Wednesday, October 30, 2013

New article in Nature says IPCC refused examination of how it distinguishes science from "value judgments"

Article published today in Nature co-authored by Mike Hulme, Professor of Climate Change in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia (UEA) [where the Climategate e-mails were obtained].

IPCC: Climate panel is ripe for examination

Published online

Sociologists of science wish to study the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for the same reason that they want to examine other loci at which scientific knowledge is made — whether in a laboratory, the field, a museum or at a conference. We too approached the IPCC in autumn 2010 with a request to study it from the inside; we too were told ‘no’ (see Nature 502, 281; 2013).

We therefore had to rely on self-reported accounts. Using document analysis and interviews with lead authors, we analysed how authors navigate the distinction between scientific description and value judgements, for example when offering information pertaining to the definition of ‘dangerous climate change’. 

The IPCC has become a dominant institution in climate science — in the assessment of knowledge for policy-making, and in how assessment practices alter empirical and computer-simulated climate science. Global knowledge assessments such as those undertaken by the IPCC call for carefully documented systematic studies by trained ethnographers.

Let us hope that the IPCC will recognize itself as a legitimate object for scholarly investigation this time around.

Mike Hulme, Martin Mahony
King’s College London, UK.


  1. Would you guys mind if I don't hold my breath?

  2. IPCC is not interested in science. They have a political agenda and all science will be bent to serve that agenda.

    It is way past time for scholars to leave their naivety behind and live in the real world when dealing with politicians.

    1. The IPCC in really interested in one thing to empower the greatest fantasy the UN has and that is to impose a international tax on nasty 1st world countries. The \Holy Grail of the UN is to be able to impose a cash flow that does not depend on contributions from member nations, a tax the UN mandates. If this ever happens the UN will become the largest money laundering tool is history from which 3rd world thugs can line their pockets with.