The American Physical Society

beclowns itself again on climate:

Well, their paragraph on Climate Science is a rather astonishing take on the APS Workshop. Their paragraph on Climate Change seems to come from the Guardian. Their statement on Climate Action reiterates their rather crazy statement in 2007

Apart from the issue that no one on the POPA seems to understand any of these issues beyond a superficial level (after Koonin and Rosner departed from the POPA), and that their statements are naive and unprofessional, here is my real problem with this. This is an egregious misuse of the expertise of the APS. Their alleged understanding of issues like spectroscopy and fluid dynamics are not of any direct relevance to the issues they write about in this statement. The statement is an embarrassment to the APS.

Either reform is required, or an alternate organization.

4 thoughts on “The American Physical Society”

  1. I would be fascinated if Koonin decides to follow up, say by writing another article that explains his differences with the remaining panel and maybe presents and alternate version of the statement. And suggests that physicists support his version over the other version.
    I am guessing that a lot of physicists would go for Koonin over the others, he’s very respected – he literally wrote the standard textbook on computational physics.

  2. I’ve been kicking around the idea of starting a foundation to study the work of the climate scientists, to determine whether it is meritorious or not. What I would propose is using Kickstarter (or something similar) to raise enough money to fund a group of scientists and (especially) engineers to look through all of the literature, and give an honest appraisal of what has been published to date. I don’t really care how it comes out. I just want an objective view of it. And I would bring on only people who really had no dog in the hunt.

    Does anyone think this is a good idea? I would like some feedback.

  3. Government funded big science has needed reform from long before AGW became the research grant grease of choice. Once upon a time federal funding for science was rejected in academic science circles due to the implicit bias such funding would produce. It’s unlikely that will happen soon, but more safeguards need to be put into place.

  4. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

    We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

    Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

    In this revolution, research has become central, it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

    Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

    The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.

    Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

    It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system — ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.

    Eisenhower’s Farewell Address, 1961

    (Emphasis added)

Comments are closed.