Archive for February 13th, 2010


Cherry Partial

February 13, 2010

Cordiality aside, one of the central concerns of peer review is that any given expert peer is likely to have a stance on whatever given topic is facing scrutiny. Why might that be? Well, because expert peers tend to be experts in their areas; and experts in their areas, over the course of becoming experts, tend to form reasoned positions based on their expertise.

Believe it or not, I’m an expert, and you’d better believe that I have views. Roger’s also an expert, and as many know, he too has views. Max and Tom are experts as well. Do they have views? You bet your sweet bippy.

In betting your sweet bippy, you might also throw a few more clams down on the wager that we experts are sometimes asked to sit on panels of experts. (Well, I’m not ever asked to sit on panels of experts, but that’s because very little hangs on my area of expertise. I’ll take “turpitude” for 500, Alex.)

In some cases, these panels are supposed to be impartial, but at they same time rely on significant expertise. Which brings us to the CRU hack.

Turns out, there’s this guy, Philip Campbell, who is the editor of Nature. By many accounts Nature is a pretty spankin’ good journal, and so, by extension, Campbell is a pretty spankin’ good expert. One problem: he’s supposedly not impartial. Why? Because he has views. Here, read the gory details for yourself.

Yeah, so, long story short, he resigned and the supposed independent panel of six that was theretofore investigating climategate is now a piddling independent panel of five. Not enough for a hockey team, but still one too many for a game of Parcheesi. The indignity!