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GCSA candidates

Mandarins have narrowed down the applicants for the role of Government Chief Scientific Adviser to a shortlist of six (story here).

A few of the names are familiar to me. Richard Friend was one of those considered for the Oxburgh panel and indeed was one of those who was thought to be likely to look at the investigation with "questioning objectivity". No doubt this mindset will be viewed dimly in Whitehall.

Adrian Smith has worked alongside Beddington for some years, and offered his services for the Climategate investigations. Walport and Anderson also look like insider candidates. The other two - Fleming and Frank Kelly - are unknown quantities.

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Reader Comments (11)

What are the odds?

Apr 30, 2012 at 8:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

The governmental/warmista/climatologist/AGW industry complex is forced to exist in its ivory tower because its foundations are so incredibly shaky. To admit unbiased elements into its inner circles could shake those foundations to the very core and they well know it. Just how closeted that ivory tower is was evidenced from the sniggering, sneering input from one of the relatively tame examples of the breed a couple of days ago.

Sceptics are far too kind to climate "scientists", and I mean that. There is literally no empirical, real world evidence of any substance that CO2 has a significant influence on the climate which would suggest the need for a demon trace gas hypothesis on which to base a return to the Stone Age for the industrialised nations. The only such evidence rests on the fact that sometimes temperatures go up and CO2 increases as well. That's about the long and short of it. Banal. But there are more golf courses as well - is CO2 responsible for that? Duh. So you need to spread your net wider.The simple fact is that no one, but no one, of a remotely scientific bent and half reasonable intelligence is going to look at the data in any detail and conclude that CO2 drives climate. For example, solar parameters correlate much more strikingly even at a first approximation as Svensmark et al show. So I may be biased, unkind, and in a minority, but I conclude from that that almost without exception warmist climate scientists are second raters or they have abandoned science completely in order to put bread on the table. Apart from those who are frankly delusional that is. No wonder they cannot engage with sceptics in a remotely civilised fashion. Sorry but I see hundreds of millions starving thanks to the ethanol insanity, the environment vandalised with windmills, trillions squandered and millions of school kids brainwashed with lies which they are forced to regurgitate wholesale in order to progress, all for nothing. And that isn't even the half of it.

Apr 30, 2012 at 11:11 AM | Unregistered Commentercerberus

Strictly, they should exclude anyone who is an FRS, who must be assumed to be motivated by the Royal's ancient Latin motto "Give me da money". Such are we reduced to.

Apr 30, 2012 at 11:37 AM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

Richard F. has a solar panel technology company (


Apr 30, 2012 at 12:05 PM | Unregistered Commentersir digby cs

Adrian Smith and Frank Kelly are familiar names to me - both are statisticians with a good academic record and some government experience.

Apr 30, 2012 at 12:57 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Probably not a good idea for us to express preferences here, in case the Civil Service and Royal Society decide that any recommendation by His Grace's readership is a disqualification for the job....

Apr 30, 2012 at 1:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

Richard Black not in the frame..?

Apr 30, 2012 at 1:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

Well, we know what Mark Walport FRS thinks of FOI and data transparency:

that is, political fudging of the issues, but appearing to be for them. In contrast to David Colquhoun who was much more straight forward in his views!

Apr 30, 2012 at 1:53 PM | Registered CommenterQ

The story talks about an "appointments committee", which will be making the final choice from the shortlist. Does anyone know anything about the committee? Who's on it? What have they done before? What might affect them?

Apr 30, 2012 at 2:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterSara Chan

Kelly is a mathematician. All six are FRS, none have any experience in climate science at all, so it is likely that whichever gets chosen will toe the party (Government and RS) line on AGW. A truely dreadful selection.

Apr 30, 2012 at 6:10 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

Frank Kelly is a statistician who has made original contributions to the theory of queueing networks.

I had some dealings with him briefly around twenty years ago and was impressed. I cannot imagine he would tolerate hiding the decline or any such nonsense.

Apr 30, 2012 at 6:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterSnap Rivet

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