28 February 2015

American Meteorological Society Criticises Congressional Investigation of Climate Researchers

Posted by Dan Satterfield

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Statement from the AMS today.

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.

Full disclosure:
I’m a member of the AMS, and presently Chairman of the AMS Comm. on Station Science