Why is there so much scientific misconduct?

Because it is not punished.

The enquiry into the wrong-doings of Phil Jones and his minions at the CRU has found – nothing to criticize. Or perhaps something to criticize, but it is nothing really worth mentioning. Really. Nothing to see, just move along.

I am Jack’s complete lack of surprise.

When was the last time a scientific institution conducted an enquiry into alleged scientific misconduct of one of its members, and publicly found this member guilty? The last case I am aware of is Bell Labs with Jan Hendrik Schön (that was 2002), but Bell Labs is not a university, but an industrial research lab – private enterprise has still some balls left.

So it is no surprise that the Science Assessment Panel was headed by Lord Oxburgh, KBE, FRS, who failed to declare his connections to GLOBE, an eco- and climate-alarmism-outfit. On top of this, he has also connections to companies in the renewable energy sector, although he did declare that.

An impartial judge, right? Someone who earns money from climate alarmism is beyond all doubt, if he just professes the right opinions. On the other hand, if he were in the pay of evil big oil or big coal, the media would have foam at their mouth.

And so it is no surprise that the commission had no look at the real corpus delicti, the emails that state firmly Phil Jones’ intent to 1. break the law and 2. commit gross scientific misconduct by deleting data rather than handing it over to other scientists. Oh, and the commission also ignored some inconvenient papers by Jones and Mann (Mann is not a CRU, but at Penn State).

And the result is a slight rap on the knuckles: Report of the Science Assessment Panel [PDF].

But two excerpts are just hilarious:

Rather we found a small group of dedicated if slightly disorganised researchers who were ill-prepared for being the focus of public attention.

Somehow Lord Oxburgh fails to comprehend that Jones wanted public attention and worked hard to get it. Of course, he wanted attention for his work to save the planet, not for the emails that show him breaking the law and committing scientific misconduct. But Lord Oxburgh kind-heartedly ignored those mails.

We cannot help remarking that it is very surprising that research in an area that depends so heavily on statistical methods has not been carried out in close collaboration with professional statisticians.

McIntyre and McKusick wanted to help with the statistics, but they were rejected. When Jones suspected they might use the Freedom of Information Act, he threatened to delete the data, and wrote an email that he now surely regrets.

Take an advice from a recovering scientist: Never trust a scientist. Nowadays, they have turned into a bunch of scoundrels, only chasing money or political power, but no longer scientific truth. And as nearly all of them are doing that (the system is rigged that way, so that the honest ones get expelled), the probability for them to get caught is near zero.

Global warming will kill us all? Nuclear fusion will solve the world’s energy needs? Solar arrays in the Sahara will solve Europe’s energy needs? Salt is harmful to health? Passive smoking kills 500,000 people a year? H1N1 is a threat to mankind? Fruit and vegetables protect you from cancer? Computer games transform children into serial killers? Humanity will continue breeding until we all die of hunger? Don’t believe a word they tell you.

It’s all bullshit.

About Daniel Tiggemann

Software-developer living in Cologne, Germany. Was once a physicist, specialized in computer simulations and parallel programming. Now more into JavaScript, web frontend development, and especially mobile computing.
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