Saturday, September 16, 2006

Playing Tim Ball

Good, now that you have batted the Tim Ball about a bit welcome to the Tim Ball timeline.

Those of you who read Deltoid and deSmogBlog know that Tim Ball has sued Dan Johnson for writing things that appear to be true. Lots of back and forth, for all I know this is also going on at any number of other sites. However, Eli, being a rather pedantic fellow, found this list of postions for the good Prof. Ball:

  • 1996 - present: Environmental Consultant, Public Speaker, Columnist
  • 1988-1996 Professor, university of Winnipeg
  • 1984-1988 Associate Professor, University of Winnipeg
  • 1977-1978 Acting Dean of Students
  • 1971-1982 Instructor/Lecturer, University of Winnipeg
  • 1964-1968 Operations Officer and Aircrew. 111 Search and Rescue Unit
  • 1962-1964 Operations Officer, Operational Training Unit,Summerside PEI
  • 1960-1962 Aircrew, Navigation, Electronics, 415 Squadron, Summerside, PEI
and the information that

Dr. Ball has B.A., (Honours), M.A. (University of Manitoba) and Ph.D, (Doctor of Science), University of London, England (the first Canadian climatology Ph.D

Environmental consultant and 28 years Professor of Climatology, University of Winnipeg
Now FIRST thing to notice is that Ball was at UWinnipeg from 1971 to 1996, by non-McKitrick like subtraction, that is 25 years. So where are the other three years?

Ah, there is a three year gap between Ball's leaving the Canadian Forces in 1968 and being hired as an Instructor. During that time he probably earned his M.A. at the University of Manitoba.

So either Ball can't do arithmetic, or he is embellishing.

But wait, there are lots of places where Ball says he has 32 years as Professor of Climatology. Hmm, must have taught every year he was an undergraduate, or someone is knitting a sweater.


Ball earned his Ph.D. in 1983 from the Queen Mary College of the University of London. There is a gap in his CV, from 1982 or 3 - 1984. That means that his thesis was presented at the latest in December 1983. Ph.D.s require much less time in the UK than in the US.

By the current rules of the University of London, the minimum time would be two full years.
6.2 Save as provided in §6.3, the normal minimum period of full-time study shall be two calendar years for the degrees of MPhil and PhD, or the equivalent period of part-time study.
6.3 Students who have transferred from another institution after undertaking research of postgraduate standard in that institution may be exempted by the Graduate School Management Committee from part of the programme of study stated in §6.2, provided that their programme of study at the College shall not be less than 12 months of full-time, or 24 months of part-time study.
Moreover, the work must have been done substantially at the University of London
7.1.1 The greater proportion of the work submitted in a thesis must have been done after the initial registration for a research degree at the College. Where a student has transferred from another institution, the greater proportion of the work must have been done whilst the student has been registered for a research degree, either at that institution, or at the College.
7.1.2 A student may not submit as his/her thesis one that has been submitted for a degree or comparable award of any other university or institution. This shall not preclude a student from incorporating in a thesis work which has already been submitted for a degree or comparable award of any university or institution, provided that the work so incorporated does not form the major part of the final thesis, and acknowledgement of the earlier work is made on both the student’s entry form and in the thesis itself.
So, Tim is down from 25 to 23.....

Somewhere in Eli's perambutations he saw that Ball was ~57 when he retired. Raises some tin foil hat questions it does.


Anonymous said...

I am not sure what makes a "professor of Climatology", but I did read over the courses offered by the geography department at Winnipeg. I found only 1 called climatology. There were some others that might somewhat related (couldn't really tell from the title). Doesn't sound like Winnipeg had a huge climatology department.

John Cross

coby said...

I only see 12 years as professor or associate professor. Does instructor/lecturer count?

Anonymous said...

It is debatable that anyone who still denies the reality of AGW (effectively ignoring all the evidence) is a real climatologist.

And if they are not one now, it is highly doubtful that they were ever a real climatologist to begin with.

There are lots of people with credentials that are essentially meaningless. Just look at all the people in the Bush administration (including Bush himself) with law and other advanced degrees who are complete idiots. They put in their time, went through the motions and learned nothing. The scientific disciplines are hardly immune from the "degreed idiot" penomenon.

Anonymous said...

Eli and others:
You may be interested in his only recorded scholarly thoughts on global climat change, a book review in CANADIAN JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS, 42 (2): 212-214 JUL 1994. (it's available through Blackwell's publication site). Basically, it displays a high degree of ignorance and opinion about modern climate research (how can we know pre-industrial CO2 levels?), misrepresentation (the infamous Schneider quote consisting mostly of ellipses, the 1970's and global cooling), and skepticism of research.

Fascinating. And remember, he'll list this as a scholarly publication, although book reviews aren't peer reviewed. This will go with his other 4 papers and book chapter (in a volume edited by Bradley, of MBH - is he part of Wegman's global conspiracy?).
It would be an entertaining and annoying half-hour to deconstruct his points and demonstrate his errors, biases, and where the data has long passed him by. However, as any long-time lecturer knows, whgen you find a good script you stick with it. If it's out of date, you just describe it as essential background.

birdbrainscan said...

Then of course there is his 2003 contribution on the follies of Kyoto in "Advances in Pork Production: proceedings of the Banff Pork Seminar" linked at:

He did get three articles published in _Climatic Change_ between '83 and '86, all on historical climate data. I see no record of his having gotten anything published during his nine years as "professor" between '88 and '96. Would he have received tenure in '88 to change from Associate Prof. to (full) Prof.?

Anonymous said...

There is something odd about Ball's claim about his PhD. In British universities the degree of Doctor of Science, DSc, is a higher doctorate awarded to scientists who have published a substantial and original contribution to science: think of 50 papers, and 20 more in the very best journals. There is something very odd about identifying a PhD with a DSc. I should have thought that anybody who really had a PhD would know the difference between the two degrees. I wonder...

Anonymous said...

Climatic change in central Canada : a preliminary analysis of weather information from the Hudson's Bay Company Forts at York Factory and Churchill Factory, 1714-1850
Ball, Timothy Francis.Pub date: 1983.
Pages: 480 leaves.
PhD (Sci) 1983

Still seems odd to equate it with Doctor of Science.
Item info: 1 item available at Main Library.

Well there's the thesis, from the catalogue of the library Queen Mary College, University of London

EliRabett said...

Some places in England only give a DSc, not a Ph.D., for example it was the practice in Oxford. I'm simply too lazy to look up what the practice at ULondon was then (things can change).

Anonymous said...

Oxford awards the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, for reason best known to them they use the postnominal letters DPhil.

It is true that not all British Universities award the degree of Doctor of Science, Oxford does, with the postnominal letters DSc.

I believe that recently London abandoned awarding the degree of Doctor of Science by examination. It may still be awarded as an honorary degree.

Anonymous said...

About T. Ball's record at the University of Winnipeg,

a recent discussion with professors at the University of Winnipeg has highlighted that there isn't and has never been a "professor of climatology" distinction, only professors of geography, and yes there is only one ( that I know of ) course in climatology.

so I would definitely question his claims and the accuracy of his statements about his career.