Shame on you, Discover MagazineJanuary 15, 2009
Discover magazine’s January “The Year In Science” issue contains an interview with Robert Proctor, a professor or history at Stanford University. The Author is Michael Abrams. Proctor’s new specialty is “agnotology,” a term he coined for “the study of the politics of ignorance.” This is all well and fine – he has a lot of raw material to work with since there is an abundance of ignorance to be studied in this world.
In a previous incarnation Professor Proctor gained fame as the first historian to testify against the tobacco industry. As a student of the history of science, Proctor should know something about the relationship between philosophy, logic and science. He should know something about the logical fallacy commonly known as “hasty generalization.” But he engages in an egregious example of this when he says:
“…in terms of sowing doubt, certainly global warming in a famous one. You know, the global warming denialists who for years have managed to say ‘Well, the cause is not proven. We need more research.’ And what’s interesting is that a lot of the people working on that were also the people working on Big Tobacco.”
Perhaps on his next foray to the library to engage in historical research Professor Proctor can check out the resumes of the “tobacco scientists” in the following quickly compiled list. You may do your own Internet search on these folks. In many cases you will find their good names smeared, their accomplishments overlooked, and their associations scrutinized with pathetically cynical eyes. I contend that their demonization is the real “politics of ignorance.” But I won’t hold my breath waiting for some scholarly “agnotology” paper by Robert Proctor explaining how this smear process works. These scientists, who are just the tip of the iceberg, disagree with some or all of the main tenants of the global warming gospel.
- Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu–founding director of the International Arctic Research Center from 1999 to 2007, and Distinguished Visiting Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He has won numerous awards and honors, including the The Chapman Medal from the Royal Astronomical Society in England. He has published more than 550 professional journal articles, authored and co-authored 10 books, most concerning the magnetosphere and solar wind, several of which are also published in Japanese, Chinese or Russian.
- Dr. Claude Allegre–member of both the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and French Academy of Science. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences presented him with their $500,000 Craf0ord prize for his work in geoscience. The Geological Society of London gave him their highest honor, the Wollaston Medal. France’s most influential research institute, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), gave him their Golden Medal for his scientific accomplishments.
- Dr. Sallie Baliunas– Ph.D., Astrophysics, Harvard. She is currently an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, former deputy director of the Mount Wilson Institute, which operates the Mt. Wilson Observatory, a Visiting Professor at Brigham Young University, and Adjunct Professor at Tennessee State University. She received the Derek Bok Public Service Prize from Harvard and the Newton Lacey Pierce Prize from the American Astronomical Society.
- Dr. Tim Ball – PhD in Geography with a specific focus on historical climatology from the University of London (England), Queen Mary College
- Dr. John Christy – A lead author for the 2001 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 1991 recipient of the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal. 1996 Recipient of American Meteorological Society Special Award for fundamentally advancing our ability to monitor climate.
- Prof. Freeman Dyson – Retired professor of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. Dyson is a fellow of the American Physical Society, a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the Royal Society of London. Dyson is famous for his unification of the three versions of quantum electrodynamics invented by Feynman, Schwinger and Tomonagaone. He is the 1993 recipient of the prestigious Enrico Fermi Award. Many consider Dyson to be one of the greatest living physicists in the world.
- Dr. Eigils Friis-Christensen–director of the Danish National Space Centre, vice-president of the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy
- Dr. Christopher Landsea – past chairman of the American Meteorological Society’s Committee on Tropical Meteorology and Tropical Cyclones. 2003 recipient of NOAA OAR Outstanding Scientific Paper Award. 1993 recipient of the American Meteorological Society’s Banner I. Miller Award . Landsea has authored or co-authored over 60 journal articles concerning climate and tropical storms. He withdrew from authorship of the Fourth Assessment Report of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) because the politics that overshadowed the science.
- Dr. Richard Lindzen – Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at M.I.T., member of the National Research Council Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate. Author or co-author of over 200 articles concerning the atmosphere and climate. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society. He is a Distinguished Visiting Scientist at California Institute of Technology’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Lindzen says global warming alarmists “are trumpeting catastrophes that couldn’t happen even if the models were right.”
- Dr. Patrick Michaels– Ph.D., Ecological Climatology, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Research professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia. Past president of the American Association of State Climatologists and was program chair for the Committee on Applied Climatology of the American Meteorological Society. He was a contributing author and reviewer of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Author of the climate “paper of the year” awarded by the Association of American Geographers in 2004.
- Roger A. Pielke Sr.–Ph.D., Meteorology, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, author of several books on meteorology, Fellow of the American Meteorological Society and of the American Geophysical Union. Author or co-author of over 300 peer-reviewed papers. Received NOAA’s ERL Outstanding Scientific Paper Award, the AMS Leroy Meisinger Award , the Abell Research Faculty Award
- Prof. Paul Reiter – professor of medical entomology at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, member of the World Health Organization Expert Advisory Committee on Vector Biology and Control, and 22 years with the Center for Disease Control.
- Dr Roy Spencer– Ph.D. in meteorology, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Formerly Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for global temperature monitoring work with satellites. U.S. Science Team leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer on NASA’s Aqua satellite.
- Prof. Hendrik Tennekes – retired director of research, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute and former Professor of Aeronautical Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University. He is an expert in atmospheric boundary layer processes and the author of A First Course in Turbulence. As an expert in this field he worries about a lack of “decency, modesty, honesty, integrity and balance in climate research.”
- Dr. Edward Wegman – Chair of the National Research Council’s Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics. Wegman’s resume lists him as a fellow or five science and mathematical associations, and is currently a Visiting Fellow, Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, University of Cambridge. He has written over 140 invited papers and more than 200 additional journal articles and Technical reports. He has mentored thirty-three Ph.D students. His research interests include Statistical Graphics and Scientific Visualization, Computational Statistics, Time Series Analysis, Function and Curve Estimation including Splines, Inference under Order Restrictions, Parallel Computing, Massive Data Sets, Streaming Data, and Data Mining, Modeling Alcohol Use Behavior, Text Mining, Social Networks, Statistical Methods for Computer Intrusion Detection and Paleoclimate Reconstruction. The “Wegman Report” profoundly refuted the “hockey stick,”
- Dr. Antonino Zichichi– emeritus professor of physics at the University of Bologna. His is the former president of the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare and has been a high level researcher at both Fermilab and CERN. He is the past President of the European Physical Society, the past President of the NATO Science Committee for Disarmament Technology, President of the World Federation of Scientists.
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