A question of expertise and credibility

In my last post Climate scientist’s register, I mentioned the new paper Expert credibility in climate change. Several other bloggers have described the findings in the paper, particularly the finding that 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the IPCC conclusions and that the “relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of [the conclusions] are substantially below that of the convinced researchers”.

The paper analysed the publication record of the two groups to get a handle on the expertise and credibility of group members. I have pulled out the data and combined them into the graph below. This summarises the difference in expertise between scientists accepting the IPCC conclusions on human contribution to climate change (convinced researchers = red bars) and those who reject the IPCC conclusions (unconvinced researchers = blue bars).

Briefly, approximately  80% of the unconvinced group had fewer than 20 climate publications while less than 10% of the convinced group had fewer than 20 climate publications. The mean number of publications in the unconvinced group was 60 (median 34) , half that for the convinced group – 119 (median 84).

When the investigation was restricted to the 50 most-published researcher in both groups the mean number for the unconvinced group was 89 (median 68) and for the convinced group 408 (median 344).

Considering citation numbers for each researcher’s most cited paper this was a mean of 105 for the unconvinced group and 172 for the convinced group.  To avoid anomalies when single papers are considered the paper also considers citation numbers for the 2nd to 4th most cited papers for each researcher. The mean for the unconvinced group was 84 and for the convinced group 133.

For more information on methodology and results you can download the paper here – Download “Expert credibility in climate change.”

See also:
Sceptics face yawning credibility gap
New study reaffirms broad scientific understanding of climate change, questions media’s reliance on tiny group of less-credibile scientists for “balance”


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8 responses to “A question of expertise and credibility

  1. Wow, a new use for modelling. Who knew?
    And still just as believable as all those different changes to the raw temp measurements.


  2. Come on, David/Dianne, you can do better than that. No models are involved.

    Hint – have a look at my previous post. That phenomenon actually goes a long way to explaining the data.


  3. Come on, David/Dianne, you can do better than that.

    What is it about climate deniers and Internet multiple personality disorder?
    This is getting to be a very nasty habit.


  4. David/Dianne is also a mate if Ian Wishart’s. Often acts as a cat’s paw.


  5. Ken,
    I’ve never met or even spoken to Wishart. But you keep on having your conspiracy theories. Thats ok because the world REALLY is out to prove you wrong. So far it hasnt been hard.
    Got that empirical proof that its all positive feedbacks for sure yet? Though not.


  6. David/Dianne – you hang out a lot on Ian’s blog, don’t you?

    Have you nothing better to do than snipe at honest science? Really it doesn’t add any value to discussion.


  7. Sorry, but what is the point, what is the conclusion? That scientist trying to publish papers, that “go against the mainstream” (“the consensus”), have a harder time getting their papers published than those that go with the mainstream? I mean, it is nice to prove this hypothesis with sound data, but is there anything that captain obvious couldn’t tell us? Because you bloody well know how the game of publishing and citation is played and that is has only low correlation with “expertise and credibility”.

    Please, stick to the science and stop throwing dirt with statistics.


  8. Tony, you obviously prefer the conspiracy theory where science is a great conspiracy to hide the facts rather than reveal them. However, there is no evidence for this. Your claim is wrong. That is not what comes out of the study at all.

    My previous posts on the climate science register and retired scientists do help explain the results.

    If you want to persist with your conspiracy theory – what about some supporting evidence? Objective data – not biased anecdotal myths.


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