In my earlier post about the findings of the Penn State inquiry committee looking into allegations of research misconduct against Michael Mann, I mentioned that the one allegation that was found to merit further investigation may have broad implications for how the public understands what good scientific work looks like, and for how scientists themselves understand what good scientific work looks like.
Some of the commenters on that post seemed interested in discussing those implications. Others, not so much. As commenter Evan Harper notes:
It is clear that there are two discussions in parallel here; one is serious, thoughtful, and focused on the very real and very difficult questions at hand. The other is utterly inane, comprising vague ideological broadsides against nebulous AGW conspirators, many of which evince elementary misunderstandings about the underlying science.
If I wanted to read the second kind of conversation, there are a million blogs out there with which I could torture myself. But I want to read – and perhaps participate in – the first kind of conversation. Here and now, I cannot do that, because the second conversation is drowning out the first.
Were that comment moderators could crack down on these poisonous nonsense-peddlers. Their right to swing their (ham)fists ends where our noses begin
Ask and you shall receive.
Commenters on this post are invited to discuss the question of what counts (or should count) as accepted scientific practices, either in meteorology, or climate science more broadly, or across scientific fields.
It is fair game to look at specific kinds of behaviors displayed by scientists in the purloined CRU emails and consider whether these behaviors fit within accepted practices or do not. As always, laying out your reasoning on these matters will enrich the discussion.
It is also fair game to consider hypothetically other kinds of behaviors scientists might display when interacting with their scientific colleagues and competitors and whether these behaviors might or might not fall within accepted scientific practices.
It is even fair game to broach the question of whether some of the practices that are, as a matter of fact, accepted by scientific practitioners and communities might not undermine the goals of those scientific practitioners and communities (whether knowledge-building goals or goals about communicating with and cooperating with non-scientists).
What is out of bounds in the comments on this post: arguments about what the balance of the data show or do not show about climate trends, or claims that the Penn State inquiry committee was engaged in a whitewash or cover-up of Dr. Mann’s wrongdoing, or other commentary on whether climate change is a religion or a green conspiracy or what have you.
As Evan points out, there is ample opportunity to consider those arguments and claims elsewhere on the internets. If you decide to bring them to the comments on this post, where they are officially off topic, I shall moderate them out of existence.