientific discourse would not include logical errors recognized
by the Greeks as such several thousand years ago. Al Gore, of course, is king of the ad hominem argument- he does science the same way he did politics – attack your opponent, not his ideas.
Of course, with a brain like Gore’s, what other option does he have?
Anyone familiar with the history of science understands the value of intelligently based skepticism. Name one scientific discipline that can be said to have “figured it all out” ? I
can’t think of a single one, including even the most advanced and those with the greatest ability to predict their respective phenomena, such as physics, or astronomy. Skepticism can only be silenced (and often not permanently, as history tells us) by providing seemingly irrefutable evidence in support of theories.
And skeptical blogs, much like all others, come in a variety of different types and with a wide range of competence levels. Faults found in one skeptical blog apply to that blog alone.

R. Shearer
September 1, 2012 11:52 am

It’s not so much that the discourse has been stifled that is of concern to Franziska, as it is that the socialist agenda has been slowed. In any case, I will put this on my calendar but it might not be possible to get away in the middle of the day.

Gary
September 1, 2012 11:54 am

In the context of climate change, one question has arisen from recent events: what to do with the contrarians?

Do with them?! Why, listen to them, of course. Arrogantly dismissing them only shows your paternalistic ignorance.

Ed Dahlgren
September 1, 2012 12:02 pm

I’m with davidmhoffer (10:26 am) and polistra (10:29 am). Much in the press release is disturbing, but this is personal:

In the context of climate change, one question has arisen from recent events: what to do with the contrarians? Some propose that the contrarian discourse is merely an annoying sideshow, while others think that it is science’s responsibility to fight them.

Hollender may be just the messenger in this talk, presenting what she’s learned about, well, climate anticontrarians. But whether or not she’s in on the conspiracy, I don’t want anything done with me. Not by that crowd, anyway.

Scottie
September 1, 2012 12:03 pm

This sort of psychobabble nonsense reminds me of when I was at college (a long time ago). Above the toilet roll holder someone had scrawled, “Social Science degrees – please take one.”

Sun Spot
September 1, 2012 12:04 pm

@ wobble says: September 1, 2012 at 10:29 am “because past scientists were able to build television systems or put men on the moon”
I appreciate your sentiment but as is so often the case these days you conflate science and engineering. Television systems and landing on the moon were primarily engineering feats, if the fundamental tenets of the scientific method are not present you are probably talking about engineering.
Science fundamental tenets.
a) Hypothesis/theory
b) experiment
c) conclusion
d) published data
e) replication/verification
Science by it’s nature is fundamentalism as stated above.

September 1, 2012 12:10 pm

Maus says:
September 1, 2012 at 11:47 am
Yes, but the statement was not “science is an ideology” but “science as an ideology”.
Although English is not my mother tongue it is good enough to surmise that ‘yyy as xxx’ implies that ‘yyy is xxx’.
And quite certainly if you are stating that science should be ‘a’ or ‘the’ goto basis for informing public policy decisions then you are certainly taking on a ‘science as an ideology’ approach;
I don’t think so. Agencies measure rainfall and draw maps of flood zones in order to enable policy decisions to be made, and I would not call that data collecting activity ‘ideology’. The science of special relativity enabled the policy decision to produce atom bombs to shorten a war. I would not call special relativity an ideology, and so on.
A pillar of the post-normal science paradigm is that science should be geared towards answering the urgent social/political problems [if I understand them critters correctly] of our day [=the social/political relevance of science]. While sounding noble, this is a prescription for disaster as it put limit and boundaries on the discovery process. Now, some people actually want limits: perhaps it was better if atomic energy was never discovered, perhaps it is better if we cannot genetically modify organisms, perhaps we shouldn’t play god, perhaps there is knowledge we are not allowed to have, etc. I am not one of those people, and I hope you are not either.

George E. Smith
September 1, 2012 12:23 pm

“””””…..Finally, it is concluded that the climate change discourse has been stifled by the obsession of discussing the science basis and that in order to advance the discourse, there needs to be a change in how science as an ideology is communicated and enacted……”””””
I believe a strict translation of this sentence from the original in the Austrian Language (ask Obama) reads as; “We have to pass it, to find out what is in it !”
Well excuse us Franziska for having the temerity to think science discussions should be about science; NOT social studies !

David Ross
September 1, 2012 12:25 pm

“Pielke Jr. reports he will be traveling.”
The Center for Science and Technology Policy Research is Pielke’s creation.

On June 17, 2001 an article in The New York Times reported, “some experts believe that science’s influence in public policy matters has not been at such a low ebb since before World War I.” The statement reflects a widely shared view that while science and technology hold great promise for contributing to societal needs, meeting that promise requires thoughtful attention to how science and technology relate to decision making. In the summer of 2001, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado (CU) initiated development of a new Center for Science and Technology Policy Research.
[…]
We welcome your feedback (pielke@colorado.edu).
Roger A. Pielke, Jr., Director
[…]
Director Roger Pielke serves as the Director of the Environmental Studies Graduate Program, and CIRES and the Policy Center together have committed to support approximately 5 Environmental Studies Graduate students beginning in the fall of 2002.
http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/about_us/archives/annual_report_01-02.pdf

It looks like the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research’s focus is and has always been overwhelmingly about climate science (although there is nothing to indicate that in their title).
This little get-together may be based on Franziska Hollender’s thesis.

Franziska Hollender
Grad Student at University of Vienna
http://at.linkedin.com/pub/franziska-hollender/6/914/8b3
I am currently a graduate student in my last semester of Science, Technology and Society studies at the University of Vienna. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Cultural management and I have worked with EF Education in the U.S., a well-known contemporary art museum in Austria and I am currently working as a part-time media analyst for an international company.
My Master’s thesis “Communicating Climate Change: Understanding the contrarian discourse in new media arenas in the United States” analyzes the impact of contrarian blogs on the climate change discourse. Following my graduation this year, I am seeking a PhD/Dr. phil. position in Germany, the UK or the USA starting in Spring 2013.

——————————-
Fraulein Hollender,
I presume you will read this thread.
What to do with the contrariansyou? Some propose that the contrarian discourse is you are merely an annoying sideshow, while others think that it is science’stheir responsibility to fight them you. Blogs Pseudo-scientific seminars, being fairly unrestricted and highly interactive, serve as an important platform for contrarian Orwellian viewpoints, and they are increasingly permeating multiple media spheres.
[…]
Finally, it is concluded that the climate change discourse has been stifled by the obsession of discussing refusal to discuss the science basis and that in order to advance the discourse, there needs to be a change in how science as an ideology is communicated and enacted.
I appreciate that English is not your first language. But for future reference: you cannot “stifle” a “discourse” with “discussion”.
You have written a thesis and are now organizing a seminar, supposedly about what makes “contrarians” tick (or to “unveil” our “components and purposes”). Yet, Anthony and all of us “contrarians” at WUWT, whom you cite as a prime example, have never heard of you. Did it never cross your mind to ask the subjects of your enquiry?
Despite your characterization of us as people about which something must be ‘done’, I urge you to follow Dian Fossey’s fine example and join us in ‘obfuscatory’ mist of this forum. We promise not to bite. We’d love to hear your definition of “post-normal science”. We can even help you get that PhD. And who knows, you might even learn something.

otsar
September 1, 2012 12:26 pm

When I read the lines and in between the lines, statements such as Ms..Hollender has made, it leaves me cold. Her statements dredge up memories of an ugly past. Her statements would make Goebbels proud.
I wonder what her “solution” to the “problem” is.
Someone told me a long time ago that the Austrian establishment was the most effective P.R. organisation in the world: They have managed to convince the world that A.H. was German, that Kurt Waldheim was not a war criminal, and that Marie Antoinette was French.

Steve in SC
September 1, 2012 12:28 pm

About the sociological claptrap I will simply say that false piety is not a virtue.

Mike Ozanne
September 1, 2012 12:28 pm

She’s got that right. Just wait til she sees what is coming up next. – Anthony
Anthony you tease, what are you up to this time…?

jbird
September 1, 2012 12:28 pm

Why would anyone want to go to this?

Sun Spot
September 1, 2012 12:30 pm

@ Mike D in AB says: September 1, 2012 at 11:08 am I would like to see a concise definition for “post normal science”
Science fundamental tenets.
a) Hypothesis/theory
b) experiment
c) conclusion
d) published data
e) replication/verification
Science by it’s nature is fundamentalism as stated above.
Post Normal Science tenets.
a) Hypothesis/theory
b) experiment (this can be a computer model not an actual experiment)
c) conclusion (or a statement of belief/consensus)
d) published data (keeping data secret is ok or using computer model data is ok)
e) replication/verification (not required)
Post Science by it’s nature is liberal as stated above any or all caveats listed above may be used.

September 1, 2012 12:34 pm

For those that are going to attend this seminar, here is a short clip which sums up the key to science. I have to remind myself about this from time to time:

Science is not an ideology. I first saw this clip here on WUWT.

Rhys Jaggar
September 1, 2012 12:35 pm

The single characteristic of the blogosphere which differs from ‘traditional’ media is the complete lack of a barrier to entry for participation. If I so chose, I could set up a blog site for the weather, for sports, for politics, so long as I had the money to pay a monthly ISP charge for broadband access. Should traffic start to increase expontentially, of course costs may rise a bit, but there comes a time when advertising can cover that.
What you will see, therefore with ‘blogs’ is a series of ‘communities’ who either subscribe to the views of the dominant posters or who enjoy disagreeing with them.
The key transition point for any blog which starts attracting traffic is whether it starts accepting significant advertising/sponsorship and whether there are any changes in editorial policy as a result. In one model, what was once a radical site turns into an establishment voice. In another, advertisers are sought who are comfortable with the current editorial policy, even if that means that revenues are somewhat lower.
Another characteristic of blogs is that there is no a priori limit to the size of the community from which productive lines of enquiry can emerge. Let’s say there are 1000 comments on some article at this site, of which 600 broadly agree, 350 disagree and 50 actually add new insights. Those 50 new insights could come from an amateur gardener with no science qualifications, they could come from retired engineers, from scientists outside the field in question. They are not limited to the academic community, which is the reality within ‘traditional’ academic research, something those enjoying nice salaries and privileged status are of course keen to retain.
The effect of this depends on how good people are at filtering the poor insights from the good ones. There is no ‘list of published weblog contributions’, because the only ‘peer review’ is to determine whether they are abusive or in any other way contravening polite discourse. Whether scientists who read this blog would ever admit that they got any good ideas from bloggers is moot: the fact is that they can if the ideas are out there and they realise the value of them.
A third characteristic of blogs is that, if the careers of many bloggers do not depend on their contributions, they may well say things which no career contributor could possibly say and prosper. I have no job as a climate scientist and no need for IPCC funding, so I can happily say that in my judgement, the basis for carbon dioxide-driven warming is complete bullshit. For those needing the funding, the requirement to curry favour with those sitting on the grant-awarding committees over-rides such considerations. Blogs therefore serve the useful function of alerting the world to self-serving bullshit in learned communities where self-regulation of research funding has come off the rails.
I read and contribute to numerous blogs, many of which are filled with self-reinforcing prejudiced groups. I could not possibly believe or agree with both the leanings of the Guardian, the Independent and the Daily Telegraph about almost anything. I contribute regularly to blogs in all newspapers. It is therefore possible to try and influence these reinforced prejudice communities by challenging them regularly to rethink their prejudices. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
I have used WUWT as part education, part intelligence, part as a forum to express opinions which may stimulate debate in certain directions. I’ve never written an article here and doubt I ever will. It doesn’t mean I didn’t successfully predict snow patterns in the 1990s in the Alps, but I didn’t do that to earn a living, I did it to optimise my ski-ing holiday enjoyment. I did it pretty well but couldn’t publish any papers on it as I didn’t keep detailed records and didn’t set any scientific theories in place. I did make predictions and honed them over a 13 year cycle, starting out unsuccessful and getting more successful with each passing year. When the PDO shifted, my success rate dropped as I didn’t know what the PDO was in those days.
Blogs serve many purposes which academics may not value.
The more important question is whether things that academics don’t value are precisely those things which the rest of us consider important……

September 1, 2012 12:35 pm

“Finally, it is concluded that the climate change discourse has been stifled by the obsession of discussing the science basis and that in order to advance the discourse, there needs to be a change in how science as an ideology is communicated and enacted.”
Science as an ideology? Shurely shome mishtake…

Gunga Din
September 1, 2012 12:35 pm

Scottie says:
September 1, 2012 at 12:03 pm
This sort of psychobabble nonsense reminds me of when I was at college (a long time ago). Above the toilet roll holder someone had scrawled, “Social Science degrees – please take one.”
======================================================================
😎

Eric Barnes
September 1, 2012 12:39 pm

IMO, the most galling part is their assumption that they are being scrupulously objective about climate change science when they don’t (or won’t) question it more deeply themselves or even attempt to view the argument from the other sides of the fence.

George E. Smith
September 1, 2012 12:41 pm

PS I have to echo Richard III above; just what the hell is “post normal science” ?
On the one hand we have the lawyers jabbering to each other in mediaeval Roman mumbo jumbo, designed to obfuscate; and then we have the “Science” peer reviewed literature crowd, who are in constant competition for the Bullwer Lytton prize , aka the bullshit prize. The abstracts of peer reviewed science literature papers, seem to be where the publishers of new editions of the Oxford English Dictionary, find their most fertile breeding ground for English Language expansion; as if we didn’t have enough words already.
I’m sorry if the good citizens of Vienna are being taxed to support Ms Hollender’s fliegende fancies; but why should the US taxpayers or the Colorado taxpayers also support an outreach expansion of her sphere of influence ?

Caleb
September 1, 2012 12:43 pm

I wonder if Franziska got a trophy for striking out every time at bat, as a child. Obviously she has never been wrong, never been humbled, never had a mistake pointed out, never been astonished by a new view offered by a little child. She cannot coincieve of a differing opinion being a revelation. Minds such as hers are not merely closed. They are encased in cement. The School Of Hard Knocks will have to knock pretty hard to open such a mind, but it is possible. (After all, it opened even mine, when I was a young, smug know-it-all, and that took some knocking.)

George E. Smith
September 1, 2012 12:47 pm

I see from her facebook page abve, that she is pursuing a course designed to achieve permanent unemployable status, and a post doc gig swilling at somebody’s tax trough.

September 1, 2012 12:49 pm

“Science as an ideology” says it all. Humanities people simply have no idea of what science is. What a waste.

September 1, 2012 12:50 pm

Can a “Social Science” PhD thesis FAIL…from lack of “Scientific Method”….
and any pretense of objectivity ? ? ?
Regretably….i can only BOO loudly from 1500 miles away.

David Ross
September 1, 2012 1:04 pm

The Wikipedia article on Post-normal science
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-normal_science#cite_note-0
links to this article in the Guardian by Mike Hulme
His final paragraph is jaw-dropping.

The appliance of science
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2007/mar/14/scienceofclimatechange.climatechange
[…]
If the battle of science is won, then the war of values will be won.
[…]
In fact, in order to make progress about how we manage climate change we have to take science off centre stage.
[…]
If scientists want to remain listened to, to bear influence on policy, they must recognise the social limits of their truth seeking and reveal fully the values and beliefs they bring to their scientific activity.
[…]
What matters about climate change is not whether we can predict the future with some desired level of certainty and accuracy; it is whether we have sufficient foresight, supported by wisdom, to allow our perspective about the future, and our responsibility for it, to be altered. All of us alive today have a stake in the future, and so we should all play a role in generating sufficient, inclusive and imposing knowledge about the future. Climate change is too important to be left to scientists – least of all the normal ones.
Mike Hulme, a professor in the school of environmental sciences at the University of East Anglia and the founding director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, is writing a book, entitled Why We Disagree About Climate Change

Super Turtle
September 1, 2012 1:04 pm

Well, I think the REALLY big problem here is everyone seems to think that somehow science is something of itself or some truth.
The big claim of evil here is that we skeptics somehow are acting on faith or using an act of faith for our position when we are not!
The problem here is the hypocrisy of this so called scientism.
In the nutshell since one has not done the science and does not have the firsthand knowledge of the quantum mechanics or even behaviors at the molecular level, then the it is clear that people accept AGW by making an act of faith on their part.
In other words, we don’t have a time machine to go back and witness that thermometer reading in 1930. We have ONLY the witness and testimony of what someone wrote down in a book. Not only must we rely on that person reading that thermometer in 1930 but we do NOT have a time machine to go back and repeat that event.
In fact, what those supposed “scientism” people don’t realize that is that they are reading something form a book that is based on the witness and testimony of someone else. And even WORSE is that testimony is past tense and thus is historical in nature.
At the end of the day, there actually nothing wrong with making an act of faith to Accept some paper or something written in a book.
The BIG PROBLEM IS these VERY SAME people run around criticizing people for making such act of faith when in fact that is what they are doing! It called hypocrisy!
In other words, the issue is not so much that people are making an act of faith there, but they are in effect lying and refusing to admit they are making an act faith to hold their position!
We skeptics use evidence and fact finding no different than the rest of the science community the only difference is we realize that such evidence is based on the witness and testimony of others, and as such we have to accept such witness and testimony of these people.
Science is not some special thing on to itself that is some SEPARATE truth here. Well over excess of 90% or even more we know is accepted on faith since we not done that science are self.
In fact, the very reading of an instrument is a past tense event witnessed by someone else. We have to make an act of faith to accept that witness and testimony. This simple fact an observation applyes to science as well as everything else in life.
The idea that we skeptics don’t use evidence and reasoned thought without evidence is perhaps one of the greatest lies perpetrated against a skeptic community.
However worse this lie against us skeptics is the HYPOCRISY of the science community that is it is somehow NOT making acts of faith and accepting the witness and testimonies of others to present these historical events in some book that we read.

Timbo
September 1, 2012 1:08 pm

Appears to be someone who perceives that the goalposts are shifting, doesn’t like the fact, but doesn’t know what to do about it.
Also is not a fan of free speech.

September 1, 2012 1:09 pm

Friends:
Perhaps because the seminar is in the USA and WUWT is a US-based blog, it seems that several commentators think the seminar is an example of something new. It is not. It is an example of the standard methods of totalitarians. And totalitarianism is a great evil.
Old-fashioned, left-wing British socialists like me and the late Eric Arthur Blair (aka George Orwell) have been fighting such totalitarianism for over a century. Those who want a clear exposition of the totalitarians’ methods only need to read his novel ‘1984’.
And in ‘1984’ Orwell gives those methods names; e.g.
Newspeak
i.e. redefine the meanings of words, e.g. science is an “ideology” and not a method, communication is presentation of specified ideas and not provision of pertinent information, etc.
Thoughtcrime
i.e. independent thought
Historical revisionism
i.e. changing records of the past; e.g. the global-cooling scare of the 1970s did not exist, “adjusting” temperature data from decades ago, etc.
Memory hole
this is part of historical revisionism and consists of ‘disappearing’ inconvenient records; e.g. “losing” unadjusted temperature data
Doublethink
i.e. simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory ideas as correct; e.g. thinking science is good and being skeptical of a scientific idea is being “contrarian” to science although skepticism of ideas is the core of science
The very concept of the intended seminar is a promotion of totalitarianism: it is an evil of immense proportions. You don’t need to be a ‘lefty’ like me to oppose it: all people of conscience need to oppose evil.
Richard

Downdraft
September 1, 2012 1:14 pm

“Finally, it is concluded that the climate change discourse has been stifled by the obsession of discussing the science basis and that in order to advance the discourse, there needs to be a change in how science as an ideology is communicated and enacted.”
In other words, don’t confuse me with facts. My mind is made up.
This fits with the thinking of the CAGW community, that the ideology is what matters, and the science simply needs to be tortured enough to yield the correct results. Nothing good can come of this study which starts with the assumption that the doctrine as promulgated by the IPCC is correct, and that skeptics are really only ideologues that don’t care what the science is.

Richard Keen
September 1, 2012 1:19 pm

>>>jbird says: Why would anyone want to go to this?
Good point. I might go because Anthony would like a “mole” to report on the proceedings. However, because of the distance, it would chew up much of the day.
There’s lots of seminars at the U of C, NCAR, etc., and some of them are pretty good – I went to one last month about detailed observations of an Earth-grazing asteroid. I gravitate toward the observationally based talks, but won’t waste the bus fare on some nonsense modeling studies (which is saying something, since my bus fare is free).
As for something about stifling the ideology of science, well, not sure if I want to torture myself by attending, but then, it might be like going to a Klan rally to see what goes on and I could learn something about “post-normal science”.

tallbloke
September 1, 2012 1:21 pm

Mike D in AB says:
September 1, 2012 at 11:08 am
I would like to see a concise definition for “post normal science” presented

The guy who invented the term posted an essay on my blog:
http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/02/08/jerome-ravetz-pns-truth-and-science/

DesertYote
September 1, 2012 1:21 pm

If one looks into the history of the “science” of sociology, one will learn that it was the creation of Marxists. It was developed as a tool to change society into a Marxist state. Holding a Marxist world view is a sure sign of damaged cognition. Most sociologist think with a Marxist world view. Therefore most sociologist are insane.

Robin Hewitt
September 1, 2012 1:24 pm

If the rules for post normal science differ from those of ordinary science then it is perfectly possible that climate change truly is a done deal as they have been telling us for years. PNS appears to be a science of concensus among a select few. They have that concensus. Climate change, QED (PN).

Chairman Al
September 1, 2012 1:28 pm

I hope Hollender is reading this. Some self-analysis would not go amiss.

Bill Hunter
September 1, 2012 1:30 pm

Leif Svalgaard says:
September 1, 2012 at 10:07 am
“”stifled by the obsession of discussing the science basis and that in order to advance the discourse, there needs to be a change in how science as an ideology is communicated and enacted”
Here she is dead wrong. Science is not an ideology and should not be communicated as such.”
I agree. The role of science is to inform ideology.
It should never become one. Academic freedom is an important concept in producing informative science.
She touches upon blogs as an impediment to enacting science. Policy is the product of ideology and thus the role of science is to also inform policy. When science becomes policy we have the classic problem of the Pope and Galileo.

Sun Spot
September 1, 2012 1:32 pm
DesertYote
September 1, 2012 1:33 pm

Notice how lefties always redefine terms, on the fly to suit their needs? Junk science describes the cult of CAGW with their high priest of propaganda, yet the moonbats use it to describe real scientists. At one time a liberal was the opposite of a socialist! Now this wacko is redefining post-normal science, ascribing to it that which is antithetical to it. The insanity is mind boggling.

JJ
September 1, 2012 1:37 pm

Wow.
In the context of climate change, one question has arisen from recent events: what to do with the contrarians?
That formulation of the “one question” says it all.
Some propose that the contrarian discourse is merely an annoying sideshow, while others think that it is science’s responsibility to fight them.
Evidently, none in the circle that this d!p$#!^ travels in proposes that there is any value in listening to dissenting opinion. Except insofar as it is to research innovative methods to quash same, of course. Wot wot.
They serve as extended peer communities as put forth by post-normal science, however, blog users themselves do not see post-normal science as a desirable goal.
Yes, we tend to see normal science as a desirable goal.
Furthermore, avowals of distrust can be seen as linguistic perfomances of accountability, forcing science to prove its reliability and integrity over and over again.
Yes, normal science is only valuable to the extent that it is reliable and has integrity. It is properly referred to as “science”.
“Post-normal science” is not science. “Post-normal science” pretends to be science, when it is actually a political propaganda technique invented by a Communist to advance leftist political agendas under the imprimatur of “science”. It derives its value from its ability to trade on the reputation that science has earned for reliability and integrity, while adhering to neither. It would be more honestly titled “Post-science politicking”, but it is not. Not surprising, given that its adherents freely admit that the willingness to trade honesty for political effectiveness is in fact a component of “post-normal science”. That is what allows them to justify “telling scary stories” to drive decision making according to the dictates of the decidedly non-scientific “precautionary principle”.
For further exposition of what “post-normal science” is, simply look at how its proponents discuss it:
Finally, it is concluded that the climate change discourse has been stifled by the obsession of discussing the science basis and that in order to advance the discourse, there needs to be a change in how science as an ideology is communicated and enacted.
1) Discussing the science basis is an obstacle to “post-normal science”.
2) Science is an “ideology”
3) This ideology is to be “enacted”.
‘Nuff said.

September 1, 2012 1:43 pm

@Doug Hanes;
Dr. Qing-Bin Lu is a Warmist in sheep’s clothing.

humans were responsible for global warming in late 20th century, but CFCs, rather than CO2, were the major culprit; a long-term global cooling starting around 2002 is expected to continue for next five to seven decades.

AndyG55
September 1, 2012 1:49 pm

Did she get her ideas from the same “skepital” blogs as Lew…y did ?

DonS
September 1, 2012 1:49 pm

Science as an ideology. There’s your problem, ma’am. AGW theory is an ideology, not a science. Scientists will not have to prove themselves over and over again on this question. Just once will do. Don’t you have business back in Europe?

September 1, 2012 1:53 pm

Methinks Dr. Hollander is in urgent need of a deprogramming intervention …

anarchist hate machine
September 1, 2012 1:58 pm

@ Mike D in AB says:
I’m going to copy + paste
“If your definition of science promotes theory over observation, it’s not science. If the totality cannot be broken into testable sub-components, it’s not science. If experiments cannot be proposed to falsify the basic premises, it’s not science. If the theory is accepted as the null case and “it’s within the realm of natural variation” must be proven, it’s not science. If numbers must be carefully chosen from larger data sets, and data which does not support the theory is discarded/not displayed, it’s not science.”
To use when I need, if that’s ok with you.

September 1, 2012 2:04 pm

Post normal “science” isn’t science. But neither is economics or archaeology or a host of other very useful subjects. So that doesn’t mean I personally think it is “wrong”, what is wrong is suggesting it has anything like the credibility of real science. Post normal science or “soft-science” might be a better name, is “science” without the verification (which is essential to science hence the “science”.
Perhaps a good analogy would be between criminal law (proof beyond reasonable doubt) and criminal law “on the balance of probabilities). Science requires assertions based on proof beyond reasonable doubt using tested hypothesis. Science-lite/soft-science/post-normal science is using science like methods with a much lower standard of proof (much like the climategate inquiries .. sorry, the climategate inquiries were “couldn’t be proven to have lied and cheated” … it’s more honestly saying something, or using best judgement.)
Soft-science is a subject that allows assertions without factual basis, so long as there is a reasonable argument based on science, not a scientific argument which is one that asserts only what can reasonably asserted from the evidence and tested hypothesis – but an argument using less rigorous standards like e.g. found in archaeology, applied to science.
Why? Well in areas like the climate, you can’t test your assertions. It’s more like geology than a science. The academic can’t manipulate what is going on to test a theory, and data is slow to arrive.

September 1, 2012 2:05 pm

I’m too tired … that should have read “criminal and civil” law.

September 1, 2012 2:14 pm

Someone has asked for a definition of post-normal science. Let’s try: when facts are uncertain, values in dispute, stakes high and decisions urgent, the paradigm-based puzzle-solving research confined to closed sets of practitioners is not adequate. We can call this a ‘post-normal situation’. Then there must be an ‘extended peer community’, using ‘extended facts’ which include traditional research results along with open criticism, plus data from non-traditional sources, and expressions of value commitments. Also, in such circumstances there is no possibility of results approaching truth to the same degree that is possible in traditional science; hence the debate will be about the quality of results. This is inevitably complex, since all scientific results depend on arguments where imperfect data and imperfect inferences are combined. Experience has shown that in such cases, which include all areas closely connected with policy, the ‘extended peer community’ plays a very positive role, not merely in legitimating accepted results but also in criticising controversial results. This practice of open debate, which is realised on the blogosphere with salient examples like WUWT, is post-normal science. Of course PNS is open to abuse, but then so is the closed-community practice of normal science, especially when it is closely tied to policy. For a good example of PNS in action, there is Phil Tattersall’s ‘Community Based Audit’ that operates in Tasmania. He has shaped his work by thinking about PNS.

Bob
September 1, 2012 2:19 pm

there needs to be a change in how science as an ideology is communicated and enacted.
This is a really dumb statement, and reveals that we are dealing with people who worship something they don’t understand. Science is a process with an accumulated body of knowledge that changes constantly. Science is not an ideology.

September 1, 2012 2:21 pm

I’m in Denver, Anthony – and I used to live in Boulder. I will happily attend and report. Drop me a line via my facebook email (Orson2) for further contact information, if you wish.

Editor
September 1, 2012 2:22 pm

Post-normal: start with your conclusion and trim all reason and evidence achieve it. The author’s method exactly:

Some propose that the contrarian discourse is merely an annoying sideshow, while others think that it is science’s responsibility to fight them.

Wait, are those the only logical possibilities? YES, if your logic is being trimmed to in post-normal fashion.

Gail Combs
September 1, 2012 2:23 pm

Leif Svalgaard says:
September 1, 2012 at 10:07 am
stifled by the obsession of discussing the science basis and that in order to advance the discourse, there needs to be a change in how science as an ideology is communicated and enacted
Here she is dead wrong. Science is not an ideology and should not be communicated as such.
______________________________
Thank you. That is exactly what I zeroed in on.
I even looked up the definition because I could not believe that was what she was saying.

Ideology [ˌaɪdɪˈɒlədʒɪ]
n. pl. i·de·ol·o·gies
1. The body of ideas reflecting the social needs and aspirations of an individual, group, class, or culture.
2. A set of doctrines or beliefs that form the basis of a political, economic, or other system.
n pl -gies
1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a body of ideas that reflects the beliefs and interests of a nation, political system, etc. and underlies political action
2. (Philosophy) Philosophy Sociol the set of beliefs by which a group or society orders reality so as to render it intelligible
3. speculation that is imaginary or visionary
4. (Philosophy) the study of the nature and origin of ideas
ideological [ˌaɪdɪəˈlɒdʒɪkəl], ideologic adj
ideologically adv
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
ideology
the body of doctrine, myth, symbol, etc., with reference to some political or cultural plan, as that of communism, along with the procedures for putting it into operation. — ideologist, idealogue, n. — ideologic, ideological, adj.
See also: Politics
the body of doctrines, philosophical bases, symbols, etc., associated with a particular social or political movement, large group, or individual. — ideological, adj. — ideologist, n.
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ideology

It certainly makes it clear that we are talking about two different definitions of “Science.”
I even found them.

According to Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, the definition of science is “knowledge attained through study or practice,” or “knowledge covering general truths of the operation of general laws, esp. as obtained and tested through scientific method [and] concerned with the physical world.”
http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/science-definition.html

They seem to consider the first definition where “science” is “knowledge attained through study…”, that is handed down by the high priest of academia.
We consider the definition of science to be the second definition: “knowledge covering general truths of the operation of general laws, esp. as obtained and tested through scientific method [and] concerned with the physical world.” (And it worries me that this is the second and not the first definition)
This moving away from the rigorous definition of science can also be seen in this essay where the author acknowledges the above definition and then come up with this interesting modification of the definition.

Journal of Theoretics Vol.1-3, Aug/Sept 1999 Editorial
What is Science?
It continues to amaze me how many “educated” people do not understand what Science* is or what is meant by the term “scientific method.” …
One of the best descriptions and explanations of the current concept of scientific method is interestingly found in the Appendix E of Frank Wolfs’ website.
1. Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena.
2. Formulation of a hypothesis to explain the phenomena. In physics, the hypothesis often takes the form of a causal mechanism or a mathematical relation.
3. Use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena, or to predict quantitatively the results of new observations.
4. Performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent experimenters and properly performed experiments. [so far so good G.C.]
But in order to realize whether this is a valid concept or not, we need to understand what Science really is….
Let’s say that I am an archeologist and that I hypothesize…. [example]
The scientific method is fine for experimentation but it is inadequate in determining what is Science. In the past if a discipline could not be subject to the scientific method, it was not Science. Therefore, I would like to propose that the scientific method should only be applied to experimentation when appropriate and not be used in the determination of what is or is not science, nor should it have any application in defining what is a hypothesis, theory, fact, or law.**
In terms of the definition of what is or is not a Science, we need to find a definition that is timeless and few could argue against. One of the best way to understand the current definition of something is to look at its history (ignorance of the past will lead to mistakes of the future5) but I will leave that for a book on the subject because even though it is engrossing reading, it can get lengthy. I would like to propose that we define Science as the “the field of study which attempts to describe and understand the nature of the universe in whole or part.”* Though simple, it is an encompassing and elegant definition, as we will see….
Why do I think that it is important that we all be on the same page in our definition of Science?
* I am a stickler for being exact in our communications because if we do not have the same definitions then we can not communicate accurately and if we can not accurately communicate then we can not progress.
* By defining Science accurately, it is easy to see that scientific theory, fact, and law can be developed and verified totally outside the walls of the academic experimentalist and the scientific method.
* By knowing what academic disciplines are Sciences, we can better approach or attempt to describe and the universe in a more organized manner thereby maximizing the progress that mankind can make in developing his knowledge base.
It shows us that hypothesis and theories are not the sole purview of the experimentalist with his/her scientific method.
* It is only through the field of Theoretics that we can get a logical overview of Science from which we can all get on the same page and allow Science to progress in all of its facets.
* I only hope that all will become involved in Theoretics so that we can all be on the same page in our definitions, coherent and logical in our arguments and theory development, and rather than being petty, look at what is the best for Science and Mankind.
JP Siepmann, Editor
http://www.journaloftheoretics.com/editorials/vol-1/e1-3.htm

And there went the rigorous definition of science down the rabbit hole of Post Normal Science. In this definition there is NO TESTING of the HYPOTHESIS!

September 1, 2012 2:24 pm

(In fact, I used to live about five blocks from where the event will be held.)

September 1, 2012 2:26 pm

The temperature alone spanks her ilk. Those who worship faux art and faux science have finally bankrupted a generation of college kids and their parents too just as something called the Internet revealed their identities and academic connections in a permanent and uncensored archive along with juicy financial records with long strings of zeros. The backlash has barely begun. If the Randians about to win a landslide let us innovators innovate instead of ban manufacturing further, maybe we can inflate away the debt but I’m too pissed off to ever hire a liberal arts major. Need I mention that I became an adult bachelor again just as big city women threw their sex into environmental fascism? Yeah, that type of pissed off!

September 1, 2012 2:28 pm

“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win”.
Gandhi knew what he was talking about, even if it was not about Post-Normal Science. We seem to be about in stage 2. Post-Normal Science is fraud.

September 1, 2012 2:29 pm

I plan to attend this seminar. Will report here as I did on the NOAA seminar previously. “Science as ideology.” Indeed.

Gunga Din
September 1, 2012 2:36 pm

Bill Hunter says:
September 1, 2012 at 1:30 pm
She touches upon blogs as an impediment to enacting science. Policy is the product of ideology and thus the role of science is to also inform policy.
===============================================================
Kind of sounds like “lobbyist”. Leave out the bribes and greed aspect, and a “lobbyist” value in politics is to inform the law maker of the impact and implications of whatever is being considered. (For example, how many ex-lawers understand an energy grid?) Part of the problem is that through grants etc. the lawmakers have become the bribers, “bad” lobbyist. “Here’s some cash. Now tell them they need to support (and pay for) what I want to do.”

rogerknights
September 1, 2012 2:37 pm

There was a gap in the link below, which I’ve eliminated:

imoira says:
September 1, 2012 at 10:59 am
“Using highly ranked blog, ‘Watts up with that’ as a case study, discourse analysis…. reveals… ” (see above)
Discourse analysis is “…based on a view that is largely anti-scientific, though not anti-research.”
http://www.eamonfulcher.com/discourse_analysis.html

This gal’s statements, which seem so off-track, may not be as bad as they sound. STS (Science and Technology Studies), which is her field, speaks in a special lingo / jargon. She may have deliberately avoided sounding like a contrarian herself in order not to put off potential attendees. We’ll know soon.

September 1, 2012 2:39 pm

There are blogs where science can be questioned (WUWT) and blogs where it definitely can not (ReaalClimate). We are all familiar about WUWT attitude, statements from academic to amateur blogers are questioned and tested.
I gave a test to RC few hours ago.
Tread title :
Climate indices to watch
vukcevic says:
1 Sep 2012 at 1:20 PM
We shouldn’t forget the North Atlantic SST (the AMO) which is often ignored. Since 2000 the short term oscillations appear to be suppressed , this could be an indication of ‘energy saturation’ and that multidecadal peak has been reached, implying significant cooling in the coming decades.
300 years of the AMO from Mann, Gray etc.
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/AMO-recon.htm
[Response: As the person who coined the term “AMO” I figure it’s appropriate for me to comment. The AMO, as we have shown in numerous articles, has little influence on global (or even Northern Hemisphere) average temperature. Its largely a zero sum game because it mostly associated with changes in the transport of heat between regions, and not the total heat budget of the planet. I talk about the history of the AMO (and my role in it) in my book The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars –mike http://www.amazon.com/The-Hockey-Stick-Climate-Wars/dp/023115254X/ ]
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/08/climate-indices-to-watch/comment-page-1/#comment-247360
Legitimate challenge to the academic from an amateur
Hi Dr. Mann
According to what I find
– Zero sum game
yes across 9-10 or 64-5 years, but necessarily not in between, unless a symmetrical section is selected
– changes in the transport of heat between regions
The SST changes trend direction almost simultaneously (within 1-2 years, across most of the North Atlantic, while e.g. subpolar gyre has cycle of about two decades. It is more likely that the AMOscillations are responsible for transport of heat in the vertical direction (from surface downwards) and it can be adequately represented as an amplification system (see link below)
– has little influence on global (or even Northern Hemisphere)
The N.H. Tav (detrended) and the AMO are inextricably linked together (with high uncertainty of order of precedence) as I show here:
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GSC1.htm
Since the ‘AMO’ type oscillations are detectable in other areas of the globe, the oscillations are most likely globally generated, but due the North Atlantic’s specific properties, their presence there is more evident.
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/the-bore-hole/comment-page-21/#comment-247367
Off with ‘inconvenient intruder’ to the ‘Bore Hole’ since he doesn’t appear to be interested in purchasing the book ‘The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars’ even at the significant discount
vukcevic:Science advances not by the acquiescence, but by questioning every single assertion

September 1, 2012 2:43 pm

richardscourntney’s cautions are something to take seriously.
Prof. Max Boykoff spoke to the Denver Cafe Scientifique last June. http://cafescicolorado.org/Flyers/Cafe%20Scientifique%20Flyer%20Boykoff.pdf
Boykoff is a social scientist in charge of teaching many courses in environmental studies – my field of science – especially the intro level courses on climate change at the University of Colorado at Boulder. No doubt the speaker Hollender is appearing because of him and his recent CUP book, “Who speaks for the climate? Making Sense of Media and Climate Change.”
http://artsandsciences.colorado.edu/magazine/2011/12/who-speaks-for-the-climate-2/
I found his presentation to be epiphenomenally pretentious, and irrelevant to the real – and much more important – scientific debate. Furthermore, he invokes authority on behalf of those doing (politicized) climate change research – another one of the dangerous and familiar arguments from authority – cf, Courtney – and therefore dismissed instead of understood and dealt with honestly, as real scientists do.

A. Scott
September 1, 2012 2:49 pm

Translation:
We hate that you keep ignoring us smart scientists. We hate that you keep doing your own research that disproves all our hard work and makes us look stupid. We hate that we have to keep trying to sell our story over and over becasue you bring up facts over and over.
We hate that your efforts are causing other people, much of the general public, to disbelieve what we claim as well.
We hate you all and want to find a way to make you all go away.

September 1, 2012 2:49 pm

These things will pass.
Sociologists have been nibbling at the corners of my profession for at least 50 years.
In retrospect, some of it was useful. R E Pahl’s work helped to explain how people actually interact with their environment and each other. A useful counter-balance to the shibboleths that would have prevailed otherwise.
http://www.socresonline.org.uk/16/3/11.html

September 1, 2012 2:50 pm

Another Kari Norgaard. Wondering aloud what to “do about” contrarians. Like we’re a creeping cancer on their pristine landscape of flitting social justice butterflies. Jeez, Louise, will someone please give these people a shake.

Ally E.
September 1, 2012 2:56 pm

So they have read your blog without actually reading your blog. How can they do that? These people seem to have their heads so far up their assets, they can’t tell real science from ideology, nor recognize rational discourse, nor the right to even question. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH THESE PEOPLE?

mfo
September 1, 2012 2:59 pm

By analysing a blog in a manner which is manifestly prejudiced they can produce whatever results they wish to produce because they consider science to be a philosophical ideology, constructed by the mind, not an external search for truth and measurable reality. Just like CAGW activists, for them, 2+2 can equal whatever they want it to.

Robert in Calgary
September 1, 2012 3:01 pm

Can I take it then no one involved with this event has actually contacted Anthony for his thoughts or comments?
Contrarians? Aren’t those the people who actually want to make decisions based on honest and verifiable science?
If you view honest and verifiable science as the problem……

September 1, 2012 3:07 pm

Jerome Ravetz,
Science is based on the scientific method. PNS is not. Therefore, PNS is not science.

davidmhoffer
September 1, 2012 3:17 pm

Here’s the Post Normal Science garbage in a nut shell.
How do we make decisions when:
o The stakes are high
o The matters urgent
o The facts uncertain
This is the founding premise of Jerry Ravetz’ PNS bullarky. It is a logic process that he then uses to argue that requires action on CO2 mitigation. It is a logic process that surprisingly intelligent people buy into without thought. It is was lead The Economist to suggest that we need to take draconian measures on CO2 emissions, not because the science is settled, but precisely because it is not. Last penny I ever spent on that once proud magazine was that issue.
The logic train doesn’t hold up.
The stakes are NOT high. We have clear geological records showing that CO2 levels have been many times what they are today, and that temperatures have been higher, and the whole biosphere THRIVED as a result.
Matters are NOT urgent. CO2 is increasing at a paltry 2 ppm per year, and each additional ppm has LESS impact than the one before it. CO2 is logarithmic meaning it is subject to the law of diminishing returns.
The facts ARE certain. The FACTS are that returning to a pre-industrial society would sentence over 90% of the people on earth today to DEATH.
PNS is a sick and twisted way of distracting us from the real issues and turning decision making upside down and inside out and making it seem logical. It is moraly, ethicaly, and scientificaly bankrupt.

Robert of Ottawa
September 1, 2012 3:23 pm

Finally, it is concluded that the climate change discourse has been stifled by the obsession of discussing the science basis and that in order to advance the discourse, there needs to be a change in how science as an ideology is communicated and enacted
Obsession with discussing the science? “Advancing the discourse” apparently means improving the propaganda communications and massaging messaging.

davidmhoffer
September 1, 2012 3:24 pm

Jerome Ravetz;
Of course PNS is open to abuse
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
And you and the climate science community are doing exactly that.

Richard Keen
September 1, 2012 3:26 pm

>>>Orson Olson says:
>>>richardscourntney’s cautions are something to take seriously.
>>>Prof. Max Boykoff spoke to the Denver Cafe Scientifique last June.
The Boykoff Bros. did write the “Balance as Bias” paper, bit of an Orwellian title, that claimed the “contrarian” viewpoint is over reported.

RockyRoad
September 1, 2012 3:29 pm

vukcevic:Science advances not by the acquiescence, but by questioning every single assertion.

And in the case of many climsci people, science only advances one funeral at a time.

TinyCO2
September 1, 2012 3:32 pm

Be fair, she’s identified a sceptic blog and a very good one, so she’s streets ahead of her Australian competition 😉
However, I do doubt she can work out what makes this blog so successful. Warmists seem to lack empathy for sceptic motivations. Perhaps it goes hand in hand with their inability to self examine and realise they haven’t actually cut their own CO2 footprints. Warmist psychologists are looking for the essence of what makes sceptic blogs successful but the answer can’t be taught. It’s passion, integrity, common sense, hard work, persistence, humour, warmth, fairness and self sacrifice. If you lack those qualities you can’t fake them. Mann, Gleick, Trenberth, Oreskes, Romm, Mooney, Gore, Prince Charles… Oh boy!
I love the comment “the climate change discourse has been stifled by the obsession of discussing the science basis and that in order to advance the discourse, there needs to be a change in how science as an ideology is communicated and enacted”. A bit like saying ‘I don’t know why the prisoner keeps asking for a retrial, when he should be choosing his method of execution.’
I’ll add that while WUWT and the other sceptic blogs are doing a tremendous service, I doubt they’re the major factor in waning AGW support. It’s more a case of warmists losing than we’re winning. Franziska Hollender and her ilk need to ask sceptics why we’re sceptical, not how. Sceptics are a symptom not the disease.

Jeff
September 1, 2012 3:33 pm

… “analyzes the impact of contrarian blogs on the climate change discourse”…
At least she didn’t use the term denier. A quick look at the LinkedIn link
posted above reveals little or no scientific background, yet a wealth of
“ed biz” and communications coursework/jobs.
This type of statement reminds me of when Carly Fiorina said
“perception IS reality”. A fan of Hegel, Fiorina is an expert at Hegelian
dialectic, which also appears to be what the “efforts to improve
communication of climate science” is really all about.
Since the AGW folks can’t get Hypothesis -> experiment -> validate/retry
to work, they’ve resorted to Thesis Antithesis –> Synthesis.
Trouble is, they’re synthesizing the “Kool-Aid” that we’ll be forced
to drink (and, as taxpayers, pay for as well).
Methinks with that background and those views, that Ms. Hollender
aims to feed her doctoral studies at the trough of AGW.
Would be great if Lord Monckton was there to show her a thing or
two about communication and climate science…

davidmhoffer
September 1, 2012 3:36 pm

Jerome Ravetz,
There is a very good likelihood that an asteroid large enough to destroy all of humanity will strike the earth at any moment. Stakes high, matter urgent, facts uncertain. Should we put everything we have into building anti-asteroid missiles just in case?
There are considerable nuclear war heads in the former USSR which are poorly secured and in the hands of unstable governments or terrorists could wreaque havoque on the western world. Stakes high, matter urgent, facts uncertain. Should we use our nuclear arsenal to obliterate the former USSR just in case?
There are dormant volcanoes all over the earth like the one underneath Yellowstone that make Krakatoa look like a firecracker. Any one of them could erupt at any time and civilization as we know it would end, billions would die. Stakes high, matter urgent, facts uncertain. Should we put all of our resources into excavating them and finding ways to relieve the pressure and ensure this doesn’t happen? Or do we only put half our resources into that and the other half into the anti-asteroid missile program? Should we ask the former USSR nations to help us out with the volcano issue and THEN blow them to smithereans?
This is the true face of your PNS garbage. It is a way of rationalizing the irrational. It is a way of making emotional decisions seem logical while ignoring the science that would allow us to make logical decisions.

September 1, 2012 3:38 pm

Given that most skeptics are not public figures, can we finally get our big money payoff via class action law suit against those who libel us, tossing in some RICO and hate crime language? That might actually shut them up though and send them back into hiding, ruining things, covertly. A naughty sense propels me to drop here a few Ayn Rand quotes rather relevant in tone to the real world fact that mainstream psychology is once again going crazy.
“The impulse of the habit of reason almost pushed her to speak, to argue, to demonstrate the self-evident – but she looked at their faces and she saw that they knew it. In some terms different from hers, in some inconceivable manner of consciousness, they knew all that she could tell them, it was useless to prove to them the irrational horror of their course and of its consequences….” – Ayn Rand (“Atlas Shrugged” 1957)
“She could not believe that she was supposed to feel respect for the dreary senselessness of the art shows which his friends attended, of the novels they read, of the political magazines they discussed – the art shows, where she saw the kind of drawings she had seen chalked on any pavement of her childhood’s slums – the novels, that purported to prove the futility of science, industry, civilization of love, using language that her father would not have used in his drunkenest moments – the magazines, that propounded cowardly generalities, less clear and more stale than the sermons for which she had condemned the preacher of the slum mission as a mealy-mouthed old fraud. She could not believe that these things were the culture she had so reverently looked up to and so eagerly waited to discover. She felt as if she had climbed a mountain toward a jagged shape that had looked like a castle and had found it to be the crumbling ruin of a gutted warehouse.” – Ayn Rand (“Atlas Shrugged” 1957)
“If a man makes an error in his choice of values, his emotional mechanism will not correct him: it has no will of its own. If a man’s values are such that he desires things which, in fact and in reality, lead to his destruction, his emotional mechanism will not save him, but will instead, urge him on toward destruction: he will have set it in reverse, against himself and against the facts of reality, against his own life. Man’s emotional mechanism is like an electronic computer: man has the power to program it, but no power to change its nature – so that if he sets the wrong programming, he will not be able to escape the fact that the most self-destructive desires will have, for him, the emotional intensity and urgency of lifesaving actions. He has, of course, the power to change the programming – but only by changing his values.” – Ayn Rand (“The Virtue of Selfishness” 1961)
“There was a time when men were afraid that somebody would reveal some secret of theirs that was unknown to their fellows. Nowadays, they’re afraid that somebody will name what everybody knows. Have you practical people ever thought that that’s all it would take to blast your whole, big, complex structure…?” – Ayn Rand (“Atlas Shrugged” 1957)

John Whitman
September 1, 2012 3:44 pm

Franziska Hollender’s subjectively perjoative stereotyping through her use of the label ‘contrarian’ is to me a sufficient intellectual basis to ignore her treatment of the situation in climate science dialogs.
Her injection of a subjective theory of reality (that is called PNS) is consistent with her subjectivity in presenting the climate science situation as being ‘science versus contrarians’.
She gets a score of A+ in applied subjectivism.   Subjectivists are just making stuff up arbitrarily as they randomly react to localized social stimuli.  To them reality is what society desires it to be.
John

AndyG55
September 1, 2012 3:48 pm

Idiot social manipulator (NOT science) ….
wanting some small amount of relevance.
based purely on ignorance.

Third PArty
September 1, 2012 4:02 pm

How to Deconstruct Almost Anything:
http://www.info.ucl.ac.be/~pvr/decon.html

Maus
September 1, 2012 4:08 pm

Leif Svalgaard: “Although English is not my mother tongue it is good enough to surmise that ‘yyy as xxx’ implies that ‘yyy is xxx’.”
Well, no. ‘Is’ is an identity statement while ‘as’ is a rather unfortunate collection of differing things that are not the same. In the manner used ‘as’ is to be read as ‘in the manner of’, ‘in the form of’, etc.
“I don’t think so. Agencies measure rainfall and draw maps of flood zones in order to enable policy decisions to be made, and I would not call that data collecting activity ‘ideology’. ”
And if science were strictly and only a data collecting activity then it would be engineering at most. But then we have to deal with theories and hypotheses. I submit that nothing would be lost if the ‘scientific method’ were redefined such that science is only and always a hypothesis non fingo affair. To disagree one has to first commit to the idea that theories are Truth and have primacy over experiment. But once that is done we have not said that science can be, in an ‘as’ sense, an ideology; but that it ‘is’ fundamentally ideological.
All that aside, I think it is without question that Climate Science is properly under the modern practice of science. And it is certainly without question that a large number of people take the canonical climate theories as a central point of their weltanschauung. Which is to say, they take it as ideological in the non-perjorative sense. And, of course, if they then try to leverage their political will in a democracy it becomes ideological in the perjorative sense as well. (Which is, honestly, a bit silly given that this is the entire point of democracies in the first place.)
I don’t perceive you as being such an individual that elevates Theory over experiment. But that makes little difference as to how the term is used today. Certainly, if we wished to be purists on definition, then Science is a word that doesn’t exist, we are speaking about ‘the Philosophical method’, and Philosophy is Rhetoric. But these notions are rather out of date by quite a few centuries.

September 1, 2012 4:10 pm

davidmhoffer:
re your post at September 1, 2012 at 3:36 pm addressed to Jerome Ravetz
Excellent. Well said. Thankyou.
But, please remember, people who have made – and are making – a living out of having promoted something are not likely to abandon that something whether or not they know it is nonsense.
Richard

Brdan H
September 1, 2012 4:11 pm

Jo Postma: September 1, 2012 at 11.04 am: ‘Skepticism as post-normal science? Hey, I thought that was the label WE gave THEM and their denial of the scientific method!’
I don’t think these academics are arguing that scepticism per se is post-normal science, but rather that climate sceptic blogs (and also of course pro-AGW blogs) function as part of climate science, which is considered to be an instance of post-normal science,
Post-normal science is characterised by its proponents as: ‘the stakes are high, uncertainties large and decisions urgent, and where values are embedded in the way science is done and spoken’, and where blogs act ‘as extended peer communities’.
To my mind, these characteristics apply well to climate science, in a way that, for example, the mating habits of monarch butterflies do not. I think it is very clear that values and worldviews, even ideologies, are deeply embedded in discussions of climate, from whichever angle.
Interestingly, most people on both sides of the climate debate seem to be pretty cool on the notion of post-normal science, possibly because there’s a rhetorical advantage in claiming that ‘they’ are infected by ideology, while ‘we’ are doing real science.

Gail Combs
September 1, 2012 4:11 pm

DesertYote says:
September 1, 2012 at 1:21 pm
If one looks into the history of the “science” of sociology, one will learn that it was the creation of Marxists…..
________________________________
I went to look that up and came across a very interesting course syllibus from HArvard.
History of Science 157
Sociology of Science
The History of Science and Sociology of Science

…Science has historically presented conceptual, methodological, and even moral and political, obstacles to understanding it in sociological terms. So what is sociological about science and why has there been such resistance to thinking sociologically about science?
…..The founding figures of the sociology of science were struck by both the remarkable consensus characteristic of the natural sciences and by the distinctive and admirable set of moral commitments that distinguished the scientific community from other social institutions. This tradition of work aimed to say something important about the social conditions for the production of scientific truth, but it also testified to the distinctive cultural and social conditions of the settings from which this sociological project emerged.
Critics of the approach represented by Robert Merton sometimes pointed to so-called problems of “agency”: if social order in science was to be accounted for by socialization into the structures and collectively held values, then what did this make of individual decision-making processes? What are social “norms,” such that they can count as explanations of social behavior? Should agency be regarded as an illusion or was the failure of structural-functionalist sociology to give an account of individual agency a sign of its impoverishment?….
….For many writers, scientific knowledge counted as a ‘hard’ or even limiting case. What could possibly be ‘social’ about facts, logical inference, the whole apparatus of Scientific Method? You could have– it was considered– a sociology of the scientific role, of the scientific institution, and of the thematics of science (what sort of science was done at certain times and places, and how much of one sort as opposed to another). You could have a sociology of error or of pseudo-science, but not, it was thought, a sociology of scientific knowledge proper. These sessions will introduce the frameworks which found such presumptions a matter of course, and then we will go on to suggest a different way of thinking that made a sociology of scientific knowledge not just possible but necessary for understanding the historical development and credibility of scientific knowledge
Few aspects of the sociology of scientific knowledge are as controversial as the relativism associated with some of its versions. To what features of science do sociologists think one should adopt a relativistic posture? How does sociological relativism square with currently accepted standards of historical practice?….

GAG, if this is the type of course she has been taking no wonder the poor dear is so confused by “THE CONTRARIAN DISCOURSE IN THE BLOGOSPHERE”

Gail Combs
September 1, 2012 4:13 pm

Darn, Here is the link to History of Science 157, Sociology of Science: http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~hsdept/bios/docs/HS157_2009.pdf

Merovign
September 1, 2012 4:13 pm

You know, the whole “what is PNS” is a little more complicated than it seems – but the “not science” people have it basically right.
I’ve followed Funtowicz and Ravetz a little bit, and pretty much PNS comes from the places you’d expect it to.
Funtowicz is a part of the EU bureaucratic machine, and some of you are familiar with how that has turned out. Like “Critical Theory” and PNS itself, the EU could be described as “Marxism in a funny hat.” I think a better metaphor for the EU is like Fantasy Football. Imagine if a Fantasy Football Club had billions in budget and hundreds of thousands of employees and no actual football teams or players. Then replace “Football” with “Marxism,” and you’d pretty much have the EU in a nutshell.
Ravetz… well, it’s not like I know him personally, but given his background and writings I’d take a wild stab and say – raised by and surrounded by people whose shared delusion of persecution he adopted. I say delusion because people who want to overthrow a relatively free system and replace it with a less free one don’t get a lot of leeway from me for crying victim when they get called on it. Not executed (except the occasional spy), not tortured, not had their legs cut off – but called on it.
Anyway, old-school Marxist “fellow-traveler” plus “Fantasy Marxism” bureaucrat-in-training had a problem – the science wasn’t really giving them what they wanted. So they came up with a “model” wherein they could massage the rules until they *did* get what they wanted.
Basically PNS should have been laughed completely off the map. Unfortunately, there’s another institution you may be aware of that has been separated enough from reality that it can engage in “Fantasy Marxism,” we call it academia.
If you’re one of those people who feel that talk of Marxism is just some kind of evil right-wing paranoia, I suggest you stare at the Twentieth Century and count corpses until the feeling passes.
It always starts as an idea that will make things *better*, and then people start dying. Every time.

Dumbvoter
September 1, 2012 4:13 pm

Scientists should stick to science and let policy be decided at the ballot box. Bloggers give me and my fellow voters a greater opportunity to formulate good policy.
At the birth of my first child the doctor felt that a caesarian section was called for and sought my permission. I simply said, “give me the facts and i will give you a policy statement”.
Perhaps germane is this famous exchange, from the writings of Stanley L. Jaki, quote,
“Hence, the truth of Einstein’s remark to the Archbishop of Canterbury, that the science of relativity has nothing to do with moral betterment, which, let it be recalled, forms the gist of genuine religion. Einstein certainly offered something most momentous when he said in another context that he could not distill a drop of morality from his science”.

Merovign
September 1, 2012 4:15 pm

If there’s no big message before this one, I get it, it could be seen as off-topic. This is a science blog. But where ideas *come from* matters because it informs the people who make the rules and build the structures. It also helps you interpret what people are saying when you have an idea what their intentions are.

u.k.(us)
September 1, 2012 4:20 pm

I just hope they don’t zero in on any of my comments.
Kudos to them, for picking a fight with the biggest dog in the pack.

Merovign
September 1, 2012 4:22 pm

PS in case it’s not clear, I’m not saying Ravetz and Funtowicz are *trying* to usher about some kind of Soviet-style apocalypse or being *expressly* dishonest.
I think they’re honestly pursuing something they just don’t or won’t realize doesn’t work.
What some call “weasel language” isn’t a strict attempt to deceive, it’s an almost worse attempt to control the conversation.

Jimmy Haigh
September 1, 2012 4:25 pm

Someone asked what post normal science is. To me it is politically correct science. Science used to be done by clever people. In these more enlightened days everyone can be a scientist and not just the clever people. So post normal science is science done by people not smart enough to do real old fashioned science.
As a perfect example of a post normal science I give you “climate science’.

September 1, 2012 4:27 pm

“I don’t think these academics are arguing that scepticism per se is post-normal science, but rather that climate sceptic blogs (and also of course pro-AGW blogs) function as part of climate science, which is considered to be an instance of post-normal science,”
The argument goes like this.
We are in a post normal situation. facts are uncertain, values are in conflict, stakes are high,
and some argue that immediate action is required. Because values are in conflict others will argue that action is NOT required. Some will say we have to act because we dont know what a warmer world will be like. Others argue we cant act until we know.
In Normal science, well science would just muddle along till the truth came out. But some people think we know enough to act. Other think we need to know more. Science cant settle this type of impass. Science can merely report. we are 65% sure, 94.9% sure. etc.
It’s simplistic for one side to say, well wait until we are convinced. Its simplistic for the other side to count heads and say, the consensus is convinced. Since everybody knows how to play the game of “prove it” we are stuck. One side likes being stuck. The other side doesnt.
One approach to the problem is to extend the “peer” review to include all stake holders.
It’s not a marxist plot.
Whether it will work or not is open to question. However, the experiment is being done.
right here.

Billy Liar
September 1, 2012 4:29 pm

University of Vienna: Karl Popper was an alumnus. He must be spinning in his grave.

tallbloke
September 1, 2012 4:30 pm

Smokey says:
September 1, 2012 at 3:07 pm
Jerome Ravetz,
Science is based on the scientific method. PNS is not. Therefore, PNS is not science.

Correct. PNS is a description of what can happen at the science/policy interface after the ‘normal science’ is done. It also contains prescriptions for how that science/policy interface can be prised open by interested parties, some of them holding ‘leaked information’ etc.
Perhaps we should stop taking potshots at the messenger and think about the message…

ursus augustus
September 1, 2012 4:31 pm

“there needs to be a change in how science as an ideology is communicated and enacted.” That the author would even use such an expression as “science as an ideology” is enough for me to dismiss whatever else she might have to say. Science is not an ideology, period.
It is the notion that science is an ideology that is the inspiration for the skeptic blogosphere being what it is. The blogoshpere is about heathy skepticism in its simple, democratic meaning and the essential element of democracy, freedom of expression. Freedom of expression allows all views, all potential models, theories etc to be articulated, considered , rebutted, reviewed accepted after the application of the accumulated common sense acting as our common intelligence.
Ideology is a system that puts the idealogues in charge, de facto or de jure, and is in its very essence anti-democratic and obnoxious to any sense of democracy. It is also contrary to common sense.

tallbloke
September 1, 2012 4:34 pm

davidmhoffer says:
September 1, 2012 at 3:17 pm
Here’s the Post Normal Science garbage in a nut shell.
How do we make decisions when:
o The stakes are high
o The matters urgent
o The facts uncertain
This is the founding premise of Jerry Ravetz’ PNS bullarky. It is a logic process that he then uses to argue that requires action on CO2 mitigation.

He does? This is news to me. Got a link to that? Maybe you got him mixed up with Schneider.

Billy Liar
September 1, 2012 4:34 pm

Steven Mosher says:
September 1, 2012 at 4:27 pm
We are in a post normal situation. facts are uncertain, values are in conflict, stakes are high,…
You’ve led yourself up the garden path on account of your false premise.

September 1, 2012 4:35 pm

Brdan H:
I read your post at September 1, 2012 at 4:11 pm and the only thing it told me is that you are confused.
Science, politics and religion are each important. But they are mutually exclusive. Mixing one of them with either or both the others destroys the proper practice of the components of the mixture.
Of course we are all human and, therefore, we have scientific, political and religious views, but we need to avoid confusing those views. PNS excuses (deliberately adopts?) confusing science and politics.
Climate realists argue the science and the politics of climate change but they are clear about the difference: e.g. see threads on WUWT.
Climastrologists deliberately confuse the science and the politics of climate change: i.e. they overtly practice PNS whatever they may say. Indeed, they consider it proper to provide “Summaries for Policymakers” (policymakers are politicians) in what they claim to be scientific reports.
Richard

September 1, 2012 4:36 pm

Franziska, for Christ sake.
How dare you be so rude as to do a study on us without speaking to us?
We’re human beings. How would you feel if I did a doctorate on what I see as your peccadillos without even contacting you?
How dare you ask “what to do” with us, without asking us?
How dare your university allow you to indulge in this Orwellian drivel?

davidmhoffer
September 1, 2012 4:39 pm

richardscourtney;
But, please remember, people who have made – and are making – a living out of having promoted something are not likely to abandon that something whether or not they know it is nonsense.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
True. But there remains considerable value in exposing them so that they are less able to convince others. Jerome Ravetz is possibly a greater threat to humanity than the likes of Jones, Briffa, Mann and Hansen. He’s worse, because he enables them.
Wrapped up in high sounding words, carefully articulated, he constructs a chain of assertions that seem logical. That seemingly logical construct is then applied to a single issue such as climate change, and suddenly the urging of Jones, Briffa, Mann and Hansen also seem logical by extension.
But like all completely artificiall thought constructs, the logic chain fails when applied, not in isolation, but in general. How many more alarming issues that could be described as high stakes, urgent, facts uncertain could we list? Israel and Iran could plunge the whole middle east into war, cutting off much of the world’s oil supply. Maybe we should nuke them to prevent that? Any number of diseases could evolve into something disastrous. Vaccine resistant strains of smallpox or polio. Should we put all of our resources into coming up with vaccines for diseases that might exist in the future? We could be visited by aliens who want to fry us up for dinner. The sun might eject a stream of matter that would fry the earth. The magnetic field of the earth could shut down as it has in the past, and that would be disastrous too.
Ravetz, I predict, won’t answer me, precisely because he knows the truth. That the list of things that fit his “stakes high, matters urgent, facts uncertain” definition is ridiculously long, and many of the things people could come up with to list are far more likely to actually happen than the ill effects of climate change. We can’t possibly deal with even a tiny fraction of them, and that’s what applying his logic in the general case instead of JUST to climate change exposes.
While he probably won’t answer me (he hasn’t before) I take some satisfaction in knowing that his lack of response is a tacit admission of guilt, and those who read this blog will see that. If I’m wrong, and he does answer me…. well, let’s just say I look forward to that.

Follow the Money
September 1, 2012 4:43 pm

“post-normal science as a desirable goal”
Wow. The Edward Said-ian narrative cranks are now on the CS gravy train? But they are confused. The skeptics are NOT part of the post-normal something. Post-normal science is essentially a matter of increasing and maintaining funding in light of the scientific method being a barrier– to wit, when they realized everyone was starting to catch on to “postive feedbacks” blimey, they needed a new paradigm to ignore the uncertainties that could defeat further and continued funding.
“One approach to the problem is to extend the “peer” review to include all stake holders.
It’s not a marxist plot.”
Duh. It’s a fascistic one. “Stakeholders” is the new-nice term for the usual business and government parasites and their fellow travelers.
WARNING: When ever you hear the word “stakeholder,” it is some corporations or corporate front group posing as, or renting itself as, an ngo working in the “public interest.” “Stakeholder” equals “B.S.”

jjfox
September 1, 2012 4:46 pm

Re:Jerome Ravetz says:
September 1, 2012 at 2:14 pm
Someone has asked for a definition of post-normal science. Let’s try: when facts are uncertain, values in dispute, stakes high and decisions urgent,,,
Jerome, when the facts are uncertain the decisions cannot ever be urgent because, well, you might just be dealing with a load of B.S.
This is the reason why the planet is not devoting the majority of the total GDP towards the defense against an invasion of evil, carnivorous space aliens. Because that fact is in uncertain.
“Post-normal science”, wotta joke. LOL

Merovign
September 1, 2012 4:48 pm

I would like to see a plot of exactly or even vaguely where things stopped being “normal,” before which things were “certain.”
When you form your argument around your desired conclusion, sometimes it’s pretty darned evident where you had to insert the “miracle step” that made the process coherent.

September 1, 2012 4:49 pm

Steven Mosher:
In your post at September 1, 2012 at 4:27 pm you say

In Normal science, well science would just muddle along till the truth came out. But some people think we know enough to act. Other think we need to know more. Science cant settle this type of impass. Science can merely report. we are 65% sure, 94.9% sure. etc.
It’s simplistic for one side to say, well wait until we are convinced. Its simplistic for the other side to count heads and say, the consensus is convinced. Since everybody knows how to play the game of “prove it” we are stuck. One side likes being stuck. The other side doesnt.
One approach to the problem is to extend the “peer” review to include all stake holders.

No! The only valid “approach to the problem” is to let politicians decide the politics and to let the scientists “just muddle along till the truth came out”.
Politicians make decisions about uncertain issues by assessing available information – including scientific information – every day. IT IS THEIR JOB. In democracies it is what we elect them to do. Nobody elects “all stake holders”.
Richard

DirkH
September 1, 2012 4:51 pm

Jerome Ravetz says:
September 1, 2012 at 2:14 pm

“Also, in such circumstances there is no possibility of results approaching truth to the same degree that is possible in traditional science; hence the debate will be about the quality of results. This is inevitably complex, since all scientific results depend on arguments where imperfect data and imperfect inferences are combined. Experience has shown that in such cases, which include all areas closely connected with policy, the ‘extended peer community’ plays a very positive role, not merely in legitimating accepted results but also in criticising controversial results. “

A wonderful opportunity to get WWF material into the IPCC reports, or any other propaganda one has produced, and grab the power, n’est-ce pas? No objective reality, how very nice indeed; a perfect playground for the post-positivist manipulator.
Unfortunately, you’ve left logic behind and ignore that other field called probability theory that deals perfectly well with uncertainty – but that is not so easy to manipulate, n’est-ce pas?
There’s one rule that Alinsky failed to mention: You should make sense if you want to convince people. CO2AGW science doesn’t.

Merovign
September 1, 2012 4:54 pm

In other words, in 1980, the environmentalists thought they could usher in a better, cleaner, smaller future if they only had more power and control, because their hearts and their philosophy told them it was so.
In 1991, Post Normal Science was introduced.
In 2012, the environmentalists thought they could usher in a better, cleaner, smaller future if only they had more power and control, because Post Normal Science told them it was so.
There is a persuasion of person for whom the answer is always “more power and control,” no matter what the problem or process is. The fact that the problem or process shifts does not address the appropriateness of their conclusion.

September 1, 2012 5:03 pm

Maus says:
September 1, 2012 at 4:08 pm
Well, no. ‘Is’ is an identity statement while ‘as’ is a rather unfortunate collection of differing things that are not the same.
Splitting hairs wrongly. “that sunset is beautiful’ does not use ‘is’ as an identity statement, but simply meaning ‘having the quality of’. There is no doubt in my mind that ‘science as ideology’ was meant to imply that science is an ideology. I don’t grok what other meaning you would ascribe to it.
I submit that nothing would be lost if the ‘scientific method’ were redefined such that science is only and always a hypothesis non fingo affair. To disagree one has to first commit to the idea that theories are Truth and have primacy over experiment.
In fact, some theories belong in that category. Perhaps the best example is Dirac’s prediction of antimatter. In the theory there was a square root. The square roots of 4 are +2 and -2. So on the basis of the beauty of the theory, Dirac postulated that both solutions described physical reality, and sure enough, antimatter was later discovered experimentally. There are several other examples.

Paul Coppin
September 1, 2012 5:14 pm

Oh dear, another doctorate to recall. Sociology continues to demonstrate its the kindergarten for basket-weavers in the intellectual curriculum. Her discourse isn’t even worthy of discussion, let alone consideration. Offer her another Zoloft and put her by the window, she’ll enjoy the bright colours in the sunlight.

September 1, 2012 5:14 pm

Science isn’t an ideology, but it is filled with Ideologists, on both sides of this particular sceintific issue.

Paul Coppin
September 1, 2012 5:17 pm

WARNING: When ever you hear the word “stakeholder,” it is some corporations or corporate front group posing as, or renting itself as, an ngo working in the “public interest.” “Stakeholder” equals “B.S.”
No, “stakeholder” means “profiteer”. There no BS about that. Stakeholders always have a vested interest somewhere, and they’re most definetly not shareholders…

clipe
September 1, 2012 5:27 pm

Pending Doom!
http://www.horoscope.com/horoscope/resources/articles/pending-doom.aspx
The important thing to take away here is that these are all just theories, most of which are heavily disputed and have no real basis for happening. Like every day, stay safe and try not to worry.
Me

Gail Combs
September 1, 2012 5:32 pm

Ally E. says:
September 1, 2012 at 2:56 pm
So they have read your blog without actually reading your blog. How can they do that? These people seem to have their heads so far up their assets, they can’t tell real science from ideology, nor recognize rational discourse, nor the right to even question. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH THESE PEOPLE?
___________________________________
They have a completely different mindset. They were never taught the Scientific Method or Logic. This was intentional. In a totalitarian state you do not want independent thinkers or CONTRARIANS as they now see fit to call us.
You are seeing the result of over one hundred years of education as formulated under John Dewey, Father of American Progressive Education where the whole idea behind education is to produce good little conformist slaves.
You can read about John Dewey’s (founding member of the American Fabian Society) “Hegelian idealism and socialist materialism” here: The Philosophy Of Karl Marx: The Hegelian Basis

…As a student, Marx accepted the philosophy of Hegel as the only sound and adequate explanation of the universe….
Hegel accepted as real only that which existed in the mind. Objective phenomena and events were of no consequence; only the conceptions of them possessed by human minds were real. Ideas, not objects, were the stuff of which the universe was made. The universe and all events therein existed and took place only in the mind, and any change was a change in ideas. Therefore, to account for these changes in ideas was to account for change in the universe.
..If an idea were labeled a thesis, its opposite would be its antithesis. Consequently, in this realm of the mind within which the universe had its only real existence, innumerable theses and antitheses existed. Struggle or conflict was the en-evitable fact in such a universe—conflict of the thesis with its antithesis. In this struggle thesis and antithesis acted and reacted on each other, and a new phenomenon—synthesis—was created. All action or change occurring in the universe was, under the Hegelian philosophy, the product of thesis, antithesis, and resulting synthesis—all in the realm of ideas, since objective reality could exist only in that sphere. Since this process was universal and never ending, it offered a complete explanation of the causal processes creating all phenomena within the universe.
In the Hegelian philosophy no idea could exist without an opposite…
http://www.economictheories.org/2008/12/philosophy-of-karl-marx.html

This is the fundamental belief system Marx modified. This idea of the struggle between thesis and antithesis to produce a new phenomenon— the synthesis, is the philisophical basis of all these people, especially the non-scientists.
As far as they are concerned the struggle between thesis and antithesis is done, the consensus or synthesis has been reached and now it is time to get on with discussing the social, political and physical implementation of that consensus. A new thesis has been formed and we are, like Mitt Romney is, supposed to engage in the next part of the dialog, implementation. This is why we are “Deniers” and “CONTRARIANS” this is why there is so much frustration on their part that we “distrust accountability, forcing science to prove its reliability and integrity over and over again.”
Notice the comment about ” Finally, it is concluded that the climate change discourse has been stifled by the obsession of discussing the science basis and that in order to advance the discourse, there needs to be a change in how science as an ideology is communicated and enacted.”
They LITERALLY can not see our side of the debate at all because to them facts are not hard and fast but relativistic. From wiki

Relativism is the concept that points of view have no absolute truth or validity, having only relative, subjective value according to differences in perception and consideration. …the doctrine that there are no absolute truths, i.e., that truth is always relative to some particular frame of reference, such as a language or a culture…

This is the intellectual type of philosophy that is now seen in our schools.

… John Dewey who is usually characterized as the father of progressive education. Yet the change of the teaching of reading is probably Dewey’s greatest contribution to the tranformation of American education from an academically oriented process to a social one.
The progressives were a new breed of educator…. Indeed, men like G. Stanley Hall, James McKeen Cattell, Charles Judd, James Earl Russell traveled to Germany to study the new psychology under Prof. Wilhelm Wundt at the University of Leipzig. It was these men who later imposed the new psychology on American education and transformed it permanently from its academic function to one dedicated to behavioral change.
In 1894, Dewey was appointed head of the department of philosophy, psychology and education at the University of Chicago which had been established two years earlier by a gift from John D. Rockefeller. In 1896, Dewey created his famous experimental Laboratory School where he could test the effects of the new psychology on real live children.
Dewey’s philosophy had evolved from Hegelian idealism to socialist materialism, and the purpose of the school was to show how education could be changed to produce little socialists and collectivists instead of little capitalists and individualists. It was expected that these little socialists, when they became voting adults, would dutifully change the American economic system into a socialist one.
In order to do so he analyzed the traditional curriculum that sustained the capitalist, individualistic system and found what he believed was the sustaining linchpin — that is, the key element that held the entire system together: high literacy. To Dewey, the greatest obstacle to socialism was the private mind that seeks knowledge in order to exercise its own private judgment and intellectual authority. High literacy gave the individual the means to seek knowledge independently. It gave individuals the means to stand on their own two feet and think for themselves. This was detrimental to the “social spirit” needed to bring about a
collectivist society….
And so, high literacy had to go. Dewey wrote in 1896, after the Laboratory School had been in operation for nine months:

It is one of the great mistakes of education to make reading and writing constitute the bulk of the school work the first two years. The true way is to teach them incidentally as the outgrowth of the social activites…

Note Dewey’s suggestion that what was needed first was a “full and frank statement of conviction … from physiologists and psychologists” that could be used to convince teachers of the need to downgrade literacy in the primary grades. This need was actually met by one Edmund Burke Huey, a professor of psychology who had studied under G. Stanley Hall at Clark University and did his Ph.D. dissertation on the psychology and physiology of reading….
http://www.ordination.org/dumbing_down.htm

IMHO, thanks to John Dewey, we are moving from the age of enlightenment back into the dark ages of superstition and serfdom. Unfortunately people no longer have the necessary education to detect this and are embracing it as some sort of utopia.- A first class Brainwashing job.

Billy Liar
September 1, 2012 5:34 pm

Paul Coppin says:
September 1, 2012 at 5:14 pm
Oh dear, another doctorate to recall.
She hasn’t got one yet; she’s a grad student.

tallbloke
September 1, 2012 5:34 pm

richardscourtney says:
September 1, 2012 at 4:49 pm
No! The only valid “approach to the problem” is to let politicians decide the politics and to let the scientists “just muddle along till the truth came out”.
Politicians make decisions about uncertain issues by assessing available information – including scientific information – every day. IT IS THEIR JOB. In democracies it is what we elect them to do. Nobody elects “all stake holders”.
Richard

If the world was as it should be, I’d agree. However, we are in a situation where the scientists tell the politicians what they want to hear and the politicians pay them fat grants to do that.
So we either sit on the sidelines complaining about it, or we enter the fray and try to actually affect the outcome. Ravetz presciently pointed out, long before climategate, that the extended peer review community was entitled to bring leaked documents to the table and be heard.
Well, here we are, damning emails in hand. So, do you now want to sit back and let politicans decide how to tax us into the ground, or do you want to fight for your right to not be abused?
Good honest scientists are in the majority, but it seems they are too well controlled by the chain of command extending up through departmental heads to funding bodies controlled by mandarins. I think we have to take up the challenge and form the vanguard in the fight to save objective science.

clipe
September 1, 2012 5:41 pm

Sagittarius Chinese/Scottish Counterparts: rat/clipe.

Manfred
September 1, 2012 5:48 pm

“post normal” – a bizarre and arrogant term to justify the imposition of an extreme agenda, which lacks a strong scientific foundation and which may be described as totalitarianism by any other name. As far I as understand it, the null hypothesis of CAGW craves the empirical disproof. If I’ve missed something here, someone provide the key sentinel reference that turns the world on its collective head.

GeoLurking
September 1, 2012 5:59 pm

No, “stakeholder” means “profiteer”. There no BS about that. Stakeholders always have a vested interest somewhere, and they’re most definetly not shareholders…
Rather shortsighted. If I invest in a company, buy shares of their stock, I expect a return on my investment. What my return is depends on how well that company does. How does that make me not a “stakeholder?”
Do you honestly think that I would (willfully) put my money someplace where it does not guarantee its return, or at some level of risk, a greater return? I guess that make me an evil “profiteer.”
So be it.

clipe
September 1, 2012 6:09 pm

One thing, however, does not change. Clyping is still against the unofficial school moral code and swift retribution will be heaped by their peers on anyone who is so foolish as to clype. Clype (pronounced to rhyme with ripe and having the alternative spelling clipe) is a Scots verb meaning to tell tales, in other words to tell a teacher about a piece of wrongdoing carried out by another pupil. For once, something is known about the origin of the word. Clype is related to the Old English word, meaning to name or call.
caledonianmercury.com/2010/08/26/useful-scots-word-clype/0010208

September 1, 2012 6:11 pm

A ‘stakeholder’ is specifically not a shareholder. That’s why the different term.

Eric Barnes
September 1, 2012 6:15 pm

Steven Mosher says:
September 1, 2012 at 4:27 pm
It’s not a marxist plot.
No, it’s not Steven, but the proposed solution is central and authoritarian and attracts those who would profit from that shift in resources/power/money. Compromises are assiduously avoided or claimed as ineffective. That lack of compromise and willingness to negotiate is a clear indication it’s not about CO2, it’s about a shift in power in America and the world.

Gail Combs
September 1, 2012 6:24 pm

Follow the Money says:
September 1, 2012 at 4:43 pm
…It’s not a marxist plot.”
Duh. It’s a fascistic one. “Stakeholders” is the new-nice term for the usual business and government parasites and their fellow travelers.
WARNING: When ever you hear the word “stakeholder,” it is some corporations or corporate front group posing as, or renting itself as, an ngo working in the “public interest.” “Stakeholder” equals “B.S.”
_____________________________
You are correct the word “Stakeholder” should set of loud alarm bells whenever you see or hear it. However there is a more ominous use of the word that livestock farmers figured out a long time ago. In all the dealings with farmers, we are referred to as “stakeholders.” Do you know what a “stakeholder” actually is?

…. The USDA, in their original documents regarding NAIS, refers to participants as “stakeholders” repeatedly, twenty one times in the Draft Strategic Plan alone. They also use the term “national herd” and tell us that NAIS is necessary to protect the health and marketability of the “national herd”. First let’s look at the PIN and then at animal identification with official NAIS compliant tags.
The USDA claims to “own” the PIN (page6 A User Guide) and when one is assigned a PIN either through truly volunteering for it or being rolled into it via other disease control programs, it stays with the property forever (Draft Program Standards pg 16-read the whole section on PIN) and the person who owns the property becomes a stakeholder.
The definition of stakeholder is as follows:
“The term stakeholder, as traditionally used in the English language in law and notably gambling, is a third party who temporarily holds money or property while its owner is still being determined.”
Yep. While it’s owner is still being determined. It doesn’t make me feel all warm and fuzzy. Now let’s look at the definition of ownership as a comparison. Wikipedia defines the term as follows:
“Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive possession or control of property, which may be an object, land/real estate, intellectual property or some other kind of property. It is embodied in an ownership right also referred to as title.”
So, if you have exclusive possession or control of the property in question, how can you be a stakeholder? Well, you can’t be. Either it’s your property, or it’s someone else’s property. With the NAIS, it’s not your property once you have a PIN making you a stakeholder and putting you under the jurisdiction of the Area Veterinarian In Charge or AVIC. (“A User Guide” is loaded with ‘consult your AVIC’ with any questions about anything.)
This brings about some very serious questions regarding not only livestock but also real estate. Since the USDA “owns” the Premise Identification Number (page 6 “A User Guide”) and the number can only be ‘inactivated’ and not expunged or completely annihilated, does it create an encumbrance on property with the PIN? Should that be part of the disclosure on the property? What happens if someone who doesn’t want to be in NAIS in any way buys property with a PIN?…
Doreen Hannes

The term Premise when applied to property also has some serious legal connotations. “The word premises is a synonym for the word tenement. A definition of the word tenement in law is: “Property, such as land, rents, or franchises, held by one person leasing it to another.
In Black’s Law Dictionary, premises, in the context of estates and property, means: lands and tenaments, buildings, an estate, the subject matter of a conveyance, land and appurtenances thereto.”

I mention this because a goal of Agenda 21 is to transfer effective ownership of land from individuals to the government.

The United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (HABITAT I) met in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1976. Agenda Item 10 of the conference report was entitled simply “Land.” Here is an excerpt from the Preamble to that item:

“Land…cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes. Public control of land use is therefore indispensable….”

This policy document was agreed to by the United States. Among the U.S. delegates were William K. Reilly, former EPA Administrator, and Carla Hill, former Trade Negotiator in the Bush Administration. Since the mid 1970s, both the United Nations and the United States have been moving toward ever-tightening “public” control of land use. Land Use Control

Brendan H
September 1, 2012 6:26 pm

Richard Courtney: ‘Brdan H’:
Sorry, that should be ‘Brendan H’.
‘PNS excuses (deliberately adopts?) confusing science and politics.’
I don’t see it that way. I don’t think PNS argues that science and ideology should be confused. Rather, it argues that ideology is embedded in the way some scientific subjects are framed and presented, not how the science is actually done (the scientific method).
So the message I get is that these ideological, or political, or worldview elements are a reality in the climate debate and should be acknowledged as a factor. I don’t see that as an attempt to confuse science and ideoogy, but rather as an attempt to clarify the relationship beween the two.

David Ross
September 1, 2012 6:44 pm

tallbloke wrote:

The guy who invented the term posted an essay on my blog:

Tallbloke, do not take anything this guy says at face value.

Jerome Ravetz: PNS, Truth and Science
I would not be at all surprised at the misunderstandings and harmful interpretations of PNS. That’s the price I pay for injecting my ideas into a debate.
http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/02/08/jerome-ravetz-pns-truth-and-science/

I think that sowing “misunderstandings and harmful interpretations” is exactly what Ravetz intends. He is a new New Left Marxist and disciple of Herbert Marcuse. Marcuse was the guru of the student protest movement in the late 1960s. These two articles are on the right track.

Post-Normal Claws, Teeth, and Slime
By Norman Rogers
http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/11/post_normal_claws_teeth_and_slime.html
[…]
Post-Normal Science aims to change people’s consciousness so that they will accept politicized science.
Postmodernism: A Unified Theory of All the Trouble in the World
By M.J. Braun
May 2, 2010
http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/05/postmodernism_a_unified_theory.html
[…]
That’s where post-normal science (PNS) comes in. According to the “inventors” of PNS, Silvio Funtowicz and Jerome Ravetz, it is supposedly a scientific method of inquiry appropriate for cases where “facts are uncertain, values in dispute, stakes high and decisions urgent.” What they describe however is more accurately recognized as politics than science, which is precisely the point: In postmodernism, everything is politics. And the aberration from “normal” science to post-normal science is designed for the purpose of manipulating and controlling high-stakes political artifice like “man-made global warming.” This is not about determining “truth,” which the advocates of post-normal science don’t believe in — it is about the power and control of politics.

This article (from the Egyptian weekly Al Ahram of all places) includes a good description of Marcuse’s legacy.

According to Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s current right-of- centre president, many of the country’s present ills, from the economic malaise to the crisis in the suburbs, can be laid at the door of the events of 1968.
“In this election,” Sarkozy told French electors during last year’s presidential elections, “what is at stake is the question of whether the heritage of May 1968 should be perpetuated or whether it should be got rid of once and for all.”
This heritage “has imposed a moral and intellectual relativism upon us,” he said, its inheritors having “imposed the idea that everything has the same value and that there is no difference between right and wrong, between true and false, or between what is ugly and what is beautiful.”
http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2008/898/fe3.htm

If terms like “Post-modern” or “deconstructivist” leave you confused or you have difficulty finding a straightforward definition from those who use them most. Don’t be surprised. Confusion is the point. They are off-shoots of “Cultural Theory.” The New Left version of Orwell’s Ministry of Truth on steroids. You are supposed to re-assess everything you believe in; every aspect of your (dominant) culture. Heroes become villains. Certainty becomes doubt and suspicion.
What is the point of all this? -so that people come to despise their society enough to want to change it utterly i.e. revolution. “Smash the system” is so old fashioned. “Smash the culture” is the new mantra.
Marcuse realized the potential of the nascent environmental movement just before his death.

…authentic ecology flows into a militant struggle for a socialist politics which must attack the system at its roots, both in the process of production and in the mutilated consciousness of individuals…
Herbert Marcuse

September 1, 2012 6:49 pm

As an ENGINEER who has been making things WORK all my life such Nuclear reactors, (Hey, point Kernel analysis for neutron flux problems…just a bone to throw out so the knowledgeable know I’m not kidding!), SPC for medical catheters and implant devices, pump and delivery systems for refineries, ASME Section VIII design for PV’s, from 300 to 3000 PSI, -320 F to 1500 F..heh heh, I know, I’m “hot dogging”.. I’d suggest that everyone reading this better get down on the floor of their next A320 or 767 and kiss it…thanking Boeing, the French and Brits, that their ENGINEERS still engage in NORMAL engineering…design, test, prove, verify…codify, etc. And there is no nosense of “post normal engineering”.

vigilantfish
September 1, 2012 7:13 pm

On some other thread I challenged defenders of PNS to please illustrate the necessity for post-normal science historically, using a solid historical case study in which some catastrophic outcome was threatening portions of humanity (or nature, I suppose) if this new approach were not adopted. I’m not talking about high stakes for some scientist’s reputation, or the risks taken by individuals defending their intellectual stake – which are the kinds of example Jerome Ravetz has offered before, IIRC. I’d like to see some non-climate related science (and I mean science, not policy-decisions at the international protocol level) in which PNS resulted in fruitful outcomes.
It’s no wonder so many of us are confused by the definition of PNS, given the lack of concrete examples that offer any guidelines.

Aussie Luke Warm
September 1, 2012 7:15 pm

Probably just another one working towards getting snout into lucrative government funded “climate change” trough.

Ben U.
September 1, 2012 7:23 pm

C.S. Peirce, no slouch in statistics, once defined the “normal” thus: “….the ‘normal’ is not the average (or any other kind of mean) of what actually occurs, but of what would, in the long run, occur under certain circumstances.” It seems to me that “post-normal” science is merely post-scientific science. The tautologous falsity of such a characterization is a performative instance of the object of description.

September 1, 2012 7:31 pm

Vigilantfish,
PNS = Pseudoscience, Not Science.☺

M Puckett
September 1, 2012 7:35 pm

If you try and make an Ideology or Religion out of Science, you are doing it wrong. A screwdriver is not a car.

vigilantfish
September 1, 2012 7:35 pm

Brendan H says:
September 1, 2012 at 6:26 pm
I don’t see it that way. I don’t think PNS argues that science and ideology should be confused. Rather, it argues that ideology is embedded in the way some scientific subjects are framed and presented, not how the science is actually done (the scientific method).
So the message I get is that these ideological, or political, or worldview elements are a reality in the climate debate and should be acknowledged as a factor. I don’t see that as an attempt to confuse science and ideoogy, but rather as an attempt to clarify the relationship beween the two.
—————
If that were the case, then there would be no issue, but when I read Ravetz I see his definition as prescriptive – saying that certain situations warrant a blurring of lines – rather than analytical. Analysis is what sociologists of science should be doing in any case – only in a disinterested and reflexive manner, rather than using Ms. Hollander’s sadly condescending and activist approach.

vigilantfish
September 1, 2012 7:39 pm

Smokey,
Thanks for the clarification! 🙂

pat
September 1, 2012 7:47 pm

has anyone posted the full program to take place from 13-15 sept, with a list of speakers/presenters almost as long as a telephone directory?
Culture, Politics, and Climate Change
AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO BOULDER
SEPTEMBER 13-15, 2012
Please see page 24 for a list of CHPS speakers and session information.
http://www.climateculturepolitics.com/docs/CPCCONLINEProgramFinal.pdf

Chewer
September 1, 2012 7:49 pm

See if you can get Trenberth to answer why he gave up on his Stratwarm studies, was it due to his paycheck getting cut off?
Also, see why we aren’t concerned about C02 and the mixing with other atmospheric constituents at 1000hPa, 500hPa, 200hPa right on up to 10hPa levels.
How do the atmospheric chemicals behave during shifts in PDO, AO, NAO, Indian Dipole and the Antarctic stream?
We set new records and our messiah may have stopped the seas from rising, but he know needs to address the real concerns (Note the number during loading):
http://earthquakes.tafoni.net/

September 1, 2012 8:01 pm

A lot of comments, but a quick observation on Leif’s comment
Leif Svalgaard says:
September 1, 2012 at 10:07 am
Here she is dead wrong. Science is not an ideology and should not be communicated as such.

“There is no more to science, than its method.”
The problem is that for most people, ‘science’ is the product of its method, say the Periodic Table as an example.
I have no problem considering the scientific method as an ideology, but you absolutely must not treat the product of the scientific method as ideology, because the entire body of scientific knowledge is always only one experiment away from being falsified. The problem is that science as product almost always is treated as ideology.

ursus augustus
September 1, 2012 8:03 pm

“They serve as extended peer communities as put forth by post-normal science, however, blog users themselves do not see post-normal science as a desirable goal. Furthermore, avowals of distrust can be seen as linguistic perfomances of accountability, forcing science to prove its reliability and integrity over and over again.”
Re the first sentence, “post-normal science” is a nonsense, science is science, that is it is the use of the scientific method of observation ->hypothesis -> experiment -> confirmation/inconclusive/disproval. WTF does “post-normal” mean? It sounds like some post modernist deconstruction of meaning according to some predefining set of criteria, i.e the deliberate use of “deconstruction” as a method for the purpose of disassembling meaning in a manner expressly warned against by Derrida himself who clearly saw the danger of how ideological dingbats would latch on to his basic thesis.
Re the second sentence,
i) “avowals of distrust can be seen as linguistic performances of accountability”. What on earth does that mean? Applying Occums Razor, a much better guide to formulating hypotheses about the real world than deconstructionism or post modernism or post normalism, “avowals of distrust ” means avowals of distrust , i.e. one does not trust the thesis presented and articulates same, presumably because one is not convinced by the evidence to hand. It is pretty plain that the person who wrote this paragraph is engaged in “linguistic performances of accountability” themselves.
ii) “forcing science to prove its reliability and integrity over and over again” . How bizarre, the words written are a pretty succinct articulation of the very essence of the scientific method yet clearly their intent is the very opposite. Who is this Franziska Hollender, the Queen of Hearts?.
The author of this twaddle seems to think that science is ideology and that the scientific method is the associated ideological evangelism. How on earth did our society produce people from our centres of learning who could buy into this sort of linguistic alchemy? The rest of the world is going to absolutely whiz past if these idiots are allowed to continue with their influential lunacy.
If you want to know what happened to China for all those centuries when they gazed at their own navel rather than engaging with the world, then just consider that the sort of person who wrote the drivel quoted above is the sort of person who was a mandarin to the Chinese court, an intellectual eunuch whose life’s work is their own self promotion and scramble for a share of the funding, the accolades and the trips to conferences.
I do not know quite how we have managed it but “climate science” has created some strange upwelling that has brought the intellectual dregs of our society to the surface, bobbing like floaters in the sewage farm section of academia and with some bizarre attraction to the mainstream media.

Otpu
September 1, 2012 8:04 pm

Not science as ideology as much as science in support of ideology.
Not Goebbels but instead Lysenko.
http://omnologos.com/lysenkoism-and-global-warming-_by-professor-cliff-ollier/
I googled Lysenko+global warming and found I am far from the first to make this connection.
Otpu

eyesonu
September 1, 2012 8:07 pm

I have been trying to get a grasp of the idea of post-normal science and the entire concept seems like nonsense. I doubt there are many engineers buying it.
An analogy to the concept could be put like this? I have an cut/injury to my lower leg. The stakes are high should I get an infection so my leg is immediately amputated at the knee. No time to wait to see if infection occurs. I believe I would rather wait and see if there is any sign of infection and save the cost of amputation as well as my leg. Furthermore, anyone who suggested the first immediate option would be due a kick in the ass by my saved leg.

September 1, 2012 8:13 pm

Coming in a bit late to the game but… Franziska Hollender sounds like a classic Post-Modernist.
For those unfamiliar with this style of writing, there is a funny PostModern generator at this site:
http://www.elsewhere.org/pomo/
Reload the page to get a new ‘essay’
There was this wonderful prank — the Sokal Affair:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokal_Affair
And there is hope — in 2008, the Blog “Gene Expression” searched the JSTOR archive for specific words related to PoMo thought — Social Construction, Postmodern, Marxist, Deconstruction among others. When plotted against time, these all show a significant ramp up from the 1970-1980’s –but– a significant decline from the 1995-2000’s
http://www.gnxp.com/blog/2008/09/graphs-on-death-of-marxism.php
Considering that many references do not show up at JSTOR for several years, the crest may have been sooner.

Neil Jordan
September 1, 2012 8:14 pm

re John Campbell says: September 1, 2012 at 11:25 am
Test: Who said, “And yet it moves…”? Hint – Italy, the Inquisition, a very well-known scientist (or “philosopher” as he would have been called in those days).
Answer: Giordano Bruno. Reference: “A History of Pi” by Petr Beckman. Full quote: “E pur si muove! (And nonetheless it moves!) Giordanol Bruno’s last cry from the burning stake, 16th February, 1600.”

Darren Potter
September 1, 2012 8:16 pm

Franziska Hollender’s synopsis of the seminar shows the oh so typical “Holier than thou attitude” of those who haunt Ivory Towers. In they (Franziska / seminar holders) are starting with the mindset; they are absolutely correct, and those that disagree with their position (aka agenda), do so as lowly uneducated agitators (aka “contrarians”).

Ben
September 1, 2012 8:18 pm

Sociologists who can’t comprehend basic science, who want to applaud and cheerlead from the sidelines, appear to be disturbed by “rude” but accurate scientists, who correctly point out when “the king has no clothes.”
“Group think” is much more sociologically comforting and it’s easier for mindless cheerleading, than actually applying the Scientific Method. Ongoing skeptical evaluation is the very essence of the Scientific Method. We continue to review upgraded data, changing data, improved methods and additional research, into how things really work. All are vital when evaluating assumptions that have not been confirmed.
The mere assumption that prior claims have been confirmed is their first problem. A better seminar would cover that and some other issues, like how can so many millions of people be fooled by a small core of propagandists with enormous conflicts of interest? Why do people not know that the media narratives don’t address the underlying core problems with the CAGW hypothesis? And, why do so many people believe the media outlets, whose outrageous claims have continually been discredited, by scientists applying the scientific method?
But, traveling such paths toward reality, may be much more “uncomfortable” for sociologists, if they value group hugs and a quiet flock of followers, over actually getting the answers right.

Darren Potter
September 1, 2012 8:20 pm

Stephen Rasey: “BTW, what should be name for the type of on-line, free access, accountable, review and critique of papers and talks?” … “Other ideas?”
Free B.S. detectors – Calling out those haunting Ivory Towers, and slapping them in the face with facts; giving them a hard dose of reality.

September 1, 2012 8:22 pm

Simply give as much air time as you can to the well known cases of minority views becoming accepted views. The classic Australian case is Nobel Laureates in physiology or medicine (as opposed to peace) Marshall and Warren, in showing that stomach ulcers were not dominantly caused by stress (the former Establishment view) but by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and that cure was possible with antibiotics.
This is a good counter to the arrogance of the Establishment. I have yet to see the Establishment provide a plan for the recognition and nurture of early, promising anti-Establishment science that will lead to gains. The Establishment has to educate itself better and to mature past the name-calling stage.

September 1, 2012 8:24 pm

OT,
But it looks like I win my proposition bet..
Open water north of 85!
http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de:8084/ssmis/arctic_SSMIS_nic.png
looks like another storm may be brewing just as the melt season ends

Eugene WR Gallun
September 1, 2012 8:27 pm

Some propose that the contrarian discourse is merely an annoying sideshow while others think it is science’s responsibility to fight them.
She is an advocate for POST-NORMAL SCIENCE — not an advocate for science. But here in this sentence, by a false substitution of terms, she claims for her side all the virtues of “science” — virtues which post-normal science totally lacks.. If this women were honest she would have written
Some propose that the contrarian discourse is merely an annoying sideshow while others think it is POST-NORMAL SCIENCE’S responsibilty to fight them.
But that would make it only too clear that her side is anti-science.
Eugene WR Gallun

eyesonu
September 1, 2012 8:27 pm

ursus augustus says:
September 1, 2012 at 8:03 pm
==================
Very well said.
I read the leading post several times and it would take a very long comment to respond to it as nothing made any sense, with the exception of only one sentence, that being the last in the first paragraph. In my opinion, what I read was not worth commenting on specifically.

Darren Potter
September 1, 2012 8:37 pm

wobble says: “Franziska thinks that climate change discussions (discourse) have been stifled by skeptics wanting to discuss the science.”
Mann: How can I hide the Decline under Science’s scrutiny?
Gore: How can I pontificate with Science involved?
Hansen: How can I protest if Science is required?
UN/IPCC: How dare skeptics bring Science into our scam!

TomRude
September 1, 2012 8:39 pm

“Finally, it is concluded that the climate change discourse has been stifled by the obsession of discussing the science basis [translation: despite all our efforts to affirm with arguments of authority that the science was settled, some scientists and scientifically literate people did not cave under that pressure and the show business surrounding it] and that in order to advance the discourse [translation: ensure these people have no voice], there needs to be a change in how science as an ideology [translation: our political agenda is labelled science for deceit] is communicated and enacted.[translation: this seminar is all about finding the dialiectic tools that will do what our global warming science could not and we know will not be able to do]”
So they are at the second stage of propaganda. When that one will fail, they’ll become physical.

peterg
September 1, 2012 9:01 pm

Sociologists want to get on the gravy train that is climate politics. Obviously analysing the whole climate science/government alliance would be a fascinating line of inquiry. Unfortunately it is doubtful there would be any funding for that. All that is left is attacking the skeptical bloggers. Whatever comes out should be good for a few laughs.

Mike D in AB
September 1, 2012 9:15 pm

Sun Spot / Tallbloke – you missed my point. The latter half of the post was the more important part. If we stand accused of not knowing what post normal science is, then we should ask them (aka the speaker who accuses us) what it means, and then point out if their definition falls within the scientific method. If we disagree with what they call post normal science because what they propose is not scientific, let them (and the audience at large) know it! Calling one’s religion the only truth does not make it so for everyone. Calling a way of looking at things (post normal) science does not mean that it follows the scientific method, and it does the image of science within popular society a lot of damage when we let folks who are peddling their worldview and calling it “science” and get away with it.
anarchist hate machine – help yourself. I think that what I wrote is what my undergrad profs tried to pound into my head as the proper approach when I was a trainee engineer, so I’d like to think that what I said should be common knowledge.

freedomactionnow
September 1, 2012 9:15 pm

What do you suppose they mean by “post-normal science”? That paragraph reeks of academic-speak (I use “reeks” in its standard sense).
“… science as an ideology …”
The standard understanding of “ideology” (at least in the Left) is that it’s a “bad thing”. It’s always used in a pejorative sense. Unfortunately (for them) it just means “The body of beliefs that guides a person, institution, or group”. So then, I’m happy with my ideology that says that AGW is nonsense on stilts.

rogerknights
September 1, 2012 9:29 pm

Richard Keen says:
September 1, 2012 at 3:26 pm
>>>Orson Olson says:
>>>richardscourntney’s cautions are something to take seriously.
>>>Prof. Max Boykoff spoke to the Denver Cafe Scientifique last June.
The Boykoff Bros. did write the “Balance as Bias” paper, bit of an Orwellian title, that claimed the “contrarian” viewpoint is over reported.

That can be disproved by an analysis of all the climate change stories in the Reader’s Guide to periodical Literature for any given recent year. This would be a good Master’s thesis. Or maybe Big Oil could grease my palm and I’d do it myself.

Eugene WR Gallun
September 1, 2012 9:40 pm

Finally it is concluded that the climate change discourse has been stifled by the obsession of discussing the science basis and that in order to advance the discourse there needs to be a change in how science as an ideology is communicatated and enacted.
This is rather an amazing sentence. First some of the pieces need explanation.
SCIENCE AS AN IDEOLOGY — The reader may not recognize it but this is her definition of “post-normal science”. Switch out the the two phrases and the line becomes clear. THERE NEEDS TO BE A CHANGE IN HOW POST-NORMAL SCIENCE IS COMMUNICATATED AND ENACTED.
iN ORDER TO ADVANCE THE DISCOURSE — People fail to realize that a discourse is essentially a monologue — meaning the speech of one person. IT IS NOT A CONVERSATION WHICH INVOLVES TWO OR MORE PEOPLE. :You can’t have a discourse if you allow others to speak.
THE CLIMATE CHANGE DISCOURSE HAS BEEN STIFLED BY THE OBSESSION OF DISCUSSING THE SCIENCE BASIS — This is simply a recognition that they are losing the science battle — so instead we will get much scare mongering. We see this already in the new emphaisis on “extreme weather events”. How clearer can it be stated that Global Warming or Climate Change or whatever new term they come up with is no longer about science. IT IS ALL PROPAGANDA.
Taken as a whole the sentence says that “real science” is no longer useful to them in attaining their agenda. “Post-normal science” is to be totally disconnected from “real science”. Surprisingly “real science” had a place in “post-normal science” when “post normal science” was first conceived — it was to supply at least the appearance of an underpinning for their political agenda — but now the disconnect is to be total. From here on out they are just going to make it all up, shout and scream, intimiadate, bribe, etc.
What type of people would lap this crap up? Self-centered, greedy, power hungary people who totally believe in their own moral superiority. That pretty much describes a believer in “post-normal science” — or so think I.
Eugene WR Gallun

September 1, 2012 9:48 pm

Science and ideology are mutualy exclusive.
.
One deals exclusively in observation and reality while the other deals exclusively in lies and delusion.

Bill Parsons
September 1, 2012 10:07 pm

Max Hugoson says:
September 1, 2012 at 6:49 pm

everyone reading this better get down on the floor of their next A320 or 767 and kiss it…thanking Boeing, the French and Brits, that their ENGINEERS still engage in NORMAL engineering…design, test, prove, verify…codify, etc. And there is no nosense of “post normal engineering”.

Ah – HA! And it right there, my friend, that you would be mistaken. Here, for example, are two post-normal aeronautical engineers:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Canberra_Baloon_Fiesta_2006.jpg

Mike D in AB
September 1, 2012 10:14 pm

Now that I’ve re-read all of the comments, thanks to all others who attempted to answer my rhetorical question “what is a simple definition of post normal science?” As mentioned above, I had entered it as a vehicle to get the speaker (in this case, the “social studies of science” folks) to define what they mean by post normal science that it is said we disagree with. Once the statement has been made, the differences between post normal science and “real” science can be made. As they have so eloquently been made within the comments. I particularly enjoyed Gail Combs @2:23 and Smokey @3:07.
I’m interested in further discussion with Jerome. My background is in Engineering, so my worldview is a little different from yours. Different people with different knowledge and priorities will disagree about what the largest threat is, and what the appropriate level of response should be. What deciding mechanism do you favour (links to or keywords from previous writings that answer would be a perfect response – I didn’t see anything about this in your post at Tallblokes)? In the context of AGW, for most of the last 100,000 years the geographic location of my house has usually been covered by ice 1 mile thick. I want to delay the ice returning to this “normal” state, When the ice returns to this “normal” state, my nation of Canada will cease to exist. Others argue that increasing global temperature by a degree or two would be catastrophic, I look at the scour marks hundreds of meters up on local mountains and know the damage that normal, natural cycles can do. When worldviews differ regarding how far out a credible threat is and whether it should be considered, and when the “solutions” of one threat can actively cause (or at least ignore) another threat of equal or greater danger, then how should these choices be made? Note that this is a political question, not a scientific one. Either side can quote science (or note how the other side is ignoring science). As an engineer I need a good level of proof and some solid theories (including their falsification criteria) before I’m willing to make big changes.

Bill Parsons
September 1, 2012 10:16 pm

Digging around in a few obscure posts, found these important tenets of Postnormal Science
factualizing sociological data and socializing the facts, allowing easy movement around them
unhitching language from reality in order to find deeper interpretations of truth
bridging the gap between imaginary crises and postnormal “solutions”
auctioning off your own solutions to the highest bidder
rationalizing all of the above as science

James Bull
September 1, 2012 10:22 pm

I was talking with a friend one day I cannot remember the topic but they made this comment “If you educate an idiot all you get is an educated idiot not a clever person”.
The company I work for loves employing graduates and fast tracks them upwards, but when they turn up at work they seem to fall into two groups those who think that as they have been to university they know it all, or those who have learned that if you listen to those with experience you will learn.
James Bull

Eugene WR Gallun
September 1, 2012 11:08 pm

Futhermore avowals of distrust can be seen as linguistic performances of accountability, forcing science to prove its reliability and integrity over and over again.
This is girl thinks stringing big words together makes her look smart and that for fear of looking stupid no one will suggest that her words are so much turkey gobble. This is one of the most stupid lying sentences ever written by a human being. To break the code —
Avowals of distrust — Freedom of information requests for publicly owned data that should have been supplied when the scientists involved originally published — without which replication is impossible..
Linguistic performances of accountability — Linguistic is being used to mean “verbal not actual”. In other words she is saying that the claim that the information obtained by an FOI will be used to replicate the “science” is a lie. The FOI’s are only being filed to harass.the scientists who recieve them. The claim to want to replicate the “science” is only a “verbal performance”.
Forcing science to prove its reliabiltiy and integrity over and over again — What a lie! Those scienctist ignore the FOI’s or they send misleading information. Therefore they get sent another and then another. And its data paid for with public money and that should have been made public when the original papers using it were published. They don’t send the real data becasue they know their work can’t stand inspection.
Science — This is girl advocates “post-normal science” The scienctists who receive FOI’s are all doing post-normal science. The line should read — forcing POST-NORMAL SCIENCE to prove its reliability and integrity over and over again. Post-normal science has no reliability and is being done by people totally lacking in integrity.
And this girl actually thinks she is highly educated and deserves to have her education furthered by public monies?????? She will get it — and I bet they will give this bimbo a MacArthur Genius Grant also. She has the right politics. .
Eugene WR Gallun

Gene Selkov
September 1, 2012 11:30 pm

What a drivel. That blurb could have been computer-generated, just like post-modern philosophy, and nobody would be able to tell the difference.

Richard Keen
September 1, 2012 11:31 pm

pat says:
September 1, 2012 at 7:47 pm
has anyone posted the full program to take place from 13-15 sept, with a list of speakers/presenters almost as long as a telephone directory?
Culture, Politics, and Climate Change
AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO BOULDER
SEPTEMBER 13-15, 2012
Please see page 24 for a list of CHPS speakers and session information.
http://www.climateculturepolitics.com/docs/CPCCONLINEProgramFinal.pdf
>>>Thanks for posting that, Pat – I was unaware of this, occurring right under my nose. It’s looking less like a Klan metting and more like a Woodstock of Ecobabblers. No way could I sit though three days of this rubbish, much less pay the price of admission. I’d learn more at a Grateful Dead concert for less money. The saddest thing is that there’s 200+ presenters, most of whom are paid by the taxpayer to invent justifications for policies that will raise the price of living and cost us even more.

Maus
September 1, 2012 11:36 pm

Leif Svalgaard: “Splitting hairs wrongly.”
Well, then there’s nothing further to be gained in helping your understand a foreign language.
“So on the basis of the beauty of the theory, Dirac postulated that both solutions described physical reality, and sure enough, antimatter was later discovered experimentally. ”
And it remains that if we had no clue as to what Dirac’s theory was, or why he came to it, that the empirical results would be unaltered. This is a rather simple issue. Simply ask yourself: Does reality change if we are unaware of the rationalizations people have about that reality?

September 1, 2012 11:38 pm

tallbloke:
Your post addressed to me at September 1, 2012 at 5:34 pm can only be either disingenuous or severely mistaken.
You claim we should accept and participate in PNS because you say

Good honest scientists are in the majority, but it seems they are too well controlled by the chain of command extending up through departmental heads to funding bodies controlled by mandarins. I think we have to take up the challenge and form the vanguard in the fight to save objective science.

Corruption is not defeated by adopting the corrupt practices. That only institutionalises the corruption.
Richard

September 1, 2012 11:58 pm

Brendan H:
Thankyou for attempting to clarify your position in your post addressed to me at September 1, 2012 at 6:26 pm where you say

I don’t think PNS argues that science and ideology should be confused. Rather, it argues that ideology is embedded in the way some scientific subjects are framed and presented, not how the science is actually done (the scientific method).
So the message I get is that these ideological, or political, or worldview elements are a reality in the climate debate and should be acknowledged as a factor. I don’t see that as an attempt to confuse science and ideoogy, but rather as an attempt to clarify the relationship beween the two.

And therein lies your error.
There is no proper “relationship beween the two” and any attempt to make such a “relationship” harms both.
Politics uses information of all kinds obtained from all available sources.
Science generates information by use of a philosophical method.
Hence, politics will use information generated by science, but any “relationship” between the two can only be a relationship of politicians as masters and scientists as slaves. The inevitable result is Lysenkoism, and this is why totalitarians attempt to create relationships between politics and science.
US President Eisenhower specifically warned that this danger was being created by the financial relationship between government and research institutions. Decades on and we have PNS being promoted to formalise the “relationship between the two”.
Richard

AJB
September 2, 2012 12:09 am

No need for this waste of yet more money. Ms Hollender should simply pick up the phone and have a long philosophical discussion with one Mike Hulme who, having promoted Ravetz’s horse[snip] so loudly, has [perhaps not so] curiously distanced himself from it of late. Or she could pick up the trail here:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/27/uea-climate-scientist-possible-that-i-p-c-c-has-run-its-course

Maus
September 2, 2012 12:24 am

John Ravetz: Not sure how I missed your post previously; apologies for that.
“Let’s try: when facts are uncertain, values in dispute, stakes high and decisions urgent, the paradigm-based puzzle-solving research confined to closed sets of practitioners is not adequate.”
Which is the same as stating: When there are no facts, there is a difference of opinion, and at least one group holds an opinion of urgency, then science qua Thomas Kuhn is inadequate.
Left unsaid is why we should give any credence to an opinion of urgency whether held only by one group or by all involved groups. For example, if there is a religious sect that holds a strong opinion that doomsday is next Thursday after the hot-wing specials end then science is surely inadequate. But it begs the question as to why a given group’s values should matter over another’s, or at all, if there are no facts.
“Then there must be an ‘extended peer community’, using ‘extended facts’ which include traditional research results along with open criticism, plus data from non-traditional sources, and expressions of value commitments. Then there must be an ‘extended peer community’, using ‘extended facts’ which include traditional research results along with open criticism, plus data from non-traditional sources, and expressions of value commitments.”
There must be…. why? We are left in the dark due a lack of expression of your value commitment.
“Experience has shown that in such cases, which include all areas closely connected with policy, the ‘extended peer community’ plays a very positive role, not merely in legitimating accepted results but also in criticising controversial results. ”
Which seems a rather tortured manner in which to state the paradigmatic views of Democracy as a manner of governance.
Throughout I cannot find anything that distinguishes your notion of PNS from that of plain Political Activism, save using the symbol ‘science’ as a patina to respectability.
You mentioned on Tallbloke’s blog that the term has rather gotten a life of its own; and this is surely the case. But your definition as provided here doesn’t explain the necessity of PNS, nor any differences to distinguish it from standard political discourse.

Mac the Knife
September 2, 2012 12:43 am

Richard111 says:
September 1, 2012 at 10:21 am
I’m lost again. What is post-normal science?
Rich111,
Post-normal science is also known as ‘Abby-normal’ science, or ABnormal science for short. the definition was first elucidated in the Mel Brooks farce Young Frankenstein. Marty Feldman (Igor) procures an Abby Normal brain for the monster Frankenstein…. and ABnormal (aka post-normal) science has been a farce ever since. Enjoy!
http://youtu.be/yH97lImrr0Q
MtK

martin mason
September 2, 2012 12:43 am

I don’t often but in this case I tend to agree with Steve Mosher, because of the dreadful style used in putting the words down some are reading into what was said that which isn’t really there

David, UK
September 2, 2012 12:54 am

James Sexton says:
September 1, 2012 at 11:03 am
…what is traditionally thought of when referencing climate science is an ideology. And then there’s the ideology which believes science should have a large role in human governance.
Science should have a role in human governance; it should have a role in probably most things at one level or another. I don’t see anything ideological about that. My problem is when “human governance” has a role in science.

September 2, 2012 12:56 am

Leif Svalgaard says: September 1, 2012 at 5:03 pm
Perhaps the best example is Dirac’s prediction of antimatter. In the theory there was a square root. The square roots of 4 are +2 and -2. So on the basis of the beauty of the theory, Dirac postulated that both solutions described physical reality, and sure enough, antimatter was later discovered experimentally.
Hi doc.
Nice one. We also have irrational numbers and than we also have imaginary numbers, without either of which modern science would be crippled.
In accordance (to follow our hero Dirac) I often present both irrational and imaginary hypothesis. I expect and looking forward to your support in future. 🙂

September 2, 2012 1:04 am

The “normal” in post normal science refers to Kuhn’s notion of Normal science.
In “normal” science, science that occurs under a paradigm, scientists view their activity as puzzle solving. Filling in bits and pieces of a framework that everyone accepts.
Post normal science, first and foremost, DESCRIBES the situation scientists find themselves in.
The situation can be describes by these factors.. which are unlike Kuhnian Normal Science
1. Facts are uncertain: people disagree about fundamental Facts.
2. Values, moral values, are in conflict: science when it is discussed is shot through with
commentary about values
3. The stakes are high. Science discussions quickly turn into discussions about what things
cost.
4. Some parties demand immediate action because of the high stakes, other parties demand
no action because the facts are uncertain.
That is Post normal science.. as a DESCRIPTION of the situation that scientists find themselves in.
Post normal science as a PRACTICE is not very well defined. The question is really how do you get back to a normal situation… not very easily.
10 years from now when its warmer, so people will still deny it. same way they deny that there is less ice this year than last year. Science as a method cannot deal with people who refuse to accept the facts.

Eugene WR Gallun
September 2, 2012 1:13 am

They serve as extended peer communities as put forth by post-normal science, however, blog users themselves do not see post-normal science as a desirable goal.
This little girl has a peanut for a brain. “Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.” People who are involved in that systematic enterprise we call “scientists”. The overriding interest of the vast majority of people who sign-in at WUWT is the preservation of “science”. Yet only a few people at WUWT are actually engaged in doing science. The vast majority of people at WUWT are making no claim to be contribting to science.
The best way to describe POST-NORMAL SCIENCE is to say that it is NOT a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. It is pseudo-science. Since post-normal science draws the infomation it uses to promote its “beliefs” (what other word can you use?) from many groups of people who are not scientists it is possible to say that anyone who expresses any type of opinion about anything is contributing to post-normal science. Therefore since the sources of post-normal science are so broad it is possible to say that bloggers on WUWT are regular contributers to post-normal science. “They are one of the extended peer communities as put forth by post-normal science” who contribute to post-normal science consensus.
In the past politicians have tried to use “science” to formulate policy. And the public has a great respect for “science” since it has created our modern civilization. The crazy left has always tried to cloak its “beliefs” as science (Marxism is science????) but today we see something different. The crazy left has simply decided to redefine “science” into something to its liking. Science is no longer about testable explanations and predictions about the universe. It has become post-modern science — and draws it conclusions largely from unreliable data sources. And these conclusions are never to be questoned or tested. Everyone can contribute to post-modern science — but like all things on the left only a few select people at the top are allowed to draw conclusion.
So to sum it all up post-normal science is just the left using the cover word “science” to lend credence to a purely self-seeking poltical agenda. Go read — POST NORMAL SCIENCE — a paper by S.Funtowicz and J. Ravetz. They make it perfectly clear that it is all about politics.

Eugene WR Gallun
September 2, 2012 1:19 am

For those interested there is a paper on the internet titled — POST NORMAL SCIENCE —
BY S. Funtowixz and J. Ravetz.
EWRG

September 2, 2012 1:21 am

Steven Mosher:
I fail to understand the point of your post at September 2, 2012 at 1:04 am.
I would be grateful if you were to read my post addressed to you at September 1, 2012 at 4:49 pm which addresses an earlier post from you and, having done that, please explain how your more recent post answers my point.
Of course you are right when you say in your recent post,
“Science as a method cannot deal with people who refuse to accept the facts”.
But I refrain from making a personal remark and merely present my request that you answer my post which rejected your earlier assertion.
Richard

Eugene WR Gallun
September 2, 2012 1:27 am

Hey, Mosher,
We were supposed to have 40,000,000 climate refugees by 2010! Where are they? The prediction has been pushed back to 2020. So in eight years when there are still no climate refugees will you renouce your warmism?
Eugene WR Gallun
By the way you dont have the faintest idea what Post Normal Science is about.

pat
September 2, 2012 1:31 am

30 Aug: BBC: Paul Hudson: Summer 2012 – 2nd wettest on record
So far 367mm of rain has fallen, compared with 384mm which was recorded in 1912.
It’s also been the dullest summer since 1980, and cool, with mean temperatures 0.4C below average.
It adds to a depressing sequence of summers across the country, with the last 6 years all being wetter than average.
Moreover 2 of the 3 wettest summers on record have happened in that time – 2007 and 2012…
The big question is why is the jet stream behaving in this way?
There are two current theories, which I detailed in my earlier blog which you can read here.
One is linked to melting Arctic ice, which fell to a satellite record low on Monday.
The other theory suggests it’s down to the protracted low solar activity over the last few years, as happened in the early 1800’s.
And if the early 1800’s are anything to go by, poor summers and cold winters may be something we need to get used to in the next few years.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/paulhudson/2012/08/summer-2012—2nd-wettest-on-r.shtml

Kev-in-Uk
September 2, 2012 1:44 am

PaulH says:
September 1, 2012 at 11:06 am
That’s a very valid point – and one I think has arisen as a result of ‘study of something’ being called ‘science’. I suppose it’s a bit like the craze for the ‘engineer’ term, as someone who works with something! So we had ‘Domestic Engineer’ for housewife, and sanitation engineer for a refuse collector or road sweeper, or drain cleaner, etc etc.
re: the actual article, the first few comments sum it up perfectly – it’s a load of twaddle. Moreover, it is a disgrace that they try and label us as post normal, when all we are asking is to see the ‘colour of their science’ and see if it is correct….I’d swear profusely, but it would be pointless to be snipped. But I’m sure the vast majority here feel insulted by this drivvel?

September 2, 2012 1:51 am

Hi Mosher
The ‘hockey stick Mann’ turns out to be a ‘denier’
[Response: As the person who coined the term “AMO” I figure it’s appropriate for me to comment. The AMO, as we have shown in numerous articles, has little influence on global (or even Northern Hemisphere) average temperature. It’s largely a zero sum game because it mostly associated with changes in the transport of heat between regions, and not the total heat budget of the planet. I talk about the history of the AMO (and my role in it) in my book The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars -mike]
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/08/climate-indices-to-watch/comment-page-1/#comment-247360
Post normal science syndrome?

Kev-in-Uk
September 2, 2012 1:56 am

Steven Mosher says:
September 2, 2012 at 1:04 am
no matter how you try and justify it – there is really no way to defend post normal science as sensible or a valid practice. Sure, for a small (local) problem requiring attention, a group think solution may be ideal, especially if required in short time frame. (think of Apollo 11 CO2 scrubbers, for example – quick fix and all that)
However, for what is essentially an UNKNOWN problem (as in unproven, or at best, conjectured), or even any SUSPECTED problem that may occur at some longish future time, at the very least you would expect to follow rigorous data collection, analysis and good science method. Put another way, we know the sun will die one day – but its probably not gonna be for a few billion years and we accept THAT science (when in fact, we cannot be 100% sure)! If the AGW scare projections were true, don’t you think the science would be as robust?

Mac the Knife
September 2, 2012 2:09 am

Max Hugoson says:
September 1, 2012 at 6:49 pm
As an ENGINEER who has been making things WORK all my life….. I’d suggest that everyone reading this better get down on the floor of their next A320 or 767 and kiss it…thanking Boeing, the French and Brits, that their ENGINEERS still engage in NORMAL engineering…design, test, prove, verify…codify, etc. And there is no nonsense of “post normal engineering”.
Max,
While there was no ‘post normal’ engineering on the modern aircraft platforrms like the Boeing 787, there was post normal management. They declared that a non-traditional distributed design and manufacturing base would be able to perform design and manufacturing of major subassemblies faster and more efficiently than the traditional Boeing direct design and carefully controlled oversight of supplier manufacturing. ” This is not a significant risk.” they abjurred. “It’s different this time!” they said.
Similarly, the selection of carbon fiber reinforced plastics for major structural applications was not deemed a significant manufacturing risk. “It’s different this time!” the new management stylists stated with assurance. “You old fuddy duddies need to start thinking outside the box!”.
The 787 aircraft was nearly 3 years late for its initial deliveries, as the “It’s different this time!” chickens came home to roost! Traditional engineering and manufacturing methods were employed to sort out the issues post normal management had minimized. Normal design and manufacturing methods take time but produce reliable and safe products for the consumers like all of us. Three years later, a credible and safe product was delivered to the customers.
Yes. Their engineers still engage in NORMAL engineering, assembly, and supplier control. And Yes, we should all give ’em a kiss for demanding real science, engineering, design, and manufacturing discipline be maintained, even in the face of post normal management.
Remember: When you hear anyone tell you “It’s different THIS time!”, post normal science is at work again and a debacle is brewing, if you don’t successfully face it down at its inception. New materials, manufacturing methods, and supply chain responsibilities represent risks. With normal care and discipline, these risks can be mitigated. But they cannot be ignored. This is true of basic science also. The traditional scientific method is still the only reliable ‘model’, in a post normal science world.
MtK

RockyRoad
September 2, 2012 2:12 am

I wonder if she’ll include this thread of comments in her study. Will that skew the results? Will we see chaos in her conclusion? Or after considering such scathing rebukes of PNS, will she drop the project altogether?
Time will tell.

September 2, 2012 2:12 am

This woperson is strongly advised to do some thorough discourse analysis of the highly ranked climategate emails, as a case study, with a sharp focus on obsessions, free and open to the public. That’s the only way she can show her worth.

September 2, 2012 2:12 am

Warmers war is getting warmer
Muller & Curry
We find that the strongest cross-correlation of the decadal fluctuations in
(global) land surface temperature is not with ENSO but with the AMO.

http://berkeleyearth.org/pdf/berkeley-earth-decadal-variations.pdf
Mann
The AMO, as we have shown in numerous articles, has little influence on global (or even Northern Hemisphere) average temperature. It’s largely a zero sum game….
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/08/climate-indices-to-watch/comment-page-1/#comment-247360
Are these people advising the US government on its climate policy?

Brendan H
September 2, 2012 2:23 am

Vigitantfish: ‘…when I read Ravetz I see his definition as prescriptive – saying that certain situations warrant a blurring of lines – rather than analytical.’
I was basing my comments on another article linked above: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2007/mar/14/scienceofclimatechange.climatechange
The sense I get from that article is that disputes about climate science are often proxy disputes about other things, eg: ‘…do we have confidence in technology; do we believe in collective action over private enterprise; do we believe we carry obligations to people invisible to us in geography and time?’
These are the sorts of issues that are regularly aired on WUWT. So I’m not sure why the message is so badly received.

Brendan H
September 2, 2012 2:25 am

Richard Courtney: ‘Hence, politics will use information generated by science, but any “relationship” between the two can only be a relationship of politicians as masters and scientists as slaves.’
In a democratic society I don’t see why the relationship between politics and science need be that of master and slave.
We’re also possibly talking at cross-purposes. When I say politics and ideology, I’m talking about the spectrum of worldviews and interests, not just a particular sector or power relationship.
If politics is the arena where the various interests of society meet to debate and decide how to deal with the issues of the day, then it’s inevitable that some matters of science will be brought into those debates.
Currently, climate sceptics want to get a seat around the table of climate science. This seems to be pretty much in line with the conclusion to an article linked above:
‘All of us alive today have a stake in the future, and so we should all play a role in generating sufficient, inclusive and imposing knowledge about the future. Climate change is too important to be left to scientists – least of all the normal ones.’
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2007/mar/14/scienceofclimatechange.climatechange

tallbloke
September 2, 2012 2:45 am

richardscourtney says:
September 1, 2012 at 11:38 pm
tallbloke:
Your post addressed to me at September 1, 2012 at 5:34 pm can only be either disingenuous or severely mistaken.

That’s a logical fallacy. I could be right too. It’s a third possibility.
You claim we should accept and participate in PNS
No I don’t.
because you say
Good honest scientists are in the majority, but it seems they are too well controlled by the chain of command extending up through departmental heads to funding bodies controlled by mandarins. I think we have to take up the challenge and form the vanguard in the fight to save objective science.
Corruption is not defeated by adopting the corrupt practices. That only institutionalises the corruption.

I’m not advocating the adoption of corrupt practices, and I think you are being disingenuous by suggesting I am.

KnR
September 2, 2012 2:47 am

In short their claiming there is nothing wrong with the message the problem is in the people hearing it so if we shut it louder they will get it this time . In other words they learnt nothing at all , they are still imply unable to accept that its the message itself that has a problem . Its a faith based outlook which assumes that has you can’t be wrong therefore the fault most be with others .

tallbloke
September 2, 2012 3:21 am

vukcevic says:
September 2, 2012 at 2:12 am
Warmers war is getting warmer
Muller & Curry
We find that the strongest cross-correlation of the decadal fluctuations in
(global) land surface temperature is not with ENSO but with the AMO.
http://berkeleyearth.org/pdf/berkeley-earth-decadal-variations.pdf
Mann
The AMO, as we have shown in numerous articles, has little influence on global (or even Northern Hemisphere) average temperature. It’s largely a zero sum game….
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/08/climate-indices-to-watch/comment-page-1/#comment-247360
Are these people advising the US government on its climate policy?

The only important correlation it that between decadally rising outgoing longwave radiation, flat or slightly falling temperature, and the negative feedback from increasing cloud cover. Once that is understood and coupled wit the knowledge that cloud cover fell globally for 25 years from the start of the satellite age to 1998, the whole ‘climate driven by trace gases’ paradigm falls away.

September 2, 2012 3:55 am

Steven Mosher [September 1, 2012 at 4:27 pm]

First you try on your fence-sitting luke-warmer neutrality hat again (to see if it still fits?) and describe our alleged impasse with a laundry list of the extreme positions of the two sides …

“…some argue that immediate action is required. Because values are in conflict others will argue that action is NOT required. Some will say we have to act because we dont know what a warmer world will be like. Others argue we cant act until we know.”
“But some people think we know enough to act. Other think we need to know more.”
“It’s simplistic for one side to say, well wait until we are convinced. Its simplistic for the other side to count heads and say, the consensus is convinced. Since everybody knows how to play the game of “prove it” we are stuck. One side likes being stuck. The other side doesnt.”

Ironically this was immediately after you yourself first stated:

“We are in a post normal situation. facts are uncertain, values are in conflict, stakes are high”

Your premise wants to set up some kind of IF…Then pseudo-code but all four of those things are not given facts at all, they are opinion also. So you fail to elevate yourself out of the two sides completely by doing what you describe as being “simplistic”. But then you do the exact same thing again, but worse:

“It’s not a marxist plot.”

What Steve, no two sides to this point of view? We should take your word as gospel? I have no doubt that in your mind you have a twisted definition of “marxist plot” providing the rationale you needed to say it, but facts are facts, and there are many facts you have scoffed at.
First of almost no-one uses ‘Marxist’ in the pure 19th century definition, most say or mean Socialist, specifically in the context of the 20th century welfare state (and personally I believe you used ‘Marxist Plot’ as a technique to belittle some of us in the same politically correct way McCarthyism is tossed around to silence others, but I digress).
Secondly, there is plenty of evidence all around that the leftist Democratic-Socialist parties of the western world are engaged in so-called ‘plots’ (your cynical word) to do what they always do. They are redistributing wealth from one person to another, and like it or not they know a good thing when they see it. The AGW hoax and the lukewarmers that aid and comfort their fantasy is the ‘good thing’ that they see. To them, the AGW hoaxsters and you lukewarmers are very useful idiots.
Any possibility of regulating CO2 (which feeds plant life and is exhaled from life-sustaining power-plants and from our very bodies) is the ultimate fantasy of Socialist big-government control freaks, perhaps only H20 could be worse. This is not difficult to understand. A smart guy would have no problem connecting the dots. Just look at what the Democratic-Socialists and their pet agencies like the EPA have accomplished *without* CO2 regulation. Who could possibly consider granting them further power unless they thought they would be able to skim something out of it for themselves.
Beyond the dream of CO2 regulation with its resultant further redistribution of wealth are the secondary effects which attract more than the usual crowd of philosophical Socialists, it reels in the hypocritical cronie Socialists. A fine example is Carbon Credit exchanges where the Socialist criminals use the AGW hoaxsters and their lukewarmer dupes to drum up fears of catastrophe to the masses in order to get the government to pass crazy legislation so they themselves may then sell pieces of paper to assuage the needlessly guilty consciences of the gullible. Being that many of the same people are in place all along the path from the AGW lobby to the government to the CCX, it should be a giant beacon that this is a huge pump-and-dump that dwarfs Enron. It is just Chicago politics on a worldwide scale, who could possibly rationalize this unless they were part of this crime syndicate?
Watching these AGW hoaxsters also infiltrate the elementary schools, child television, and popular culture in order to brainwash them into frightened little knee-jerking skirt-wearing cry-babies (only a slight modification from Communist child re-education) should scare anyone with any historical knowledge.
It is not a traditional kremlin based “marxist plot” because ironically, the ‘Soviets’ have moved beyond this leaving only our spoiled children brainwashed in universities to carry the torch. Writing such concerns off with the flippant “It’s not a marxist plot” says more about you than anyone else.

September 2, 2012 4:00 am

Steven Mosher [September 1, 2012 at 8:24 pm] says:
“But it looks like I win my proposition bet..
Open water north of 85!”

Yes, but is it 15% or 14% sea-ice concentration? Or should I say 85% or 86% open water? (for those that don’t follow, open water threshold is usually defined as 15% ice and 85% water. So open water might have 14% visible sea-ice concentration and considering the fact that 90% of ice is below the water, that ‘open water’ is very full of ice. Ask them to sail through such open water.)
Anyway, this thing with sea-ice is stunning to hear from any self-described scientist. You really remind me of the teams trying to detect microscopic bias in a roulette wheel (i.e., CO2) thinking it is not overwhelmed by huge, uncontrollable, chaotic variables like sea current and wind (i.e., the croupier that drops the ball).
But right on schedule, the Arctic is between its summer solstice and equinox and the warmies once again come out of hibernation and point to the bi-annual solid-liquid-solid-liquid phase change of H20, and each year they either yell a little louder or softer depending upon the result of the chaotic conditions: the annual sea-ice minimum extent.
What happens when sea-ice-extent is higher next year? What is the significance? Let me guess, aerosols and volcanoes? What kind of a person starts hand-waving when the data seems to endorse their agenda and quiets down when it doesn’t. What do you call that again?

September 2, 2012 4:02 am

Steven Mosher [September 2, 2012 at 1:04 am] says:
“10 years from now when its warmer, so people will still deny it. same way they deny that there is less ice this year than last year. Science as a method cannot deal with people who refuse to accept the facts.”

It will definitely be warmer … somewhere. Especially if you compare different locations (which they will) or time of day (which they will) or date (which they will) or using different satellites or equipment (which they will) and filters and algorithms (which they will).
Where are the net volume numbers anyway? I ask only because you clearly said “there is less ice this year than last year”. Did you mean minimum ‘extent’ instead? ‘Less’ implies ‘volume’ observation which must take into account compaction and thickness. As you are no doubt aware, extent is a mutually exclusive observation.
Steve, serious question: are you in the slightest bit concerned that the alarmist pseudo-scientists are causing mistaken information to be assimilated into the minds of the masses that are far less intelligent than people like you think you are? Are you worried for example that these average people think things like the Arctic is continually melting and that sea-ice is connected to sea-level? This is nothing short of a dis-service to humanity and Science itself. Do you even care at all?

Billy Liar
September 2, 2012 4:04 am

Steven Mosher says:
September 1, 2012 at 8:24 pm
OT,
But it looks like I win my proposition bet..
Open water north of 85!

OT, snow in the Alps yesterday down to 2,000m.
http://livecam.courchevel.com/
The ice is on the move! Maybe when it isn’t on the surface of the Arctic it ends up on the temperate zone glaciers.

David Bowen
September 2, 2012 4:08 am

In his 1972 book `The Art of the Soluble`, the Nobel laureate Sir Peter Medawar wrote:
`Just as compulsory primary education created a market for cheap dailies and weeklies, so the spread of secondary and latterly tertiary education has created a large population of people, often with well developed literary and scholarly (and scientific) tastes, who have not been sufficiently educated in these fields for them to undertake analytical thought`.
My addition in parenthesis.
Does this not lie at the root of much current misunderstanding of the climate system both past and present?

mem
September 2, 2012 4:45 am

Pretentious and convoluted prose is usually the hallmark of a muddled mind.If the synopsis is any indication of the quality of the presentation it sounds like something to be avoided like the plague.

September 2, 2012 4:53 am

This may matter to our climate but not to post-normal (or is it abnormal) climate scientists:
SIDC SSN is a bit down in August to 63.1 from July’s 66.5 http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SSN.htm

katabasis1
September 2, 2012 5:20 am

You folks are going to LOVE this one:
http://psychologyforasafeclimate.org/

mfo
September 2, 2012 5:23 am

Her paper, which may well follow the seminar, has been written for her by people of well above average intelligence commenting on WUWT. I naturally exclude myself from that description.
Science is science and the ‘method’ has evolved over many years to be the best way to try and ensure scientific research is effective and honest. There is no pre-normal, normal or post-normal science. These are metaphysical descriptions which have no meaning in the real world outside the minds of those who believe science is philosophical idealism, a subjective view of the universe residing in consciousness.
The method may well continue to improve, particularly as climate science research has shown that the method can be abused and results distorted by greed, dishonesty and the craving of scientists and activists to be inside and pals with the ‘consensus’. The followers of the consensus view know that if they do not promote this view they will be outsiders, lose funding and be subjected to abuse such as the label ‘denier’.
Science requires continuous and open questioning and challenging not evasion and trickery. Mann declined an interview with a TV crew where his hockey stick was going to be challenged. Gleick was invited to speak and debate at Heartland and instead chose to steal private documents by impersonation and disseminate these and a fake document for publication on the web, including irrelevent personal information.
In the not too distant future climate science may be dragged kicking and screaming into court where the flaws in the method will be discovered by a jury. This could open the door to criminal prosecution as happened to two eminent men in the UK who as a direct result of suing newspapers, found themselves in prison.

Eugene S Conlin
September 2, 2012 5:28 am

Franziska “it is concluded that the climate change discourse has been stifled by the obsession of discussing the science basis and that in order to advance the discourse, there needs to be a change in how science as an ideology is communicated and enacted.”
continues: When the sceptic asked what she meant
“When I use a word,” Franziska said, in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said the sceptic, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Franziska “which is to be master – that’s all.”
With apologies to the Rev. Charles Dodgson who was obviously way ahead of his time.

September 2, 2012 5:29 am

Brendan H:
At September 2, 2012 at 2:25 am you say to me

In a democratic society I don’t see why the relationship between politics and science need be that of master and slave.

It is because politicians have power (i.e. money) and can use it on scientists but scientists have no power to operate on politicians.
I am surprised that you are unaware of this.
Richard

September 2, 2012 5:46 am

tallbloke:
Thankyou for your clarification that you provide in your post which replies to me at September 2, 2012 at 2:45 am .
I had said your original post could “only be disingenuous or severely mistaken”. Your reply makes clear that you were being disingenuous. However, you say you “could be right”. Well, only in the sense that somebody who claims the Moon is made of cheese “could be right”.
You now say you do not claim “we should accept and participate in PNS.” OK, if that is so then I am at a loss to understand your words which I quoted; i.e.

Ravetz presciently pointed out, long before climategate, that the extended peer review community was entitled to bring leaked documents to the table and be heard.
Well, here we are, damning emails in hand. So, do you now want to sit back and let politicans decide how to tax us into the ground, or do you want to fight for your right to not be abused?
Good honest scientists are in the majority, but it seems they are too well controlled by the chain of command extending up through departmental heads to funding bodies controlled by mandarins. I think we have to take up the challenge and form the vanguard in the fight to save objective science.

And you now say to me

I’m not advocating the adoption of corrupt practices, and I think you are being disingenuous by suggesting I am.

PNS is a corrupt practice and you are certainly being disingenuous by suggesting it is not.
Richard

RockyRoad
September 2, 2012 6:00 am

The most important question scientists can answer about earth’s climate is when will the next Ice Age commence. I’m not at all convinced that the slight up-tick in CO2 contributed by man’s activities will thwart that inevitable and catastrophic tipping point. And I’m not at all convinced post-normal climatologists or climastrologists (your choice of terms) will provide sufficient or accurate forewarning!

Rhys Jaggar
September 2, 2012 6:01 am

David Bowen
Fine comment and one I will back up with my own educational experience.
As a confirmed thicko, I got into Cambridge to do science aged 17 yrs 0 months. I had a year abroad before going up and then studied Natural Sciences (which is the general name for the whole science undergraduate degree spectrum, allowing students to choose specialism as they go along), specialising in Biochemistry in Year 3. I was an intellectual pygmy as I only got a good II/i.
In that time, the undergraduate lecture programme force-fed an incredible smorgasboard of facts with absolutely no time for scientific thought. We must have read 500 papers in the final year alone, not to mention all of Stryer, Alberts et al, Fersht etc etc etc. The only thing which might have resembled real science outside of the final year project was an essay summary of the literature of a particular field (I chose Steroid Hormone Receptors). There was no discussion of that embryonic criticism, presumably as that would need to focus on experimental details, experimental systems etc, which our hothousing was miraculously free of.
All of us were more than capable of identifying possible factors influencing experimental outcomes, but after 11 years of lectures, we were encyclopaedias thin on practical experience. We knew what Maniatis had done, written etc but we didn’t know why. No text book existed which said: ‘these are the reasons the protocols are as they are’. As a result, there was no short-cut to avoidiing the mistakes of previous generations.
It took me another 11 years to really understand deeply where scientists really knew what they were talking about and where they were winging it. That’s when I knew that titles of papers were like newspaper headlines, aimed to grab attention rather than summarise the true results. Paragraph summaries were the same. Discussion of results ended with saying: ‘we built a car which can go 10mph, all we need to do to get to the moon is increase the power generated’. Those sentences were written as part of the ‘we need more money for more research’ industry.
Thing is, if you are doing real science research (what I was working on was real science, namely gene therapy), it may be many years before you can actually say something which changes people’s lives. You are dependent on the politics of science (translational medical research vs basic science) not going the other way at the crucial point. If it did, you were ‘acceptable collateral damage’, your career sacrificed to expediency. It’s a normal part of real life……
There are too many people out there right now who say: ‘this senior scientist said so, so it must be true’. Scientists say things for reasons, like everyone else.
It’s just a shame that the public still put them on a pedestal instead of treating them like other groups: potential criminals, potential saints, potential pygmies just trying to pay for their children’s upkeep.

September 2, 2012 6:02 am

Maus says:
September 1, 2012 at 11:36 pm
Well, then there’s nothing further to be gained in helping your understand a foreign language.
Oh yes, you can tell us what meaning you would attach to ‘science as ideology’ if not ‘science is an ideology’. The way I see it is that if science were not an ideology, then it would make no sense the discuss science as if it were an ideology. Perhaps you disagree.
Does reality change if we are unaware of the rationalizations people have about that reality?
That was not the issue. The point was that from the inner consistency [and, yes,’beauty’] of the theory an aspect of reality was predicted to exist before it was found. Somewhat more speculatively: at least in some interpretations of Quantum Mechanics, reality depends on how [even ‘if’] something is observed.

tallbloke
September 2, 2012 6:03 am

richardscourtney says:
September 2, 2012 at 5:46 am
tallbloke:
I’m not advocating the adoption of corrupt practices, and I think you are being disingenuous by suggesting I am.
PNS is a corrupt practice and you are certainly being disingenuous by suggesting it is not.

I regard PNS as a realistic description of how scientific output has been manipulated by realpolitik, rather than as a practise to be followed. I find it hard to fathom what, if anything, you think should be done to defend science from political interference. Maybe your position is to avoid confronting the issue and stay ‘unsullied’ as a journal editor. Fair enough, I can see that works for you. I don’t see that it puts you in a strong position to pass judgement on the efforts of others though.
As a climate blogger and historian/philosopher of science with a practical engineering bent, I don’t mind getting down to the nitty gritty of fighting the forces which pervert science with the tools at my disposal, with the integrity I believe I have, and with the best qualities I can muster.
Good day.

CodeTech
September 2, 2012 6:10 am

Just throwing this in the mix:
I’m not a scientist, I don’t have post-secondary education in any of the Sciences, not Physics, or Chemistry or Biology. However, I am well versed in what we call Computer Science (no, that doesn’t mean I write clever scripts for websites), and mechanics and engineering. I spent several years working at a nuclear facility and as part of my employment was required to pass certification in nuclear theory and safety.
One thing I know for a fact: if I write code that is expected to do “x”, that code will do “x” no matter how many times I run it. The function is verifiable, and I can comfortably predict the outcome of my work. The same goes for the engineering in, for example, my car. I can easily predict the suspension travel and steering geometry at various loads and steering angles, and barring worn or damaged components things will remain predictable and verifiable.
When I first heard about the whole AGW thing, I was concerned. I worried. I wondered what I could do to help, which policies to support, and what was wrong with these weirdo “deniers” that were occasionally popping up. I began a quest for accurate information about the severity of the AGW problem, and as many readers here know, I found none because none exists.
Perhaps before Franziska Hollender gets too worked up about the rabble questioning the ideology of her brand of science, she could provide the simple, empirical, verifiable demonstration that the CAGW hypothesis is valid. Really, it’s the only thing keeping me from swallowing the entire thing, hook, line and sinker. Possibly she’d be too embarrassed by discovering that there is no such thing, and she’s been duped all along. All of the horrible outcomes and predictions that we are supposed to be stressing about are, simply, NOT happening.
Funny how that works. People who are incapable of independent thought are the most fervent believers in the AGW thing, while those who demonstrate critical thinking and independent thought have seen no reason to believe what we’re being told. It wouldn’t take much, really. Some kind of experiment or demonstration that shows with reasonable certainty that we’re causing problematic warming. Or, let’s go one step back. Demonstrate that the historical record even SHOWS any warming. Or, another step back. Demonstrate where our climate is in any way exceeding values that we all know are within normals, or exceeds normal in any significant way.
You do that, and I’ll fall in line. But here’s the thing: as long as climate “science” is polluted with faulty data and ideologically driven results and personalities, no real proof will ever be forthcoming. Because the only people YOU have to convince are… well… YOU. And anyone who questions your beliefs are, you know, weird and wrong and creepy.

Eric Barnes
September 2, 2012 6:25 am

C’mon Mosher. Out with it. Or can we just continue with the only reasonable conclusion of you being an AGW propagandist/apologist who refuses to have an adult conversation about the motivations behind post normal science/AGW.

Laurie Bowen being Pollyanna
September 2, 2012 6:30 am

Of course, I do not think this is an invite. It’s a trap and a ploy to bring some much needed tourism money into the community. If enough show up that is income to hotels, restaurants, and the like. And if I was truly a contrarien, I would postulate that “they” want to get an eyeball on “you” for further investigation; just to see if “you” have any additional useful information worth gleaning which would be protected by the some proprietary information arrangement.
. . . So that “they” may predict the long term weather trends more accurately, so that they may continuing blaming “hue-mans” behaving badley for the natural variations the have been striking “us” down for eaons. Doesn’t matter whether it is “mother nature” or “father time” . . . we are doomed, I tell you, doomed!
/sarc

G. Karst
September 2, 2012 6:41 am

I always thought that “normal” science was the scientific method, as it has been known for centuries. I thought it was experimentation, gathering empirical data to provide evidence which supports or detracts a hypothesis. “Post Normal” science was referring to non empirical research which rely purely on thought experiments, statistical manipulation, and consensus acceptance of hypothesis, without corresponding empirical data… ie models all the way down.
Have I defined this term incorrectly?? GK

tallbloke
September 2, 2012 6:46 am

Mike D in AB says:
September 1, 2012 at 9:15 pm
Sun Spot / Tallbloke – you missed my point…. Calling a way of looking at things (post normal) science does not mean that it follows the scientific method, and it does the image of science within popular society a lot of damage when we let folks who are peddling their worldview and calling it “science” and get away with it.

Hi Mike. Ravetz isn’t claiming PNS is a science in and of itself. You have the emphasis wrong. it’s not (post normal) science, rather it’s post (normal science), in the Kuhnian sense. i.e. what comes after the normal science is done. i.e. what society does with scientific output when it moves from the lab into the world of conflicting interests.
PNS then is a description of how the science/policy interface operates in the real world, and who gets access to the process. We should thank Ravetz for stating that the science/policy interface should not be the preserve of a narrow clique of those people who review, fund, and support each others positions, but that it should be subject to a wider review, critique and pool of input to decision making. Including the blogospheric ‘peer community’ and it’s cache of contrary opinion, theory, and ‘leaked documents’.
The very fact we are having this discussion wouldn’t have been conceivable in the bad old days of autocratic policy formation being handed down from on high.
PNS has democratized decision making involving the input of science. Bravo Ravetz.
It’s messy, full of argument, and hard to resolve, but at least it’s happening, and we are making progress.

Al in Kansas
September 2, 2012 6:53 am

In end, I would view this all as just another in a long line of groups of persons with a particular “ideology” or view of the world throughout history attempting to implement Plato’s Republic with themselves as the elite that has all of the real power and knowledge. examples: communist, Nazis, catholic church, Scientology, any religious cult you would care to name, etc. A direct opposite to the principles the founding fathers based the constitution on. ie. all have an equal say (1 person, 1 vote) with strong individual rights and limits on what any government is allowed to do.

September 2, 2012 6:54 am

G. Karst says:
September 2, 2012 at 6:41 am
I thought it was experimentation, gathering empirical data to provide evidence which supports or detracts a hypothesis. “Post Normal” science was referring to non empirical research which rely purely on thought experiments…
It is a bit more complex than that. One of science’s greatest achievements is General Relativity. GR was based on pure thought experiments and was not the result of empirical data. Einstein was, of course, happy to find that GR predicted things that were eventually confirmed, but those did not form the basis for developing the theory. Same thing with Dirac’s theory [predicting antimatter].

Laurie Bowen being Pollyanna
September 2, 2012 7:06 am

Andrew Newberg says:
September 1, 2012 at 10:54 am
Any idea on the what 7 posts?
I second that question!

Laurie Bowen being Pollyanna
September 2, 2012 7:26 am

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/09/01/wuwt-is-the-focus-of-a-seminar-at-the-university-of-colorado/#comment-1069431
@ Both? Please edify me on how you would “experiment” with climate, especially when we can not accurately predict it short term much less long term?
WEATHER MODIFICATION: cloud seeding, atmospheric services …
http://www.weathermodification.com/
Weather Modification, Incorporated is the leader in atmospheric assessment and evaluation. Since 1961, we have been working in the sky, providing unmatched …
Clients & Projects – Cloud Seeding – Aircraft – About Us
Weather modification – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weather_modification
Weather modification is the act of intentionally manipulating or altering the weather. The most common form of weather modification is cloud seeding to increase …
History – Cloud seeding – Storm prevention – Hurricane modification
Given that we can not accurately predict weather, or climate change short term much less long term the above is like a crowd of youngsters messing with . . . . oh, I dun know, pick something!
Could be me just being silly, but; “I thought” that was why Einstein did thought experiments and we developed models to predict future events to begin with!