Yesterday, I was saddened to learn that Dr. Judith Curry had resigned her position at Georgia Tech. At the same time, I was impressed by her reasoning, and with her candor. I’m certain that she’ll still make some wonderful contributions in her new role. I thought this part of her post was very germane:
Once you detach from the academic mindset, publishing on the internet makes much more sense, and the peer review you can get on a technical blog is much more extensive. But peer review is not really the point; provoking people to think in new ways about something is really the point. In other words, science as process, rather than a collection of decreed ‘truths.’
I left this comment on her blog:
It is my wish that you find satisfaction, happiness, and effect as you travel down the new road. You’ve previously made a detour in 2010 to follow the “road less traveled” and along the way, you’ve made enemies, as well as many new friends. That took exceptional courage, and we are all better for it. Now, you can choose the road you like.
Best wishes, and kindest regards, with respect.
Her husband, Peter Webster, left this note:
A PERSONAL NOTE:
Judy and I have been together for many years and partners in many endeavors. I would like to make a number of personal observations relative to her post.
I have never met another person with higher integrity, honesty and forthrightness. When you ask Judy for an opinion, one expects her to be honest. There is no flim flam! I have been the recipient of advice in many joint areas of our lives and when I pick myself off the floor, bruised ego and all, one finds her advice has been sound.
She is an eloquent spokesperson for the integrity of science and stands apart from many academics that, for their own survival, have been forced along paths that allows a lack of questioning we would hope would exist in all areas of science. In my opinion she has challenged the “oligarchs of conformity” on either side of the climate discussion. But I think you may have noticed these characteristics within her blog.
Let me say a few things about her scientific career of which many of many of you may be less aware. Judy ranks extremely highly in many areas of science ranging from radiation theory, cloud physics, thermodynamics and arctic climate. Besides modeling and theoretical work she has organized field experiences in hazardous parts of the world. Of late, she has major contributions in extended prediction that have been discussed on the blog. She has published nearly 200 papers in the standard peer reviewed literature and two major scientific text books as well. Given her extremely high citations and scientific influence, one has to wonder (but not very far) why she has not received the accolades she clearly deserves. She has been nominated for awards and prizes many times. But, simply put, there are no prizes or awards for those not in lock-step with the conformity of the field. However, Judy’s awards and distinctions have come from her efforts from other towards the sanctity of science. I think Judy would agree to that.
Her service to academia has been stellar. She took over a struggling department at Georgia Tech and now, 15 years later after 24 hires it ranks in the top echelon of earth and atmospheric schools globally. I would dearly love to say that the present high-level administrators of Tech appreciate her efforts but they are more concerned with being in “lock-step” with consensus positions as well. God forbid that a prominent GT faculty member may question consensus science! Judy, thus, is correct in her assessment of the state of higher education beyond Georgia Tech.
Finally, Judy in retirement! I think it is the correct move for her at this stage of her career. Note that I said “at this stage” as I have no doubt that she will continue to be a strong voice promoting scientific integrity. I am equally sure she will excel in business as well.
Judy, thanks for our exciting ride and to all those things you have given me and our field in general. Ethics have risen and dogma has suffered through your efforts! Academia is merely a stepping stone!
(submitted without permission or review!)
CFACT writes via email. (link here)
Dr. Judith Curry, a respected climate scientist, has announced her resignation from her tenured position at Georgia Tech.
She’s had enough of the politics and propaganda that beset climate science.
Dr. Curry explained,
“the deeper reasons have to do with my growing disenchantment with universities, the academic field of climate science and scientists… I no longer know what to say to students and postdocs regarding how to navigate the CRAZINESS in the field of climate science. Research and other professional activities are professionally rewarded only if they are channeled in certain directions approved by a politicized academic establishment — funding, ease of getting your papers published, getting hired in prestigious positions, appointments to prestigious committees and boards, professional recognition, etc.”
“How young scientists are to navigate all this is beyond me, and it often becomes a battle of scientific integrity versus career suicide.”
More on her blog here
Dr. Curry appears in CFACT’s documentary film Climate Hustle which touches upon her journey from member of the climate establishment to principled dissenter, after being shocked by what was revealed in the “Climategate” emails.
Restoring integrity to climate science and making it once again a welcoming field for researchers like Dr. Curry won’t be easy.
Renowned atmospheric scientist Richard Lindzen of MIT has called for severe measures.
“They should probably cut the funding by 80 to 90 percent until the field cleans up,” he said. “Climate science has been set back two generations, and they have destroyed its intellectual foundations.”
As 2017 begins change is in the air.