A climate scientist recently penned a controversial article in The Free Press describing what it took to get his research published in one of the most prestigious academic science journals. In his article titled ‘I Left Out the Full Truth to Get My Climate Change Paper Published,’ Patrick Brown outlines what it took to publish his paper.
The title summarizes the piece rather well; essentially, Mr. Brown was forced to leave out key data points and focus on narratives that would please the editors of the journal Nature. While most of us out there aren’t avid subscribers to Nature, the importance of this admission is profound because what gets published in these journals gets funded, and what gets funded eventually becomes policy.
What becomes policy are the laws you must follow, lest you want to be thrown in a prison.
But this rot in the science community goes deeper than just climate change, as you will soon discover.
Last week, I described our paper on climate change and wildfires:https://t.co/dm1hRsdQ7a
I am very proud of this research overall. But I want to talk about how molding research presentations for high-profile journals can reduce its usefulness & actually mislead the public.
— Patrick T. Brown (@PatrickTBrown31) September 5, 2023
Three steps to expert
Mr. Brown explains before going through the unspoken steps required to get published in a scientific journal that:
“…it is critically important for scientists to be published in high-profile journals; in many ways, they are the gatekeepers for career success in academia.”
Essentially, Mr. Brown is saying that to be taken seriously and have your research mean anything to anyone, scientists of all flavors must be published in a journal widely read and respected in the field. Specifically, for a climate scientist such as Patrick Brown, one must follow three main rules.
Mr. Brown begins:
“The first thing the astute climate researcher knows is that his or her work should support the mainstream narrative…”
He goes on to explain the obvious mainstream narrative that has been shoved down our throats that climate change is “pervasive” and “catastrophic” and caused by us little peasants. But the critical piece that must be included is the approved solution to climate change – reduction in greenhouse gases and policies such as the Inflation Reduction Act.
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The second “unspoken rule” is to:
“…ignore – or at least downplay – practical actions that can counter the impact of climate change.”
Rule two flows nicely into the third “trick” as Mr. Brown coins it:
“…be sure to focus on metrics that will generate the most eye-popping numbers.”
And there you have it:
- Make sure your research points to the approved solution
- Disregard actual solutions that could help
- Make sure your numbers scare the living crap out of everyone
That’s the state of academia in this country, folks.
Climate change activists are now blocking ambulances from driving through. pic.twitter.com/oxfSSTO2hR
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) September 7, 2023
Get the pitchforks
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Mr. Brown’s revelations about what lies behind the scientific curtain elicited a scathing response from the top editor of Nature, who, mind you, published his less-than-fully truthful research paper.
Magdalena Skipper wrote:
“The only thing in Patrick Brown’s statements about the editorial processes in scholarly journals that we agree on is that science should not work through the efforts by which he published this study.”
And yet, she still published it. Ms. Skipper goes on to shoot this rather unveiled threat Mr. Brown’s way:
“We are now carefully considering the implications of his stated actions; certainly, they reflect poor research practices and are not in line with the standards we set for our journal.”
So now that Mr. Brown has revealed the industry secrets, they intend to punish him. It doesn’t matter that they published the research in the first place proving that they didn’t do they due diligence to ensure that only the best and most thorough work gets printed in their prestigious rag.
But let’s say you don’t believe in climate change, that you don’t give two figs what Nature publishes or doesn’t. This cycle of actual misinformation and disinformation is prevalent in every facet of academia and, even more importantly, how the government manages your life.
Abandoning science for ‘indigenous knowledge’ has spread from the social sciences to the hard sciences & into public policy. It’ll have disastrous consequences. Let’s choose science over superstition, regardless of where the superstition comes from. @FrancesWiddows1 @SaysSimonson https://t.co/1F8DudOg2W
— Elizabeth Weiss (@eweissunburied) September 6, 2023
Your mainstream news media of choice only uses pundits and ‘experts’ that fit their desired political narrative. We saw during COVID-19 that the medical science world actively buries counter opinions to elevate their desired storyline.
The military-industrial complex does the same, picking and choosing metrics and numbers to ensure programs and projects receive continued funding regardless of their effectiveness or lack thereof. In short, dear reader, you should believe nothing you read or hear if it comes from an industry ‘expert’ – dollars to donuts they’ve been bought and paid for by some special interest that has no intention of improving or solving anything.
Whether you believe in climate change or not or think that what Mr. Brown did by diluting his research and then revealing the truth was the right thing to do, I think a tip of the hat is required because he provided at least a few possible solutions to this vicious cycle. Just as his unspoken rules came in threes, so did his solutions.
Mr. Brown explains that the media, the editors, and the researchers have culpability in solving this problem:
“The media, for instance, should stop accepting these papers at face value and do some digging on what’s been left out. The editors of the prominent journals need to expand beyond a narrow focus that pushes the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. And the researchers themselves need to start standing up to the editors, or find other places to publish.”
He’s not wrong, although I think he’s a bit naïve in his hopes for what the media, editors, and researchers will ever be capable of. But I’d like to add another critical piece of the solution, perhaps the only one that could attempt to right this ship – information consumers, otherwise known as us regular old Joes.
We need to stop uncritically believing everything we read, see, and hear. If history, particularly academic history, has proven anything, it is that the rogues in fields whom the establishment labels as wrong, crazy, and downright evil at times tend to be the ones who were right all along.
Nowadays, everyone has a Ph.D. in some such nonsense. But when all the ‘experts’ and Ph.D.s seem to be saying the same things that lead to the same conclusions…it’s time to get suspicious.
Please stop with the scare tactics
Phrases like “climate breakdown” and “climate crisis” are not science
Their intent is to frighten, using panic to push poor policies
— Bjorn Lomborg (@BjornLomborg) September 7, 2023
Now is the time to support and share the sources you trust.
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