Friday, December 12, 2008

Science Magazine and Academic Fraud

It's fairly often that we hear complaints about "politicizing science", generally from the left and generally talking about Bush's refusal to allow federal funding of one particular type of stem cell research that requires human fetuses to be created and destroyed, something that is found ethically troublesome by roughly half the population.

We don't hear the same question when it's about leftists ignoring science or making false claims (Hi Al!) in their attempts to change the world's economy away from use of carbon dioxide. (Which I believe is currently protecting us from the coming ice age.)

Apparently, Science Magazine doesn't feel it has to publish corrections when they publish false or shoddy research that makes exaggerated political claims about "consensus" on "global climate change". In fact, they appear to actively conceal their errors, and to intentionally time their shoddiness to bolster leftist political theatre (much like the Lancet).

A 2004 article printed in Science, but apparently never peer-reviewed, claimed that of the 928 peer-reviewed papers from 1993-2003 in the ISI database on "climate change", 75% of them agreed with her idea of consensus and the other 25% were silent. In other words, "science historian" Naomi Oreskes claimed there was no argument about human-caused global warming. She defined the consensus thus:
“Human activities … are modifying the concentration of atmospheric constituents … that absorb or scatter radiant energy. … most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.”

Aside from the obvious and undenied point that humans put out gasses, pretty much all of her claims were wrong, from the number of studies of "climate change" to what those studies actually said regarding the points in her consensus statement above.

Dr. Benny Peiser, of Liverpool John Moores University in the UK, conducted a search of the peer-reviewed studies in the ISI database, and found that there were over 12000 that matched the term she claimed she used. When the term was later adjusted in an errata statement to "global climate change", there were 929, which is fairly close to Oreskes's number above. However, only 13 explicitly agreed with her claim, and more than twice as many explicitly disputed it, even in the abstract.

The details were even more incriminating, recalling Michael A. Bellesiles's fraudulent anti-gun research. Science, of course, has refused to publish the corrections, or the later studies that show the radically different distribution of opinions on papers published after 2004.

You can read the whole story here.

No comments: