Friday, May 04, 2007

Statistics, climate statistics and a lack of clarity

The title to this post is a little play on words and the familiar aphorism of 'lies, damn lies and statistics'. Part of the problem with climate is the lack of transparency and the selective framing of data to fit pre-determined ideological positions. So, one group will complain about mis-interpreted data, while themselves practising mis-interpretation. Meanwhile, others are staking their territory within the sociology of the science whilst conveniently excluding others, who's views are often mis-represented. Finally, data are released to the public with great alarmism without any caveats that might otherwise temper there utility.

As the follow up posts on each of these posts indicate, there are some observers who feel that overall, the exchange between science and policy is steadily improving: at the same time, there are those who see it the exact opposite way, with academia becoming even more exclusionary.

My own hope is that the blogosphere will continue to flourish, open-source journals and on-line publishing will increase and that knowledge will become more democratic and free: but it is a hope, not a prediction.