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« IPCC vice-chairman flaunts his bias | Main | Lindzen broadcast »

Nurse's pants

Steve McIntyre has written a splendid take down of Paul Nurse, and in particular the criticisms he made of yours truly in his correspondence with Nigel Lawson.

In respect to the vituperativeness of Nurse’s response both to the sentence in paragraph 121 (page 36) of Nullius in Verba and to Lawson’s letter, one is also reminded of another Lucia suggestion:

put on your big boy pants.


And before anyone asks, no I didn't put Steve up to doing this. Indeed I knew nothing of it until I read the article at Climate Audit just now.

You really have to read the whole thing though.

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Reader Comments (29)

Nurse is a clear example of someone who at one time put in some hard work and sweat to achieve precision in some defined field of work and as a result of receiving high accolades and positions of responsibility thereafter assumes that his every utterance has the same power and worth no matter how lazily he applies his intellect.

He's a clear case of...this... something ...I know not what exactly. But like great art I know it when I see it ;) I think most other people can see it too.

It is quite shocking really that he has turned out so petty and trite in his reasoning, and his dedication to the application of the lowest common denominator in political manoeuvrings is pitiful.

Jul 13, 2013 at 9:11 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

And I said to her 'you're not getting away with this'

And who are you to talk to me that way ?

You've always had it in for me Jemima

You are just jealous Carmen

Why would I be jealous of a little tike like you ?

Because my father owns the nursery. Hand over that toy and bugger off.

Jul 13, 2013 at 9:26 PM | Unregistered CommentereSmiff

I now see Uncle Steve in a new light and I never realised that he actually had a sense of humour.

it seems that Nurse believes that he wears extra-special big boy pants

Jul 13, 2013 at 9:28 PM | Registered CommenterDung

If I was Paul Nurse. I would be more worried about Justin Bieber than Nigel Lawson because no one even knows Lawson exists nowadays. Those of us who do think he is a totally irrelevant right wing nut who does not represent our views in any way shape or form.

The Pielkes are 1,000 times smarter than the combined intelligence of Ridley, Monckton , Lawson et al.

Jul 13, 2013 at 9:35 PM | Unregistered CommentereSmiff

The Royal Society, as epitomised by Nurse's presidency, leads me to question the motivation of the "establishment". Having been aware that the system was flawed, it had, almost by default, the inherent aim of improving the well being of the whole.

It is becoming ever more evident just how naive I have been.

Jul 13, 2013 at 9:36 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Can I suggest that Steve's polite and factually devastating critique of Sir Paul Nurse is sent to him?
Does anyone know his email address?

Jul 13, 2013 at 9:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller


"The Pielkes are 1,000 times smarter than the combined intelligence of Ridley, Monckton , Lawson et al."

Therefore for sure the Nurse team will jump at the opportunity to debate with "Lawson et al"?

I look forward to your interpretation of the outcome, if and when....

Jul 13, 2013 at 9:48 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Don Keiller

"Can I suggest that Steve's polite and factually devastating critique of Sir Paul Nurse is sent to him?
Does anyone know his email address?"

I doubt there is need, BH and CA are to the RS as Big Brother is to the masses, egos suggest that more will be heard...

Jul 13, 2013 at 9:52 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Sir Paul Nurse does in my opinion, need a very large pair of pants in order that they can accomodate a
large nappy which in turn will accomodate a great quantity of waste product. In spite of these precautions, he still produces excess waste and unforunately this emerges from the region just below his upper lip.

Jul 13, 2013 at 9:53 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

He appears to have a Twitter account, with 112 followers - but no Tweets.

Enigmatic seems to be the word.

Maybe we should copy him in on some stuff to stimulate his interest.

Jul 13, 2013 at 10:01 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

Tweet to @royalsociety. This is presumably the press office, so they'll probably pass it on.

As an aside, the Royal Society likes to have a Nobel laureate as president. And to judge by the recent occupants of the position, there is a demand that they be a millennarian too. The field of contenders for the society's high command to choose from is therefore not a wide one (the election is a Stalinist single-candidate farce, so is pretty much irrelevant). This may explain why such an erratic character has ended up at the helm.

Jul 13, 2013 at 10:20 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

The president takes the prestige and credibility of the Royal Society to new heights compared with before his appointment. I choose my words carefully.

Where are the Fellows of this Society? They appear to have no opinion. Are they proud of the direction of travel?

Jul 13, 2013 at 10:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Calling Josh
I feel a cartoon coming on. Can't wait to see those big baggy pants.
Please don't keep us waiting.

Jul 13, 2013 at 10:23 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

Am I missing the joke?

In any case, Iwill see your Millennarian and raise you a Bacchanalian.

Jul 13, 2013 at 10:44 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

very good Steve Mac.
I was thinking that as well as modelling climate sensitivity, we might model Sirs sensitivity. I would suggest a strong Bishops forcing with a positive Canuck feedback

Jul 13, 2013 at 11:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist

Bish writes:

As an aside, the Royal Society likes to have a Nobel laureate as president. And to judge by the recent occupants of the position, there is a demand that they be a millennarian too.

Consider the depths to which the RS appears to have sunk of late! The recent elevation of Lewandowsky way beyond any demonstrated competency, being one example; along with various and sundry leaps onto the "sustainability" bandwagon that can be found on the RS site.

Not to mention Nurse's rapid descent into childish, unprofessional foot-stomping - a rhetorical "trick" he seems to have picked up from Bob Ward (as I had noted in a comment on Steve's excellent exposé)

So, I would not be surprised if the Nominating Committee for the next RS President opts for a candidate drawn from the ranks of those who are better known as "fake Nobel laureates" (aka certain individuals in the upper echelons of the IPCC's "chapter teams")

Jul 13, 2013 at 11:54 PM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov

The excoriation is well deserved. For further humiliating rather than repairing a flagship venerable scientific society which had lost its way in sordid politics, and in doing so yet further reducing its reputation from one of veneration to contempt.

Jul 13, 2013 at 11:58 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Paul Nurse - Isn't he a Harry Enfield tribute-band?

Jul 14, 2013 at 12:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

Lawson is Nurse's father: (Is there any other way to explain Nurse's obsessive hatreds?).

Jul 14, 2013 at 12:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterZT

Other than some form of organic enfeeblement - cerebral antioxidative deficiency, perhaps - it is difficult to reconcile Nurse's past achievements with the rather sad and shabby figure he now cuts.

One wonders how low Nurse will ultimately stoop when reality fails to conform to his faith-based mindset.

Jul 14, 2013 at 12:53 AM | Unregistered Commenterchippy

Sir Paul Nurse.Wearing Big boys pants .He talks plenty of it cming out the back to fill them up, but not much going on around the front.

Jul 14, 2013 at 7:24 AM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

I agree with Schrodinger's Cat- where indeed are the other RS fellows, keeping their heads under the bedclothes? If so why?

Is there no-one among those (supposedly) eminent people who has the power or the courage to stand up and say this is no way for the President of the RS to behave, it is .ill -mannered, unnecessary and entirely unfitting to the (supposed) dignity of the office.

Jul 14, 2013 at 7:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Steve M.'s piece was a revelation to me - I hadn't followed Nurse's ramblings with great attention previously.

The part that particularly got up my nose (and there is a long queue there) was the nonsense about "anti-science", Republicans, and how that allegedly has something to do with GWPF and our distinguished host. "Bizarre" is putting it kindly. Perhaps his relatives should start looking around for some sort of assisted living arrangements for him.

"Petulant", "disingenuous" and "condescending" are other adjectives that kept coming to mind when I read his missives.

The man is a buffoon, and how RS members (discounting some prominent, recently appointed Fellows) can be happy about being represented by him is a mystery.

Jul 14, 2013 at 7:54 AM | Registered Commenterjohanna

@Dung. Steve McIntyre has a always had a very dry sense of humour. If you watch him closely you always see a twinkle in his eye and occasionally a wink.

Jul 14, 2013 at 9:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Nurse is like a lot of Bien-Pensants - he mentally drifts between his own country and the US.

I can picture him now: he's just about recovered from Bush Derangement Syndrome, forgotten about his schoollgirl crush on Obama, an expert on US healthcare, and very very angwy that the CIA has been s-s-s-spying on other c-c-c-countries. Something must be done.

Jul 14, 2013 at 9:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

J, this climate thing is so shocking that some Republicans can't believe they are on the side of science.

Jul 14, 2013 at 10:01 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

I've probably got it wrong again, but aren't "big boy pants" what we call "long trousers" in the UK?

Jul 14, 2013 at 2:19 PM | Unregistered Commentersimon abingdon

My problem is this is all a bit too cosy for my liking. Paul Nurse is an outrageous liar as are the rest of the science establishment. As far as I am concerned, anyone who sits down and discusses climate sensitivity with him or his colleagues is the enemy. That means the GWPF.

Jonathan Jones (Oxford)

The recent public statements by supposed leaders of UK science, declaring that hiding the decline is standard scientific practice are on a par with declarations that black is white and up is down. I don’t know who they think they are speaking for, but they certainly aren’t speaking for me.

I have watched Judy Curry with considerable interest since she first went public on her doubts about some aspects of climate science, an area where she is far more qualified than I am to have an opinion. Her latest post has clearly kicked up a remarkable furore, but she was right to make it.

The decision to hide the decline, and the dogged refusal to admit that this was an error, has endangered the credibility of the whole of climate science. If the rot is not stopped then the credibility of the whole of science will eventually come into question.

If you’re wondering who I am, then you can find me at the Physics Department at Oxford University. Feb 23, 2011 at 10:29 PM | Jonathan Jones

Jul 14, 2013 at 2:53 PM | Unregistered CommentereSmiff

big boy pants or these AKA surermandia's pants ?

can just see Sir Paul wearing this as he gazes at a 3D climate simulation of the world in awe and mumbling "together, with RS guidance, we can save the world from destruction"

Jul 14, 2013 at 11:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterdougieh

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