On being ripped off, part II

As I said before, I lay claim to introducing the use of the term "going emeritus" to the climate change wars. And you're not allowed to use it without attribution.

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Woot! Who me?

I definitely and happily concede the term to William. Oddly, I have been accused of originating it before, when in fact I merely quoted it.

It's a lovely turn of phrase but not the sort of thing my own wits would come up with.

I intend to forward all royalties on the phrase to William.

[I look forward to a comfortable retirement. Though I in turn may need to pay off Jack Vance -W]

So what's the term for extrapolating wildly beyond even the IPCC's pessimistic worst-case scenarios then claiming that 99% of scientists or everyone who isn't insane fully agrees with you.

And what's the term for announcing your latest paper in a press release (often before it's published or even peer-reviewed) full of pseudo-scientific, overpessimistic babble that bears little or no heed to the huge caveats and guesswork in the work it's supposed to be based on.

And what's the term for scientists who observe such blatant over-promotion and who either remain silent or fully encourage it.

[Probably best to be more specific as I'm not sure what you mean -W]

Hi W.

I've done a little research and you were not actually the first to use that expression. James Annan used it here the year before you quote.

[Nope, it predates that: http://groups.google.com/group/sci.environment/msg/c42f9055d4460e80?dmo… You know that, because James is quoting in the quote you reference. Unfortuneately the link I post in that message doesn't seem to work any more -W]

But I don't think it is a new concept. There is a saying âProfessors don't retire, they just lose their faculties!â [Anon.]

[But that isn't the same as "gone emeritus". The original is "Languages of Pao", as I keep telling people -W]

Cheers, Alastair.

By Alastair McDonald (not verified) on 08 Jun 2009 #permalink

Nope, no no no! My father used the expression "gone emeritus" very wryly way before the date of this book. I tend to think it was a sort of cynical expression he picked up in circles in the late 30's at Stanford U.., or in NYC subsequently. He was a great litterati and journalist.

By Nancy Watkins (not verified) on 31 Jul 2011 #permalink