National Academies of Sciences goes into police mode over "misinformation"

From the “adhere to the consensus or else!” department.

Statement by NAS, NAE, and NAM Presidents on Effort to Counter Online Misinformation 

We are pleased to announce that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are exploring ways to mobilize our expertise to counter misinformation on the web related to science, engineering, and health.  Part of the mission of the National Academies has always been to help ensure that public discourse is informed by the best available evidence.  To that end, we are convening Academy members to discuss ways by which we could help verify the integrity and accuracy of content in these fields in a manner that is consistent with our standards for objective, trustworthy, evidence-based information; this exploratory phase will be supported by a grant from Google.  We are excited to pursue an effort that aligns with our fundamental principles and that we believe is critically important at a time when misinformation is a threat to sound decision-making and an informed citizenry.

Marcia McNutt

President, National Academy of Sciences

C. D. (Dan) Mote, Jr.

President, National Academy of Engineering

Victor J. Dzau

President, National Academy of Medicine

Source: NAS website


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126 thoughts on “National Academies of Sciences goes into police mode over "misinformation"

    • Marcia McNut, eh? What a fine last name. It explains quite a lot.
      Should we remind Ms McNut that having and voicing a different opinion or view is not a criminal offense, and is protected by our laws? (Not including threats of violence in that. Those are different matters.)
      It seems odd that she’s so sanctimonious about all of this, implying that the NAS pronouncements should only be allowed to be published anywhere. How unfortunate that she is afraid of competition.
      And what if the pronouncements, forecasts, and predictions are, in the end, completely wrong? Then what?
      Ms. McNut must be a Capricorn.

      • Now be nice, Sara.
        Ms McNut means well and tries hard.
        And I especially do not want my Capricorn “sign” become a player in our civil discourse that is about to be erased by the Ministry of Truth.
        Gums sends…

      • Well, you see, Gums, my sister is a Capricorn and the epitome of the control freak that sometimes manifests itself in Capricornians. Ms. McNut seems to be slewing toward that side of it. No offense meant to other Capricorns.

      • Marcia McNutt’s knickers are in twist. She was supposed to be Hillary’s WH Science Advisor.
        Obama’s OSTP head Johnny Holdren had basically greased all the skids for her as a quid pro quo payback when she was Senior Editor at Science Magazine in 2015. Ms. McNutt made sure the Tom Karl 2015 Pause-buster paper got a pal review just prior to Paris COP21 along with a “Manntastic” paper earlier in that year. In return, Holdren helped get her to the NAS President as the next step to where she was supposed to springboard into the WH as Holdren’s replacement in Hillary Clinton Administration. Oppps.
        Now it’s all just crocodile tears and wooulda, coulda, shoulda’s for her Miss Nutty’s hitching her wagon to the Clinton criminal syndicate falling star.

      • Part of the mission of the National Academies has always been to help ensure that public discourse is informed by the best available evidence.

        ALWAYS ??? Really?
        Maybe someone should check back at the founding articles of these societies and check whether involvement in politics was part of the mission statement before zealots like Ms McNutter started to pervert the course of science by pre-emptive refusal of any papers that are not “politically correct” .

      • “Should we remind Ms McNut that having and voicing a different opinion or view is not a criminal offense”
        It is in the UK. Foreign journalists are now being arrested, incarcerated, deported and barred for life as a matter of routine for political ‘wrongthink’. The authorities cynically pervert the laws designed to protect people from terrorists to effect this while allowing actual terrorists to simply walk in the front door. The Metropolitan Police in London recently issued a diktat that you may now be arrested for some action which while not illegal in and of itself is nevertheless a crime if some other person even thinks there was some “hate” motive to your action. The YouTube comedian Count Dankula was just convicted of the “crime” of being offensive in a comedy video he posted and may be imprisoned. The thought police are literally here and in force. Only a matter of time now until some extreme left zealot has someone prosecuted for the “hate crime” of posting material antithetical to the holy “consensus”. The UK ‘government’ is now a totalitarian banana republic rogue junta and I would advise anyone to steer well clear of this country if they happen not to be extreme left wing politically correct fanatics and value their liberty.

      • “ensure that public discourse is informed by the best available evidence”
        That merely means that the NAS is obligated to do the best science possible.
        Only a complete totalitarian would interpret that mandate to imply they are authorized to suppress any science they disagree with.

      • Sara, March 21, 2018 at 4:16 pm:

        Ms. McNut must be a Capricorn.

        Perhaps it’s her Rising sign, Sara. According to her Wikipedia-page she was born on 19th February 1952, which places her Sun right on the Aquarius/Pisces cusp. No birth-time is given though, so there’s not enough information to determine her Sun sign precisely or her Rising sign at all.
        My eyes grew tired reading the long list of prestigious national and international organisations of which she is a high-ranking member. She’s evidently highly ambitious and a significant mover and shaker among the world’s climate elite.

      • “The Metropolitan Police in London recently issued a diktat that you may now be arrested for some action which while not illegal in and of itself is nevertheless a crime if some other person even thinks there was some “hate” motive to your action.”
        And yet WUWT still promotes its inept “real names get more respect” policy.

  1. “help verify the integrity and accuracy of content in these fields in a manner that is consistent with our standards for objective, trustworthy, evidence-based information”
    Wow – they’d better be careful there – if they actually do what they say they intend to, they’d be attacking the AGW BS story post haste, which might displease their masters.

      • Evidence-based information has a fatal Achilles’ Heel.
        It’s information that implicitly prioritises “Evidence” as a justification.
        Therefore it can always be defeated by other evidence.
        Unless their bias is correct, of course. If they were right then the “Evidence” alone would support them. But no-one expects that to be the case. They only dare look to “evidence-based information” not just “evidence”.
        If they were prioritising reality over their own prejudices then they would be Sceptics, by definition.

      • “… evidence-based information…”
        I think the trudeau gov said they are doing that, and look whee it is taking us.

      • “EBM” (Evidence Based Medicine) is actually mostly Molière’s medicine (*) but with lot of studies with complicated statistics on top.
        Statistics that modern doctors (**) are not able (nor willing) to understand; and even willing to understand inversely (read the opposite of the meaning of the mathematical statement):
        Many researchers, doctors, commentators, believe (***) that a medical study that does not find an effect at the threshold (****) of p<.05, actually demonstrates (or at least suggests) an absence of effect.
        With this type of “reasoning”, no criminal investigation would ever be successful.
        (*) Molière’s medicine: see “Le malade imaginaire”/”The Imaginary Invalid”, “Le Médecin malgré lui”/”The doctor/physician in spite of himself”
        (**) incl. those medical doctors/medical researchers that pretend to be good at these two jobs but suck at both
        (***) believe or pretend, for confort, for earnings…
        (****) arbitrary and capricious threshold; too conservative when little data can be collected, as often with rare diseases and the study of rare side effects of drugs; too loose when many biologic tests are made.

    • Yeah boy, only ‘information’ that they agree with.
      ‘Funded by Google’. That says plenty right there.
      Is this all a bad dream?

      • Not surprisingly, Google is wedded to the idea that despite millennia of human intellectual endeavour, there is a quick and easy way to write an algorithm that can distinguish truth from falsehood.
        And all while lots of content creators on Youtube are tearing their hair out at dumb decisions deleting or demonetizing their content when it is innocuous. And Google can’t honestly tell them why, partly because they don’t seem to care, but probably because they don’t understand why the algorithm made that decision either.
        That is something AI developers might want to look at a bit more before it matters. Humans often need to explain their reasons, and other humans won’t stop wanting explanations.

    • The evidence and content of climate science field is, by Ms McNutt’s reckoning, intended to be the IPCC AR’s and stuff like Mann’s Nature trick and associated Hockey stick statistical methods.
      Under the hood examination of the sort that McKitrick and McIntyre did on Mann’s Hokey Stick are not to be allowed in their post-normal Science. They intend only policy advice by consensus, a consensus that blocks out rationally framed, scientific dissent and while disregarding statistically significant amounts of uncertainty.

    • AGWisnotscience, We should all be worried. The establishment of the Ministry of Truth occurs in the latter stages of Totalitarian Movements.

  2. Start by investigating Marcia McNutt and her role in boiler plate academy stances on political science positions in climate science with debate-has-ended appearance. That was fundamentally and professionally wrong.

  3. Why hully gee! Guess who gets to define “misinformation”.? Are we now establishing the Ministry of Truth?

      • Just because today’s leaders don’t misuse the powers they are granting themselves, is not evidence that tomorrows leaders won’t.

    • That’s easy: “misinformation” is “off-message”; “information” is “on-message”.
      Google? Again? How many of their staff spend their days writing software filtering and sorting search results to make sure ‘misinformation’ is demoted and ‘information’ is always presented in the first 10 hits? It used to be 22 but that was early days.
      That Google is investing in trying to sell CAGW as ‘information’ is surely no surprise. FaceBook was ‘caught’ doing what, exactly? Selling information to buyers of information (*gasp*) used to manipulate social mores and outcomes.
      Ya think!?!
      Do people wonder why Gmail, Google and FaceBook are “free”? They sell analysed metadata 100 times a day to get their hands on your money or your vote. Put everything in the cloud. It really helps them understand you.
      If this info is so valuable, I want my share of the take.

      • Google? Again?

        Some of my friends in the open source community really, really, really hate Google. Even FOX thinks Google is the new evil empire.
        When a corporation becomes big enough, it just can’t resist flexing its muscles.

      • Fox News promotes all kind of Obama-style socialism “you didn’t built that” crap. Fox News will just allow anyone with any so called “argument” against bill Silicon Valley liberal businesses without contradiction. It’s sick.
        I’m pretty sure much of the same so called conservative crowd who now wants the government to do something wanted the government to drop the lawsuit against Microsoft for well documented acts for abuse of Windows monopoly power (yes it’s a natural monopoly: every OS brand is a monopoly; linux also has a monopoly on linux-style kernels, but then, it’s FOSS).
        I remember when people told us that Microsoft Windows was not a monopoly because there were other OSes. And now we can can Google Search a “monopoly” according to “conservatives”?
        Well, Microsoft once said that free software was communism, I’m pretty sure many “conservatives” (pro businesses, preferably big) also had that opinion.
        People want government regulation only when they feel the pain, it’s really sad…

      • s-t March 22, 2018 at 10:54 am
        … People want government regulation only when they feel the pain, …

        It all depends on whose ox is gored.

    • How much time it took to redefine “racist speech” as:
      “anything critical of immigration, or denouncing the criminality of immigrants (incl. second generation) that make up most criminal cases in tribunals in some areas”
      ?

  4. They could start here: “Easter Island is eroding as South Pacific sea levels rise”, by Nicholas Casey and Josh Haner of the New York Times. It took about two minutes for me to go online to the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (psmsl.org), which includes all the world’s tide gauge records, to find out about Easter Island. Early in the Easter Island tide gauge record (1974), average sea level was 7061 millimeters. In 2016, the last year of record, sea level had fallen to 7028 mm, or a negative 1.3 inches in 42 years. Easter Island’s tide gauge records sea levels for 32 years, twenty of which are higher than the 2016 sea level.
    Two other South Seas islands were mentioned in the article as being in jeopardy because of sea level rise, so I also checked tide gauge records for the Marshall Islands (Kwajalein) and Kiribati (Kanton Island). Sea level increased 1.2 inches at Kwajalein since 1947 (68 years) but fell 1.6 inches at Kiribati since 1976. Not much to fear, is there?
    It seems even a slightly competent reporter would have done as I have: check the facts. In this case the facts would have put this entire article to a merciful end, but it now has eternal life (won’t be retracted) as “fake news.” Isn’t that the name of news founded on error?

    • The article should not have been put to a merciful end. It should have morphed into a “Why are ‘Scientists’ lying to us” article. This is the problem with confirmation bias. The story they were told met their smell test because of their pre existing bias, so they never bothered to check the facts.

      • MajorMike, write a letter to the editor of the NYT. I am positive they will not only print your letter, but issue a front page retraction of the article.
        I also believe in the Easter Bunny.

      • Scientists lying to us. That is nothing new. But engineers? Makes me want to renounce my BSME degree…

    • Fact-checking is quite simple: Analyse the content of the piece. Is it off-message or on-message? If it is on-message, it is a fact and ergo, must be presented as such as a civic duty.

  5. At a time when most published science is itself questionably replicable — when most consensus positions are simply the prevailing bias of a field — when Science journalism is reduced to re-writing hyped-up university press releases — the National Academies is worried about nonsense on the internet?

    • Climate science is the science of data that aren’t and models that don’t.
      The consensed climate science community has recently acknowledged that the models “are running hot”; and, recommended a global version of the US CRN.
      Nuff said?

    • Kip,
      My thoughts exactly. If the NAS and their buddies would stop their misinformation on CAGW, they would be off to a tremendous start.

    • Time for President Trump to have new leaders for the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.

    • If you look at how huge info-gathering businesses behave, it’s an alarming development that they want even further control over information. The recent blatant arrogance of Facebook is only the freshest example. They care so much for their users that they will monetize private information by selling it so advertisers and political campaigns
      To compound the problem, users of these systems are so smitten by how cool they are by becoming Facebook users, that they readily forfeit there own privacy by allowing Facebook to do anything they damn well please with their private information. So to a large degree we are our own worst enemy. We want ease of use, so we put up with crappy online security and don’t want to be bothered by encryption or added layers of security. Then we’re outraged and surprised when Facebook “breaches their trust.”
      And I, stupidly, do most of these things. I store my passwords on my android phone and don’t bother to use a password to start my phone. I justify this laziness by keeping the critical information on my laptop where my security is better, and hope I’m not deceiving myself. I use the phone to make calls and do some surfing. I’m not a Facebook member so at least I didn’t grab my ankles to wander in that minefield.
      We give up too much by using platforms that are free and easy to use. And all we can do to protect ourselves is to decline to use them. As long as Google gets a gazillion hits a day with no accompanying demand for respect, then we deserve what we get. And we can hope that honest science will survive despite the efforts of information monopolists. At some point they will do something so totally outrageous that Congress and the Courts will take notice. Maybe Google’s agreement with the science establishment, who also want to be information monopolizers, will stir outrage among the power brokers.

  6. Oh and “this exploratory phase will be supported by a grant from Google” increases my desire to avoid using all things Google.

    • Since when did an “exploratory phase” not turn out a great success, that immediately went into full deployment. Think back to the “trial” of 50 KPH zones in Canberra. In fact, think forward to the imminent implementation of 40 KPH zones in Canberra.

  7. Marcia McNutt:
    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/349/6243/7.full
    The time for debate has ended. Action is urgently needed. The Paris-based International Energy Agency recently announced that current commitments to cut CO2 emissions from the world’s nations are insufficient to avoid warming the entire planet by an average of more than 2°C above the preindustrial level.
    This is not the time to wait for political champions to emerge. Just as California has decided to go it alone, every sector (transportation, manufacturing, agriculture, construction, etc.) and every person need to do whatever is possible to reduce carbon pollution by conserving energy, adopting alternative energy technologies, investing in research, and capturing CO2 at the source.
    In Dante’s Inferno, he describes the nine circles of Hell, each dedicated to different sorts of sinners, with the outermost being occupied by those who didn’t know any better, and the innermost reserved for the most treacherous offenders. I wonder where in the nine circles Dante would place all of us who are borrowing against this Earth in the name of economic growth, accumulating an environmental debt by burning fossil fuels, the consequences of which will be left for our children and grandchildren to bear? Let’s act now, to save the next generations from the consequences of the beyond-two-degree inferno.

      • Walter,
        Yeah, there are undoubtedly a few that are merely delusional. I’ve learned to be careful about using terms like “always” and “never” when talking about human behavior.

    • I thought this was THAT Marsha McNutt. I guess we do have to worry about who is defining what is misinformation.

    • It’s 45°F here right now.
      Add 2°C.
      That would make it 48.6 F here.
      What definition of ‘inferno’ are you using?

      • I think she’s getting that out of the same dictionary that defines “carbon” as “pollution”.

    • Ms. “Nutty” McNutt experienced a hot summer day and concluded the world is cooking. She ran to the house of the Acadamy of Sciences and exclaimed the world is cooking. She hurried to the Arctic to document how the cooking earth was melting the ice but was lost in a great expanse of sea ice and drowned when a lead in the ice closed, crushing her raft and pushing it and her beneath the ice to a cold end. The end.

      • Mods, is it time to ban this guy yet?
        I’m really tired of seeing this tired self-promotion over and over again.

    • To Sarcasticat, I have been agitating for someone to get a conservative alternative to Google-fakebook going where we can have freedom restored and question any damn thing we like. I would sign up today and am sure all the rest of you here on this site would as well. You would think it would be a no-brainer of a start-up, if you build it we will come.

  8. Is there some central propaganda channel these people all plug into. Now it’s “We must protect you from fake science”

  9. “…current commitments to cut CO2 emissions from the world’s nations are insufficient to avoid warming the entire planet by an average of more than 2°C above the preindustrial level.”
    No amount of cuts to CO2 emissions would be sufficient to do something we cannot do, like limit the global temps to a (falsely) predetermined set point.

    • Nobody has yet established that there is anything wrong, at all, with 2 degrees of warming. Add in a boost to the CO2 level to fertilise plants and the world should be much better.

      • The original claim was that 2C would make the world warmer than it was during the Medieval Warm Period.
        Thus, more than 2C would take the world into uncharted territory and they couldn’t predict how the world would respond.
        Somehow, that innocuous (though wrong) statement has morphed, via the power of scare stories, into a claim that if we don’t keep the world from warming by more than 2C, really bad things are going to happen.
        (The statement is wrong because the world has been more than 2C warmer many times in the last 10K to 20K years, without anything bad happening. The MWP was merely the most recent warm period, it wasn’t the warmest warm period.)

  10. I eagerly await their actual evidence that man’s CO2 is causing serious global warming.
    In the meantime, they might explain what problem they are trying to solve in view of actual facts:
    It has been warmer before
    It has been cooler before
    There were more storms previously
    There were less storms previously
    The rate of change of temperature has been faster in the past.
    Same for droughts & floods
    This leaves NOTHING to explain with man’s CO2
    You will find evidence at DebunkingClimate.com

    • Re Jim
      **I eagerly await their actual evidence that man’s CO2 is causing serious global warming.**
      They will never provide any because it does not exist. They declare by authority.

  11. I thought the Global Warming Policy Forum was doing that; but without the assistance of Google.
    Mealy words. Let’s see how the pudding turns out.

  12. Might I be so bold to suggest that they first rein in their own community and concurrently resume the traditional role of science, which is to lay out the evidence they have in a complete, consistent, relevant, and coherent manner; and then step back and let people make up their own minds. Shouting loudly, calling people who disagree deniers, and unamerican isn’t a good nor professional approach to convincing anybody of anything.

  13. …we are convening Academy members to discuss ways by which we could help verify the integrity and accuracy of content in these fields in a manner that is consistent with our standards for objective, trustworthy, evidence-based information;
    Let me help:
    Step 1. Watch Feynman’s lecture on the scientific method.
    Step 2. Now watch it again as many times as necessary to understand what he’s saying.
    Step 3. Call in some critics to keep you honest.
    Yeah, it’s tough, but you can do it.

    • Actually, they are unable to seek the truth. They’ve programmed themselves to believe only Leftist propaganda. There are jackboots under those lab coats.

  14. It saddens me as a member to just receive this. –“What is Sigma Xi’s role in this environment?”—
    “When gun violence has become a mainstay in the daily news, the federal government has restricted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from investigating ways to reduce gun deaths. While carbon dioxide levels along with temperatures continue to rise, the words “climate change” are being erased from federal websites and agency reports. As opioid addiction devastates large swaths of the population, research funding for next generation pain relievers is threatened by partisan gridlock and budget fights. For these reasons, Sigma Xi will once again partner with the March for Science. ”
    However, in government town where use of word climate change now ‘censored.’
    Preview CANCELLED tomorrow, March 21, 2018 due to inclement weather.
    However, this may be the common case of the ‘leadership’ being out of step with us peasants.
    “For these reasons, Sigma Xi will once again partner with the March for Science. —–
    An amazing feature of this event is that most participants in the march will not be scientists.”
    https://actionnetwork.org/event_campaigns/marches-for-science-2018 They are getting pushback from at least a few members.
    Also, I had written this when receiving the last issue of American Scientist.
    As a long time member I have been concerned and commented here that Sigma Xi could go the way of Scientific American which I first noticed in the 1980s. Their publication (www.americanscientist.org) has maintained a competent scientific array of articles despite the organization starting to emphasize communication sounding like advocacy and joining with AAAS in their endeavors.
    The last issue (March-April) had a number of good articles, two of which are relevant here. One by a continuing contributing engineer Henry Petroski examines the difference between engineers and scientists using the “Lens” of the TV series Big Bang Theory. Petroski’s articles and books seem mostly excellent and his discussion here seems reasonable. He posits “So, do graduate programs shape their participants into arrogant scientists or retreating engineers?” He had important ‘food for thought.’
    The second by David. B. Allison, Gregory Pavela, and Ivan Oransky, the first two from health disciplines and the last from journalism with a website Retraction Watch. There is too much to cover here, despite the article, “Reasonable versus Unreasonable Doubt,” being only four pages. To their credit they acknowledge the basic structure of science as evidence based and discuss the problems about accusations of denial or the opposite extreme, of which I think they meant settled science. They even acknowledged logical errors using the 97% fallacy and use Feynman’s Nobel Prize colloquium talk with a picture.
    Their coverage of science controversy could be better (only 6 citations) and rely too much on Oreskes and Conway’s “Merchants of Doubt” with a reasonable quote from them that skepticism drives science. I have not read the book, but they use examples from there that do not seem comparable in all these about their history or etiology based on my small amount of professional and personal exposure. These are the age of the earth, Darwinian selection, smoking increasing the risk of cancer and our planet “…getting warmer, at least in part because of human action.” GMOs and immunization were covered elsewhere.
    Also maybe to Sigma Xi’s credit they gave their first climate science grant of $764 to a student studying viruses in corals. Marine pathogens have been too much ignored. We will see, and others are encouraged to read the articles. My guess is that they are contorted and need to be more forthright, but they claim they want input..
    https://www.americanscientist.org/article/reasonable-versus-unreasonable-doubt

    • The first sentence would lead me to believe the organization was no longer run by rational adults; did they turn the group over to high school students, the new experts on gun violence and the 2nd Amendment?

      “When gun violence has become a mainstay in the daily news, the federal government has restricted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from investigating ways to reduce gun deaths.

      The government doesn’t have enough agencies to investigate gun violence, just starting with the Justice Department and the bureau of Alcohol and Fire Arms? I am old enough to remember the adage that if EVERYONE is responsible, then NO ONE is.
      (I think the word “restricted” is significant. I might be more sympathetic if I really thought CDCP would work only on mental illness relative to mass murder, but the Progressives are the folks want to focus on the weapon, not the person. I will gladly apologize if I am wrong.)

      • “… from investigating ways to reduce gun deaths. ” If I was grading a student paper that had this, my question would be that I presume you already know the cause. The logic has nothing to do with guns (could be obesity, etc.) and not a good grade. As a student I did such stupid stuff. Sigma Xi, et al. (management), think they can save the world. See “arrogant scientists” in my post above.

      • Nice try troll.
        Alcohol and tobacco cause diseases, and those are studied.
        Guns don’t cause diseases.

    • The vaccines vs. autism controversy was closed by accepting studies showing “no link”, one of which is signed by a crook. It’s everything but settled.
      And they say we are ideational. Seriously. The guy cannot set foot in the US without being arrested. His name is on a study. The study has not been verified.

  15. Perhaps they shall hire Peter Whats his name, Glieck? to advise them on ethics.
    This announcement reads like google translate reversed their meanings…
    With an established track record of argument from authority and massive support for policy based evidence manufacturing, this bunch of bench warmers are hilarious.
    I wonder where they will start with the “Truthiness”? With the meaning of “Is”?
    We must hold them to this.
    Let them first define their terms.
    My bet is they will talk all around the subject and offer nothing new or useful.
    I suspect not one of this trio could describe the scientific method.

  16. If it’s choice between choosing to believe Breitbart or Fox News vs academically respected scinetists, I will choose scientists every time. All the major news organizations are power and profit driven, while mosr scientists worry about their a academic standing and reputation…honestly. In the meantime, the Earth groans while we debate.

    • Can I have what ever Drugs your taking i have quit believing the so Called Pro’s when they started falsifying the Data from NASA and NOAA

    • Henry, what have Richard Lindzen, Judith Curry, Roy Spencer, John Christie, Roger Pielke(s) – Jr and Senior, Willie Moon, Sallie Bolinus (just to name a few) have to do with FOX News or Breitbart?!
      (We could mention the late Richard Feynman and Michael Crichton to rub it in.)
      To be polite, your argument is a classic strawman, comparing disparate entities.
      Please do better if you are trying to make a point with this audience.
      Earth groaned (and survived) well before “man” was on the planet.

    • If it’s choice between choosing to believe….CNN, NBC, MSNBC, ABC, NYTimes, NPR, PBS, BBC, CDC, CBS, Washington Post, Economist, Google, USA Today, New Yorker, Slate, Time, News Week, The Atlantic, ……………
      …my list is longer

    • Henry Lewis: You are way off base. You may think that “academically respected scientists” are members of your tribe, and that they have special qualities of knowledge, discernment, and wisdom that others lack, And therefore you should believe their pronunciamientos. And you are foolish to believe such things.
      i am here to tell you that “academically respected scientists” are just the same as you and I. They are subject to self delusion, bias, greed, and arrogance as the rest of us. They deceive themselves and the public regularly as is shown by the number of studies on the lack of reproducibility published over the last few years.
      Nullius In Verba, baby. That is the only good advice there is.

    • I can say with certainty that no one here just blindly “believes Fox News”. Fox News is part of the MSM, slave of Big Pharma, promoting prevention drugs, measuring physiological “constants”, medical normalisation, the (almost always useless) flu vaccine, and even pushed the “Russian hacking” nonsense for a long time. (Tucker Carlson brings some sanity and a little healthy skepticism.)

      • S-t, you can “say with certainly that no one here just ‘blindly believes Fox News…'”, but I can say with equal certainly that this is laughable. A lot of people here are like people I know personally. They buy into every bald-faced conspiracy theory promoted by Sean Hannity and the rest of the Trump hucksters.
        Do you really think that “Russian hacking” is nonsense”? Are U.S. Intelligence officials, like the New York Times, simply lying to us? Trump thinks so. We need to try harder to be skeptical about what we hear and read, and to transcend ideology, if we are to be serious about seeking the truth.
        Let’s look at the NYT for a minute. At one time they were entitled to credibility because of the depth of their reporting staff, along with other indicia of thoroughness. But their behavior on the climate change issue tells me that they can be as agenda-driven as any other media outfit, and has caused me to question their credibility in other areas. So, I’ve dropped the NYT and am trying the WSJ, who are also agenda-driven but try a bit harder to be fair.
        I’ll probably be disappointed, but hey, live and learn.

      • The trolls around here sure are convinced of their own virtue.
        It really is amazing how trolls assume that anyone who doesn’t believe as I tell them to is either stupid, evil, or both.

      • “Are U.S. Intelligence officials, like the New York Times, simply lying to us?”
        What about de-funding the NSA, CIA, and the computer forensic department of the FBI?
        Apparently, “CrowdStrike” has all the computer analysis skills plus all the geopolitical analysis skills. And they add a nice artistic touch. Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the terrible aesthetics of the NSA PowerPoint graphics, causing a national artistic crisis.

    • I find it fascinating how trolls actually believe that all scientists only care about science.
      There isn’t a single one who cares about money.
      Then again, the fool also believes that the earth is groaning, so he’s used to hearing imaginary things.

      • I just got a cookie on a site that was an AAAS ad soliciting money. A good authority told me when legal profession started this it was a sign of corruption.

  17. From https://www.jerrypournelle.com/reports/jerryp/iron.html
    Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people”:
    “First, there will be those who are devoted to the goals of the organization. Examples are dedicated classroom teachers in an educational bureaucracy, many of the engineers and launch technicians and scientists at NASA, even some agricultural scientists and advisors in the former Soviet Union collective farming administration.”
    “Secondly, there will be those dedicated to the organization itself. Examples are many of the administrators in the education system, many professors of education, many teachers union officials, much of the NASA headquarters staff, etc.”
    “The Iron Law states that in every case the second group will gain and keep control of the organization. It will write the rules, and control promotions within the organization.”
    RIP Jerry.

  18. > We are pleased to announce that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are exploring ways to mobilize our expertise to counter misinformation on the web related to science, engineering, and health.
    “Engineering” misinformation has a short half-life anywhere. Moreso on the internet. You are never going to be able to get rid of “WTC Building 7” conspiracies because they aren’t engineering. IMHO you don’t want to try from a position of authority as is suggested here. Engineering advances but not by overturning past knowledge unlike medicine and of course climate studies.

    • “Engineering” misinformation = Prison… at least, that’s the equation in the private sector.

    • I recall when I was still employed that whenever I got a missive from the “Powers that Be” that started with the phrase “We are pleased to announce”, I needed to plan on a smaller take-home pay.

  19. “we are convening Academy members to discuss ways by which we could help verify the integrity and accuracy of content in these fields in a manner that is consistent with our standards for objective, trustworthy, evidence-based information”
    I´m not impressed by the “standards” of National Academy of Sciences. In my view, it is a verbose mess:
    Fostering Integrity in Research
    Mine is much better:
    Principles of science and ethical guidelines for scientific conduct (v9.0)

  20. “From the “adhere to the consensus or else!” department.”
    What is the “or else”? It seems to me they are saying, if we think you’re wrong, we’ll explain why. Doesn’t seem like “police mode”.

    • And if they’re wrong, we remove them from their jobs and deny them a long retirement of pension payments and free health care, okay? Nah, they’ve been wrong on climate science for almost 3 decades, so let’s just skip to that part right now. And the next government bureaucrat pretending to be a scientist, or an academic taking government funding whines about critics in the pay of big oil without the equivalent of a cancelled check in hand, they get the boot, too.

    • Nick, they are in that mode indeed.
      I watched the entire program of the NAS and they are circling the wagons for self-protection.
      It’s a racket now, and they must enforce their territory like any other gang, and they are gearing up for it.
      They know what’s coming, and they don’t want to admit it – they are afraid.
      So the guy who chaired the meeting, Titley, is on record in several Extreme Weather reports published by the NAS, as declaring anything but human caused warming is ‘counter-factual’. The bias is built-in.
      Titley discussed forming a ‘rapid’ attribution response team to ‘inform’ and ‘counter’ any alternative explanations for extreme events.
      What we have here is the intention to get in the face of Americans everywhere to keep pushing the AGW agenda under the cover of the ‘authority’ of the academies, A L L the T I M E!
      People here should understand, whether you’re a lukewarmer or 100% solar, they’re after us, and they’re going to the public. It has all the smell and feel of a Barack Obama community organized democrat party operation intended to win votes in the next election.
      They’re going to get aggressive folks. They consider the skeptics a minor constituency at about 10%, and call us skeptics ‘dismissives’. Of course they are projecting. They are the dismissives. So they are going to pull out every trick in the book.
      I listened to the NAS keynote speaker Richard Alley, and I was astonished at the virtually communist attitude from him, and many of the others who spoke. The main thing they really care about is no loss of status or income. They are forming an enforcement apparatus to keep themselves in the good money and high esteem.
      The amazing thing to me is the absolute disregard for where the American people really are, which is either most don’t think its a big problem, or it’s no problem. Skeptics elected Trump, and they hate it.
      Just like any other NY gang, the warmist thugs feel they have to go out now and make sure the neighborhood is “being protected” by them, so everyone has to pay their tribute to the gang, because well, after all, according to the gang, GHGs wag the ocean and everything else, which according to them is everyone’s fault, so everyone has to pay. It’s very simple. It’s a liberal protection racket. They think no one has anything but them, and they expect everyone to cave to their demands.
      If I were a paid member of the engineering branch of NAS, knowing what I know about the dominant role of solar influence, I’d be more than irritated my academy was being used by eco-commies, and I’d be working against that.
      After seeing all the whining from the self-declared liberals there, the realization came to me that these people need a sharp knock on the head from the American people. There must be thousands of skeptical members in the NAS branches, and the NAS does not speak for them.
      Existing skeptical members should be encouraged to pressure the NAS to drop it. The American people are sick and tired of this continual blame game and nonstop propaganda.
      This country needs to change, and skeptics are leading the way, and this must continue.

  21. The new International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), has added Traditional Chinese Medicine (a gross misnomer, since TCM is the handiwork of Mao in the 1940s-50s). So now a doctor can code for such things as:
    SG26: Bladder meridian pattern
    SG29: Triple energizer meridian pattern
    SF57: Liver qi stagnation pattern
    McNutty needs to have a SWAT team waddle over to the World Health Organization’s mothership, because it’s quacking like a … like a quack.

  22. Orwell’s Directorate of Truth is Born! Hail! Now ye in homage and humility.
    Next up, the Office of the Hily Science Inquisition. Heretics can buy your own stakes since no grant money exists for that.

  23. Will this really work? Science is a pretty contentious and vituperative enterprise. Maybe the academies should take Google’s money and laugh up their sleeves.

  24. “We are pleased to announce that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are exploring ways to mobilize our expertise to counter misinformation on the web related to science, engineering, and health.” Science turns evil. Believe us or be destroyed—yep, I see Galilieo all over again.

  25. Oh, guys, would you stop panicking? Google is an American company. They don’t even try to block pron, which I find personally disgusting. I doubt that Ms Mcnut has a clue re: what she’s implying, i.e., trying to block the opinions of other people from the internet.
    If Ms. McNut thinks that she and others of her ilk can block free speech such as a different result over which she has no control, or even a differing opinion, they are sadly mistaken. A differing opinion is only a threat to someone who, like Ms. McNut, wants to be the ONLY ONE to have a say in something. And let’s do remember that the datasets that they publish contain altered data, not raw data.
    Censorship?: Well, Google, then shut off the pron that you allow to run online and we’ll talk. A major 1st amendment complaint will make them look like fools. At the same time, WUWT can have their own server as some people I know have already done.

  26. Talk about misinformation on the web. I suggest the NAS start by demanding the misinformation statement: “CO2 is a heat-trapping gas be removed from the internet.” CO2 gas both absorbs and radiates electromagnetic energy in sub-bands of the IR band. However to elevate the IR absorption behavior of CO2 gas to the level where it can be proclaimed that “CO2 gas traps heat” is (a) at a minimum misinformation, (b) at best misleading and (c) at worst nonsense. Heat cannot be trapped. In the absence of work being performed, there is no substance known to man that will prevent thermal energy from moving from a higher temperature object to a lower temperature object. If you think there is such a substance, please let the heating/refrigeration industry know what it is–they’ll greatly appreciate the information. The only way known to man to prevent the spontaneous transfer of thermal energy between two objects is to bring the two objects to the same temperature. If because CO2 gas absorbs electromagnetic radiation in sub-bands of the IR band, it’s valid to claim “CO2 is a heat trapping gas;” then because CO2 gas radiates electromagnetic radiation in sub-bands of the IR band, it’s equally valid to claim “CO2 is a heat-freeing gas.”
    Try convincing the general public that man’s generation of CO2 gas via fossil fuel burning and dispersal of that gas into the atmosphere is going to heat the earth by repeatedly and loudly proclaiming “CO2 is a heat-freeing gas! CO2 is a heat-freeing gas! CO2 is a heat-freeing gas!” Yeah, that’ll work.

  27. Scientists do not know, they only think they know. This is why the earth is not flat like it used to be.

  28. I didn’t want to bring adult entertainment on WUWT(*), but the Stormy(**) Daniel controversy is predicated on the idea that payments made for PR purpose in an election cycle are covered by election laws regarding financing of electoral propaganda(***).
    “Climate science” is a major electoral issue in the US.
    Isn’t money spent on science information, or even against science disinformation, also covered by election laws? If so, would the contributions to NAS be under the supervision of the FEC?
    (*) as so called “climate science”/”catastrophic global warming” is already a special kind of entertainment for adults
    (**) another effect of climate change?
    (***) laws that might well be unconstitutional, which is beside the point

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