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« Diary date, communication edition | Main | The inescapable urge to indoctrinate »
Friday
Sep122014

Scientists decline the poison chalice

When it was announced that David Mackay would be stepping down from his role as chief scientific adviser at DECC, I speculated that it might be a tricky vacancy to fill, what with rumours of blackouts impending.

Here we are nearly six months later. Mackay has gone and no scientist seems to have stepped forward to take up the poison chalice.

I would say they chose...wisely.

 

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Reader Comments (17)

What's the pay? Good pension? I'll do it. Do I need a phd or will a 1st in Computer Science be enough? I'll just have to chair a few meetings won't I. It's no problem.

Sep 12, 2014 at 11:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterRobinson

David McKay Mr winter power cuts.

So a Knight hood for him then

Sep 12, 2014 at 11:14 AM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

I believe they are waiting on the "Nobel Laureate" Dr Michael Mann being free to take up the post. He will bring his enormous diplomatic skill to the post and convince the public about the imminent danger of CAGW. No doubt he will bring fluffy polar bears holding hocky sticks to work as his icon.

Or should that be enormous ego???

Sep 12, 2014 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

I applied for this position. At the end of May I was advised that I had not been shortlisted for interview. They said the position had attracted a large amount of interest and the selection panel were faced with selecting a shortlist from a substantial number of highly qualified applicants.

Sep 12, 2014 at 11:19 AM | Registered Commenterthinkingscientist

What is needed is a chief engineering advisor. Fat chance of that. Odds on it will be another academic with no industry experience.

Sep 12, 2014 at 11:49 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

"I speculated that it might be a tricky vacancy to fill, ..."

There can be few academics with the demonstrable ignorance & blatant bias vis-a-vis wind vs fracking, that MacKay has shown.

http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/wind-farm-footprint-understated-by-prof-mackay/

Sep 12, 2014 at 11:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

Sir Clive Sinclair

Sep 12, 2014 at 12:03 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

What did the UK use for lighting before candles? Electricity ...

Pointman

Sep 12, 2014 at 12:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterPointman

@Pointman: Very droll. :-)

Sep 12, 2014 at 1:55 PM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

Kind of reminds me of Mr Nice (Howard Marks) applying for the position of Drugs Czar - a position he was eminently qualified to fill... He uses the experience and the amusing rejection letter as a part of his forays into "spoken cabaret"

On balance though my vote goes to bringing in yet another North American to UK gubmint - Micky M for CSA at DECC!

Sep 12, 2014 at 2:58 PM | Registered Commentertomo

They must be looking for another Mark Walport who knows nothing about energy density or meteorology. Walport is in fact a medical scientist. Mackay's 'Sustainable energy - without the hot air' more or less proves that we could not build enough wind turbines to meet UK demand, even if the wind blew nonstop.
As Phillip Bratby says a practical man like an engineer would not go along with their impractical ideas.
I mentioned Meteorology as opposed to Climatology/Earth Science. Meteorologists are in the main practical men working with known observations to forecast the weather. Since Michael Fish got caught out with the 1987 great storm, weather satellites provide the Met-man with an instantaneous picture of the World 's weather.
The global Argo dataset provides scientist with information they never had before and they are engaged in hunt the presumed missing heat. There is no evidence to show that a varying temperature of ocean currents is other than a historical natural cyclic event. Can anyone prove that anthropogenic CO2 has caused the oceans to gobble-up more heat and hence cause the hiatus?

Sep 12, 2014 at 5:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterShieldsman

"They said the position had attracted a large amount of interest and the selection panel were faced with selecting a shortlist from a substantial number of highly qualified applicants."

By happenstance, I have found a copy of the shortlist. It's not marked "secret," so I suppose it wouldn't be out of place to upload it here:

Vivian Smith-Smythe-Smith (Well educated in mideastern animal husbandry)
Simon Zinc-Trumpet-Harris (Expert on small wattage appliances)
Nigel Incubator-Jones (Very fond of trees, possibly a dildoclimatology degree)
Gervaise Brook-Hampster (Involved in recycling at an early age)
Oliver St. John-Mollusc (His father well-known for liking horses)

Sep 12, 2014 at 8:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

What's the pay? Good pension? I'll do it. Do I need a phd or will a 1st in Computer Science be enough? I'll just have to chair a few meetings won't I. It's no problem.
Sep 12, 2014 at 11:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterRobinson

No. Me, me, me ,me, me. I've got a Ph.D. And I've also drunk a fair amount of poison in my time. It would be fantastic to have a chalice to go with it.

Sep 12, 2014 at 8:34 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

If DECC follows normal form for an organization then MacKay will be the whipping boy for many months when anything goes pear shaped.

Sep 12, 2014 at 8:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Singleton

"...Chose wisely."

Well, that sure is a nice way to say it.

Duck, don't make eye contact, scatter and run is more like it. They should offer the post to one of the blind deaf faithful; perhaps that noisy Caroline MP?

Sep 13, 2014 at 6:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterATheoK

This is when you need your black, blind, lesbian , single mother who was an immigrant , with all those boxes ticked they could never be criticised no matter what they did. Add a side order of fanatical green and I think we have the 'ideal' candidate profile , actual knowledge of the area not required as long as they have 'strong beliefs '

Sep 13, 2014 at 8:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

I say they should cut out the middleman and appoint Vladimir Putin.

Sep 14, 2014 at 3:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

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