Monday, March 19, 2007

The Cabal

Seed has an image of a pretty extraordinary map detailing the relationships between different scientific paradigms (based on scientific papers and citations contained within). It's really worth having a close look to see where your expertise or interests fit in.

Here's what it looks like from a distance.

But when I did look closely, I had this feeling of wrongness. There was something.....missing, I guess you'd say.

Then it struck me. I remembered.

It was only yesterday, in fact, that I'd read this:
Mr. Wegman brings to bear a technique called social-network analysis to examine the community of climate researchers. His conclusion is that the coterie of most frequently published climatologists is so insular and close-knit that no effective independent review of the work of Mr. Mann is likely. ‘As analysed in our social network’, Mr. Wegman writes,‘there is a tightly knit group of individuals who passionately believe in their thesis’. He continues: ‘However, our perception is that this group has a self-reinforcing feedback mechanism and, moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicized that they can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility’.

In other words, climate research often more closely resembles a mutual-admiration society than a competitive and open-minded search for scientific knowledge. And Mr. Wegman’s social-network graphs suggest that Mr. Mann himself—and his hockey stick—is at the centre of that network.
Clearly Wegman didn't go far enough. Even he didn't comprehend the scope of this highly secretive organisation.

Accordingly, I've adjusted the map so it suits....Republican sensibilities.