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On Nature's data policy

Eli Rabett has challenged my post about Phil Jones claim that publication of his data was prevented by confidentiality agreements. I said that Nature requires authors to make their data available on request.

Eli's says that Nature only instituted this policy in 1997, and that previously the policy was only that:

Nature requests authors to deposit sequence and x-ray crystallography data in the databases that exist for this purpose.

If so then I stand corrected. I'm not sure that it changes anything very much though, because, as we know, CRU have been unable to produce any agreements that would prevent publication, we know that release would have been required under both FOI and EIR, and we know that they distributed data quite happily to scientists who they saw as onside.

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Reader Comments (173)

Hasn't Jones published anything there since 1997, then?

I love the way that warmists, when unable to make a substantive point, start unpicking the small print that they would never have observed anyway!

Nov 19, 2010 at 9:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Philip Campbell, Nature, "The scientists have not hidden the data. If you look at the emails there is one or two bits of language that are jargon used between professionals that suggest something to outsiders that is wrong, In fact the only problem there has been has been some problem with the official restrictions on their ability to disseminate their data. Otherwise they have behaved as researchers should."

Phil Jones, "Just sent loads of station data to Scott. Make sure he documents everything better this time ! And don't leave stuff lying around on ftp sites - you never know who is trawling them. The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I'll delete the file rather than send to anyone."

Nature, William M(uddled) Connolley and Eli Rabett are just tricking themselves again.

Nov 19, 2010 at 9:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Slightly O/T but has anyone else looked at the govenment spending data for the Department for Energy and Climate Change?
Since May 12th and end of Septmeber these are the companies where the dpet has spent more than 1 million:

Row Labels Sum of Amount In Sterling
EAGA PLC £130,816,687.00
THE CARBON TRUST £80,892,960.00
MET OFFICE £8,846,527.00
CPL FUELS £6,557,589.00
AEA TECHNOLOGY plc £3,173,532.00
NABARRO £3,016,914.00
HTSPE LTD £2,088,822.00
NUVIA LTD £1,830,419.00
E.ON UK PLC £1,767,572.00
DEFRA £1,136,275.00

Nov 19, 2010 at 9:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterGareth C


Is that a coded description for our administration..?

Nov 19, 2010 at 10:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

There was a short piece in the Times (London) on Tuesday, 16th Nov., alongside the longer interview with Prof Jones. It is behind a paywall but this is a summary.

It reports that the CRU and the Met Office wrote to 160 national met. services a year ago. Professor Phil Jones, head of research at CRU, said that only 65 countries had agreed to allow the data to be published. 5 refused, 80 failed to respond*. Hardly any response from South America, Africa and Southern Asia. "It is unfortunate because [we wanted] everything open and above board."

* [I make this 150 but that's climate science for you.]

Nov 19, 2010 at 10:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Bates

As discussed recently at ClimateAudit—Phil Jones and the China Network: Part 3—I submitted a formal “materials complaint” (for weather-station histories) to Nature in 2007. Nature’s response, quoted at ClimateAudit, was that

… given the 17 years that have elapsed since publication, and that these histories were (in 1990) apparently only available as hard copies from an institute that has long since moved location, the authors' inability to supply you with the requested materials, while regrettable, is excusable.

Thus Nature did not invoke the mechanism that Rabett postulates. Rabett is American, and perhaps thinks that the rest of the world operates like America: false—in Britain, laws can be enacted retroactively, unlike in America.

In any case, the real issue here is that journals should require authors to submit data and code at the time of submission. This is a tricky issue for journals, however, because any journal that does this on its own risks losing good papers to other journals.

Nov 19, 2010 at 10:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterDouglas J. Keenan

I don't think apologies are required for Eli.

You should only apologise to honourable opponents, not ones who use truth only as an occasional weapon - instead relying on innuendo and falsities to achieve their aim.

Nov 19, 2010 at 10:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterJerry

Today’s installment of the Cancun Week special is now available at

It is the third translation of selected portions of the Chinese book “Low Carbon Plot” and deals with the true national self-interest behind climate politics and finance.


Nov 19, 2010 at 10:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterPointman

You may like it or not. If you buy data to the Spanish Meteorological Institute (a.k.a. AEMET), you must sign and agree with this (in case you are an officially recognized research institution):

The user compromises himself to:
1.To guard and to use the information received from the AEMET exclusively in the project object of this request.
2.The information given by the AEMET, in no case, will be delivered nor supply to any third party.

Please, read this document:

I don't say I agree with this policy. I just say this is the real policy just now. And if I were writing a paper using those data, I wouldn't make the data available to anybody. I would just address the people requesting data to AEMET's administration so that the requesters buy the data themshelves. The data is owned by AEMET. If I buy the data for a study, I own the right to use the data for that study, and I do NOT own the right to redistribute the data.

Similar policies apply in other countries, too.

I understand you perhaps don't agree with this. You should complain to national meteorological weather services, not their users.

Nov 19, 2010 at 11:43 AM | Unregistered Commenterspanish climatologist

RE: spanish climatologist

Your point is valid but, while the outcome is frustrating in that the data is not more open, it still doesn't excuse Phil Jones. As I understand it, Phil Jones used an agreement like the one you described to hide behind. He didn't respond to data requests by saying "I can give you all of this data, but the following station locations I used are from the Spanish Metereological Insitute to whom you will have to direct your request".

Instead Phil Jones:

(a) Refused to give any data at all except to pro-warming friendly colleagues to whom he gave as much as they wanted whilst apparently ignoring the confidentiality/restrictive agreements
(b) Refused to say which data he could give and which he couldn't give ie which countries/met services' terms prevented him from releasing data
(c) Refused to give any information regarding station locations or data series used so others could request the data for themselves.

With regard to (b), as a consequence an FOI was started to ask for the countries to which restrictive agreements applied. The FOI requests had to ask for only 5 countries at a time because otherwise they were again refused. This behaviour can only be regarded as stonewalling.

The location of stations is also important and it should be possible to give a station list so a third party can go and request the data (and if necessary pay for it). Because of stonewalling this was also refused and then became the basis of another FOI request. I think I am correct in saying this was also refused or only partly fulfilled after a lot of effort by those making the request.

In other words no-one (and, based on the ClimateGate code directories and HARRY_READ_ME, I suspect possibly not even Phil Jones) knows what data is used in his analyses nor can any one reproduce it independently.

Nov 19, 2010 at 12:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

Without a link one concludes that Nature only required crystallographers to deposit data in the databases that existed for that purpose. Presumably everyone else from any other scientific discipline didn't have to bother. The crystallographers must have been a bit pissed off about that.

Nov 19, 2010 at 12:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterGrantB

The user compromises himself to:
1.To guard and to use the information received from the AEMET exclusively in the project object of this request.
2.The information given by the AEMET, in no case, will be delivered nor supply to any third party.

If this is correct and I don't doubt it then Jones selectively broke this agreement as he passed on data to selected people but used it not to pass it on to the great unwashed.

Jones can't have it both ways.

Nov 19, 2010 at 1:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohnH

Indulge me please. To whom, outside of his CRU team, did Jones pass on data with 3rd party restrictions, and where can I see the evidence?


Nov 19, 2010 at 2:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed


Read MAC (second pasting above) and do a google search for yourself.

Nov 19, 2010 at 2:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohnM


Mac's second posting in no way answers the questions I've just asked, and googling it just comes up with lots of evidence-free paranoid conspiracy rubbish. That's why I asked.

Andrew Montford has suggested the same thing, so I'm guessing there's some actual evidence of this around somewhere. It's not unreasonable to want to know specifics of what it is and where it can be seen.

Nov 19, 2010 at 2:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

My Dear Bishop,

I see our friend Dead Beat is back again asking it's usual penetrating questions. Previously it has been referred to as a Troll but I would like to disagree with this. Trolls by their very nature do not come out in the day. Refer "The Hobbitt" where Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf et al (A manuscript which has been peer reviewed by millions of individuals as you will know). In the Hobbit, chapter called "Roast Mutton" it is Gandalf who causes the 3 trolls, Bert, Tom and William to turn to stone.

Anyway, could I suggest that we refer to this creature in future as an ORC or some even less flattering name to be suggested.

Now Bishop, after the above comment could I refer you to an extract from the poem "The Jackdaw of Rheims" which follows below.

This poem relates the story of a Jackdaw which stole a ring from the Cardinal of Rheims. When the theft was discovered, the Cardinal cursed the thief. It is a most excellent curse as you will no doubt remember from your childhood. Eventually, the jackdaw returns the ring, if forgiven by the Cardinal etc etc.

Now I know that you are not a Cardinal although you could well become one some day I hope, maybe even Pope. In the meantime, as a Bishop, please would you emulate the Cardinal's curse with one of your own equally learned aimed at this bothersome ORC. I suggest you adapt the lines below to suit your needs for this.

If you decide to follow my suggestion, this ORC might suffer a fate worse than death..maybe even ......orcastration!

Peter Walsh...........................but do read on please

Extract from The Jackdaw of Rheims
Richard Harris Barnham (1788-1845)

The Cardinal rose with a dignified look,
He call'd for his candle, his bell and his book!
In holy anger and pious grief,
He solemnly cursed that rascally thief!
He cursed him at board, he cursed him in bed;
From the sole of his foot to the crown of his head;
He cursed him in sleeping, that every night
He should dream of the devil and wake in a fright;
He cursed him in eating, he cursed him in drinking,
He cursed him in coughing, in sneezing, in winking;
He cursed him in sitting, in standing, in lying;
He cursed him in walking, in riding, in flying,
He cursed him in living, he cursed him in dying!--
Never was heard such a terrible curse!
But what gave rise
To no little surprise,
Nobody seem'd one penny the worse!
The day was gone,
The night came on,
The Monks and the Friars they search'd till dawn;
When the Sacristan saw,
On crumpled claw,
Come limping a poor little lame Jackdaw!
No longer gay,
As on yesterday;
His feathers all seem'd to be turn'd the wrong way;
His pinions droop'd - he could hardly stand,
His head was as bald as the palm of your hand;
His eye so dim,
So wasted each limb,
That, heedless of grammar, they all cried, "THAT'S HIM!
That's the scamp that's done this scandalous thing!
That's the thief that's got my Lord Cardinal's Ring!"
The poor little Jackdaw,
When the Monks he saw,
Feebly gave vent to the ghost of a caw;
And turn'd his bald head, as much as to say,
"Pray, be so good as to walk this way!"
Slower and slower
He limp'd on before,
Till they came to the back of the belfry door,
Where the first thing they saw,
Midst the sticks and the straw,
Was the ring in the nest of that little Jackdaw!

Nov 19, 2010 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterRETEPHSLAW

Don't feed the troll peoples! :)


Nov 19, 2010 at 3:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Peter -
"orcastration"? -- you mean we might encounter an entire symphony? I shudder. One such voice is enough, surely.

Nov 19, 2010 at 3:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW


Scott Rutherford was one; Peter Webster at Georgia Tech was another. You will have to find the evidence, but it's all there.

Others here: counter-productive attitudes are counter-productive. Why not just give her what she requests?

Nov 19, 2010 at 4:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

"You will have to find the evidence, but it's all there."
Nov 19, 2010 at 4:07 PM | BBD

Thanks for the pointers BBD, however, I've looked for evidence and haven't found any.

Something I see regularly posted on this website is that the CRU won't release some of their data, and this is viewed with extreme suspicion. In fact, the inference is often that they won't release some of their data, because doing so might weaken the evidence for AGW.

Andrew Montford, amongst others, has said that they have shared this data with people who are 'sympatico'. Which rather weakens what the CRU says when they claim they can't release all the data they use, because, as in Spanish Climatologist's example above, there are 3rd party restrictions upon distribution.

It would seem to be to be very important to have some specifics of what what this sharing has been. I genuinely don't know much about this element, so I'm not setting a trap for anyone or asking a leading question. However, nobody has specifically been able to tell me what data, that the CRU won't divulge under FOI requests because of 3rd party confidentiality, has been shared with what people that the CRU trusts, and where evidence of this can be seen.

If there is no actual evidence for this happening, then accusations that the CRU are hiding something in the data they don't release, are somewhat weakened, because the most likely explanation is the one given, that they can't release the data as they don't have the right to do so.


Nov 19, 2010 at 4:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed


Don't 'kapiche' me.

Do use the available search tools to find the information you require - which does exist.

Do not advance ill-researched statements as above.



Nov 19, 2010 at 4:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Nov 19, 2010 at 4:07 PM | BBD
I guess it depends on the motive for the request for "the specifics". Is the requester really interested in the specifics or are they just stirring the pot. It is quite evident from the ZBD posts that the motive is just $hit disturbance rather than a furthering of knowledge. The issue of Jones freely sharing data with the anointed and stonewalling others is common knowledge as documented in the climategate emails. No need to reinvent the wheel every time a ZBD type fains ignorance. I am no climategate emails wonk but it took me all of two minutes to find the Scott Rutherford reference in one of the most famous (infamous?) emails.

"At 09:41 AM 2/2/2005, Phil Jones wrote:

I presume congratulations are in order - so congrats etc !
Just sent loads of station data to Scott. Make sure he documents everything better
this time ! And don't leave stuff lying around on ftp sites - you never know who is
them. The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear
is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I'll delete the file rather than
to anyone................"

Nov 19, 2010 at 4:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Austin


To get you started, take a look here:,1518,686697-4,00.html

For Peter Webster, a meteorologist at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, this course of events is "one of the biggest sins" a scientist can commit. "It's as if a chef was no longer able to cook his dishes because he lost the recipes."

While amateur climatologist McIntyre spent years begging in vain for the raw data, Webster eventually managed to convince Jones to send them to him. He is the only scientist to date who has been given access to the data. "To be honest, I'm shocked by the sloppy documentation," Webster told SPIEGEL.

Perhaps you could continue with your research unassisted from now on?

Nov 19, 2010 at 4:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Semi-agreed with Robert Austin.

I find it hard to ignore a request for information as I have a strong attachment to the ideal of learning and helping others to learn.

This may make me vulnerable to manipulation, but that said, I doubt on this occasion if Zed is actually trying to do this.

Even if she is, she will soon find out that the selective way in which Jones et al. share data and deny access to it is not explicable in the way she suggests.

Thus, she will learn something.

Nov 19, 2010 at 4:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

"If there is no actual evidence for this happening..."

Kinda sounds like AGW, ZDB.



Nov 19, 2010 at 4:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

Crystallography == science; Climatology == politics.

Nov 19, 2010 at 5:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

What did Nature have against Crystallographers, I wonder? Too sciencey, perhaps...

Nov 19, 2010 at 5:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Hi BBD, thanks for the the tip. I'm afraid the newspaper article you've sent me to still falls some way short of:

X = specifics of data Jones won't release
Y = recipient of data
Z = where evidence of receipt of X by Y can be viewed.

I'm also a little sceptical about using newspaper articles as evidence. It seems to be to be quite an important subject, so I'd like something more concrete.

Incidentally, the quote you used is a little disingenuous. Webster's talking about deletion of part of Jones' recreation method, not his data.

Commentors such as JohnM and Robert Austin really don't seem to have any evidence at all of my XYZ scenario, merely pointing to a vague email as though this proves it, it doesn't.

BBD has come up with slightly more, but it still falls a long way short of actual evidence. I'm really not trolling when I say the following sentence, but it is possible to interpret your suggestion that I find the evidence actual myself, as meaning that you don't actually have any real evidence, just newspaper articles and blogs etc.

For the sake of this discussion, I hope I am wrong on the latter, and look forward to being corrected. For the sake of climate science, I hope I am correct on it.
And for the sake of our descendants, I hope I am wrong.

The last three sentences demonstrating what a fascinatingly ambiguous subject the politics/science/law/morality interface of climate science can be.

Nov 19, 2010 at 5:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed


I find it interesting that your demands for evidence don't apply when evaluating AGW. Sincerely, why is that? I mean, I doubt you've asked any climate scientists for the evidence they evaluated to reach their conclusions. You seems to take whatever they say on faith. Why the inconsistent approach?


Nov 19, 2010 at 5:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

Nov 19, 2010 at 5:22 PM | Bad Andrew

Hi Andrew, take pity on me, and let's do one subject at a time without getting distracted. Are you able to provide evidence for my question above?

Nov 19, 2010 at 5:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

Zed says:

For the sake of climate science, I hope I am correct on it.
And for the sake of our descendants, I hope I am wrong.

If you are genuinely interested in the details and not simply being a melodramatic nuisance, I strongly recommend contacting Peter Webster directly:

I should add that if Der Speigel had misrepresented him as you essentially suggest it did, legal action would have been almost inevitable.

As you know, I am generally happy to engage with you but this is as far as it goes for me. My recollection is that the data were surface station temperature records which form the basis for the CRUtem reconstruction.

Just ask the man. And you can earn some standing here by posting what he says.

Nov 19, 2010 at 5:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Perhaps ZDB might care to share his/her thoughts on the musings of Mr Tol's friend, IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer?

"Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection, says the German economist and IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer. The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world's resources will be negotiated."

There's the motive behind the scientific shenanigans out in plain sight that CAGW supporters always deride as a paranoid conspiracy theory.“climate-policy-is-redistributing-the-worlds-wealth”/

Nov 19, 2010 at 5:34 PM | Unregistered Commenterwoodentop


I do not think you deserve pity, but I don't know you, so I don't have a basis to pity you. You obviously have made a conscious decision to do what you do. If you want to remake your bed and proceed in a more honest way, that would definitely be welcomed by me and most of the commenters here.

As far as having evidence that is relevant to stuff that happened far away and did not involve me, I do not.

Perhaps you can apply your evidence-based approach to evaluating AGW now, and see what conclusions you come up with and share them with us.


Nov 19, 2010 at 5:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

Hi BBD. I'm certainly not suggesting the Spiegel mis-represented Webster, merely that without following the link you posted and looking at it in its full context, in the context of our discussion here, it could be read as referring to the data we're talking about, not the method, which is not the case. It's a minor point and one I'm quite happy to drop.

Again, as regards the evidence I have requested, it seems that you have again asked me to find it myself, rather than pointing me to it. That again could easily be read as your not actually having the evidence, and, I'm afraid to say, I'm now beginning to think a little more that may be the case.

If nobody here is able to point me to it, that surely represents something of a hole in the assertions widely put forward on this site?

I have a social engagement now I'm late to, so must go. But hope to log in again at some point in the next few days. If anyone has actual evidence, I'd love to see it.

Thanks - ZDB.

Nov 19, 2010 at 5:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed


You might want to start here:

Nov 19, 2010 at 6:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterPatrick M.


This is daft.

Nobody - nobody at all - doubts that Jones shared data with Rutherford and Webster (and Webster at least is on record as confirming this directly).

Nobody at all doubts that he refused to do so with McIntyre and others. Jones is on record repeatedly confirming this too.

You first started off asking who Jones had shared data with. Names were provided, along with enough links to confirm that they had not simply been made up on the spur of the moment.

Where's the problem? What further 'evidence' do you require - and of what, exactly?

I am genuinely baffled.

Enjoy your evening.

Nov 19, 2010 at 6:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

You first started off asking who Jones had shared data with. Names were provided, along with enough links to confirm that they had not simply been made up on the spur of the moment.

Actually Zed asked the following and no one here has answered it.

Indulge me please. To whom, outside of his CRU team, did Jones pass on data with 3rd party restrictions, and where can I see the evidence?


Nov 19, 2010 at 2:02 PM | ZedsDeadBed

Nov 19, 2010 at 6:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil.


Rutherford and Webster (see prompt response to Zed above). Neither of whom is denying it. Or is your point about the 'third party restrictions? Not sure what you are driving at here, except that it is almost certainly obfuscatory and unimportant.

Nov 19, 2010 at 6:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

I’ve been lurking here, but am beginning to get that déjà vu feeling.

After repeatedly asking for evidence that Jones gave CRU data to some scientists, which he withheld from FOI requests by others, ZDB is pointed to one such source (Peter Webster, who had been quoted in “Der Spiegel”), and is even given his email address.

But ZBD keeps the same line going.

as regards the evidence I have requested, it seems that you have again asked me to find it myself, rather than pointing me to it.

It seems to me that ZBD has not only been “pointed” to the evidence, but has even been given the key for finding it – it should be up to ZBD to check it out now (but maybe ZBD was not really interested in the evidence, but rather in posturing)..


Nov 19, 2010 at 7:02 PM | Unregistered Commentermanacker

This is the same Jones who declined to provide information because others might want to find out what was wrong with it. End of.

Nov 19, 2010 at 7:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Phil Jones shared data with other researchers without reference to so called official restrictions.

Phil Jones stated that he would rather "delete" the data he held instead of releasing it to the MMs.

Phil Jones feared the use of the FOIA by others to obtain the data he held.

Phil Jones, dealing with FOI requests, "PS to Gavin – been following (sporadically) the CA stuff about the GISS data and release of the code etc by Jim. May take some of the pressure of you soon, by releasing a list of the stations we use – just a list, no code and no data. Have agreed to under the FOIA here in the UK"

Nature is tricking itself in thinking that they have dealt with this issue on the requirement that data, methodology and code have to be released and deposited in order to replicate published science.

Nov 19, 2010 at 7:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Trolls- and you are a troll- deserve no pity.
Answer the question, troll.

Nov 19, 2010 at 7:34 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

May I start by saying how much I've appreciated BBD's contributions to this blog recently and hope they continue.

ZBD (long lost sister of BBD or bouncy character in the Magic Roundabout, the choice is yours) has I fear asked a detailed question to which I don't have the answer. Patrick M is right to point to Steve McIntyre's post of 1st Jan, “Sent loads of station data to Scott”. Based on the Climategate emails - and perhaps other evidence known to Steve, such as personal comms from Webster - Steve convinces me that Phil Jones sent station data to Rutherford and Webster, data that he refused to send to a number of 'outsiders' - including Roger Pielke as an outsider, a detail I've just taken in for the first time. What I don't see in the main post is cast-iron proof that Jones broke confidentiality agreements in sending some (or loads of) station data. I certainly don't remember anyone making the point at the time that in fact confidentiality agreements had not been broken by Jones. But I'm not offering to trawl through that thread to check this. Even that would not furnish the proof that ZBD is asking for. And you know what, I don't really care. What matters is that once outsiders like Steve were allowed to shed light on it the Hockey Stick was shown to be terrible science - and this was not revealed before, either by peer review or normal scientific competitiveness. The rest is peripheral.

Along these lines, Terence Kealey has just provided a highly realistic survey of the history of science for the Global Warming Policy Foundation entitled What Does Climategate Say About Science? I've learned a lot from it - I especially appreciated the example of Lyell holding out against the (somewhat) young earth creationists of his day. But the whole thing deserves attention, as helpful balance against counsels of perfection in criticising climate scientists. I'll be interested to know what others here think.

Nov 19, 2010 at 7:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Richard, I think that Prof Kealy is correct. My view of the Climategate e-mails has always been that it really did show "scientists being scientists". This did however prick the bubble that existed whereby scientists had colluded with the public in placing themselves on a wholly undeserved pedestal.

I am sure, and recent evidence from the stem-cell area has confirmed, that scientists do indeed act in this way (they are people folks and as Gavin himself has opined "we are not Mother Theresa"). Indeed in most of areas of scientific endeavour this behaviour is of little importance since the science being pursued is of much less significance than the scientists would like to believe.

However Climate Science is very, very different. The Team were incredibly naive (stupid ?) not to have realised that if their endeavours were to be used to justify the complete re-ordering of the planetary economy and governance systems, the inter continental and power bloc transfer of billions of dollars and the expenditure of trillions of dollars world wide that they would come under considerable scrutiny.

When the scrutiny appeared the science and particularly the underlying data was found severely wanting: Jones bases his evidence that UHI is not a significant issue on information that cannot be produced (if it ever existed), Mann bases his iconic graph on the use of "novel" statistical techniques that have been shown by all the statisticians who have examined them to be "inappropriate", Jones and Briffa seem to have colluded to deliberately obfuscate the significance of the divergence in tree ring date post 1960 which undermines all the paleoclimate tree ring observations and the IPPC appears to have deliberately retained the incorrerct glacier disappearance data in AR4 despite the error being pointed out during the review process.

One can sympathise, a little, with Jones that "This doesn't happen to other scientists" but that is not because other scientists don't indulge in the same shenanigans, it's because of the immediate and significant financial consequences arising from the climate science data.

Nov 19, 2010 at 8:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Dent

@ Richard Drake

Thank you.

Nov 19, 2010 at 8:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Arthur: don't forget the fertile political ground this "science" has been falling on for the last decade at least. It's been a very cosy symbiotic relationship for some time.

Nov 19, 2010 at 8:33 PM | Unregistered Commenterwoodentop

Richard Drake,

What I take from your link is that scientists have a history of unscientific behavior, so we should accept that they behave the same way currently?

I do not think the problem is that the public has unrealistic expectations of scientists, but that scientists accept unscientific behavior among their peer group, while attempting to maintain the pretense of scientific authority to outsiders.

In at nutshell, the problem is dishonest scientists. Consensus climate scientists could have taken a stand in favor of honesty in presenting their work. Instead they have chosen dishonesty. That's no one's fault but theirs and it's laughable to think that others (besides politicians and power brokers) might have partial responsibility for the bad behavior among scientists that has transpired this time around. It was bad behavior then, and it's bad behavior now. And Global Warming Science is still a pile of parrot droppings.


Nov 19, 2010 at 8:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

In addition, the Unrealistic Expectation that the public seems to have is that scientists will honestly present their science. This is an expectation that *scientists* help maintain... and then undermine. No one deserves to be lied to.


Nov 19, 2010 at 8:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

For Nature to hide behind such excuses as so called confidentiality agreements puts the journal is a very weak position on making data freely available with regard replicating published science. The facts were somewhat different;

Phil Jones, "I have had a couple of exchanges with Courtillot. This is the last of them from March 26, 2007. I sent him a number of papers to read. He seems incapable of grasping the concept of spatial degrees of freedom, and how this number can change according to timescale. I also told him where he can get station data at NCDC and GISS (as I took a decision ages ago not to release our station data, mainly because of McIntyre). "

It is worth repeating the words in brackets:

"(as I took a decision ages ago not to release our station data, mainly because of McIntyre)"

In reality this is the editorial position of Nature, "they (CRU scientists) have behaved as researchers should."

Nature have shown that they will support scientists who hold and will not release data used in published science. Now that is a damning indictment on how science is being conducted.

Can journals like Nature be ever fully trusted again?

Nov 19, 2010 at 9:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Re Richard Drake's post, Nov 19, 2010 at 7:43 PM
It may be worth noting at this point that Prof Terence Kealey, a clinical biochemist, is the Vice Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, virtually the only higher education establishment in the UK which doesn't receive state funding. His book 'Sex, Science & Profits' [2008] is a re-working of 'The Economic Laws of Scientific Research' which Matt Ridley described as: 'One of the most intelligent, trend-changing and courageous books I have ever read' [Daily Telegraph review].

Nov 19, 2010 at 9:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterQuercus

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