Joke consensus

RP Sr has a weird post about "consensus". He has written a paper with four colleagues, and oddly enough they agree. Which is what usually happens when people write papers together. If they don't agree, they tend to write papers separately. And yet apparently this is to be a new model for the whole community: This paper shows not only can we document a weather event using a variety of climate metrics, but colleagues can work in good faith to produce a truly consensus assessment. This is the model that the global climate change community should adopt. Wooo-eee! yes, lets get 5 people to write the next IPCC report, then there would be no problem with getting agreement.


Anonymous said...

John Fleck says -

I think this is a little bit of a cheap shot. At the risk of putting words in Roger's mouth, he seems to be saying that colleagues who disagree on something can nevertheless come together and write a consensus assessment that might usefully inform on the issue at hand. I, as a sometimes frustrated consumer of climate science who's spending his spare time today reading about glaciers in Greenland, appreciate the effort.

Dano said...

I think, AFICT, Roger pushes the envelope and thus engenders this kind of reaction in people, John. Mea culpa, but YMMV.



Dano said...

S/B AFAICT. Too much coffee.

EliRabett said...

Having written papers now with up to 15 co-authors what tends to happen is

a) each group does different parts of the problem so there is no reason to disagree

b) controversal things among the authors simply are left out

c) or anyone who disagrees walks away (sometimes at the point of a gun) and writes their own paper

William M. Connolley said...

John/Dano: I agree with you both, though I tend to Dano. It is a bit of a cheap shot, but Rogers original article really is a bit silly and presumptuous: to think that people haven't thought of talking is wrong; to think that what he has done will scale up is naive.

Eli: I've never written a 15-author paper, but the each-write-their-own-bit is often true. On "antarctic temps" papers, I do the modelling, someone else does the obs, someone else actually pulls it together, etc etc...

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