Oh FFS, more politics? Still no science? Sorry, but yes. The Economist doesn't like Putin, or rather what he's doing to Russia, and who could disagree with them. Certainly not me. The Commies themselves do, as you'd hope. I think the Economist is basically right: Putin and Russia are weak and flailing and dangerous because of that; much like (as they don't say) North Korea. Foundation and Empire, part II refers as does Foundation and Empire.

Vaguely connected to science, or at least the debate around it, it is nice to think that only two years ago I was vaguely relevant. And I liked Eli's chart of the year. On sea ice, Tamino points out that the annual mean for this year may well be a record, since although the September min was unimpressive it was low early and now late. A thing to watch.

Meanwhile in other news, on mt watch on Twitter (I hate f*ck*ng Twitter it is such a rubbish medium and so hard to link to that I'm forced to screen shot it, how awful is that?) I find:


That seems like a change of views on mt's part to me. A welcome one, because I too think that (a) growth isn't built into capitalism, and (b) it needs tweaking not replacing.

Less interestingly ATTP is still on Tolwatch, this time about cliscep.com. But I don't think I'll follow him.


* Why I support Hillary Clinton - 3. Trust
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* The Trump and Clinton campaigns finally had a substantive climate debate

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But I don’t think I’ll follow him.

Very wise; I wouldn't if I was you either.

[That was quick :-) -W]

By ...and Then Th… (not verified) on 25 Oct 2016 #permalink

Any comments on Nick Stern's organization defrauding UK taxpayers by claiming to have done research they never did?


[It would be nice to have a less biased report of the problem; its hard to tell from that. The situation is (I think) that whenever you have a grant renewal you have to push to your funding body evidence of the work you've done; so everyone is expected to puff up their paper count. It is often hard to tell whether a given paper was funded by a given grant or not, and it appears that they've got rather casual about pushing the line past the blurred point -W]

As far as the CCCEP situation is concerned, I suspect that some administrator was asked to produce a list of publications by the members of the Centre and published between October 2008 and sometime in 2013. One of the papers Tol is getting his knickers in a twist about had a co-author who is a member of the centre and was formally published in January 2009. However, Tol is claiming it appeared online in July 2008 and hence had nothing to do with the centre. Technically he is right that the work associated with that paper was done before the centre started. However, a database search would not immediately indicate that as it would return a publication year of 2009; you'd need to actually go further, which if it's anything like what happens when I'm involved in grant proposals you don't really have time to do because all these things are done at the last minute. They may have asked the members of the centre to check, but - again - asking academics to thoroughly check a list of papers is similar to trying to herd cats.

You may argue that they maybe they should have been a bit more careful about papers that appear to have been published just after the centre started, but the intent of the publication list may have been to illustrate the productivity of its member, rather than to specifically indicate output from the centre (they did flag papers that were not directly funded by the Centre). As you say above, it's a bit of a grey area and mostly people try to make it seem as impressive as possible without crossing the line of being actually deceptive.

Interestingly, on Bishop-Hill Tol appears to be backing down a little by suggesting that it's really more a molehill than a mountain and that the outcome of the proposal was a foregone conclusion (which rather makes accusations of fraud hard to justify). At least he got his accusation published before deciding it wasn't necessarily all that big a deal.

By ...and Then Th… (not verified) on 27 Oct 2016 #permalink