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Alleging 'Malpractice' With Climate Skeptic Papers, Publisher Kills Journal 314

Posted by timothy
from the public-scrutiny dept.
sciencehabit writes "A European publisher today terminated a journal edited by climate change skeptics. The journal, Pattern Recognition in Physics, was started less than a year ago. Problems cropped up soon afterward. In July, Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at the University of Colorado, Denver, noted 'serious concerns' with Pattern Recognition in Physics. As he wrote on his blog about open-access publishing, Beall found self-plagiarism in the first paper published by the journal. 'In addition,' says another critic, 'the editors selected the referees on a nepotistic basis, which we regard as malpractice in scientific publishing.'"
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Alleging 'Malpractice' With Climate Skeptic Papers, Publisher Kills Journal

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  • by artor3 (1344997) on Friday January 17, 2014 @09:42PM (#45994461)

    One can easily say the same thing about liberals an GMO's.

    Yep, that's true. But allowing global warming to continue unchecked is far, FAR more harmful than forcing companies to label their GMO products. The two types of anti-science behavior are alike in kind, but not in scale. Only one is threatening human civilization.

  • by BergZ (1680594) on Friday January 17, 2014 @11:02PM (#45995227)
    A scientific consensus forms when almost all scientists within a field of study are convinced, based on the strength of the available evidence, that a theory that is within their field of study is correct.

    Global Climate Change has become the consensus position of Climatologists the same way that Evolution has become the consensus position of Biologists and the same way that General Relativity has become the consensus position of Physicists.
  • by ApplePy (2703131) on Friday January 17, 2014 @11:31PM (#45995413)

    And how long before all of the weeds just think of Roundup as a nice cool sip of water? Time for the next pesticide!

    We're already seeing it. Several species of weeds in the midwest (including the already nearly indestructible pigweed and lamb's quarter) have developed not only resistance to Roundup, but a taste for it as a fertilizer. Glyphosate-loving superweeds are not science fiction or theory; they are already reality.

    Talk of stronger herbicides is already happening, including the resurrection of Agent Orange:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2010/07/13/the-escalating-chemical-war-on-weeds/ [counterpunch.org]

  • by laird (2705) <lairdp@nOSPAm.gmail.com> on Friday January 17, 2014 @11:35PM (#45995451) Journal

    Nope. While you, clearly not understanding science, may not believe it, scientists hold it a virtue to give up positions when they are disproven. So in science, if a popular idea is conclusively disproven, it becomes quite unpopular quite quickly. And this has happened many times in the past. Look, for example, at relativity, which was an "insane" idea when first proposed, but was widely validated by independent researchers, and adopted as the concensus by the scientific community.

    When a scientist tries to use their personal agenda using their reputation, what always happens is someone smarter and more right comes along, and being right his research survives peer review and is validated by other researchers, and the guy who was wrong loses. It's happened for centuries. It's not that scientists are angels - the reason the scientific method works is that it assumes that everyone has biases and their own agenda, and the entire system is structured to use people's individual agendas and biases and force them to compete, with whoever's theories are provably correct winning. It's important to understand that, unlike politics, scientific theories can be objectively proven or disproven, by having competing teams try to repeat your research, with strong incentives to prove that you're wrong because they want to beat you. So if your research is right, and nobody can disprove it, your theory wins, and you win. That's happened over and over again for centuries, and it's resulted in constant change in science, as mankind's understanding of the world advances.

    Sure, there's corruption. But the scientific method is designed to provide disincentives to corruption, because collectively scientists care about, and reward, truth. For example, if you do flawed research, meaning that your results can't be independently duplicated by others, instead those others come along and disprove your research, and they're rewarded for doing so. If a journal doesn't do proper peer review, then they lose credibility and go out of business. And if an industry (e.g. cigarettes, oil) tries to pay researchers to do corrupt research, they'll find some willing to take the money, but journals have a strong incentive not to publish research that's flawed, because if they publish flawed research they'll lose credibility (which they care quite a bit about), and thus sales. And peer reviewers have a strong incentive not to let flawed research make it past them, because individually they'll lose credibility, and not get paid to do peer reviews in the future. And other scientists have strong incentives to disprove any flawed research that's published, because disproving someone else's research is very impressive. So while the corrupted research may be useful politically (e.g. cigarette companies published lots of quotes from "research" that "proves" that cigarettes didn't cause cancer, letting them sell more cigarettes and give more people cancer for a few more decades), ultimately their research was flawed, often with falsified data, and the authors and journals involved were discredited, while the accurate research survived peer review and other teams' challenges and was proved correct. So the scientific method worked despite all of the money and other incentives that were applied to try to corrupt it.

    So no, the scientific method works, and has worked for centuries, and will continue to work as long as scientists are rewarded based on the scientific method.

  • Re:Anonymous Coward (Score:5, Interesting)

    by riverat1 (1048260) on Saturday January 18, 2014 @01:02AM (#45996009)

    Good point. To drive it home the top 3 meters (~10 feet) contains as much energy as the whole atmosphere so the top 700 meters contains over 233 atmospheres worth of energy. I don't know if this is a valid calculation but 233 * 0.302 = enough energy for 70 degrees F of atmospheric temperature rise. Even if it's not valid it's obvious the oceans are absorbing a lot more energy than the atmosphere.

  • by Ol Olsoc (1175323) on Saturday January 18, 2014 @01:31PM (#45999207)

    Denialism? Oh, wait, you mean skepticism! You know, that thing where you don't believe something without sufficient scientific proof being presented.

    Um, no. Denialism is not skepticism. Denialism is refusal to accept something that is pretty well established. Typical examples are denial of the likely age of the earth, the Holocaust, Evolution, The President's birth certificate The effects of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the shape of the earth, the cause of AIDS, There is a lot of evidence to support all of these, but the denier simply will not accept the evidence.

    Skepticism on the other hand, especially scientific skepticism, is questioning beliefs based upon scientific understanding. I am a general skeptic, which is to say that if good solid evidence and studies that show that the accumulation of the so-called greenhouse gases in the atmosphere do not have heat retention capabilities in relation to their amount. I'm ready to drop AGW quickly. I can be convinced.

    I can read the literature - and have - regarding the age of the earth. I can put together information across disciplines and come up with a pretty compelling case that the world was not created in 4004 b.c.e.

    I can look af fossils, and see what levels they have come from. I can and have looked up the geological reference layers, and see the results of radio dating, which correlate so well with those layers, and then relate them to the world age science. More correlation.

    I can look at the concept of Cold fusion, and inasmuch as it is an outlier to what we know about physics and atom level power, I can increase the level of my skepticism. And so far, that skepticism has proven correct. Because the science really isn't there.

    The Scientific Skepticism can carry over to people too. Is there a chance that a person employed by an oil company would be sure that their work would only reflect highly on that company? Would the revers be true? Would a person who was employed by a wind turbine company or solar panel producer be more likely to represent a pro AGW perspective? The answer is quite possibly yes in both cases.

    Back to the denialism, Is the creationist likely to suddenly support evolution? Donald Trump and the other Birth certificate deniers ever abandon their Quixotic quest to prove the current occupant is not qualified to be president? People who deny AGW fit into the same mold.

    Whereas if I am shown very good evidence against AGW - I'll drop my support for the concept. And in my skepticism, there is one small niggle. In the back of my mind, I would like for AGW to be a bad concept. It would beso much easier, and humanity would be able to just do as it wants with the fuels that produce the so called greenhouse gases. That would be pretty cool (pun sort of intended)

    But having been trained in science, I have to suppress what I think would be great, and look for what actually happens.

If a thing's worth having, it's worth cheating for. -- W.C. Fields

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