British Manipulation Of Scientific Publishing, circa 1964

Worried about some dodgy behavioural traits of some prominent British scientists? Astonished at the cavalier attitude regarding publications and dates by IPCC Lead Authors?

Stop worrying and be astonished no more. It’s common practice:

[John Maynard Smith, the famous British evolutionary biologist] coined the term “kin selection” in an article that ran off with Hamilton’s idea without giving him much credit. In the meantime, Maynard Smith was one of the anonymous reviewers on Hamilton’s seminal 1964 paper elaborating on the idea, which was delayed for nine months while Hamilton made the requested changes, thus allowing Maynard Smith’s article to appear first — something Hamilton harbored a grudge about his whole life.

Therefore (according to Sir Muir Russell), nothing in the above does “threaten the integrity of peer review or publication” (p.68, chapter 8.6 item 18).  How nice.

Climategate: It's Richard Black vs Roger Harrabin, Sir Muir vs Fred Pearce

UPDATE: Phil Jones reinstated at UEA within minutes of the Russell report being published. Final proof the Professors behave as absolute fools in matters of Public Relations.

And so when the Sir Muir Russell’s Climategate report came out, confusion reigned. Richard Black is now claiming “skeptical circles” had issues with the Oxburgh Science-but-not-science report (what are you implying, Richard, has your BBC colleague Roger Harrabin entered any “skeptical circle” of late?).

And Sir Muir (according to what is reported by Black) appears to have spent untold amounts of public money only to miss at least two of the “five key leaked emails” identified (at no cost to the taxpayer) by Fred Pearce.

There we are then: three Climategate Commissions, and the only thing that is clear is how important FOI is.

If this is the way climate-related stuff is publicly handled, Lovelock might have been right, after all.

WE ARE DOOMED!

Maybe not because of AGW, maybe not because of swine flu, but one day surely something serious is going to hit us, and all we’ll get will be obfuscation, retrenchement, delays, half-baked reports…

ps in the meanwhile…can I have my UK tax money back please?