Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Progress is Eli's most important product

Happy to say that Eli is hard at work and Rabett Run is making progress in reforming the IPCC. There is good agreement that the IPCC should offer travel and a stipend to cover expenses and time lost to all Lead Authors and Convening Lead Authors (and almost certainly to the official referees). Countries wishing to participate would contribute in proportion to their UN dues (the poorer countries, obviously would not have to pay anything)

Everyone agrees that there needs to be mechanisms for updating the reports, perhaps something along the lines of a meeting every two years of the Lead Authors for each chapter asking them to provide brief summaries of how new research has substantially changed their understanding of the issues, no change being the default position.

Correcting errors is perhaps the simplest one. There are two points, the first is that the original IPCC process was set up when chopped trees were the way in which the report was published. Today, errors could simply be marked in the on line text, with the well known UPDATE. There would have to be a process where such updates were acknowledged by the CLAs.

James Annan and Nick Barnes are writing about open code issues, but it is not clear to Eli how this would be put into the IPCC process.

Eli, indirectly raised another issue, the tension between Frontier Science, Regulatory Science and Textbook Science. The IPCC needs to better differentiate between the three. Started to delineate where the frontier was, much of WG1 is already Textbook Science. Essentially all of the lead authors in each of the working groups are involved in Frontier Science, but what the policy makers are asking for is Regulatory Science, science that justifies policy. Currently the Regulatory level is imposed in the great plenum meeting with political representatives of all countries involved and the CLAs. Messy, messy, messy.

As the bunnies have seen, government agencies, such as the EPA know how to do regulatory science and they need to be involved in the process intermediate between the Frontier Scientists and the governmental representatives.

For the rest of you, how to improve the open review without pissing Judith Curry off?


Rick said...

Tut. Ending on a preposition!

EliRabett said...

Something wrong with ending with a proposition?

Steve Bloom said...

Of course! The better class of propositions lead to... more bunnies, as you well know.

Lars Karlsson said...

Rick said: "Tut. Ending on a preposition!"
What are you complaining about?

drj11 said...

Apropos code, of course me and Nick have lofty goals, but one practical goal would be if CLAs could ask their authors for a statement on the openness of the code (and data) that supports their research; these could be summarised chapter by chapter.

How do we best go about changing the procedures?

Nick Barnes said...

The procedures I would like to see improved are "Principles Governing IPCC Work", and in particular Appendix A - "Procedures for the preparation, review, acceptance, adoption, approval and publication of IPCC Reports"[PDF].

In section 4.2.3: "Preparation of Draft Report". Currently that says "Contributions should be supported as far as possible with references from the peer-reviewed and internationally available literature, and with copies of any unpublished material cited. Clear indications of how to access the latter should be included in the contributions. For material available in electronic format only, a hard copy should be archived and the location where such material may be accessed should be cited."

A sentence like this should be added: "Contributions should include, wherever possible, access instructions for any original data, and computer source code used for analysis or processing, and an indication of the public availability and licensing of such data and code."

The other change I would like to see would be the establishment of a public-access coordinated AR bibliography, including a repository of any open materials, with links to anything linkable, DOIs for anything with DOIs, and so on. There is already the IPCC Data Distribution Centre, but it's much too narrow.

Note that this is something which could be done outside the IPCC (watch this space) but it would be better done under IPCC aegis and with IPCC clout.

Nick Barnes said...

Added to which, please, for the love of God, Eli, give us a larger comment box.

James Annan said...

Paying IPCC authors? Last I heard there wasn't actually a shortage of applicants. Pay what is necessary to fill the posts, that's what I say! If the most capable people are actually turning it down out of hardship, then that's another matter...but I have not heard of such a case.

Anonymous said...

Do not use a preposition to end a sentence with. That is a grammatical outrage, up with which I will not put.

Grammar police officer

David B. Benson said...

The division into the three stages of (some) sciences is useful

dhogaza said...

"The division into the three stages of (some) sciences is useful"

Yes, I liked that, too.

David B. Benson said...

Grammar police officer is misquoting Winnie.

Marion Delgado said...

I really, really, really really, really, really, really, really, really, really

want there to be no more Moncktons, McIntyres, or Grays pretending they're authors of future IPCC reports.

A little note like "Those posting open public comments on the WG X will not be listed or treated as peer reviewers or authors of the IPCC report for WG X" should do it.

Oh, and I typed all this one handed so I could wave a flag the whole time. And the only thought that went through my mind (ever) was "I bet Eli Rabett is NOT doing this!"

Phil. Felton said...

EliRabett said...
Something wrong with ending with a proposition?

15/6/10 6:51 PM

Churchill was so upset on being told not to do so that he is reputed to have said something close to the following (this is my favorite version):

“This is the sort of bloody nonsense up with which I will not put.”

Turboblocke said...

Does anyone care about pissing off Curry anymore after her endorsement of this comment from JamesG "Now when they compare the predictions of this compliant herd with actual reality and note that not once (so far) have any of them been proven correct with any theories that warming is other than benign or beneficial, then that’s real science, ie the comparison of hypothesis with real data. This effort is more like a show of hands of people being asked the question, “do you want to be among the winners or losers? choose wisely..because the winners get funded and the losers vilified”. I don’t think it’s a new low…it’s the same scenario that’s been played out many times throughout the inglorious history of various scientific establishments. We like to look back and laugh and say “how could they be so closed-minded, thank heaven we’ve moved on”. Except that we didn’t."

Curry's reply: "Judith Curry Says:
June 22nd, 2010 at 7:24 am

JamesG #28 very well said!"

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Judy Curry has become a sad clownshoe. She appears to have gone all emeritus on us.