Thursday, February 26, 2015

Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Hi-Jinks 5

Think it could not get stranger young bunnies.  Well, four days ago Brendan Montague was lovin it on Desmog UK, reporting on a strange interlude at the 2012 Heartland Climate Science Roast that he had with Willie Soon, something that was so good that he was holding it for a forthcoming (still book).

Willie was on a role, throwin' everyone under the bus, Exxon Mobile, and CfA.  According to Montague he said

The process is we have to go through my centre I am working for, where I get a paycheque, so it goes through our grants office and of course the director has to approve it. My previous director was very friendly. He loved what we do. Then the new director is somewhat, very not friendly so I’m in a bit more trouble. 
Now Eli is the RTFR type of bunny so he went and looked up who the previous director was, Irwin Shapiro, and then Eli looked for some connection between Shapiro and Soon, when this 2013 gem from the Boston Globe popped up
The Harvard-Smithsonian Center’s former director, Harvard astronomy professor Irwin Shapiro, said there was never any attempt to censor Soon’s views. Nor, he said, was Soon the subject of complaints or concern among the 300 scientists at the center.

“As far as I can tell,’’ said Shapiro, “no one pays any attention to him.’’
True enough and obvious enough for science, but in his own way, as the Globe points out, Soon science has been useful for his funders.  Testimony in its own way to the obliviousness of astronomers.


Everett F Sargent said...

Yeah, I did see that article yesterday.

The whole astronomer naivete at CfA appears to be rather remarkable (it's almost like a holier than thou mindset).

And it does give one pause wrt their attitudes (on the upper management side of things) wrt the field of climate science.

They have their own culture just like any other organization, now they get to think long and hard about their culture and what need correction.

If CfA does not approach this with open minds, what does that say about (their) science in general?

Unknown said...

Re: The obliviousness of astronomers

I am heavily biased in this discussion, both professionally and because I have many friends at the CfA. It's where I got my degree (along with Sallie B. in 1980). I spent part of a sabbatical year there and most recently was urged to resettle there after the demonization of my wife at the U. of Saskatchewan. (My salary is covered, not by the Koch brothers, but by my society in return for my editing gig.)

However, I can say that almost every astronomer I've talked to who works there knows perfectly well that Willie Soon is publishing nonsense. (With some uncertainty in regards to polar bears. They didn't cover polar bears in my graduate classes.)

JohnMashey said...

Sirry if duplicate. See Sion's videos atvend of:

Mercury ok, like ocean acidification.
Al Gore bad, hockey stick bad, IPPC gangsters

anthrosciguy said...

What happens on earth is only a problem if it obscures our instruments looking at stuff happening elsewhere.