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Jones in Times top 100 scientists

Apparently Phil Jones appears in the Times top 100 people in British science (not online).

In July, Phil Jones was reinstated as Director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia after every report into the “Climategate” e-mail scandal exonerated him from any wrongdoing.

The saga of the hacked e-mails took a considerable toll on the climatologist, who has spoken of his thoughts of suicide during the outcry. Jones is renowned in the science community for his work on hemispheric and global surface temperatures. He has spent his entire career at the CRU and, as one of the most cited researchers in geosciences, he will be welcomed back to the fold.


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Reader Comments (33)

"Apparently Phil Jones appears in the Times top 100 people in British science (not online)."

But Phil is online. We've seen his emails!

Oct 7, 2010 at 1:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

Is this a sad comment about The Times, British science, or both?
Note the levels of untruths in the puff piece on Jones.

Oct 7, 2010 at 2:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

The list is published in the Times magazine "Eureka" and called the 100 Science list. David Attenborough is no. 7 and it is commented that "his comments about climate change carry even greater weight when his past scepticism is ... taken into account" No David Bellamy - I wonder why! Beddington is no.16, Houghton is no. 42 and Jones no. 43.
But the other that leapt out at me was Fiona Fox [degree in Journalism according to Wiki] at no. 63. I think that probably says it all!
As readers of this blog will be aware you cannot see the list online unless you pay.

Oct 7, 2010 at 2:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Hewitt

'Jones is renowned in the science community for his work on hemispheric and global surface temperatures.' Is that renowned or notorious?

'Colleagues say that the reason Professor Phil Jones has refused Freedom of Information requests is that he may have actually lost the relevant papers.
Professor Jones told the BBC yesterday there was truth in the observations of colleagues that he lacked organisational skills, that his office was swamped with piles of paper and that his record keeping is ‘not as good as it should be.' (Jonathan Petre, Daily Mail 14th February 2010)

Oct 7, 2010 at 3:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

I've said it before and I'll no doubt say it again. IMHO Jones is not a scientist. At best you could describe him as a data clerk; and a very poor one at that. Science and CRU: chalk and cheese.

Oct 7, 2010 at 3:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

What - you're not on that list of five 'baddies', Your Grace?

I'm very disappointed!


Oct 7, 2010 at 3:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterViv Evans

Journalists have been cheerleaders for their causes since before the American Revolution, at least. What a bunch of drivel that journalists are somehow impartial. And of course scientists are completely impartial and grounded only in facts, yeah right. We all think that we are the ones who are right, that we are smart and unprejudiced. But when that translates into believing that anyone who disagrees with us is wrong, immoral or prejudiced then you have real stupidity, you can never learn anything outside of your little bubble of beliefs.

Oct 7, 2010 at 3:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterRedbone

Isn't webster the guy, that George M picked over ME at the climatagate debate..

His question Nailed Trevor Davis, with did the enquiries chair really NOT meet Phil Jones after the panel had formed.. that was pretty good stuff.

Oct 7, 2010 at 4:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Welcomed by whom?

Oct 7, 2010 at 4:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveS

Re Trevor Davies question: it was Jonathan Leake, not Ben Webster.

Oct 7, 2010 at 4:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve McIntyre

Only someone trying to defend the indefensible would include Jones, Beddington or Houghton, given the wealth of talented scientists the Times had to choose from. Without Climategate these people might never have featured on the Times' radar, so it is clearly a political exercise, and I think Fraser is bang on the money, given the friendship between Matthew Freud and the Goldsmith family, and Richard "splatter" Curtis as well. Don't you just love these billionaires telling the rest of us to cut back?

Webster's last paragraph in his piece about sceptics is worthy of Joe Romm or the great ManBearPig himself:
"Prominent Sceptics tend to be over 60, so few will be alive in 20 years' time to see the consequences of their efforts to resist global action on climate change. Perhaps Sarah Palin, 46, will be left alone (with her hunting rifles) to confront the displaced millions." Ageist, spiteful, devoid of science or logic.
Come on, Ben, post here and explain how you think an 80mm (3 inches in old money) global sea level rise and a 0.3ºC rise in global temperatures (less in the tropics) plus increased crop yields (all consensus science) will lead to displaced millions.

Oct 7, 2010 at 5:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

I would look at Webster's Copenhagen work as the exception that proves the rule.
Webster is just another AGW promoter who happened to be honest once upon a time.

Oct 7, 2010 at 5:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Jones thought about suicide Dr David Kelly (against the establishment) predicted being found in the woods and "suicide".Lucky old Jones was only castigated for bad science by flatearth sceptics then made a few honest admissions about recent temperature and was castigated by his own side and came back to the fold. Don't you love politics in science?

Oct 7, 2010 at 5:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Whale

Ben Webster should be around long enough to realize what a complete pillock he is.

How long until Bob Ward starts trumpeting this list.

Oct 7, 2010 at 6:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris S

Do you think he will give me a job tidying his desk if I sent my CV?

Oct 7, 2010 at 6:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Wright

Umm, WTF? Sarah Palin is in the top five bad people? The heck? Since when has she even attempted to put herself forth as an expert in this arena. I think somebody just wants to glom onto her because she's a conservative demon-of-the-moment. I can understand the hatred of the other four - they have put quite a kink in the whole "CAGW is really real!" movement. But Sarah? Not so much.

Oct 7, 2010 at 7:21 PM | Unregistered Commenterladynitewolf

Its like the lists have been inverted...all the good guys are on the bad list and the bad guys are on the good list!

Isnt it interesting though that the guys on the bad list are the ones who are probably doing the most at ensuring the science behind Mann Made Global Warming (tm) is honest while those who are on the good list are involved in all sorts of games to keep the data underpinning their science locked behind closed doors.


Oct 7, 2010 at 9:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Good for Jones, but let's not forget that Steve McIntyre is one of New Statesman's "50 People Who Matter 2010."

He's in pretty fast company: on the list are Murdoch, Obama, Pope benedict, etc.

Oct 7, 2010 at 10:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterPolitical Junkie

I don't want to sound too scientifically snobbish, but environmental science degrees from Lancaster and Newcastle followed by a Postdoc position in maintaining a temperature archive at Norwich (where you lose some of the data) doesn't sound like your typical route to the top 100... There is a reason why Oxford/Cambridge/Imperial still have the reputations they do...

Oct 7, 2010 at 11:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob B

"rather than the expensive journalists they employ"

Definitely has to be the Times journos is my thought.

The Australian is true blue Murdoch and is pretty sceptical. So much so the green left in Oz seems to regard the Australian as mad Murdoch's mouthpiece, Mr Murdoch being generally viewed as a right wing capitalistic enviro-hater.

Oct 7, 2010 at 11:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

See, Mr Bishop bloody 'ill. See!

Oct 8, 2010 at 2:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterProf Jones's Mum

There was a time when you had to wear a sandwich board to promulgate doom and gloom and society politely smiled as you went on your way. Now you are pillaried if you are not wearing a sandwich board with that same message.
It's a funny old world.

Oct 8, 2010 at 9:49 AM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

Webster asserts that cliamte Sceptics are over 60 and won't be around much longer.

Bad news, Bennie. I've a looong way to go until I reach that landmark.

And having personally met quite a few of the enlightened who post here, I think he may be about 15 years out.

But who cares...we'll all have fried or drownded or sthg by then. Or shivering to death as heating is banned through the winter.

Oct 8, 2010 at 9:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

So Leake is the hero from the Times...

Ben Webster had written a number of ' quite sceptical articles recently inthe Times (ie at least mentioining some issues) so I thought it was him.

There does sem to ne a medi push at the moment, is it just lots of press release fodder, force fed to the journo's pre Cancun?

I wonder what the Times editorial policy is ref AGW, we all know the Guardians...

Oct 8, 2010 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Well, I am in my thirties, female and a lawyer so guess there is a whole new breed of sceptics out there that he doesn’t know about ;o)

Oct 8, 2010 at 10:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterH

I'm a youngster - Ok a 60's child..

But as it was late december 69 - I'm only 40.....

Oct 8, 2010 at 10:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Sarah Paln put out a brief, but quite a good accurate response following Climategate... need to dig it up..

Because of who she is, and what she MIGHT become... straight on that list.

Oct 8, 2010 at 10:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Webster might have a general point though. It does seem that the True Believers are young and inexperienced, while the Sceptics are older and more experienced.

Why might this be?

Could it be that a lengthier career leads the youthful idealist into more insight of the Ways of the World?

That they have learnt where to find the cracks in a particular piece of hand-waving argument?

That, like all generations before them, they are no longer seduced by the idea of Fighting for the Rightful Cause...but see it for the sham that it is?

That they were around when the Eclipse happened in 1999 and the world didn't end...and at the Millennium? So maybe they don't believe in Doomsday Cults any more?

Other suggestions please

Oct 8, 2010 at 10:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder


I think the recent media push is to try and distract attention from Sunday's epoch making date.

Yes folks - it'll be 10/10/10!! Your chance to go and find somebody who doesn't believe in all the Gospel of Global Warming and/or doesn't live by the code of the Holy Prophets. And then to kill them!! Wooh - that'll be a fun thing for a Sunday...bring all the family, especially the (remaining) kiddies.

There's just still time to order your indispensable guide to rooting out such apostates. Freshly translated from the Latin, and with new update pictures of torture and execution methods, we bring you 'Intro to Working for the Inquisition 101'. An ideal gift for the momentous day.

For our Islamic friends, a set of suitably interpreted extracts from the Koran is also available in cartoon format, courtesy of our Danish associates.

And just for kicks, Richard and Franny will be hosting the own chat show on Sunday night...the theme will be 'How to Balls It Up Like Ratner..only Bigtime!

Don't forget - it'll be 10:10 ..the day you might not live to remember - you Sceptical Scum and Deniers. We know where you live!

Oct 8, 2010 at 10:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Latimer Adler, interesting question. Reminds me of Guizot "Not to be a republican at 20 is proof of want of heart; to be one at 30 is proof of want of head" :o)
Having just re-read “The Myth of Sisyphus” and “The Rebel” by Camus (totally wasted on the 17 year old me) I reckon that it might also be the human longing for clarity ;o)

Oct 8, 2010 at 11:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterH

On the premise that necessity is the mother of strange bedfellows, perhaps they will be lending there exalted assistance to their fellow grant protectors next week?

Oct 8, 2010 at 1:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterChuckles

I think it's to do with the Pay Wall. The whole dynamic of the paper has been skewed by the need to get people to cough up for the digital version. The "old" focus on generally presenting news and events is being replaced and the paper is now trying to differentiate with magazine-style front page opinion pieces. It's the same idea that saved the Independent - a smaller comitted readership who are willing to pay but at the expense of alienating the "casual" readership.

Oct 8, 2010 at 2:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterjono

‘David Attenborough is no. 7’

As good as communicator and media person as he is , the reality is he has had zero training in science and has never worked in scientific filed in any capacity.
But this list give him number 7 on the ‘top 100 scientists ‘, oddly that does make sense when you consider the AGW faithful are far more concerned with selling the message than actual science. But you would have thought Ben would have seen this contradiction.

Oct 8, 2010 at 6:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

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