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« Bruckner's opus | Main | Another MP develops an interest in statistics »
Wednesday
Apr242013

Data in the Raw - Josh 217

With several questions from MPs recently, see here, here and here,  on the statistical analysis supporting the Met Office's claims about recent warming, it is probably time for the Met Office to do some revealing of evidence. Julia Slingo holds up the relevant papers on the subject.

Cartoons by Josh

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Reader Comments (32)

I am sure Julia Slingo will also hold up her honorary PhD as well.

Apr 24, 2013 at 11:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterConfusedPhoton

As Julia Slingo might say: "Is that a Hockey Stick behind the jar, or, are you just pleased to see me?"

Apr 24, 2013 at 11:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

Brilliant. I can't tell my Mann from my Schmidt, but that must be Schmidt.

Apr 24, 2013 at 11:56 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I am sure Julia Slingo will also hold up her honorary PhD as well.

Apr 24, 2013 at 11:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterConfusedPhoton

I think it is a DSc. Which is even more despicable.

Apr 24, 2013 at 12:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

His Mannhood is hidden by his pot.

Apr 24, 2013 at 12:27 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Brilliant, as always, Josh.

And with the climate alarmists producing such a constant stream of "adjusted" material, you are going to be kept busy.

I look forward to more:-)

Apr 24, 2013 at 12:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Stephen Richards

DSc? - My god it is worse than I thought!

Apr 24, 2013 at 12:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterConfusedPhoton

Your Grace

You are treading a fine line with such content.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10013914/WiFi-porn-in-public-areas-to-be-blocked.html

This is a family channel............surely our children should not be exposed to MannBearSchmidt in 'a state of nature' without parental supervision.

Apr 24, 2013 at 1:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Statistics and their use and misuse in climate circles, have appeared elsewhere recently:

..there is no small wonder why the Mann/IPCC reconstruction have caused such a controversy. This includes allegations, not entirely unfounded , of for example seeking to “hide” the Mediaeval Warm Period (as well as the Little Ice Age) supposedly in an attempt to exaggerate and overstate the significance, unprecedentedness and man-made character of the current warming period.

And when Mann in his book “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars” does not mention with a single word the comprehensive account and critique of the “hockey stick” made by Montford (2010) it just adds
fuel to the fire.


http://www.sintef.no/upload/Teknologi_og_samfunn/Teknologiledelse/SINTEF%20Report%20A24071,%20Consensus%20and%20Controversy.pdf

Apr 24, 2013 at 2:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

''It goes up a little bit, down a little bit and wobbles about a lot. But it's had no statistical significance for over fifteen years.'

Apr 24, 2013 at 2:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterJulia

A perfect GCM based hindcast of the model originally employed by Michael Angelo for his David.

Apr 24, 2013 at 3:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

Good one Josh.

Do you reckon the Peeping Tom (whoever he is), is getting an eyeful or is he in for a miniscule disappointment?

Apr 24, 2013 at 3:59 PM | Registered Commenterpeterwalsh

Peter Walsh - that is Julia holding the poster. Shares her name with the Aussie prime minister, she of no carbon tax on my watch. I hope Ms Slingo isn't Welsh as well. We have enough to live down with Gillard and Houghton.
Brilliant as usual Josh.

Apr 24, 2013 at 4:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterG.Watkins

I am sure Julia Slingo will also hold up her honorary PhD as well.

Apr 24, 2013 at 11:23 AM ConfusedPhoton

I think it is a DSc. Which is even more despicable.
Apr 24, 2013 at 12:21 PM Stephen Richards

Could you give a reference - to pin down PhD vs. DSc and earned vs. honorary?

She was a genuine professor so it's likely she had an earned PhD. And someone with a PhD from a particular univeristy can normally submit a bound volume of published work (published subsequent to the PhD) to be considered for the award of DSc. Such a DSc would be counted as earned rather than as an honorary degreee.

I think in the past it was regarded as poor form for someone with an honorary doctorate to describe themselves as "Doctor xxx". These days, who knows.

Apr 24, 2013 at 5:19 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

'It goes up a little bit, down a little bit and wobbles about a lot. But it's had no statistical significance for over fifteen years.'
Apr 24, 2013 at 2:41 PM Julia

Explains "hide the decline".

Apr 24, 2013 at 5:21 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Martin A, see http://www.bristol.ac.uk/pace/graduation/honorary-degrees/hondeg10/slingo.html

Apr 24, 2013 at 5:23 PM | Registered CommenterJonathan Jones

G Watkins

thanks for the info, I have read a lot about Slingo, just didn't recognise her this time.

As for Gillard, I hope the Aussie electorate rip her gizzard out on 14 Sep.

Let's hope she gets done to her and her crap Labor party what happened to Labor in Queensland last year.

Apr 24, 2013 at 5:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Walsh

Julia Slingo did earn a PhD; the link Jonathan Jones cites says:
It was while she was in the US that she completed her PhD, externally, in the Physics Department at Bristol University. The topic was atmospheric physics, and it was a thesis completed through a series of published papers.
Anybody know which papers?

Apr 24, 2013 at 9:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterThomas Gibbon

Looks like a very camp version of Long John Silver's panto wooden leg. I think he's just swallowed the parrot and Julia's having kittens what comes next.

Apr 24, 2013 at 9:21 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Thomas Gibbon,

At a guess, papers 99-106 listed here.

Apr 24, 2013 at 10:36 PM | Registered CommenterJonathan Jones

'...it was a thesis completed through a series of published papers...' Julia must be one step above Einstein, Dirac, etc. - pedestrian non-climatologists who went to the bother of writing theses.

Though if you have no thesis - you don't have to worry about contradicting your thesis later, like Marcott (very inconvenient). I wonder if Julia had a moment for a thesis defence?

Apr 24, 2013 at 11:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

Immoral Urnings?

Apr 24, 2013 at 11:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterAC1

AC1

"Immoral Urnings?"

Yo dude! Just how much does a soothsayer "urn"?

BTW try a Google search on "senna the soothsayer" and see who comes up No1!

Apr 24, 2013 at 11:46 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Josh, that vase is far too flattering ... it could be simply removed and allow the 'tummy flap' to provide the necessary vanity obstruction.

Apr 25, 2013 at 12:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterStreetcred

@Thomas Gibbon

Prof Valdes descibes her as "honorary graduand" so I suppose, to be picky, her PhD is in fact honorary.
It probably doesn't matter too much. Nobel Prizes are in a sense "honorary" and we now all know how much that means.

Apr 25, 2013 at 12:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterLevelGaze

@Thomas Gibbon

Prof Valdes descibes her as "honorary graduand" so I suppose, to be picky, her PhD is in fact honorary.
It probably doesn't matter too much. Nobel Prizes are in a sense "honorary" and we now all know how much that means.
Apr 25, 2013 at 12:47 AM LevelGaze

The DSc oration sets it out clearly.

Slingo was awarded a PhD on the basis of a submitted set of published papers by Bristol University, the university where she obtained her BSc. This is a time honoured path to obtaining a PhD for someone with a substantial record of research publication and who did not obtain a PhD as a research student by submitting a thesis. The set of published papers will have been assessed by an external examiner, similar to the assessment of a PhD thesis.

Someone with a PhD can submit a collection of research papers, published subsequent to the PhD, for a DSc. I think this is the normal route to earning a DSc.

But Slingo's DSc is an honorary award: "Madam Chancellor, it is therefore my great pleasure and honour to present to you Professor Julia Slingo as eminently worthy of the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa."


So she has:
- An earned PhD (obtained by submitting published papers)
- An honorary DSc.

Apr 25, 2013 at 8:41 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

ZT @11:18, many countries award PhDs on the basis of published papers. I don't think most people would consider that this is an inferior way to earn a PhD compared to the more standard route involving writing a thesis. And certainly it does not necessarily mean that one does not have to undergo a PhD examination. I don't know what the rules were back in the 80s, but I was myself recently one of the examiners for a PhD viva voce exam in Bristol for a person seeking the award of a PhD based on published papers. In some ways, this route is more demanding because you need a fair number of papers in international journals - many 'standard' PhD candidates may have no published papers at all when they defend their thesis, and only one or two papers get published afterwards. And your concerns about "contradicting your thesis" later seem a bit churlish also - the papers in this case are the thesis, and they can be contradicted afterwards, just as a regular thesis can be.

LevelGaze @12:47, Julia Slingo was awarded an honorary degree by Bristol in 2010, but she already had a PhD from the 1980s, as mentioned in the speech that Paul Valdes gave in the ceremony when she was awarded her honorary degree. You can see here that she was also awarded an honorary degree by Reading in 2011 - this does not mean she doesn't have a regular degree.

Anyway, this discussion of her qualifications seems petty to me, as is most credentialism. Steve McIntyre's foes complain that he is a 'retired mining consultant' - he doesn't have a PhD, but does that matter? How about our host? I'm not aware that he has a PhD. Does that mean I should never read anything he writes? On the other hand, many people who do have PhDs are occasionally wrong. The real question should be whether Julia Slingo is making sure that the Met Office is providing honest, balanced, scientific advice to government in her role as its chief executive.

(Whoops cross-posted with Martin!)

Apr 25, 2013 at 8:44 AM | Registered CommenterJeremy Harvey

This is now becoming as unproductively nit-picking as the argument over whether Monckton is really a "Lord" or not. For my money I think he is.

Anyway.

From what I can make out, Slingo is:

1969 BSc Bristol

Sometime 1986-90 PhD Bristol (external). Whether that involves a succesfully defended thesis or not, I don't know but I can't find a reference to a thesis on the Web.

2010 DSc Bristol (honorary)

2011 DSc Reading (honorary)

The OBE doesn't count since it just stands for Other Buggers' Efforts.

I'm bored, can we drop it now?

Apr 25, 2013 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterLevelGaze

Anyway, this discussion of her qualifications seems petty to me, as is most credentialism.
Apr 25, 2013 at 8:44 AM Jeremy Harvey

I'm bored, can we drop it now?
Apr 25, 2013 at 9:50 AM LevelGaze

Just to set things straight.

1. I have known a number of useless fools with PhD's
2. I have known brilliant, productive, original researchers without PhD's

I agree completely that the letters after a person's name should play no part in assessing their work.

However, a comment in this thread had implied that Slingo's PhD was merely an honorary one. In that case, for her to present it as a qualification would have been poor form. So I think it was worth establishing whether or not the implied accusation was true.

But now it is clear that she has an earned doctorate, so that is one item less for her charge sheet.

Apr 25, 2013 at 11:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A, PhD

Not doing any slinging off here, but from the titles of the papers submitted for the PhD, did anything useful ever come out of them? They look quite narrow in scope and we still do not know much about cloud effects on climate. Or from models.

The handful of fully-fledged D.Sc. scientists that I have known were impressive people. I think it debases the D.Sc. to hand it out honoris causa. Too much political correctness involved, or influence, rather than the honest sweat of the brow.

Apr 25, 2013 at 11:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Sherrington

At the risk of seeming churlish (thank you Jeremy) I wonder why anyone would bothering to do a PhD in climatology? Why not simply churn out a set of pal review papers and have the University of Bristol hand you a PhD? (Avoiding much tedious drudgery). Perhaps Bristol University is a feeder school for the mighty intellectual power houses of the Met Office and the CRU?

Apr 25, 2013 at 4:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

The issues should be not about her PhD (which she does seem to possess as an earned degree) but with how she practices and describes science, especially when presenting summary results to Parliament and to the public. I just noticed this item at CA from 2010, in which she provides totally evasive and misleading answers to Parliament and then to Steve McIntyre:

Slingo to McIntyre in March 2010

Behavior typical for many politicians, but not what should be expected or countenanced from any scientist, never mind one in such a prominent position on the public payroll.

Apr 27, 2013 at 10:54 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

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