‘Big players’ and the climate science boom

Judith Curry highlights an interesting study. Will it be taken on board?

Scientists are no less likely than anyone else to be swayed by a fear of crisis, and this is especially the case for those who see that they, with their relevant expertise, may be able to contribute to doing something about it. It is surprisingly easy for scientists to overstate the certainty of their results and to ignore or attempt to explain away conflicting data, but this is not unusual and it does no lasting damage provided that the basic procedures of science (review, publication, criticism, citation, and the feedbacks to reputation) are functioning normally. But when a particular set of conclusions is widely held not only to fit one’s preconceptions but also to have serious social implications, the harsh and critical judgments necessary for weeding out shaky science can be significantly toned down. The ideologically primed sense of impending global warming catastrophe, transformed into near-certainty by the influential publications of the IPCC, has endangered the integrity of the processes of science.

Climate Etc.

by Judith Curry

Big Players of any sort distort the normal systemic activity and render the emergent outcomes unstable and unreliable and create an ideal breeding ground for incentives that motivate ideologically biased people to circumvent normal constraints in the name of pursuing a “greater good”.

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