Douglas A. Harrell
gt0603f at prism.gatech.EDU
Sun Dec 5 11:00:30 EST 1993
In article <CHJ7JL.LoK at murdoch.acc.Virginia.EDU> rjw9y at envsci.evsc.virginia.edu. (rjw9y) writes:
>i have been reviewing the scientific jounals for cliamte change
>I'm disillusioned by the obvious inconsistancies displayed here. Where
>has scientific objectivity gone? beleive it or not it seems that Steve
>Schneider's mentality of not bothering to seperate beliefs and bias
>from scientific work (not an exact quote, i admit but not far) has
Scientific objectivity has fallen victim to several things. The laziness
and desire for instant gratification of the current MTV, Nintendo, and
McDonald's generation rank high, but in a field that is so much at the
political forefront, I believe that there are two more major factors.
The first is "political" or "environmental correctness". This is
what they are *supposed* to find in the data, so they find it. If the
modelling is poor, it doesn't matter, we all know it's the _truth_, so
just claim it is so. In the current climate (no pun intended), no reviewer
would dare say "wait a minute", lest he bring down the wrath of the green
groups who are funding him. Of course this is an exaggeration, but none-
theless, it's a case of biting the hand that feeds you.
The second major reason is the tabloid that the so-called news
media has become, especially with regard to anything "environmental".
I mean, hey, if "Journal of whatever, respectable" won't take your paper,
no problem! Just call CBS, 60 minutes will be glad to run your stuff as
"a disturbing new discovery of what's going to happen". You'll be famous,
rich, and will have a half dozen enviro-nazi groups falling all over
themselves to fund further "proof" of same.
If you don't believe me, just do some serious checking into
that huge story from a couple years back: The Agar Apple Scare.
Or just look at all the global warming stories that have been done in
the past several years, based on the very studies referred to in the
quoted article above. The sad truth is that the more sensational a
study is (and thus, probably poorly done), the more likely it is to
receive media attention.
To the author of the above article, I admire your courage and
your candor about this, but, depending on who is funding your fellowship,
you might want to start looking for new work. And don't count on CBS
to air your big story debunking global warming studies.
Douglas Alan Harrell
Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta Georgia, 30332
Internet: gt0603f at prism.gatech.edu
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