Had a bit of insomnia tonight (from falling asleep early), and this popped up in my message stream on Facebook. I didn’t expect to post again so soon, but his deserved airing.
There’s a big asymmetry in the public conversation. Scientists live by a covenant to be truthful, to be skeptical in an honest way, stating the caveats and uncertainties, and yet we’re often in battle with climate change deniers who don’t play by those rules.
Noble cause corruption is corruption caused by the adherence to a teleological ethical system, suggesting that people will use unethical or illegal means to attain desirable goals, a result which appears to benefit the greater good. Where traditional corruption is defined by personal gain, noble cause corruptions forms when someone is convinced of their righteousness, and will do anything within their powers to achieve the desired result. An example of noble cause corruption is police misconduct “committed in the name of good ends” or neglect of due process through “a moral commitment to make the world a safer place to live.”
There is increasing concern that most current published research findings are false. The probability that a research claim is true may depend on study power and bias, the number of other studies on the same question, and, importantly, the ratio of true to no relationships among the relationships probed in each scientific field. In this framework, a research finding is less likely to be true when the studies conducted in a field are smaller; when effect sizes are smaller; when there is a greater number and lesser preselection of tested relationships; where there is greater flexibility in designs, definitions, outcomes, and analytical modes; when there is greater financial and other interest and prejudice; and when more teams are involved in a scientific field in chase of statistical significance. Simulations show that for most study designs and settings, it is more likely for a research claim to be false than true. Moreover, for many current scientific fields, claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias. In this essay, I discuss the implications of these problems for the conduct and interpretation of research.
See also “climategate”
From: Phil Jones. Nov 16, 1999
“I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature [the science journal] trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie, from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”
From Phil Jones To: Michael Mann (Pennsylvania State University). July 8, 2004“
I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”
From Phil Jones. To: Michael Mann. Date: May 29, 2008
“Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise.”
From: Michael Mann. To: Phil Jones and Gabi Hegerl (University of Edinburgh). Date: Aug 10, 2004
“Phil and I are likely to have to respond to more crap criticisms from the idiots in the near future.”
Yes there is a “covenant” among climate scientists for certain, it’s just not the same covenant Dr. Mann thinks it is.