12 October, 2011

Not a Conspiracy

In “Chief scientist Ian Chubb pans conspiracists” by Andrew Trounson of The Australian, we read that Australia’s chief scientist, Ian Chubb, whilst claiming that believing in conspiracies is silly, believes in a vast anti-scientific conspiracy.
Science was “under siege”, he told a meeting of the National Tertiary Education Union, while ridiculing theories of a “hush-hush” plot in mainstream science.
“(They) would have you believe that climate scientists, whose work supports the evidence that human activity is contributing to climate change, are cheats and frauds and worse,” Professor Chubb said.  [...]
“For many in the media and politics and for the plethora of so-called commentators, undermining science is becoming an increasingly popular pastime,” he said.  [...]
Professor Chubb also criticised scientists who blamed conspiracy theories to explain why their work might be rejected by scientific peer review.
“I cannot believe that there is a global conspiracy of establishment scientists successfully suppressing results contrary to the mainstream and we don’t know about it.  Somebody, somewhere would have the evidence – which would be more than a rejected manuscript,” he said.  [...]
“In an environment where we are asked to take action in the face of imperfect knowledge, it is perhaps not surprising that some science is coming under renewed attack.  It has happened before and doubtless will happen again.
“We saw it with tobacco, initially with the hole in the ozone layer and we see it with climate science,” he said.
The “Climate-gate” e-mails shew that “the team” of misanthracist alarmists secretly plot to harm real scientific progress by foisting their own perverted, pseudo-scientific conjecture upon the world for their own selfish benefit, but it’s not a conspiracy.
Those alarmist, deceitful frauds make furtive machinations and devise plots to defame and to destroy their opponents, but it’s not a conspiracy.  Their intrigues involve employing underhanded methods in order to gain grants, wealth, prizes and acclaim which would otherwise go to better, more deserving researchers, but it’s not a conspiracy.  They lie and cheat and pervert the peer-review process with malice aforethought, and thereby undermine real scientific endeavour, but it’s not a conspiracy.
We may be grateful that Australia has a Chief Scientist who can tell us when a wicked, self-serving conspiracy is not a conspiracy. 

UPDATE I:  The Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Clean Energy Future Legislation has published only a minority of submissions they received and—completely coincidentally, surely—mainly those which support the inept Government’s plan to tax some industrial emissions of carbon dioxide, but that is not corruption and not at all a conspiracy.

UPDATE IIsee also “It Is Not a Conspiracy”.

UPDATE IIIsee too Jeff Id’s “Divide and Rule” at the Air Vent.

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