The Tragedy of The Conformist Scientist

Sadly, great comments are lost in millions of blogs, simply because they can only be found by scrolling down (=wasting time) through giant lists of other comments. Here’s an example of something that I am not sure many people will spot.

It’s from Willis Eschenbach, posted in Climate Audit, and it’s an appeal to all scientists that have seen their work twisted in the name of Climate Change, and still cannot be bothered to make the point clear.

Perhaps believing that it is right to the say the wrong thing for the right reason.

[…] IF you feel that Mann is mis-using your datasets, you have a scientific obligation to make that fact known. […] science is not built upon agreement. It is built upon falsification, and for science to work, somebody has to be the bearer of the bad news. Somebody has to speak up, to post notice each and every time the Emperor is more than threadbare, to point out when in fact he’s buck naked.

This, to me, is the most discouraging part of climate science in general, and dendroclimatology in particular. You guys rarely seem to find a single fault in even the most egregious examples of your compatriots’ work. Observing the silence of all of you lambs, I’m left with two choices for an explanation of the pervading stillness:

1) Climate science is in such an advanced state that nobody is making any mistakes, or

2) Climate science is in such a pathetic state because nobody is making any waves.

Don’t you guys care that your chosen scientific field is becoming the butt of jokes? Don’t you care when someone makes unsustainable claims based on the data you worked so hard to acquire and analyze? Don’t any of you folks care that Michael Mann is dragging the good name of paleoclimatology through the mud?

I keep waiting for someone in the field, anyone, to have the balls stand up and publicly say something like “Linah Abaneh’s thesis reveals a deep problem with the Graybill proxies, and possibly with proxy data collection in general,” or “Mann is using the Brown proxies upside down”, or anything but the deafening silence […]

science is a blood sport, it is built on proving that the other guy is wrong. If you don’t have the stomach to stand up for your principles, if you don’t have the balls to name names and dissect fraudulent claims, then go be an auto mechanic or something.

Because a man who won’t speak out to keep his own scientific backyard clean, a man who is unwilling to point out both scientific mistakes and scientific malfeasance in a clear loud voice, is only pretending to be a scientist. […]

You do not gain points by silence in the position that you are in. You do not gain points by ignoring the errors of your fellow scientists. […]

Climate science is sick, and dendroclimatology is moribund. That’s the problem, and no amount of golden silence will be enough to cover that up. It’s time for you guys […] to take on the task of cleaning out the Augean Stables that have sprung up in your very own backyard.