2011-04-21 16:28:53A necessary early question - what is our strategy with Poptech?
John Cook


Before we go too far with categorising Poptech papers, we should ask - what is our end goal here?

At the very minimum, would be good to have Poptech's papers in our database so when we launch Ville's animation and the predictable "why aren't there 900+ skeptic papers?" and we can say "already in there".

However, if we are going to be going to the trouble of entering 800 or so papers, I think we should have a strategy - a plan of what information we need to extract about each paper. That way, we don't have to get the end and find there's something else we need to do - and have to go back and look through all the papers again.

So if we are going to do an ultimate, definite smack down of Poptech's list, what's going to be the form of our criticism? This is a crucial question because the form determines what information we need to obtain from the papers. And there are a number of ways to approach it. Carbon Brief have already done the fossil fuel links and the scientists avowing their paper being on the list. There are numerous other critiques of the list. Do we take a different approach? Do we synthesise the other critiques into a single, grand unified critique? Before finally answering this, we should look at Poptech's responses to other critiques to see if there is any validity to his defences.

Once we decide what information we need to capture, I'll amend the database so we can centralise all our Poptech info online and display it at http://www.skepticalscience.com/poptech.php - that way any updates will display instantly, we can all know exactly what has been already covered.

2011-04-22 01:29:31
Dana Nuccitelli

Seems to me like you only need to answer 2 questions:

  1. How many on his list are skeptic/neutral/pro
  2. How many are peer-reviewed

It would also be good to know how many have been refuted by subsequent studies, if possible (i.e. Douglass et al on the hot spot, McLean et al on ENSO, etc.). 

The funding sources aren't that important in my mind.  If it's valid peer-reviewed research, funding doesn't really matter.  Another criticism is that the studies are misrepresented and authors have asked to be removed from the list, but #1 above should address that.

In the display I'd suggest first sorting by article type, then by pro/neutral/skeptic.  The first question in my mind is how many of the 900 are even real peer-review vs. E&E and such.  The second question is how many are really skeptic.

2011-04-24 08:08:24
Julian Brimelow

I have some misgivings about this project-- if not done right it could do more harm than good, and Andrew does not warrant the attention IMHO.

I'll write more on this next week, right now have a deadline to meet.

2011-04-28 21:36:39
Captain Pithart
Peter Hartmann

i've worked on the list back when there were 700 papers:


http://planet-climate.org/wiki/index.php?title=700_papers (user: w pass: atchU24)


not much system went into my effort, but maybe some of the blue links in the paper list can be of help to this project, should it take shape.