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New (Fun!) Survey Of Global Warming Evidence

This comes from the same area where evidence of global warming has kept accumulating

(video via @ThisIsTrue)

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Live Microblogging Of "Evidence-based decision making: who's counting the evidence…" Tonight At UCL

Follow @mmorabito67 for live microblogging of tonight’s UCL event “Evidence-based decision making: who’s counting the evidence…” 5.15pm GMT in London

And here all the notes as written (oldest note first):

  • Starts right on time – speaker gets audience to move closer – who is the speaker?
  • It was a Sarah now it’s a Peter Piot of IGH presentation Lost In Translation
  • Evidence means many things. ‘Deadly delay’ from science to global action eg tobacco cancer link 1950 Surgeon General 1964 etc
  • Mentions climate change then antiretroviral prophylaxis for AIDS still only 35%
  • Bridges from evidence to policy to implementation importance of clarity
  • Example of condoms and other methods against Aids different efficacy theoretical vs actual
  • Science comms issue incomprehensible language
  • Policy not just based on evidence alone also preferences politics – progress depends on politics
  • Eg Cardoso of Brazil not stopping provision of Aids drugs
  • Don’t compromise on basic principle but need to pressure the right points
  • Mbeki did not follow advice not a problem of missing information
  • Not evidence-based but evidence-informed policy – don’t leave policy to technocrats
  • Implementation: guidelines simple, right costs and allocated resources
  • Community engagement then also dealing with beliefs eg polio vaccine leading to impotence and infertility
  • Sun-tzu quote shown in Chinese- people might have good reason to be suspicious- don’t get to war, yet to understand all people
  • Now director of NICE, Calypso ?, reader specialist in history of global health probs, senior health advisor Malcolm at DFID
  • Room is uncomfortably hot light comes on then fades first panelist
  • Talks of the way NICE works – on verge of dozing off
  • Not just what evidence but also whose
  • Problem: need policy-relevant evidence making? No, just evidence alone is not enough
  • Work on legitimacy, needs, values and also better processes
  • Second panelist historian issue of who distributes evidence question for students of international health
  • Social comms is key but whose voices are heard what is the effect of power relations? What voices are not been heard?
  • Invites to avoid generalizations at state levels internal imbalances do matter
  • Polio fear not just sex-related -talk to parents -example of Gates’ DVD reinforcing role of religion by selective translation
  • Guy that gist finished seems to have done his field job now last panelist
  • Claims DFID research strategy mentions already what we have been hearing – move to results-based funding
  • 10% research budget for comms – also capacity building – why so little implementation?
  • Bias against operational research still exists – lack of best practices – mentions prob of award funding to institutions
  • Distribution not just to peers even if some academics not naturals at that
  • Experts use opaque language – funding agencies now more cooperative and less technocratic
  • Panel convenes only 15 mins left – my question first on AGW Cassandras
  • Reply is do implementation research, talk to all, be open and engaging, build network of people with same goal even if different reasons
  • Also do not assume nobody is listening maybe their voices must be looked for and helped to gain prominence
  • Experts are sometimes part of the problem eg with infighting – put aside academic debates when not relevant
  • Suggestion from DFID guy is also to start with demo project taking on all declared constraints
  • Excessive engagement? It’s a developmental process
  • Problem of experts writing too much so stiff is not even read
  • Develop interpersonal and negotiation skills too quiet or aggressive – spread understanding of social sciences
  • Risk, statistics, how to read scientific results also important to learn even before uni
  • They are talking about medical education
  • Last question on bias – suggestion is to handle it rather than avoid – engage all stakeholders – vested interests too
  • Excessive passion and involvement can corrupt science – love/hate relationship with private sector – activist when needed
  • One tool is to threaten publicity – also need regulatory based
  • This is the end – climate and population symposium on March 1
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Lacis, The IPCC, Simple Physics And Post-normal "Science"

There’s troubles with commenting at the NYT so I will re-post some of my notes to Revkin’s “Does an Old Climate Critique Still Hold up?” here:

(a) Given all the discussion taking place now, and the glaring mistakes obvious to all, it is apparent that nobody has ever read the IPCC report at a meaningful level of detail. A professional editor and a pre-established maximum number of pages should be there for AR5.

(b) I am not sure how to reconcile Dr Hegerl’s statement “We felt Andrew Lacis’ comment reflected that he couldn’t clearly see where statements came from, which is why we strengthened the pointers from the technical sections to the executive summary” with the note to Dr Lacis’ expert comment “Rejected“. Usually, rejected comments are not acted upon.

(c) I’d suggest people drop the “Greenhouse effect is simple physics” argument. Simple physics shows that warm air moves upwards, and a room’s floor is generally colder than its ceiling. However, mountaintops are generally colder than sea-level locations. Why? Because the free atmosphere is a complex system where you can’t just apply simple physics (for a different example: think of anti-oxydants’ wonders in Petri dishes and the failure to translate that into effective anti-aging treatments in the real world)

(d) Call me old-fashioned, but I find “post-normal science” a misnomer (almost, a case of reification). “Post-normal science” is not “science” and should be defined with a more appropriate moniker.