There is a post of Top Science Scandals of 2011 at The Scientist (h/t: FE). It all seemed a bit life-sciency, but then that’s what the mag is about, so fair enough.

Not much climate there, but number 5 is Wegman’s shameless plagiarism (not forgetting, of course, that Wegman’s real problem is that his work and analysis is wrong, not that it was copied).

But the amusing bit is the long long comments thread, which immeadiately derails into the usual nonsense that happens when you let the deniers in. Ah well, so it goes. Who needs paid advocates when you have useful idiots?


  1. #1 Rattus Norvegicus

    I found the “bee-in-her-bonnet lady” particularly humorous.

  2. #2 Greg Laden

    It couldn’t actually be allowed, and it should be actively discouraged:

    [I can’t see any sign of editor in any comments; as C H-S points out, the bee dance stuff is even more irrelevant. And HIV-does-not-cause-AIDS shows up later. Well, it wouldn’t get through my comment policy :-) -W]

  3. #3 crf

    Mention of Wegman brought climate deniers, Arsenic life: the evolution deniers. If only they’d mentioned the continuing source of scandal Wakefield, the thread could have had the vaccine denialists. And what about that cell phone subgroup analysis: a real press scandal, if not science scandal there. If that were in the list we could have had the cancer-nutters in the thread as well.

  4. #4 PeteB

    Ah the bee lady, yes I remember her well

  5. #5 carrot eater

    crf: crank magnetism. Some of these are anyway the same people.

  6. #6 John Mashey

    I (slightly) disagree with Greg:
    I have along argued for “shadow threads” or Stoat’s Burrow or The Bore Hole @ RC (up to 608 comments, still going strong), etc.

    Blogging software has a long way to go to properly support sensible editorial policies that are time-efficient. It takes really dedicated editors right now, and even then, I have yet to see software that does everything I’d really want:
    1) Minimal-effort (ideally 1-click)choice of
    Accept with edit
    Send to burrow/borehole, either a general one, or a “shadow thread” created for the current thread
    Attach a reason-code from a short menu, ideally, a common set of reasons could be developed and used widely.
    There at-least: off-topic (since even sensible people sometimes do that) and (whatever one calls the common babble).

    [I don’t get a “Send to burrow” option from mt, and I’d like one -W]

    2) “Send to burrow” should put the post somewhere, put a link to it into the real thread, with poster name, date, so if someone wants to follow, they can. Ideally, there would be some option somewhere to let a reader never even see them (akin to Firefox/Greasemonkey/KILLFILE).
    The post should have a backlink to main thread where it was moved from. That lets one see a dumb comment and find the context from which it came.

    3) AS I’ve written often, without moderation, blogs will follow some USENET newsgroups from terrifically useful into utter uselessness. The S/N ratio degrades and good people stay away. Moderator control and reader control (i.e., KILLFILEs) are complementary and one really needs both.

    [That is my view -W]

  7. #7 Alexander Ač


    check this post

    Soaring Debt To GDP Is More Reponsible For Global Warming Than Rising CO2 Levels

    [Errrm, why? It is obvious nonsense. If it has a moral, I’m afraid you’re going to have to tell me what it is -W]

  8. #8 Alexander Ač


    I understood it is meant to be as a non-sense, in order to show that correlation is not causation – but this is not to be criticism of AGW, but of neoliberal economists…

    [Oh. But that still doesn’t make sense to me. “C-doesn’t-show-C is the mantra that the mindless septics chant, because they are under the illusion that GW-type theory does make that assumption. So if that post had a moral, it would be that critics of neolibecon are mindless too; because neolibecon also doesn’t make that assumption. But I suspect that isn’t what you mean, nor from the pointless insult-flinging of the blog what the author meant -W]

    But maybe I completely misrepresented the message, it happens sometimes… I will ceck the comments there…


  9. #9 David B. Benson

    But what about the bottom scandals?

  10. #10 evil denier poopyhead

    What happened to the Atmoz blog? I kind of liked that guy…

    [He is still around -W]

  11. It’s a beautiful shot.simple but full of meaning, zen photography .. I really like this.

  12. #12 Martin Vermeer

    > C-doesn’t-show-C

    Alexander he didn’t even invent that meme… that was, in an ass-backward way, the Cult of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, who established as one of their articles of faith, based on Correlation Analysis, that global warming is caused by piracy on the high seas…

    BTW C-doesn’t-show-C is false on some level. Significant correlation (but what is that? Good question) does tend to show the existence of a causal relationship — just not the one you think it does. Think of the summer’s ice cream sales and birth rates nine months on… no, ice cream eating doesn’t interfere with contraception :-)

  13. #13 Hank Roberts

    > Moderator control and reader control (i.e., KILLFILEs)

    Threaded news with killfile sufficed, without moderators, though a shared killfile would be handy.
    “… kill & selection of articles based on subject or author.”

    Anyone competent at developing software who’d propose building such through something like Kickstarter?

    Aside — if you wonder whether we’ll have Usenet after the corporations finish locking down “WWW” make sure to check that your ISP isn’t letting the news server quietly die. Mine is, sad to say; they’ve announced they won’t replace it.
    Else we’ll be back to Fidonet.

  14. Thanks for the excellent contribution to the discussion.

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