28 February 2015
American Meteorological Society Criticises Congressional Investigation of Climate Researchers
Posted by Dan Satterfield
More on this from Jason Samenow at the Washington Post.
This seems to be related to the disclosure last week, that Dr. Willie Soon did not disclose that he received funding from fossil fuel corporations. This appears on the surface to be a serious ethical violation, and I would not be surprised to see action taken by the journals in which these papers were published. It’s worth noting that EVERY major science body on the planet appears to disagree with Dr. Soon’s work on climate change, and this lack of disclosure allegation is now being investigated by the Smithsonian Institution. A simple look at the thousands of published journal papers over just the past decade, shows how isolated those who disagree with the other 97% are now. That said, an investigation into their work without cause is not right, and damaging to science. If you want to know if a published paper is considered good science, look at the number of citations it gets from later work. That tells the story.
The AMS statement above speaks for itself, and I’m glad to see the society acted so fast. I can understand the frustration of Congressman Grijalva (who has started an investigation into some of the other scientists who disagree with the overwhelming consensus), but the peer review process works well, and anyone not disclosing funding, knows they risk their reputation (and credibility) by not disclosing a conflict of interest. The AMS statement about that is already clear.
I’m a member of the AMS, and presently Chairman of the AMS Comm. on Station Science
Dan – You wrote that the AMS letter “seems to be related to the disclosure last week that Dr. Willie Soon did not disclose that he received funding from fossil fuel corporations.”
However, you have not properly reported the reason that the AMS completed this letter. The accurate summary is presented, for example, in
Your post reads as an apologist of the actions of the Congressman. In contrast, the AMS statement has the key text
“Publicly singling out specific researchers based on perspectives they have expressed and implying a failure to appropriately disclose funding sources — and thereby questioning their scientific integrity — sends a chilling message to all academic researchers.”
I urge you to revise your summary of what is occurring. Our AGU President’s statement is also similarly apologist in her statement –
The AGU is not serving as an advocate for academic freedom and an outspoken criticism to political intimidation of scientists.
Roger A. Pielke Sr, Fellow of the AGU
I have a question – Did AMS seek to defend scientists who were harassed by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cucinelli in 2010 for their climate related research? What has AMS done to stand up for Ben Santer who has been also been harassed by Congress? Did they speak out about the chilling effect that those actions had against science? Climate scientists report regularly receiving hate mail and death threats. What’s AMS doing about those issues? Unless AMS is giving ‘fair treatment’ to all the real scientists who really are being persecuted, then this letter is just a bunch of sanctimonious BS.
Marilyn Vogel – The AMS statement applies to all such intimidation, regardless of their views on the climate issue and their funding, including the climate scientists Ben Santer, Michael Mann, Willie Soon, Fred Singer, Pat Michaels, Phil Jones etc. I agree such a statement should have come out sooner, but at least it is here now. The AGU response so far to this, both from our AGU President and from the Dan Satterfield on the AGU weblog has been grossly inadequate.
Roger Pielke Sr.