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NERC and climate change

There has been a great deal of interest in the posting I did on the apparent bias in funding for climatologists - the suggestion being that only studies to confirm the hypothesis will get money and the sceptics will be left hanging in the wind.

This idea is not a new one, and several commenters have said that they have heard similar stories. However, it is a testable hypothesis and to that end I've put a FoI request into NERC, the main UK funding body for the environmental sciences. I've asked for details of the eligibility criteria for funding programmes covering climate change, hopefully back to 2000.

In the meantime, take a look at the NERC Council, the body responsible for prioritising funding. Several of these are familiar names, and one or two have been ubiquitous in the media in recent weeks. For example:

  • Bob Watson (of CRU fame)
  • Andrew Watson (of CRU and "What an Asshole" fame)
  • Julia Slingo (recently seen trying to drum up support for a pro-AGW letter signed by scientists)
  • Mike Lockwood (well known to sceptics as the author of a rather questionable critique of Svensmark)

Political scientists or honest brokers? You decide.


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Reader Comments (8)

Well done Bishop. It will be interesting to see the result. Please keep us posted.

Dec 10, 2009 at 9:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheSkyIsFalling

Blimey - talk about an impartial panel, not.

The level of influence this group has is staggering - if this were medical science rather than climate science, the media would be going beserk.

Dec 10, 2009 at 11:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterPlato

Yes it will be interesting to see the result as TheSkyIsFalling said but equally interesting is how long will it take to get an answer. Any ideas, 1 month, 6 months a year? We'll really see if they are willing to gamble this a bit by dragging the process out long enough for Climategate pressure to subside and hence interest in the FOIA. Please keep up the pressure.

Dec 10, 2009 at 11:59 AM | Unregistered Commentergerard bono

Plato: "...if this were medical science rather than climate science, the media would be going beserk."

I wouldn't bet on it. If and when AGW hits the dustbin if Bishop, Steve, Anthony etc. feel at a loose end there are several medical monoliths needing similar scrutiny.

Dec 10, 2009 at 2:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

I took a look at their website and could see nothing incriminating in the gerneral blurb - but I must admit I did not read everything :) to access the actual application papers you need to register and sign in......

Dec 10, 2009 at 2:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterHysteria

I just found an SBS documentary posted on you tube in 6 parts from 1990. If you haven't seen it already it is well worth watching. See Wigley squirming on exactly the issue of the influence of funding on climate scientists. That is in Video 5 but I really recommend the whole series. I have them up on my blog now or search on YouTube for "Greenhouse Conspiracy". It suprised me how the same issues still come up today. You can see in video 5 the foundations of climategate being laid back in 1990.

Dec 11, 2009 at 8:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheSkyIsFalling

Has there been any follow up posts regarding the subject of this post?

Feb 10, 2010 at 3:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterdibaR

No. I've had a response to my FoI but it's not really helped much. I'm at a bit of a dead end here.

Feb 10, 2010 at 3:12 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

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