«Edited and Annotated by John Costella The Lavoisier Group March 2010 About the Author John Costella was born in East Melbourne in 1966. After being ...»
Let the lawyers figure this out, but be sure that, like Ben is doing now, you disclose the maximum reasonable amount of information so that competent scientists can do replication work, but short of publishing undocumented personalized programs etc. The end of the email Ben attached shows their intent—to discredit papers so they have no “evidentiary value in public policy”—what you resort to when you can’t win the intellectual battle scientifically at the IPCC or the National Academy of Sciences.
The most disturbing aspect of this commentary is that Schneider completely understands the enormous public policy ramifications of this research—yet still expresses such remarkably naive sentiments. He still thinks enormous public policy decisions should be based on the results from undocumented and unchecked personal computer programs.
Good luck with this, and expect more of it as we get closer to international climate policy actions. We are witnessing the “contrarian Battle of the Bulge” now, and expect that all weapons will be used.
PS Please do not copy or forward this email.
The need for confidentiality is becoming more apparent to the co-conspirators. Do they sense a dissenter or a whistle-blower in the ranks?
January 29, 2009: email 1233249393
Phil Jones writes to Ben Santer about some delightfully unexpected news:
I heard during the International Detection and Attribution Group meeting that I’ve been made an American Geophysical Union Fellow. I will likely have to go to Toronto to the Spring American Geophysical Union meeting to collect it. I hope I don’t see a certain person (McIntyre) there! I have to get out of a keynote talk I’m due to give in Finland the same day!
January 30, 2009: email 1233326033
Geoff Smith writes to Ben Santer:
Dear Dr. Santer, I’m pleased to see that the requested data is now available on line. Thank you for your efforts to make these materials available.
My “dog in this fight” is good science and replicability. I note the following
The American Physical Society on line statement reads (in part):
“The success and credibility of science are anchored in the willingness of
1. Expose their ideas and results to independent testing and replication by others. This requires the open exchange of data, procedures and materials.
2. Abandon or modify previously accepted conclusions when confronted with more complete or reliable experimental or observational evidence.” Also I note the National Academy of Sciences booklet “On Being a Scientist: Responsible Conduct in Research” (2nd edition) states “After publication, scientists expect that data and other research materials will be shared with qualified colleagues upon request. Indeed, a number of federal agencies, journals, and professional societies have established policies requiring the sharing of research materials. Sometimes these materials are too voluminous, unwieldy, or costly to share freely and quickly. But in those fields in which sharing is possible, a scientist who is unwilling to share research materials with qualified colleagues runs the risk of not being trusted or respected. In a profession where so much depends on interpersonal interactions, the professional isolation that can follow a loss of trust can damage a scientist’s work.” I know that the 3rd edition is expected soon, but I cannot imagine this position will be weakened.
Indeed, with electronic storage of data increasing dramatically, I expect that most of the exceptions are likely to be dropped.
I understand that science is considered by some to be a “blood sport” and that there are serious rivalries and disputes. Nevertheless, the principles above are vital to the continuation of good science, wherever the results may lead.
Again, I thank you for making the data available, and I wish you success in your future research.
Kind regards, Geoff Smith I couldn’t express it better myself.
Ben Santer’s reply:
Dear Mr. Smith, Please do not lecture me on “good science and replicability”. Mr. McIntyre had access to all of the primary model and observational data necessary to replicate our results. Full replication of our results would have required Mr. McIntyre to invest time and effort. He was unwilling to do that.
Santer is still labouring under the misunderstanding that his research remains “private”.
Mr. McIntyre could easily have examined the appropriateness of the Douglass and co-workers statistical test and our statistical test with randomly-generated data (as we did in our paper). Mr. McIntyre chose not to do that.
Santer’s arrogance extends to dictating that McIntyre must do only as Santer and his co-workers did. It does not seem to occur to him that the principles of statistics are not the exclusive domain of his small group of colleagues.
He preferred to portray himself as a victim of evil Government-funded scientists. A good conspiracy theory always sells well.
Ironic, given that Tom Wigley has described themselves in precisely those terms.
Mr. Smith, you chose to take the extreme step of writing to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Department Of Energy management to complain about my “unresponsiveness” and my failure to provide data to Mr. McIntyre.
Let us see if Santer has decided to become more “responsive”.
Your email to George Miller and Anna Palmisano was highly critical of my behaviour in this matter. Your criticism was entirely unjustified, and damaging to my professional reputation. I therefore see no point in establishing a dialogue with you. Please do not communicate with me in the future. I do not give you permission to distribute this email or post it on Mr. McIntyre’s blog.
Now where have we seen the phrase “Please do not communicate with me in the future” before? In his reply to Steve McIntyre on November 10, 2008. There’s not much chance of “the open exchange of data, procedures and materials” with Ben Santer.
February 2, 2009: email 1233586975
Geoff Smith writes to Phil Jones, trying to clarify the situation:
Dear Prof. Jones, (provides reference to the paper in question) As you are a co-author of the referenced paper, you may be interested to know of developments (in case you have not heard already).
You will be aware that intermediate data … had been requested from the first author, Dr. Santer. A refusal has been posted online, but in the mean time the data is now available at (link).
Perhaps you had this data already, but other co-authors have reportedly claimed (earlier) they did not have the data. A typical reported response to a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request was, “I have examined my files and have no data from climate models used in the paper referred to, and no correspondence regarding said data.” No one disputes Dr. Santer’s claim that the “primary model data” is publicly available, but there is a strong case to be made that intermediate results, e.g., collation of such data and the relevant computer programs should be made available in studies such as this one, since there is an important possibility of errors in trying to replicate such a collation. The archiving of such intermediate results is required for econometrics journals, among others.
It is further reported online that the posting of the data was not pursuant to an FOIA order, but posted voluntarily (although likely at the request of the funding agency, the Department of Energy, Office of Science). I hope other scientists will take this type of voluntary action. You may have heard that Professor Hardaker, the Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Meteorological Society, which publishes the International Journal of Climatology, has confirmed that the issue of data archiving will be on the agenda for the next meeting of the Society’s Scientific Publishing Committee. There is a need for journals as well as funding agencies, and publishing scientists themselves, to establish and enforce good data and computer program archiving policies. A more precise definition of “recorded factual material commonly accepted in the scientific community as necessary to validate research findings” is probably overdue.
I hope the Hadley Centre will take a lead in this issue. From time to time I’ll look at the progress on archiving, but in the mean time, no reply is necessary.
Jones writes to Ben Santer:
Is this the Smith who has emailed? … I’m not on a Royal Meteorological Society committee at the moment, but I could try and contact Paul Hardaker if you think it might be useful. I possibly need to explain what is “raw” and what is “intermediate”.
I wasn’t going to give this guy Smith the satisfaction of a reply!
Instead of improving their data and computer program archiving standards, Jones is only interested in influencing the committee that will revise the minimum requirements.
Yes, this is the same Geoff Smith who wrote to me. Do you know who he is? From his comments about the Royal Meteorological Society, he seems to be a Brit.
… I think it would be useful to raise these issues with Paul Hardaker.
Agreement has been reached that the best way forward is to influence the Royal Meteorological Society.
March 19, 2009: email 1237496573 Phil Jones writes to Paul Hardaker, the Chief Executive Officer of the Royal
Meteorological Society (RMS):
This email came overnight—from Tom Peterson, who works at the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina.
“Phil Jones, the director of the Hadley Climate Center in the United Kingdom.” We all know that this is not my job. The paper being referred to appeared in the Journal of Geophysical Research last year. The paper is (cites reference).
The paper clearly states where I work—the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. There is no mention of the Hadley Centre!
There is also no about-face as stated on the web page.
I am sending you this as it gives a good example of the sort of people you are dealing with when you might be considering changes to data policies at the RMS.
So the RMS should refrain from improving its policies because someone in the United States erroneously associated Jones with the wrong United Kingdom climate science institution? It is hardly surprising that people mistakenly confuse the two organizations, because they work closely together, as evidenced by the joint development of climatic data sets such as “HADCRUT3”.
There are probably wider issues due to climate change becoming more mainstream in the more popular media that the RMS might like to consider.
I just think you should be aware of some of the background. The Climatic Research Unit has had numerous Freedom Of Information requests since the beginning of 2007. The Met(eorological) Office, the University of Reading, the National Climatic Data Center and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies have had as well—many related to IPCC involvement.
I know the world changes and the way we do things changes, but these requests and these sorts of simple mistakes should not have an influence on the way things have been adequately dealt with for over a century.
Ah, reminiscing to the “good old days” when the old boys’ club wasn’t accountable to anyone.
Ben Santer is still not going to let anyone have access to his data and methods:
If the RMS is going to require authors to make all data available—raw data plus results from all intermediate calculations—I will not submit any further papers to RMS journals.
I don’t know whether they even had a meeting yet—but I did say I would send something to their Chief Executive.
Jones clearly believes that he holds some sway over Hardaker.
I’m having a dispute with the new editor of Weather. I’ve complained about him to the RMS Chief Executive. If I don’t get him to back down, I won’t be sending any more papers to any RMS journals and I’ll be resigning from the RMS.
The same tactics, yet again.