20 February 2013

Interesting Timing to be Removed from GEC Editorial Board

Five days ago I critiqued a shoddy paper by Brysse et al. 2013 which appeared in the journal Global Environmental Change. Today I received notice from the GEC editor-in chief and executive editor that I have been asked to "step down from the Editorial Board." They say that it is to "give other scientists the chance to gain experience of editorial duties."

Over the past 20 years I have served on the editorial boards of about a dozen or so academic journals. I have rolled off some when my term was up, and continued for many years with others. I have never received a mid-term request to step down from any journal. My 6 years with the GEC editorial board is not long in academia, and certainly much shorter than many other serving members.

Are my critique and the request to step down related? I can't say. It is interesting timing to be sure. Perhaps it is an odd coincidence. Perhaps not. I did reply by accepting their request and asking the following two questions which might help to clarify the terms of my release:
Could you tell me which other members of the editorial board are being asked to step down at this time? And also, could you tell how many others have served on the board 6 years or longer and remain on the board?
If I get a reply I will update this post.
UPDATE: I just checked the GEC editorial board from 2005, the year before I was invited to join ($ here). There are 13 members of the 2005 board who continue through 2013 ($ here). If those 13 members (of 38 total in 2013) have not all be asked to "step down" at this time, then yes, I am getting "special" treatment.
UPDATE 2: Neil Adger, editor of GEC, replies to explain, contrary to the earlier email, that I have been removed from the editorial board due to a perception of my "waning interest in the journal" citing my declining of 3 reviews last year (I'd guess overall that I declined 50 or more requests to review last year and took on about 12, welcome to academia;-).  Of course, he could have asked about my interest before removing me from the Board. He did not comment on my critical blog post. I take his response to mean that I am indeed the only one who has been removed at this time. So there you have it, another climate ink blot. Coincidence? You be the judge.
UPDATE 3: Neil Adger has written a second email to me which has has asked me to post in the comments here. My response to him is here. And here is the original email from GEC dropping me from the Board. All info is in sight, people can make up their own minds about this academic tempest in a teapot.
I am of course happy to make way for other scientists to "gain the experience of editorial duties." However, if my critique of a GEC paper is in any way related to my removal from the editorial board, then the message being sent to those other scientists is pretty chilling. For my part, I value my academic freedom to offer critique as I see things far more than being allowed into certain clubs.

125 comments:

Tom said...

I'm sorry to hear about this. I've never read the journal. Now I never will.

Inkling said...

Bravo for you! Just yesterday, I had a similar experience that led me to quit ArsTechnica with a sigh of relief.

It centered on an online fuss, along with an email to me from a civis@arstechnica.com, about a short post I'd made about a climate change article on Ars. I was accused of not responding to those who attacked my brief comment critical of the infamous hockey stick graph.

In my response, I told them that their mandated discussion policy was Orwellian because freedom of speech included the right to say nothing whenever we so chose. I also pointed out that, for those who wanted to know more, a simple Google search would turn up a host of critiques of that hockey stick graph far better than anything I could write.

I chose not to point out something equally obvious--that their mandated discussion policy is almost certainly selectively applied. Anyone criticizing climate change was expected to respond to their critics no matter how tiresome and pointless the task. However, those who made comments in favor of that hockey stick graph weren't being held to that same standard.

I commented as Inkling and you can find my remarks as well as read the fuss here:

http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?p=23907671#p23907671

Ars actually has good articles on computer architecture and the like. It's sad to see them become so rigid and inflexible about the politicized science of climate change.

That's probably because for many of those who participate in Ars, science has become their religion, meaning the source of all meaning in their lives. Science (or politics) regarded that way often leads down unhealthy paths. It simply can't provide the meaning that we as humans need.

I saw that when I did a lengthy study of H. G. Wells and how he turned, about 1900, from the simple love of science that had led to a series of fascinating stories we still read today to a politicized hack turning out long-forgotten tales that attempt to justify a repressive world state led by a scientific elite. The sheer emptiness of human history (as seen by science) that he'd exposed in The Time Machine had led him to search for ways to impose some meaningful structure on our existence.

Wells is often treated as a brilliant prophet, but on examination, his "things to come" ideas have a poor track record. His personal friend and political foe, G. K. Chesterton, has a far better record as a prophet because his Catholicism meant that he didn't need to find ultimate meaning in transitory events. Chesterton could take humanity as he found them, with all their contradictions and paradoxes. He wasn't tempted to treat them as mere tools to be used in the construction of some sort of science-led utopia.

That's why I created the subtitle, "An Argument Against a Scientifically Organized State" to my edition of Chesterton's 1922 classic, Eugenics and Other Evils. The term fits so well well with Chesterton's beliefs and is so contrary with what many believe today, that some who have written books on eugenics have taken my subtitle as if were Chesterton's own.

Science is a marvelous tool for achieving certain ends. But it serves poorly as a means for determining what those ends should be.

--Michael W. Perry, Seattle

Tommy Atkins said...

If you don't like the answers, don't ask the 'wrong' person

Mark B. said...

Look on the bright side - at least they haven't started sending dissenters to 'education' camps yet.

Paul Matthews said...

It's not quite clear to me who you mean by the editor in chief. The web page for the journal lists three editors:

Neil Adger, who is a member of the Tyndall Centre and was until recently at UEA.

Katrina Brown, who is a member of the Tyndall Centre and was until recently at UEA.

Declan Conway, who is a member of the Tyndall Centre and is at UEA.

Perhaps you have been asked to step down in the interests of diversity?

Joshua said...

If you're being asked to step down merely because you criticized that article, it would be a breach of scientific ethics.

However, if their stated reason is not the real reason you're being asked to step down, there might be another possible reason other than a simplistic attempt to squelch your "academic freedom." It seems your binary construction may not be sufficiently comprehensive.

I would offer the possibility that perhaps they think that the sardonic and ridiculing tone of your post was unprofessional and didn't reflect well on the journal?

That, IMO, might be a tough call. Would it be a straight-forward of scientific ethics or a straight-forward attempt to infringe your academic freedom? I don't think so.

Even still, would it be justifiable? I'm not sure.

I think there is something to be said for recognizing that sardonic ridicule is not particularly productive, and in itself, may well reflect agenda-based science.

It would be interesting to consider, theoretically, how one might measure what is at play here. If it turns out that you were being singled out - how would you determine whether the reason was an attempt to silence your criticism or an attempt to maintain a certain professionalism among their editors? Do you have any examples of similar sardonic and ridiculing blog posts written by other editors, with no reaction that they were asked to step down?

Do you think that such a distinction is irrelevant?

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

-5-Paul Matthews

;-)

The phrase "editor-in-Chief" comes straight from the email I received this morning.

I have emailed Neil asking a few questions, including those listed in the post above. So far no reply.

Thanks!

The Right Wing Professor... said...

I've noticed that people who haven't spent any time or much time in academic research tend to have a much higher view of our ethics and objectivity than those of us in the trenches. Our PR machine must be doing something right!

Would Joshua like a few examples of trenchant sarcasm from 'unprofessional' Nobel laureates? Scientists and other academics get to be sardonic, and often are.

Seriously, Roger, have you any doubts this is a petty, vindictive response to your criticism of their editorial policies?

Martin A said...

Interesting. Reminds me of reading the Climategate emails.

In 2005, editors Editors Neil Adger and Katrina Brown were at UEA. They are now at Exeter University, according to GEC.

Editor in 2005 Mike Hulme (UEA) has evidently been replaced by Declan Conway of UEA.

Clearly, Roger, it was your call to respond as you thought fit. All the same, if you sat tight and asked what the other members of the Editorial Board thought about the matter - presumably they were not consulted.

Ruth said...

Again?! :-)

http://www.cartoonsbyjosh.com/naughty_step_scr.jpg

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

-8-The Right Wing Professor

"Seriously, Roger, have you any doubts this is a petty, vindictive response to your criticism of their editorial policies?"

Look it is either:

Charitable: Very poorly handled (e.g., failure of editor to discuss in advance) coupled with random unfortunate timing.

Uncharitable: What it looks like.

Either way GEC bungled this situation. C'est la vie, I'm moving on ;-)

sien said...

To be honest it is surprising you lasted so long.

Your twitter points may have also come to the attention of the people on the board.

Climate Change Studies are dominated by activism.

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

-11-sien

I mentioned that I was on the Editorial Board in the comments of that post ;-)

Dave said...

I guess you are a skeptic now.

Maybe it is time to move on if you cannot give a review that you believe to be true.

TLITB said...

@6. Joshua said...
"I think there is something to be said for recognizing that sardonic ridicule is not particularly productive, and in itself, may well reflect agenda-based science."

I love how you can hold this speculation in your head as a hypothetical to start a train of thought that leads to the rather dull suggestion that the "real reason" maybe that they really want to

"[M]aintain a certain professionalism among their editors"

It seems you never once noticed the rather more astonishing corollary that if they indeed have this as their "real reason", yet can't communicate it in a grown up honest way, then it clearly undermines the credibility of their own professionalism. ;)

hro001 said...

Hmmm ... Neil Adger, eh? For the record, he also happens to be a Coordinating Lead Author for the IPCC's AR5 WGII Chapter 12: Human Security. Or - in "Pachauri-speak" - he is a member of the IPCC's stable of "objective, transparent, inclusive talent".

Can't help wondering how many citations of this shoddy paper by Brysse et al (and/or other GEC publications) might end up in this chapter (and/or other chapters) of AR5.

Inkling said...

It seems a bit odd that, if they're concerned about you not doing enough reviews, they'd dismiss you just five days after you'd published one with them. I can see discharging after a year of so of no contributions, but discharging just after you've made one is hardly an indication of any "waning interest in the journal." As you note, the timing is most suspicious and perhaps intended to send a message to others on the Editorial Board.

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

-16-Inkling

Just to be clear the "review" I did of Brysse et al. was not for GEC, but post-publication on this blog.

As I said, I'm moving on. Good luck to GEC in the future, I doubt we'll be crossing paths again ;-)

Joshua said...

TLITB -

==]] It seems you never once noticed the rather more astonishing corollary that if they indeed have this as their "real reason", yet can't communicate it in a grown up honest way, then it clearly undermines the credibility of their own professionalism. ;) ==[[

Actually, I did "notice" that. And I agree with you. If that were the case, then the professional thing to do would be to communicate the reasons straight up.

===]]] I love how you can hold this speculation in your head as a hypothetical to start a train of thought that leads to the rather dull suggestion that the "real reason" maybe that they really want to [[[===

???

There is nothing speculative or "hypothetical" about the sardonic and ridiculing tone of Roger's post.

The speculation about possible "real reason" was certainly hypothetical - but no more so than Roger's hypothetical in this post.

Are you as critical of his speculative hypothetical as you are of mine? If not, why not? Perhaps because his speculative hypothetical fits better with your orientation in the climate wars, perhaps?

Mark Bahner said...

Hi Roger,

Let's see...was one of the papers you turned down for review the Brysse et al. 2013 paper?

;-)

I'm teasing. I know it wasn't. But that *would* be a good reason to ask you to step down...if you didn't have the time to review the paper before it was published, but found the time to criticize it after publication.

Mark

Mark Bahner said...

"Are you as critical of his speculative hypothetical as you are of mine? If not, why not? Perhaps because his speculative hypothetical fits better with your orientation in the climate wars, perhaps?"

I'm more skeptical about your speculation that the move was to preserve professionalism:

1) they didn't tell him that was the reason,
2) in fact, they told him it was something else, so
3) they would themselves be acting unprofessionally in dismissing him and lying about the reason.

So by Occam's Razor, your speculation is likely to be wrong. But didn't you already know that?

dave said...

How many papers did you review for GEC last year? There are many, many journals that simply have a policy that anyone who reviews more than X papers per year is on the board, everyone else isn't. Even better, let us know how many papers you reviewed for GEC in each year over say the last three years.

If you did review substantial numbers each year, this is clearly political. If you didn't, then this seems like standard policy for most journals I am aware of.

Joshua said...

===]]]

1) they didn't tell him that was the reason,
2) in fact, they told him it was something else, so
3) they would themselves be acting unprofessionally in dismissing him and lying about the reason.

[[[===

But those points would apply for either speculation.

I will agree that Roger's speculation may be more likely than mine. I'd say they're fairly close in likelihood...

But the point is that Roger's thinking was limited in a binary fashion: Either they were telling him the truth or they asked him to resign only because he was critical of the paper (with a strong implication that the later is the case).

I think it is interesting that Roger didn't even offer a 3rd possibility. Now maybe that's because my speculation is far more unlikely than his. Not sure how that would be established. I think there may be other reasons that he didn't consider what I think is an obvious possibility.

At any rate - if he had some example where some other editor publicly offered a similarly sardonic and ridiculing criticism of a paper the journal published, and was not subsequently asked to resign - my speculation would be pretty much stomped. Is there such an example?

TLITB said...

@19. Joshua said...

"There is nothing speculative or "hypothetical" about the sardonic and ridiculing tone of Roger's post."

If you say so. ;) If I accept your subjective impression of the "tone" I could let that by on its own. But you did attach a further interpretation to your perception of his "tone" which was...

"...and in itself, may well reflect agenda-based science."

That is what I meant by speculation on your part. Unless you say it is incontrovertible that the "tone" of what Roger Pielke Jr said conveyed more information than the otherwise substantial critique that was its content?

I mean I accept we are all different. I for one didn't see a subsumed purpose but clarity in his post. For example regarding the prime criticism of the claim that - and I paraphrase here hopefully fairly:

"[S]cientists... fear that if they don’t ... underestimated the threat of anthropogenic warming... they will be accused by contrarians of being alarmist fear-mongers"

To which RPJ unambiguously says without any doubt in my mind of his "tone":

"Not only is the accusation of a systematic bias an insult to the integrity of practicing scientists, but the entire paper is built on an empirical foundation that does not touch the ground."

Roger's post certainly was not without substance, it had a prima facie "agenda". Its agenda was less of a mystery than you imply. For me it had nothing that needed to be further divined by searching for any "tone". Roger Pielke was talking about a shoddy paper.

If there is a question of how this "reflects" on the journal then I would have thought showing independence of thought from the editors each arguing about reducing the amount of shoddy papers it publishes would be a way of improving the reputation of the journal.

This all seems to me clearly easier to pick out from the substance rather than scrabbling around for some "tone".

I am not as critical of Roger's speculative hypothetical as I am of yours for numerous reasons. Most noticeably because yours is the most speculative and flawed (and damning of the position of the journal). I don't notice RPJ speculating at all actually only inviting speculation. ;)

John M said...

#8 RWP

"Would Joshua like a few examples of trenchant sarcasm from 'unprofessional' Nobel laureates?"

We could probably get even better sarcasm from some of the pretend Nobel laureates who are at the top of the field of Climate Science. :)

But anyway, Roger, I'm sure the timing is just a "freak coincidence" (apologies to the POTUS).

Joshua said...

===]]]
If you say so. ;) If I accept your subjective impression of the "tone" I could let that by on its own. But you did attach a further interpretation to your perception of his "tone" which was...

"...and in itself, may well reflect agenda-based science."

[[[===

Point taken. Yes, that was highly speculative.

As for my assessment of the tone being speculative...

I agree that in a purely technical sense, any judgement of "tone" must be subjective. But such a technical distinction loses value in the real world, IMO. Do you really think it is within question whether the tone was sardonic or ridiculing? Do you really think that anyone would not have read it that way? Honestly?

I don't.

===]]] If there is a question of how this "reflects" on the journal then I would have thought showing independence of thought from the editors each arguing about reducing the amount of shoddy papers it publishes would be a way of improving the reputation of the journal. [[[===

It is certainly possible to show "independence of thought" without an accompanying ridiculing tone. They are certainly not one and the same. (Too bad we won't ever know what might have happened had Roger written a less hyperbolic review of the paper.)


I'm not a big fan of the hyperbole that characterizes the climate wars, and while I respect much of Roger's work - I'm not a big fan when of his hyperbole - such as when he implies that his academic freedom has been infringed, or that his being asked to step down sends a "chilling message" to other scientists about academic freedom.

Although admittedly on a different scale, that would be like me saying that Roger condemning some of my posts to his "rejected comments" bin, or flat out moderating out some of my comments, is like him limiting my freedom of speech.

eric144 said...

Sorry to hear this Rodger. You are the only credible source of climate change information I am aware of. That makes you a target.

You are facing a never ending stream of calculated mendacity. What is your most effective strategy going forward ?


Joshua said...

===]]] Would Joshua like a few examples of trenchant sarcasm from 'unprofessional' Nobel laureates? Scientists and other academics get to be sardonic, and often are. [[[===

I wouldn't have it otherwise. But accordingly, why would anyone expect that there wouldn't be consequences? If you make your bed, lie in it. If Roger had simply voiced criticism of the study, then (assuming his speculation true) then asking him to resign the position would be a breach of scientific principles. But he added hyperbole and ridicule. He made his choices. If he was asked to resign because of the tone of his post - a claim of victimization doesn't exactly pull at my heart strings.

The Right Wing Professor... said...

If you say so, Joshua. But then accept that editors of journals are as petty and vindictive as anyone else, and stop claiming that science somehow adheres to a higher standard than, say, politics.

I know of no definition of academic freedom, such as it is, that admits the tone of the commentary is of any significance.

Kuze said...

Joshua is the best troll on the whole Internet.

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

-30-Kuze and others deleted ...

No more, please, thanks!

Kuze said...

Sorry, Roger. I'll save my commentary for issues of substance in the future.

Frontiers of Faith and Science said...

We will see this tactic used more and more by the climate obsessed: unable to actually respond to criticism, they will simply seek to suppress it.
AGW fanatics are a cowardly, condescending group at heart: They rely on false claims of conspiracy against skeptics, then accuse skeptics of 'conspiracy ideation'. They rail against 'big oil' even as they rake in huge money from 'big oil'. They claim to be academics when they are all too often hucksters.
Good luck, Roger. We are in for a bumpy ride.

Joshua said...

Thanks, Kuze. You ain't so bad yourself.

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

Email from Neil Adger requested to be posted:

Roger

Thanks for your note. To create clarity let us put this on the record for
you:

1. None of the Editors read your blog post of 15th February on Brysse paper till yesterday (20th February). We were not aware of it and no-one had commented on it or mentioned it to us.

2. We received no correspondence or had any conversation with any of the people you named, or anyone else, about your blog post, or about your Board membership, or anyone else¹s Board membership.

3. The timing of you receiving a letter from Elsevier is a coincidence.

4. The Editors reviewed the Board at our meeting in November 2012 and subsequently informed Elsevier of who to rotate off. We had no further correspondence with Elsevier about this till they wrote to you on 20th February 2013.

5. Your second three-year term on the Board was 2010-2012 and hence you are rotating off at the end of the term, not in the middle of the term.

6. In addition to yourself, five other Board members have been not been reappointed for the new term and this has been conveyed to them in the past few days by Elsevier. In addition, of course, Elinor Ostrom sadly
died during 2012.

7. There is no contradiction in the email sent by Elsevier and our response to your further inquiry about whether there had been external pressure on the Editors concerning your Board position. We simply explained the rationale for our decision to not re-appoint in your particular case, as you requested.

8. As we described in the previous email, the only reason for seeking new Board Members is to refresh the Board with new members. We conveyed this to our meeting of Board members during the fringes of Planet under Pressure conference in March 2012, which you were not able to attend.

9. In the original appointment letter we wrote that we expected Board Members to review up to five papers per year. We have invited you to review 18 papers in the six years, of which you agreed to review just six and submitted five reviews (on one occasion we uninvited you before submission of your review as the review process had been completed). Your last review was submitted in August 2010. Last year, in 2012, we invited you to review, and you declined to review, in January, May and August.

10. The only error in the letter you received from Elsevier is the reference to an Editor-in-Chief of the journal. There is no
Editor-in-Chief. All three Editors jointly take full responsibility for all decisions in the journal.

We hope this resolves any ambiguity about the situation. We would ask you to clarify matters for the readers of your blog by giving them these details.

Yours sincerely
Neil, Kate and Declan

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

An my reply to Adger:

Dear Neil-

I will post these comments on my blog as you have requested.

I find it remarkable that you have known for 3 months, and perhaps as long as one year, that you were going to remove me from the editorial board and not once in that period did you see fit to contact me to either discuss or let me know. You might understand as well that now being almost March, 2013 I have assumed that we are well into another the term of the appointment. My correspondence with Gert-Jan Geraeds of March, 2012 regarding my inability to attend the board meeting (held in London, announced on short notice), reveals no indication of issues or problems from Elsevier or the editors. Just as board members have responsibilities so too do editors, and a minimal degree of communication is among them.

I will further note that at no time have I heard from you or the other editors any concerns about your apparent dissatisfaction with my role as an editor. Your speculation that I have "waning interest" in the journal could have been easily discussed via email or phone. As you note, I have averaged about 1 paper review per year, and have accepted 33% of all requests to review from GEC (which averaged 3 requests/year). I have looked back at the papers that you asked me to review last year -- 2 were outside my expertise, and one was turned down due to timing. A search of my email files shows that I received no requests from GEC to review in 2011. Of course, I do not have available the numbers of reviews invited and accepted for the 37 other board members in recent years, so it is impossible to place these numbers into context. Of course, editorial board membership involves more than simply preparing reviews. For instance, in 2012, we submitted a major research paper to GEC which we have been hard at work revising based on the reviewers comments. I expect we will be re-submitting it elsewhere.

To create reciprocal clarity from my end, I find the manner in which this situation was handled by GEC to be in extremely poor form. The complete lack of communication -- especially in the preceding 12 months when changes to the Board were determined but not shared -- invites speculation when decisions are announced but not explained. This is especially the case when a gracious form letter notifying me of being dropped is followed up with a post-hoc litany of concerns from the editor. Had I not noted publicly the odd timing of my being dropped fro the Board, I suspect that I never would have known the reasons behind your decisions that only now you see fit to share.

I will chalk this up to poor communication coupled with unfortunate timing. Surely based on your experiences at UEA you have learned that erring on the side of being forthright is always a good idea.

All best to you and GEC going forward,

Roger

dave said...

Alright, maybe the communication was not perfect, but not putting you up for another term seems entirely reasonable if one takes into account the number of papers you reviewed over the last couple of years. I know the bar at other journals to be on the board of editors, and it is much, much higher than the GEC standard, and you were clearly below GEC's standard.

I don't think this reflects poorly on your willingness to review papers. I simply see this as an indication that someone else is probably a better fit for the kind of papers GEC publishes.

I find your reaction to retract a paper (that you are revising right now) from GEC extremly childish, at best. There are two issues here: 1) you don't pick journals based on your personal history/bickering with the editors, IMHO. 2) You wrote "we", so I assume there are co-authors on that paper. If I was one of those I would find this kind of behavior incredibly irritating. Why should your co-authors pay a price for your disagreement with the editors of a journal? I assume they've put a lot of work into the revision (as you write), why should all of that be for nothing? If any of these co-authors is a junior person, I would really be speechless. A junior person would have a hard time speaking up against your choice, but you might be doing serious harm to the career of someone like that.

So, long story short. I think it is ample clear now that GEC could have communicated this better, but that there is really little to complain about the decision in substance. I would strongly recommend that you reconsider your decision to not submit your revision to the journal and not drag your co-authors into your fights.

Joshua said...

===]]] I will chalk this up to poor communication coupled with unfortunate timing. [[[===

Hmmmm. Where would you fit in public speculation impugning the scientific integrity of others?

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

-37-dave

Thanks for your advice. The paper is not "retracted" as it is not accepted (were it accepted it would of course go forward). It was reviewed/rejected with a request for major revisions. At this point I think it obviously best to start over with a new journal, I suspect that GEC would agree;-)

dave said...

I don't understand. Would you have sent it to a different journal if this whole episode about the editorial board had not happened? I took your letter to the editors as saying that you are not resubmitting to GEC because of this story, which I would find just unbelievably unprofessional and irresponsible to your co-authors (especially if there was anyone junior on the paper).

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

-38-Joshua

You are welcome to comment here, but I will ask that you not make things up. In the original post above I wrote quite clearly:

"Are my critique and the request to step down related? I can't say. It is interesting timing to be sure. Perhaps it is an odd coincidence. Perhaps not."

See also #11 above.

I stand by this post, and welcome the deeper look into and explicit justification of GEC's decision making that otherwise I would not have had.

Thanks.

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

-40-dave

"Would you have sent it to a different journal if this whole episode about the editorial board had not happened?"

Perhaps. After Brysse et al. ... ;-)

If we resubmit to GEC it puts them and us in a difficult position. TAnd don't worry, there will be no harm to anyone's career to publish elsewhere. There are lots of excellent journals out there. Besides, GEC might have repeated their rejection in any case.

Look, insofar as the journals are concerned, editors and authors work for free. GEC's behavior/lack of communication in this episode was appalling, even under the most charitable interpretation. As academics we have every right to take our business elsewhere when we experience poor behavior. We do that with restaurants, why not journals?

Thanks.

Tommy Atkins said...

joshua ...a suitable response might be 'ouch'...

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

Lest there be any confusion, below is the text of the original email I received from GEC dropping me from the GEC Board. It contains several untruths: (1) about the notion of "rotate members at regular intervals" and (2) an expression of "appreciation" for my work.

Upon receiving the letter, I knew that (1) was false, as I have shown. (I have since learned the falseness of (2)). If you tell people untruths you should expect that they will wonder about the truth.

"Dear Professor Pielke,

Subject: Rotation of the Editorial Board of Global Environmental Change

As a member of the Editorial Board of Global Environmental Change you have been instrumental in helping to organise a rapid and efficient editorial process, and maintaining the high standards of our publication. Your work has been greatly appreciated.

To help keep the journal current, and give other scientists the chance to gain experience of editorial duties, it is our policy to rotate members off our Editorial Boards at regular intervals. For this reason, and in consultation with the Editor-in-Chief, I am asking you to step down from the Editorial Board.

I hope that you will understand our approach and that you have enjoyed your association with the journal and will continue to take an interest in it by encouraging the submission of high quality manuscripts.

Thank you sincerely for the work and expertise which you have given to the journal during your time on the Editorial Board. I wish you the very best for the future.

With kind regards,"

tallbloke said...

"lack of communication in this episode was appalling... take our business elsewhere when we experience poor behavior...We do that with restaurants, why not journals?"

Philosophy of language. It's a bit like going to a good restaurant, and eating the menu. Journal editors Like Adger don't make convivial dinnertime company anyway. But maybe there's a grain of truth in the 'waning interest' thing. It must be tiresome reviewing poorly supported alarmist tripe year in year out.

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

For the record, just now I received a very gracious apology from Elsevier for how this situation was handled. I appreciate it.

Don Gooch said...

Of course, the "true" reason is, as Roger notes, basically unknowable. The people with "inside" information aren't telling --- or at least what they're telling is suspect. But the fact that the editors cycled through a number of "reasons" for excusing from the board till they hit on one that would stick (the first having been punctured by Roger himself) is at least suggestive that there is a 'true' and unstated reason. And, of course, the likelihood is that it was: "you embarrased us - get out."

Christoph said...

"you have been instrumental in helping to organise a rapid and efficient editorial process, and maintaining the high standards of our publication."

Look, I'm just a lay person reading this blog because of my interest in climate science and the scientific method generally, but Dave, how does the above square with:

"you were clearly below GEC's standard."

?

I think that Roger's description of your journal's behaviour and communication in this matter as being "appalling" has merit.

Christoph said...

"I am of course happy to make way for other scientists to "gain the experience of editorial duties." However, if my critique of a GEC paper is in any way related to my removal from the editorial board, then the message being sent to those other scientists is pretty chilling."

Yeah, I'm sure the timing (and subsequent dishonest communication) was a total coincidence.

Mark B. said...

"Surely based on your experiences at UEA you have learned that erring on the side of being forthright is always a good idea."


Rather, I'd say that based on his experiences at UEA, he has learned that if you just hunker down and brazen it out, your peers will close ranks around you.

John Whitman said...

Roger,


Since you saw the GEC internal nuances over the past 4 years then perhaps readers of your post cannot appreciate fully your assessment of the your dismissal by the 3 GEC editors currently at or previously from UEA.


Was there usual professional rancor during your time at GEC compared to your experience at other journals?


What was the difference, if any, at GEC compared to other journals?


John

hro001 said...

Let me see if I understand this correctly ... in his ... uh ... "First Order Draft", Neil Adger wrote:

"To help keep the journal current, and give other scientists the chance to gain experience of editorial duties, it is our policy to rotate members off our Editorial Boards at regular intervals. For this reason, and in consultation with the Editor-in-Chief, I am asking you to step down from the Editorial Board. [emphasis added -hro]"

And in his "Second Order Draft" Adger contradicts his first:

[As Roger had noted in Update 2] "Neil Adger, editor of GEC, replies to explain, contrary to the earlier email, that I have been removed from the editorial board due to a perception of my "waning interest in the journal" citing my declining of 3 reviews last year [...]"

And in his "Third Order Draft", Adger (along with his two co-Editors) again contradicts his first and his second:

"5. Your second three-year term on the Board was 2010-2012 and hence you are rotating off at the end of the term, not in the middle of the term. [emphasis added -hro]"

Setting aside the fact that 2010-2012 looks more like a two-year term than a three-year term, if this "Third Order Draft" is the "correct" version of "history", why was it even necessary to ask anyone to "step down"?!

Furthermore, after Roger had graciously acceded to Adger's request to "step down", why is it that Adger did not immediately respond by apologizing and indicating that what he really meant to say was something along the lines of 'Thanks for your service, but at the end of your current term, we shall not be inviting you to serve for a third term'?

And this chap is an IPCC AR5 WGII Coordinating Lead Author?! Such fuzzy and self-contradictory "thinking" does not augur well for the quality one might anticipate in this "gold standard" assessment report.

Mark Cates said...

Don Gooch,

"Of course, the "true" reason is, as Roger notes, basically unknowable."

Not at all. In the GEC response to Dr. Pielke they have shown they track participation of board members. They can just redact the names and send another email to Dr. Pielke. This should only take them a few minutes to produce the data used to make their decision about his removal.

Mark Bahner said...

"If Roger had simply voiced criticism of the study, then (assuming his speculation true) then asking him to resign the position would be a breach of scientific principles. But he added hyperbole and ridicule."

So in your version of the world, they canned him and lied about it. Which is also a breach of scientific principles.

Albatross said...

Hello Roger,

Very disappointing Roger, on your part that is. You really ought to cease and desist with the knee-jerk reactions and juvenile temper tantrums. You seem to feel entitled to the benefits (and esteem) of being an editor without putting in the required time and effort.

As for your opinions about Brysse et al. and your silly suggestion above that you are perhaps justified in pulling your paper because "....After Brysse et al. ... ;-) ". Really, you think this is a time to be glib?

Whatever the merits of Brysse et al., one supposed bad paper (at least in your opinion) does give you the right to right off the journal. IMO, you making that generalization amounts to defamation of the journal and its editorial board. Admit it, even though it is so painfully obvious to people following this, you suggested that about GEC because your ego has been dented.

Did you consult with all of your co-authors and obtain their approval before making that public declaration? If yes, could you show us please? I will note, that you seem only too happy to post other correspondence pertaining to this.

Your post and comments on this thread by your uncritical supporters smack of conspiracy theorizing. Instead of hypothesizing and suggesting malfeasance you should done what a responsible adult would do and sort the story out first and then write it up. But that would not garner nearly as much attention for you now would it?

I believe that you have still not provided any compelling whatsoever that the board's decision had anything remotely to do with your post on Brysse et al. obscure blog.

I would also question the ethics of a board member making public disparaging remarks about a paper published in the very journal on whose editorial board they sit.

This is yet another appalling example of you throwing your toys when you do not get your way, you seem to revel in the attention or at least trying to get attention.

Again, how disappointing. GEC is, without a doubt, better off without you. Elsevier may have been gracious, but your behaviour has been anything but.

That you refuse to accept no responsibility whatsoever in the mess that you created for yourself is very telling indeed, and it does not reflect favourably upon you, not in the least. I would not be surprised if future (and current) journals will think twice about inviting you on board once this little saga.

Thanks!

Sincerely,
Albatross

Manniac said...

Rules for intellectuals;

1. Don't think.
2. If you think then don't say.
3. If you say, then don't write.
4. If you write, then don't sign.
5. If you think, say, write and sign, then don't be surprised.

Christoph said...

"Your post and comments on this thread by your uncritical [emphasis added] supporters..."

Albatross, give it a rest.

I don't give much of a damn about Roger Pielke, Jr., in particular. I care about truth.

One one of the things I know is disingenuous ass-covering (quasi-) corporate speak when I see it.

The same day Pielke receives this from someone senior at GEC:

"you have been instrumental in helping to organise a rapid and efficient editorial process, and maintaining the high standards of our publication."

he also gets told this by someone else at CEC:

"you were clearly below GEC's standard."

... after they've been caught shifting their story generally (and roundabout the same time Elsevier is apologising for how they've handled this).

I am only somewhat aware of Pielke Jr.'s contributions. But I don't give a flying frig' if he was a fry cook.

I know disingenuous nonsense when I see it.

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

-55-Albatross

Thanks for visiting and sharing your views. On this comment:

"I would also question the ethics of a board member making public disparaging remarks about a paper published in the very journal on whose editorial board they sit."

Here I think we agree to disagree. As an academic I think it is a higher order responsibility to advance knowledge than it is to affirm institutional allegiance. The fact that Brysse et al. was in GEC is utterly irrelevant to my critique, as it should be.

The idea that institutional affiliation should outweigh public critique is the same thinking that got the IPCC, UEA etc. into some trouble, and contribute to the tribalism that deeply characterizes the climate science community (or at least its blogospheric face).

Ultimately, Elsevier is a big corporate publisher. If they provide poor service to their volunteers -- including the telling of bald untruths -- you can expect a public expression of dissatisfaction, at least from me.

To Elsevier's credit the corporate rep responsible offered a gracious apology.

I stand by this post as written, and observe with amusement how it is being spun by the usual suspects on both sides of your little climate science war. Good luck with that;-)

Thanks again!

Joshua said...

===]]] You are welcome to comment here, but I will ask that you not make things up. [[[===

I don't think I'm "making things up," Roger. Your post was rather like me asking you "When did you stop beating your wife?" and then saying "I never said you beat your wife."

The implications of your post were clear. It isn't just me who felt that way - as can clearly be seen by the comments written from people who were fully on board with your implications. And they will continue to support those implications no matter where the facts might lead. You are appealing to the partisans. Same ol' same ol'.

Like I said above, I respect much of your work. However, I think that if you're looking to reduce the politicization of the science, and I do believe that is one of your goals, you're going about it the wrong way. It seems to me that it is counterproductive for you to lob grenades and then point to defensive maneuvers as if they shouldn't be expected. Similarly counterproductive, IMO, is to lob grenades and then label, or imply via plausible deniability, that any reactions that you get are inherently defensive.

There are a couple of things I agree with you about, though. Yes, this is what amounts to a tempest in a teapot - a tempest in a teapot of your creation in this specific case (although obviously you didn't create the climate wars).

Second, I agree with this:

===]]] ...it is being spun by the usual suspects on both sides of your little climate science war. [[[===

You are one of the "usual suspects," Roger. It isn't just their war.

IMO, when you throw Jell-O, and then point fingers and say "Hey, they're throwing Jell-O," you only diminish the value of your scientific input. Your self-concept of being elevated above the ugliness and uselessness of the juvenile bickering is belied by some of your own actions. I could point out other clear instances where you threw Jell-O, if you'd like, but the last time I did that (on a post where pointing that out was entirely relevant), my comment ended in the "rejected comments" bin.

Hey - it's just the opinion of one of thousands of trolls on the Internet. Take it for what it's worth.

Joshua said...

-- 54 - Mark,

===]]] So in your version of the world, they canned him and lied about it. Which is also a breach of scientific principles. [[[===


It would be a breach of scientific principles to "can" Roger simply because he criticized an article they printed.

I don't think it would be a breach of scientific principles if they "canned" Roger because he wrote a sardonic and ridiculing post about an article they published. As I indicated above, I consider THAT to be unprofessional, and it is entirely reasonable to ask an editor to step down for being unprofessional.

But all that aside, as I said above - if they "canned" him and gave him a reason other than the real reason, it is not defensible.

It does appear, however, despite that Roger (IMO, but apparently not in his opinion) clearly implied (with plausible deniability) that was the case, it wasn't the case. Of course, because of the nature of Roger's original post - we will see that the partisan combatants will be quite convinced that Roger was "canned" because he defied the "orthodoxy."

Same ol' same ol'.

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

-59-Joshua

Thanks ...

"Hey - it's just the opinion of one of thousands of trolls on the Internet. Take it for what it's worth."

Touche ;-)

If Elsevier wants to avoid situations lie this, my advice is (a) communicate, (b) don't lie.

The substance of this issue could have been non-climate science policy, sports governance or some other non-climate-war-related topic that I write on and I'd have reacted the exact same way.

Apparently my reaction was effective as I received a fulsome apology from Elsevier.

I'm moving on ... Thx.

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

-60-Joshua

Ha ... you obviously don't attend many faculty meetings;-) If academics were canned for unprofessional behavior then college campuses would have far fewer faculty members!

Albatross said...

Hello Roger,

"Here I think we agree to disagree. As an academic I think it is a higher order responsibility to advance knowledge than it is to affirm institutional allegiance"

You seem to be missing the point. I never suggested that you "affirm to institutional allegiance", please don't misrepresent me. You do not seem to have understood the gist of my comment. I specifically took issue with you, an editor at GEC, making public disparaging and unprofessional remarks on your blog about a paper in that journal. You are entitled to your opinion, but as an academic you are not entitled to your own facts.

The fact remains that your alleged grievance with GEC and conspiracy hypothesizing about GEC was a presumption and unsupported speculation on your part. You seem to hold others to standards that you yourself are not capable of abiding to, as your blog repeatedly demonstrates. An academic (i.e., you) generating a faux scandal is pretty poor/desperate behaviour.

The reason you were dismissed is because you failed in your duties. I find it telling that the other editorial board members who were dismissed in the past did not (to my knowledge) throw public hissy fits and start going round making all kinds of nefarious and unsubstantiated accusations about GEC afterwards.

"If they provide poor service to their volunteers -- including the telling of bald untruths -- you can expect a public expression of dissatisfaction, at least from me."

You continue to try to invert reality and argue a strawman. The fact remains is that your dismissal was precipitated by you, Roger Pielke Jnr., providing poor service to Elsevier. It had nothing whatsoever to do with your disparaging musings about Brysse et al. How that fact continues to evade you is quite bizarre.

"I stand by this post as written, and observe with amusement how it is being spun by the usual suspects on both sides of your little climate science war. Good luck with that;-)"

It is alarming that it is lost on you that it is you who initiated the spin Roger. Your lack of self awareness is quite astounding. Moreover, your steadfast refusal to take responsibility for your sub par performance as editor at GEC and your attempt to spin this story to garner attention for you and to drive your agenda reflects incredibly poorly on you. In fact, the comment by you quoted above appears to be projection on your part.

Could you please address the question I asked earlier about whether or not you consulted with your co-authors about your suggestion/decision to pull your manuscript from GEC? Until you demonstrate otherwise, one can assume that your reticence to speak to that issue suggests that you did not consult with them, or if you did, they were not in agreement with you. Some clarification please, preferably with some supporting evidence.

One last question. Maybe I missed it, but have you apologized to GEC for failing to satisfactorily fulfill your duties there as an editor?

Thanks!

Sincerely,
Albatross

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

-63-Albatross

"The reason you were dismissed is because you failed in your duties."

This of course certainly could be the case.

However, as I responded to GEC:

"I will further note that at no time have I heard from you or the other editors any concerns about your apparent dissatisfaction with my role as an editor. Your speculation that I have "waning interest" in the journal could have been easily discussed via email or phone. As you note, I have averaged about 1 paper review per year, and have accepted 33% of all requests to review from GEC (which averaged 3 requests/year). I have looked back at the papers that you asked me to review last year -- 2 were outside my expertise, and one was turned down due to timing. A search of my email files shows that I received no requests from GEC to review in 2011. Of course, I do not have available the numbers of reviews invited and accepted for the 37 other board members in recent years, so it is impossible to place these numbers into context."

Do note:

1. The "below standard" performance allegation is the third justification given by GEC, following regular rotation (not true) and allegation of waning interest in the journal (not asked).

2. Over 6 years I never heard a peep from GEC about concerns about performance. Surely if you'd like a EB member to perform more reviews you would (a) send them more review opportunities, and (b) make that expectation explicit.

3. Over the past 2 years+ GEC asked me to review 1 paper in my area of expertise. Of course being an editorial board member involves more than reviewing, it also carries an expectation of recruiting high quality authors, submitting your own best work, helping to identify peer reviewers off the board, all of which I have actively done (your suggestion that performing reviews is the basis for board performance reflects a lack of understanding of academia).

So if you can get GEC to produce information on how many review requests were sent to each of the 38 EB members and their acceptance rate over the past 6 years, and if my 33% acceptance rate of invited reviews is at the bottom, I'll accept your argument ;-)

Otherwise we are left with an ink blot, which will be interpreted charitably or uncharitably as is preferred. You've obviously made your choice.

Thanks!

omanuel said...

63-Albatross

Eliminating dissenting opinions is a major problem in science today.

I do not agree with everything Roger Pielke, Jr. writes or does, but there is no doubt that he has contributed far more to climate science than hundreds of "me too" climatologists who took the easy path to grant funds, tenure and short-term successful careers in climatology.

- Oliver K. Manuel
PhD Nuclear Chemistry
Postdoc Space Physics
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo

Brian said...

Christoph (#57),

In the interest of accuracy, I would point out that one of your quotes

"he also gets told this by someone else at CEC:

'you were clearly below GEC's standard.'"


is actually a comment from one of the posters here (Dave, #37) and not from the editors of GEC. On that score, at least, they have not shifted their story.

I don't see too much evidence here of GEC being disingenuous. Adger's letter makes clear that GEC only told Elsevier to rotate Roger off. The rest of Elsevier's letter appears to be a polite fiction, largely based on their own ignorance of the reasons. It does also appear that GEC could have avoided much of this trouble by simply giving Roger a personal communication at the end of last year informing him of the decision. Then the Pielke-haters could have argued that his diss of Brysse was just sour grapes. ;)

Albatross said...

Hello Roger,

Look, you clearly feel that you are the "victim" here, you have even insinuated (without any evidence) that there was some retribution at work. Do note that many other people following this do not agree with you on that. Do note that while you have been fussing and engaging in slander, the other five board members have apparently said "me culpa" and moved on!

What I am trying to encourage you to do is apply some soul searching and exercise some self awareness. Instead you seem hell bent on trying to argue that something much more nefarious is afoot here while making insinuations and accusations about others, while completely ignoring your responsibilities and your role in this.

Now you are of course intelligent, but the danger that comes with that that you can excel at convincing yourself that there is a problem (or that there is not a problem in Lindzen's case). This whole episode makes you look very paranoid.

Do note that the editors have said to you:

“To create clarity let us put this on the record for you… The timing of you receiving a letter from Elsevier is a coincidence.”

“In the original appointment letter we wrote that we expected Board Members to review up to five papers per year. We have invited you to review 18 papers in the six years, of which you agreed to review just six and submitted five reviews (on one occasion we uninvited you before submission of your review as the review process had been completed). Your last review was submitted in August 2010. Last year, in 2012, we invited you to review, and you declined to review, in January, May and August."

Do note, that you declining reviews on 67% of the papers is a very low bar.

Do note, that you are refusing to provide any evidence that you consulted with your co-authors about retracting your manuscript. In the absence of such evidence, it is becoming increasingly likely that you independently made your knee-jerk reaction to pull the paper without considering the position of your co authors. That is pretty selfish, and to be frank, quite juvenile.

Do note, that you are refusing to apologize to GEC for failing in your duties as an editor there.

Thanks!

Sincerely,
Albatross

Albatross said...

Just two more parting comments Roger, time is valuable and best not spent arguing with you-- you seem to revel in attention, even if it is negative attention.

1) So, speaking of time, it is obvious that your time be much better spent reviewing papers for GEC rather than spending time on your blogs and trying to make mountains out of molehills.

2) In my experience in academia and in the work place, it is troubling how many times those people who make the biggest fuss when called out on their failing's, even when they do not have a leg to stand on, force others to capitulate just to get them to quieten down (most people hate confrontation). Ultimately, those folks making the noise a) accept no responsibility for their failing in the first place, b) try and lay the blame for their incompetence at the feet of others and c) more often than not there are no consequences for their poor behaviour.

Now some do this without knowing (no self awareness), but I have noticed that some use such tactics for their own benefit and instead of accepting responsibility for their actions (or non actions) try to lay the blame for their failings at the feet of others.

To me it is apparent that this is exactly what you are now doing.

Have a good weekend.

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

-67-Albatross

Thanks, this will be my last response as I think we've given this its full airing ...

1. Please do not make things up. The quote that you provide -- "victim" is not a characterization I have used or implied. Also, I am unaware of five other board members saying "mea culpa" much less being notified of wrongdoing, are you?

These are your your ink blots, enjoy!

2. In the main post I clearly wrote: "Are my critique and the request to step down related? I can't say. It is interesting timing to be sure. Perhaps it is an odd coincidence. Perhaps not."

Seems pretty clear, no? When Elsevier offered me a lie, I rejected it and responded with a possibility, they corrected the lie and offered an alternative possibility, and note this -- they also apologized in unreserved terms. Seems like a fine outcome to me.

But again, there is no point debating ink blots.

3. I must say I am flattered by your concern about my need for soul-searching. Indeed the non-stop interest expressed by various folks on the internet about what I say or think continues to be a source of amazement. Who knew that one professor with a blog could attract such fascination... I'm ever hopeful that you guys might find some interest in my peer-reviewed science or policy arguments, rather than what lies deep in my soul ;-)

Of course, as a soulless, paranoid climate denier, soul searching would have little effect, no? (Joke!)

4. Similarly, I appreciate your concern about my various co-authors. But you are again left with an ink blot onto which you can map whatever views you'd like. Again, enjoy!

Thanks again for the exchange and the break from a paper on governmental science advice, now back to work ...

Albatross said...

Roger,

1) I did not make anything up, I said you "feel that you are the "victim" here." You may not feel that way, but that is certainly how you are coming across to others following this tempest in a teapot that you manufactured.

2) "Also, I am unaware of five other board members saying "mea culpa" much less being notified of wrongdoing, are you?"

Good try at twisting my comment. My point is that they are not making the rounds on the internet making a fuss and making all sorts of accusations and having a tantrum. If they felt GEC was in the wrong they would have contacted GEC. Maybe they did, but what they did not do (to my knowledge) is have a tantrum in public and play at dog-whistle politics like you have done.

3) "Are my critique and the request to step down related? I can't say. It is interesting timing to be sure. Perhaps it is an odd coincidence. Perhaps not."

It is called dog whistling Roger, you know it and know exactly what game you are playing. Sadly, going by the comments at WUWT and some here it is working. So please do not be coy.

3) "I must say I am flattered by your concern about my need for soul-searching. Indeed the non-stop interest expressed by various folks on the internet about what I say or think continues to be a source of amazement."

No, it only goes to underscore your narcism.

4) It may have been a poor joke, but I have never suggested that you are a paranoid climate denier". Your behaviour here is clearly paranoid, as others have noted (ThingsBreak).

5) "I appreciate your concern about my various co-authors. But you are again left with an ink blot onto which you can map whatever views you'd like."

Well, you are the one who created that ink blot. It would have been very easy for you to clarify matters, but you have refused. Another poor attempt by you to evade the issue.

5) Your frequent reference to ink blots is rather bizarre. (H/T) to Hank Roberts:

"Which sort of "blot" is he [Roger] seeing there?

Damage to the journal's reputation?
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/blot
blot 1 (bl t). n. 1. A spot or a stain caused by a discoloring substance: a blot of paint. 2. A stain on one's character or reputation; a disgrace.

OR

Damage to his own reputation?
http://www.ipt-forensics.com/journal/volume3/j3_4_5.htm
"... the Rorschach interpretation is unreliable and invalid."

6) "..and note this -- they also apologized in unreserved terms. Seems like a fine outcome to me."

Indeed, a fine outcome for you! You have beautifully demonstrated the behaviour noted in the comment that I made above "....those people who make the biggest fuss when called out on their failing's, even when they do not have a leg to stand on, force others to capitulate just to get them to quieten down (most people hate confrontation)." "Most people" being Elsevier in this case....

Christoph said...

"is actually a comment from one of the posters here (Dave, #37) and not from the editors of GEC. On that score, at least, they have not shifted their story."

Oh. I thought Dave was both with GEC and senior. My error undermines the point I was trying to make. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

Dave is, of course, entitled to an opinion that contradicts GEC.

My apologies to the relevant parties for stating there is a [particular] discrepancy where there isn't one.

That said, Roger has added:

"As an academic I think it is a higher order responsibility to advance knowledge than it is to affirm institutional allegiance. The fact that Brysse et al. was in GEC is utterly irrelevant to my critique, as it should be.

"The idea that institutional affiliation should outweigh public critique is the same thinking that got the IPCC, UEA etc. into some trouble, and contribute to the tribalism that deeply characterizes the climate science community (or at least its blogospheric face)."

I couldn't agree more with that.

Doug said...

"Narcism." LOL

Definition: extreme devotion to the DEA.

I am reminded of Hamlet's question to Horatio regarding the preening and verbose Osric: "Dost know this waterfly?"

Christoph said...

Joshua,

"It isn't just me who felt that way - as can clearly be seen by the comments written from people who were fully on board with your implications. And they will continue to support those implications no matter where the facts might lead."

This is the same arrogance and condescension that was annoying when when Albatross did it.

On what basis do you conclude I and other commenters here are incapable of independent thought, including changing one's mind if the facts warrant (on this or another topic)?

It's seems like a conceit on your part ... the same sort of intellectual conceit that has, in my view, led some to cleave to a once-promising theory despite its most infamous predictions not being born out in the main.

Christoph said...

Fortuitous timing: To wit

IPCC Railroad engineer Pachauri acknowledges 'No warming for 17 years'

Now I wouldn't personally have used the designed-to-be-perceived-as (in context) condescending yet accurate partial description of Pachauri's qualifications in the headline had I wrote it, but it's still kind of a stunning admission.

Although hardly news at the same time.

And for the record, I have criticised Christopher Monckton, the author of that piece, numerous times for this or that, while generally agreeing with him. In fact, I've criticised him a fair amount, especially for the snobbery of holding to a hereditary title. Being raised in North America and philosophically , I put no stock in such things.

That's an aside, but the idea that I and most other critics of CAGW theory are mindless parrots is a canard. I started out by believing it, of course, when taught it. Totally made sense at the time (the diagrams were pretty: "Ah. The Earth is like a green house.")

But it's a little bit more complicated than that, the dampening effects are more pronounced than the IPCC assumes, etc.

You can disagree, but to say that I and others skeptics can't take on board new info and adjust our thinking is just ridiculous. It's lame. It's a cop out.

Frankly it's "projection".

Look in the mirror.

Albatross said...

An addendum.

Roger should explicitly clarify and/or remove some of the statements he made in his blog post.

He has been informed that:
"None of the Editors read your blog post of 15th February on Brysse paper till yesterday (20th February). We were not aware of it and no-one had commented on it or mentioned it to us."

He has also been told that:
"The Editors reviewed the Board at our meeting in November 2012 and subsequently informed Elsevier of who to rotate off. "

Also, in an email to Neil Adger, Roger states:
"I will chalk this up to poor communication coupled with unfortunate timing."

Yet the following text remains unaltered/struck out in his original blog post:

"Are my critique and the request to step down related? I can't say. It is interesting timing to be sure. Perhaps it is an odd coincidence. Perhaps not."

As does this:
"However, if my critique of a GEC paper is in any way related to my removal from the editorial board, then the message being sent to those other scientists is pretty chilling."

So despite being informed that these speculations are groundless, and Roger admitting this was essentially a case of bad communication, Roger continues to promulgate misleading and false text (and run with his original heading) and says ["I stand by this post as written"]. That was written after Roger emailed Adger the quoted text.

If I were Elsevier I'd be rather annoyed that this text is still there, especially after they apologized (Roger never did post their apology? How curious). Maybe their lawyers ought to take a look.

Roger should look in a mirror and say "duplicitous" a few times.

PS: Roger says,
"Indeed the non-stop interest expressed by various folks on the internet about what I say or think continues to be a source of amazement.

That would particularly apply to Andy Revkin ;) But I think that Roger rather enjoys the uncritical attention Andy gives him.

eric144 said...

Christoph

It is very unfair to call Mr Pachauri a railway engineer. He was also was on the Board of Directors of the Indian Oil Corporation (January 1999 to September 2003)

He became head of the IPCC on 20 April 2002.



No conflict of interest there.

TLITB said...

Me, I take the inkblot reference literally and then try pick up some context e.g. the next post put up while the comments here were going on is titled with the word inkblot in it ;)

It seems obvious that it means what is projected into the situation without knowledge. I like the fact the Albatross brings information that someone called "Hank Roberts" suggests a more plausible meaning for what our hosts actual meaning use of "Inkblot" here ;)

I mean who to ask? What to ask? What do you want answered? What do you not want answered? Is there a lawyer in the house!


RPJ has done something deeply horrible here which to air something that is interesting to lay observers and probably doubly interesting because of the reaction it provokes.

I am a layman BTW.

The editors didn't see the Brysse critique and the timing is just coincidental we know this now. We also know they decided this a year ago.

How do Elsevier work here?

No I mean how? Genuine question. I think they want to make a living and act like intermediaries but I know not. Tell me scholars. 

I don't know what it is like to be taken off the board of editors but looking around at some scientist resumes (CVs) I see this kind of thing is often mentioned so I assume it must have a basic meaning about position or status?

I would certainly be embarrassed myself if I was referring to something of which significance could be summarily withdrawn with a weeks’ notice without discussion.

Any way I may be rambling but I can provide some information if anyone is interested.

I checked the GEC website and found that the board differences wre clear to see over the last 10 days:

With no further insight or comment - and no reason or knowledge to - differences from the Feb 10th Google cache:

Out


S Agrawala
Organisation de Coopération et de Développement Économiques (OECD), Paris Cedex 16, France

J Alcamo
United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi, Kenya

C. Folke
Stockholms Universitet, Stockholm, Sweden

M. Pelling
King's College London, London, UK

R.A. Pielke
University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA



In


R. Betts
Met Office, Exeter, Devon, England, UK

E.R. Carr
University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA

G. Dabelko
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC, USA

K. Hussey
Australian National University (ANU), Canberra, Australia

R. McLeman
Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON, Canada

U. Pascual
Basque Centre for Climate Change, Bilbao, Spain

H. Schroeder
University of East Anglia, Norwich, England, UK

A. St. Clair
Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research, Oslo, Norway

M. StaffordSmith
CSIRO (The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization), Dickson, ACT, Australia

BTW Just about to post (if it makes it through) and noticed...

@74. Albatross said...

"Roger should explicitly clarify and/or remove some of the statements he made in his blog post."

Do you honestly think any changes or removals need to be made to help make it easy for anyone else come to the same conclusion you have come to?

You want to persuade I think. But I have to say you don't persuade me of anything but that you have a fear of something. Why don't you trust people to see exactly the same thing as you see here unless Roger modifies it to your desire? ;)

TLITB said...

"is titled with the word inkblot in it"

BTW I did mean to edit that but missed it before hitting publish!

But I guess I now like the fact I admit I really did think the Vannevar Bush* post had the word Inkblot in its title until I check it was just a picture ;)


* yeah imagery again - I'm not looking. Did its title include Basic research? I'm a visual guy :)

Albatross said...

@76,

If Roger were truly concerned with being accurate (and being gracious following their apology) then corrections/amendments would be required to modify it to be consistent with the facts that came to light after he wrote the blog post and his own statements. I merely pointed out which statements were at odds with the latest developments and his own statements. Roger can do whatever he pleases, but inquiring minds are watching to see what he does.

Of course, the adult and professional thing for Roger to do in the first place would have been for him to deal with this in private and gets all the facts. Then if he still felt compelled to do so he could have written about it. But no, it is much more juicy (and easy) for Roger to dog whistle and insinuate malfeasance.

BTW, numerous other people have come to the same conclusions as I have...

TLITB said...

@78. Albatross said...
"BTW, numerous other people have come to the same conclusions as I have..."

I can't beat that. I only have "several" people who have the same conclusions as I.

"Roger can do whatever he pleases, but inquiring minds are watching to see what he does"

I am not so sure. How you can be so positive about this?

Mmmm, If allowed can I take a survey? ...

1) Any readers here who are not owning an inquiring mind?

2) Any readers Who don't want to see what RPJ does?

If so I want to say to you, Well, you are at the wrong place :)

Christoph said...

Albatross, I think you're going a bit too far here.

Roger has allowed your and others' comments and criticism to stand, and has acknowledged the facts on this thread in various places. Yes, it might be best if he summarised his current best understanding in update #4, but I hardly think his allowing a frank discussion here in the relevant post on his blog is evidence of anything bad.

It's the opposite.

Mike said...

Albatross -- You're being ridiculous. In saying that Roger must change his post, you are basically taking the position that the editors' statements in their e-mails must be taken at face value. Just because Roger has been informed of this or that doesn't necessarily make it true; surely you must be aware of that? He has been transparent enough to pass along the information; that's a lot better than many blogs do. Roger's point in his post was that the timing was suspicious. I don't see how anyone could deny that. Maybe it really was all just a coincidence, but the fact that they say so doesn't constitute proof.

Furthermore, the things you have been saying about Roger are much worse than anything he has said, in my opinion.

Albatross said...

Hi Christoph,

Sorry, Roger is the one who has stepped over the line here and gone too far. He made this mess, now he seems reticent to try and clean it up or display some tact. Given his strongly worded comments about Elsevier and GEC, Roger has to allow critique here to stand. Doing otherwise would be highly hypocritical of him.

What seems lost on those defending Roger's behaviour is his unfortunate propensity to flippantly accuse others of wrong doing or even lying. That is not OK. Moreover, it is very poor form to make such accusations and then not retract them once they have been shown to be unfounded.

I'm not convinced that Elsevier knowingly lied as Roger is claiming. The mistake they did make is not bluntly telling him that he had done a lousy job and they don't feel he had anything worthwhile to contribute to the journal anymore. Eli has is nailed. That and not telling him and the others much sooner.

But there is more going on here than meets the eye Christoph-- there is also more on this going on behind the scenes about this as we speak. There are some issues that can be clarified objectively. For example, I'm surprised nobody has asked Roger if he agrees that his second three year term did end in 2012? It is simple question.

MattL said...

Albatross,

I've been watching you go on and on and on and on. Please stop. You've made your point, and a few (Joshua?) no doubt agree with you, and many don't. I don't.

Let it go, please, you're just making a fool of yourself and it's painful to watch.

Christoph said...

"I'm not convinced that Elsevier knowingly lied as Roger is claiming. The mistake they did make is not bluntly telling him that he had done a lousy job and they don't feel he had anything worthwhile to contribute to the journal anymore."

That's possible. And yet, it's on them if they write him a letter telling him how great he is.

I realise this is an academic volunteer position and not a job, but if you were a finder of fact for some trial involving a person dismissed from a job with the dismissal letter talking about what a good job they did, you could hardly turn around and buy the position that they did a bad job.

At a minimum, it would require Elsevier to make that claim, which they hadn't.

Further, per Eli's letter, Roger was "expected" to review 5 papers per year, but was only invited to review an average of 3 per year. He could only review a percentage of these due to his area of expertise, or so he claims (and this seems reasonable), plus other commitments from time to time.

So the responsibility for any lack of output on Roger's behalf in reviewing papers must be shared with GEC who asked him to review less than their supposed "expectation".

Possibly Roger's output during the last couple years was unreasonable, in particular turning down the opportunity to review 3 papers in 2012 ... but he was invited to review Brysse et al. 2013, with which he was not impressed. The timing would make anyone think there may be a link between his being asked to step down -- or why ask him to review a paper in 2013 at all if his output in 2012 was a deal-breaker?

It may have been an honest misunderstanding, but as Mike points out, Roger has only Elsevier's word on it (the same people who told him what a great job he was doing in writing when you're insisting he was clearly doing a poor job -- so one has to question the clarity and accuracy of their communications), but bet that as it may, I'm not surprised he questioned the timing.

Temperaments vary, but I hardly think it was unreasonable.

You're right, of course, that ethically "he has" to allow criticism to stand since he's made an issue of it. However, I've seen no evidence that he wouldn't as a matter of course anyway.

In short, this may have been a misunderstanding or his initial suspicions could have been right, or even his performance could have been lagging (which, I'll reiterate, would still be partly GEC's fault for asking him to review less papers than their expectation), but in any of those cases, here we are talking about it.

You're free to criticise, yet your main objection seems to be more of style than substance at this point: you want him to update his post in a particular manner with particular formatting rather than just letting people read it as it occurs.

Maybe he will still; I don't know. But it isn't like the people Roger will work with in the future can't follow this discussion. It's as public domain as you're going to get!

Finally, you've asked Roger a simple enough question and OK, fine, consider this me asking the question. But again, to use the analogy of employment, if you're serving past the second employment contract at a position where you've been for years, you expect not to be suddenly canned without warning. If this happens concurrent with you doing something controversial, it begs the question.

Albatross said...

Hi Matt,

The only person here who has made a fool of himself is Roger. You'd be surprised how quickly word spreads. Surely you realize that there exists a whole wide word outside the confines of this little blog?

Now we'll see if Roger is willing to answer the question posed to him at #83. Just trying to get to the bottom of this and clarify a few things.

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

-83-Albatross

"there is also more on this going on behind the scenes about this as we speak"

And people wonder why I air issues in public? I'll just say that over the past decade I have had more than several occasions to be thankful for the tenure system;-)

A fair question: "Roger if he agrees that his second three year term did end in 2012? It is simple question."

I was invited in 2006 and have always dated my term from 2006-2009, and 2009-2012. My understanding from the agenda of the March 2012 Board meeting was that Board turnover was discussed. Not hearing a peep for almost one-year after that, I am one year into my 3rd term.

Elsevier has already apologized for this, which I have acknowledged publicly and privately.

Seriously though, hasn't this now become a bit obsessive on your part? Look though this comment thread, there is not much more left to parse, is there? Would you like to devote similar attention to normalized disaster losses?;-)

Thanks

Albatross said...

Roger,

Thanks for your reply, don't worry there is nothing to be paranoid about ;)

Can you give a yes no answer to my question please? My interpretation of your response is that you do not agree that your second term officially ended in 2012. Correct?

Thanks!

Christoph said...

How the he-- can that possibly be your interpretation?

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

-88-Albatross

My records show my term ending March, 2012.

Enough please, thx.

Christoph said...

Albatross, I can't understand what constructive point you're trying to make considering that GEC asked Pielke, Jr. to review Brysse et al., er, 2013 . . .

As I said in reply to your comment on 'Rabbett Run' (which I take to be Ian's blog):

"Not surprisingly, he answered it. More or less as I would have expected him to as you'll see from the analogy I gave in the comment prior to Roger's.

I'm not sure how that was supposed to be some kind of key, critical, impossible to answer correctly question that he was supposedly avoiding. With respect, both it and the answer seem mundane (and obvious)."

Albatross said...

Hi Roger,

Ok, so you agree that your second term ended in 2012.

However, you have claimed in the main post, and later stood by your original claim up thread, when challenged, that you were "sacked" (for want of a better word) mid term.

So you are still standing by your claim that:

" I have never received a mid-term request to step down from any journal."

Do you not see the problem here.

EliRabett said...

Christophe, if the journal does not have many papers for a member of the Editorial Board to review, perhaps that means that the person should not be reappointed?

Another point is that until you receive a letter of reappointment you are not reappointed. So unless Roger can show us a letter reappointing him, he was not.

Also, Eli cannot find the place at which Prof. Pielke says that he was invited to review Brysse et al for GEC.

Christoph said...

My comments, which had previously been posted, don't seem to be going through at Rabett's Run, so it looks like I've been banned or moderated (although there was no message about moderation as there is on this blog after I submit a comment).

I was trying to reply to willard's sacharine-sweetly worded (to me at least) comment here.

While I said a few things, the one which most comes to mind is that willard, etc., were being ridiculous by trying to make hay out of the fact Roger (1) suggested that perhaps he was asked to step down for giving a negative review and (2) then went on to say that he doesn't see himself as a victim.

willard saw a major discrepancy there.

That's nonsense. That's just simply the American cultural norm of not identifying oneself as a victim even if something adverse happens to one, even if that's as a result of another's actions.

The fact that willard tried to make hay of that:

> I take his response to mean that I am indeed the only one who has been removed at this time. So there you have it, another climate ink blot. Coincidence? You be the judge.

contradicts Dodger's [sic] claim that

> "victim" is not a characterization I have used or implied."

... of all things is telling. If I was being charitable, I could say willard is not aware that many Americans simply refuse to self-identify with being a victim on principle.

If I was.

Joshua said...

Christoff -

===]]] On what basis do you conclude I and other commenters here are incapable of independent thought, including changing one's mind if the facts warrant (on this or another topic)? [[[===

I haven't made that conclusion.

Again - what I said: "And they will continue to support those implications no matter where the facts might lead."

I was not implying that anyone who held onto the Roger as victim view on this issue was holding on to that view because they weren't capable of thinking independently. If they held on to such a view, it would be because their motivated reasoning led them to disregard the facts when drawing their conclusions. Of course Roger is not responsible for anyone else's motivated reasoning. I never meant to suggest anything like that.

My point was simply that the fact independent conclusions indicated in the comments were evidence that other people interpreted his implications in the same way as I did. Therefore, Roger's statement that I "made [something] up" was also not consistent with the facts - unless we're all affected by some kind of group hypnosis.

Mark Bahner said...

"The reason you were dismissed is because you failed in your duties."

Let's go to the tape:

"Dear Professor Pielke,

"Subject: Rotation of the Editorial Board of Global Environmental Change

As a member of the Editorial Board of Global Environmental Change you have been instrumental in helping to organise a rapid and efficient editorial process, and maintaining the high standards of our publication. Your work has been greatly appreciated."

...and so on. Absolutely no mention of "you have failed in your duties."

Tom Curtis said...

Christop @91, as Pielke makes clear @18, he was not asked to review Brysse et al for GEC. He only did so for his blog. Further, we know from Neil Adger (@35) that the last time Pielke was asked to review a manuscript for them was in August 2012, three months prior to the November 2012 meeting in which it was decided to not renew his position.

eric144 said...

In a much lighter tone

Christoph

In the incestuous world of the British loony tunes, anti global warming right, Lord Lawson's son is married to Lord Monkton's daughter. Lawson has open connections to the oil industry.

When Leicester archaeologists dug up the alleged body of King Richard III, they originally thought it was Lawson, but after extensive research, they discovered he was still alive.

Associate Lord (Viscount) Matt Ridley is a true right wing nutter who single handedly brought down the British economy. He brandished his optimism (he wrote a book called 'The Rational Optimist') by running his bank Northern Rock without money. He had to be bailed out by the Bank Of England.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/1563152/Northern-Rock-shares-crash-as-customers-queue.html

The Scottish based Bishop Hill is neither Scottish, a bishop, nor a hill. His accent reveals his class origins. His recent article in The Spectator reveals his true purpose of scoring cheap political points for the Neanderthal right. The irony of the title will be lost on him.

http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2013/02/nursing-prejudice-how-climate-change-activists-are-prisoners-of-their-own-politics/

James Delingpole is comedy writer who knew David Cameron at university but is miles to the right. He has created a persona close to a well known TV character, Conservative MP, Alan B@stard.

The Guardian's most consistent message on global warming is that the only people who oppose it are right wing nut jobs. They could have added upper class in Britain. Every single one of these evolutionary throwbacks is a gift to their opponents.

The Global Warming Policy Foundation at play.


Monty Python Upper Class Twit of the Year

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60VRDzjHAxU

Dikran Marsupial said...

Roger, would you say that you were sufficiently active in your second term as editor to warrant the renewal of your appointment?

An unambiguous "yes" or "no", preceding your explanation, would be greatly appreciated, so that there can me no misunderstanding of your basic position on this question.

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

-99-Dikran Marsupial and others

Thanks for your question ... I'm still quite amazed at the fascination this issue has motivated, and the furious efforts at cross-examination. What exactly do you guys expect to find? ;-)

First, to be clear, as I said in the main post, I am happy to roll off the board to make way for a new set of editors. My issue has been with the handling of the issue, well described above, summarized as lack of communication and false information. This issue could have been avoided with a simple communication from the GEC editor at any time over the past 12 (!) months.

To answer your question, I'll give you two replies:

1. No. Evidence basis: Subjective. The editor said so after the fact.

My complaint: If at any time my performance was judged to be insufficient, then the Editor of a journal has certain obligations on certain time scales to the board member -- these concerns have been well set forth through the comment thread and won't be rehashed here. Others may find such behavior acceptable, I don't. No worries, we agree to disagree.

2. Don't know. Evidence basis: Objective. The only way to evaluate a board member's performance is in relation to others on the same board. Absent information on (to use the criterion cited by Adger) reviews, we'd need data on invitations and acceptances of all 38 board members. I don't have this info. At this point it is moot, but if such information matters, it should be tracked and shared with the Board, not invoked as a post-hoc rationalization. Again, my opinion, others may differ -- great, we agree to disagree.

Here is how I see it: Elsevier makes a lot of money off of academics who volunteer their time and reputations in support of their for-profit enterprise. They have an obligation to provide quality service, just like a restaurant or an airline.

If they don't, they are going to find people complaining on the internet (just as people who don't like the services provide by this blog and exercise their right to complain on the internet -- welcome to sunshine and free speech;-). I did not appreciate how Elsevier handled this situation and said so. Apparently, they agreed about the poor quality performance, as they have apologized. That ends it for me.

Now the other stuff is interesting, and pretty surprising to me even as a hardened veteran of the blog wars, such as:

*The climate skeptics who have taken this post to spin it to suggest that it says something it doesn't.

*The folks with severe internet animosity toward me who have taken this post to spin it to say something it doesn't.

For those who think that there is some deep conspiracy behind this post -- dog whistles, etc. -- please.

I have tried my best to address various issues that are of interest to the visitors here in an open and respectful manner. I really don't think there is much more I can add of value.

Please note that I will continue to approve comments (slow over the weekend) but I am unlikely to continue the discussion. Odds are that if you have a question or concern, you can find it addressed in one of the previous 100 comments!

Thanks;-)

Dikran Marsupial said...

Roger, I think the reason there is so much fascination is because your responses to questions are somewhat cryptic, and your response above is a good example.

I asked whether YOU would say say that you were sufficiently active in your second term as editor to warrant the renewal of your appointment?

I didn't ask what the editor said, I know that because I read the email that you posted.

It isn't correct to say that "The only way to evaluate a board member's performance is in relation to others on the same board", as you had been given an objective statement of the journals expectations: "9. In the original appointment letter we wrote that we expected Board Members to review up to five papers per year.". I know that says "up to five papers per year", but it would be unreasonable to suggest this means anything between 0 and five papers a year is the actual expectation.

Perhaps I could rephrase the question: "In YOUR opinion, relative to the expectations stated in your original letter of appointment, do YOU feel that you were sufficiently active in your second term as editor to warrant the renewal of your appointment?"

I'm sorry to have to press you, but a clear answer to the question would go a long way to making things a bit more clear.

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

-101-Dikran Marsupial

Thanks, but you ask an utterly silly question of the sort that will be ignored in the future.

If at any time I come to the conclusion that I am unable or uninterested in fulfilling my duties, the responsible action is to step down (from any professional activity, including board membership).

I have stepped down from several editorial boards over the years for exactly these reasons. Quite obviously, if I had an inkling why I was abruptly dropped from the board (other than the patently false "regular rotation" justification) there would have been no need for this post in the first place.

So until this past week, no, I did not think my performance on GEC was an issue, based on 7 years of similar performance and not a peep from the editor. Further, I had recently submitted a sure-to-be-massively-cited;-) paper to GEC and (considered myself to be) one year into a new term.

Now that the editor has raised the issue, please see comment 100 for my views given what I now know.

If you find this at all cryptic, I would suggest slowing down a bit and rereading this thread. If you do not accept what I say, that is your business.

My friend and colleague Ben Hale, an ethicist, recommends a standard of "charity" to apply to the comments of others. The principle holds that one should interpret the comments of others in the most charitable interpretation possible. It is often a tough standard to follow, but it is very good advice, especially for blog exchanges and when one is commenting anonymously.

Try it, you might find the world looks a bit different and your avowed enemies less sinister ;-)

Thanks!

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

Effort to put principle of charity to work:

http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2013/02/interesting-timing-to-be-removed-from.html?showComment=1361390971112#c780240045254815972

Dikran Marsupial said...

I am also a believer in Hanlon's razor Roger, and will treat for example your assumption that I have avowed enemies as mere persiflage, rather than treat it as an accusation that I am acting in a partisan manner.

I have found over the years, that the best way to make ones position clear is to ask direct questions, to welcome them from others and to give direct (short) answers to them. It generally helps to interpret comments of others in a charitable light if you help them by giving straight answers to questions designed to eliminate misunderstandings.

I think I now (hopefully) understand your position a little better. I personally would have considered reviewing one paper per year as a sinecure in exchange for the prestige of being an editor. Perhaps in my field it is different; I am not on the editorial board of any journals, and review more regularly than this for several. If you would not consider this an issue, then I can see why we would have reacted to the letter so differently. It would have been my expectation that my term had not been renewed had I reviewed so little.

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

-104-Dikran Marsupial

Thanks.

Yes, fields and journals vary a great deal. I am on one journal where my job is not to do reviews but to take on papers as an editor, select reviewers and oversee the process of review leading to a penultimate recommendation to the chief editors. I am rarely asked to review papers myself.

I am on another journal where I am there to provide policy expertise for the occasional paper that comes in with that focus as a subject matter. Here I rarely get asked to review, and when I do I either have the expertise or I help to locate relevant reviewers. Like you, I am often asked to review for various journals (several times per week it seems) for which I have no affiliation, and as time/interest/expertise allows I take some of these on.

Do note that over the past 28 months GEC sent me precisely 1 paper in my area of expertise to review. Perhaps a sign of a divergence in their focus and my expertise, but surely not a sign of my unwillingness to review.

After all, they could have sent to me Brysse et al. ;-)

OK, we've thrashed this about enough, Have a nice weekend!

Albatross said...

Hi Roger,

Just to clarify, no-one is suggesting that you engaging in dog whistling constitutes a conspiracy as you incorrectly suggest at @100. It is you, alone, playing some sort of game for self benefit and/or attention, at least so it seems. You also seem to be projecting @100, because the reality is that it is you (Pielke Junior) who has been slyly insinuating that there is a conspiracy afoot at GEC and EIC.

Re your comment about Ben Hale "The principle holds that one should interpret the comments of others in the most charitable interpretation possible"

Agreed. But, wow, are you really handing out that advice to others on that topic? If so, how ironic given that your blog posts over the years demonstrate your repeated failure in that regard (e.g., your propensity to fly off the handle and flippantly accuse others of lying). Hence people's valid lack of trust in you and skepticism about your claims.

Given that you steadfastly refuse to amend your post above as recommended, despite the obvious inaccuracies, misleading statements and omissions therein (and no, not everyone wades through the comments, nor should they have to), I hope to not see you demanding others (Romm, IPCC, NOAA whomever you have it in for on a particular day) to change or modify their text or statements to correct errors or to reflect new developments. Because doing so, will demonstrate your huge double standard by you ;)

Have a nice weekend and we'll all reflect on Dr. Hale's advice.

Thanks!

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

Placeholder for the record ... a colleague emails me to note that I am listed in the Feb 2013 issue as being on the editorial board (just accessed and downloaded).

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378013000058#

Two quick points, simply for the record.

1. This contradicts the editors' claim that I was removed from the Board in Nov 2012 and only notified in Feb 2013. For better or worse I am listed as serving part of a third term regardless if you start the date upon my invitation to join or first appearance in a published edition of the journal.

2. Please don't read too much into it, it is likely (we now know) just further evidence of lazy editing -- Consider that E Ostrom appears in that same Feb 2013 listing and she passed away last June.

Albatross said...

Am I correct in assuming Roger that you are no longer posting my comments here? If so, could you please acknowledge that publicly.

Thanks!

Albatross said...

Thanks Roger, you must have posted your own comment before clearing posts waiting in the queue.

No worries.

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

-108-Albatross

Dude, gimme me a break;-) I have cleared all of your (and others) comments that I see via blogger. If they have been eaten, complain to Bill Gates.

If you are shunned to the "rejected comments" thread, I will tell you. Based on your performance so far, that seems unlikely, but you will likely be ignored;-)

Please do resumbit your lost comment(s), and while doing so, continue reflecting on Ben Hale's sage advice ... Thanks!

Albatross said...

Hi Roger,

All of my comments have appeared. Sigh. The only reason that I asked what I did is because I submitted my post, it did not appear for a while, but then your post appeared and mine still hadn't. As I noted at 109, there was a very likely/logical explanation for the post not appearing. So I'm happy-- I even said "No worries" :)

Please reflect on your repeated failure to abide by Hale's advice on your own blog-- sadly you don't seem capable of bringing yourself to acknowledge that . If Hale is being objective, he must be quite disappointed by your behaviour on your blog. As for me, I'm imperfect, but I'll do my best.

Also, you seemed to have missed my comment @106, when I agree that we all need to reflect on Hale's advice and that includes you Roger. Unfortunately, your current blog post fails miserably in that regard. Further, given the content of your blog post, the pure irony of you citing Hale in your comment to Dikran has not been lost on people ;)

Thanks!

Doug said...

dmarsupial wrote: "I know that says "up to five papers per year", but it would be unreasonable to suggest this means anything between 0 and five papers a year is the actual expectation."

How do you know this in the absence of any further elaboration and without knowing what number of papers the other 38 editors were requested to review or did review? Isn't it possible that half of them reviewed no papers at all last year? Isn't it possible that Roger was not being asked to review papers that would be crucial to the warmist narrative because he might recommend against publication, the Brysse paper being exhibit #1 in that regard?

I don't know the answer to these questions nor do you. So stop assuming things you know nothing about, unless of course you are one of the 38 editors. But even that wouldn't suffice because you would likely only have your own experience upon with to rely.

Christoph said...

@EliRabett #93

"Christophe, if the journal does not have many papers for a member of the Editorial Board to review, perhaps that means that the person should not be reappointed?"

Yes, I'm not saying it's impossible that the journal had a good, routine reason for asking Roger to step down. But I can can understand why he had to question the timing given the poor communication he received.

@Tom Curtis #97

@Christop @91, as Pielke makes clear @18, he was not asked to review Brysse et al for GEC. He only did so for his blog."

Alright, got it.

Still the same timing issue, which might prompt a reasonable man to ask the question.

@eric144 #98

Thanks for the humour and info. Both are always welcome, especially the former.

Mark Bahner said...

"I asked whether YOU would say say that you were sufficiently active in your second term as editor to warrant the renewal of your appointment?"

Suppose a person is hitting hitting 0.350 and fielding .870 as a first baseperson for a slow pitch softball team. Would YOU say the person was playing well enough to stay on the team?

Tamarack said...

Has anyone noticed Albatross's very odd style? He may simply be doing a remarkable job of writing idiomatically in a foreign language, but in general his mistakes are not those of a writer whose first language is not English. His misuse of "reticent," his use of the illiterate construction "to try and," and his failure to use a possessive pronoun before a gerund all are typical of a native speaker of English. He also attacks Roger's rather subtle innuendo with very clumsy rudeness, seemingly without noticing the irony involved. There is also something wrong with his grasp of logic. He writes, "I'm not convinced that Elsevier knowingly lied as Roger is claiming. The mistake they did make is not bluntly telling him that he had done a lousy job and they don't feel he had anything worthwhile to contribute to the journal anymore." Not telling him that he is unproductive and offering another reason (while PRAISING his contributions) IS lying. Presumably, Albatross meant that the lie was not sinister but merely a concession to civility--but it was a lie, nevertheless.

Mark Bahner said...

Tamarack notes, regarding Albatross, "He writes, 'I'm not convinced that Elsevier knowingly lied as Roger is claiming. The mistake they did make is not bluntly telling him that he had done a lousy job and they don't feel he had anything worthwhile to contribute to the journal anymore.' Not telling him that he is unproductive and offering another reason (while PRAISING his contributions) IS lying."

Indeed!

And as Roger pointed out, if they really thought he was doing a lousy job and he didn't have anything worthwhile to contribute to the journal anymoare, it would have been appropriate to notify him well before they let him go, rather than after. Especially rather than after initially praising him. If they indeed thought he was doing a lousy job, and had told him so well before they let him go, he would have had an opportunity to change his actions.

For example, he could have reviewed those two papers he received in 2012 that were outside his field.

P.S. I'm not sure whether editors reviewing papers that are outside their fields is really such a wonderful thing. I guess a reasonable response would be, "This paper is outside my field. Do you really want me to review it anyway (don't we have someone who knows this field better)?"

Tom Curtis said...

Tamarack @115:

1) Seeing we are going to get trivial about language, let's go the whole hog. To begin with "to try and do" is a common English idiom. Grammarians, those agony aunts for literary poseurs, may occasionally object, linguists have long recognized that the only determinate of what is grammatical is usage, and usage clearly indicates that "to try and do" is grammatical. While "to try to" is favoured in written communications, it is by no means universal. It is the chosen construction in 24% of British written communications, and 71% of British spoken communications. Its usage in American English is much more restricted - but to insist that only American usage is determinative for the internet would be cultural imperialism. Further his use of "reticent" was entirely correct based on standard definitions (note in particular definition 3) Two attempts to show your authority on linguistic irrelevancies and two strikes. (I am not enough into trivia to check on his usage of possessive pronouns.)

2) More substantively, it is perfectly consistent to be both thankful for the voluntary contribution of a person, while believing that that persons contribution is well below that by other equivalent volunteers. This is not a situation where Pielke is being paid. Ergo, below par performance is no skin of Elsevier's nose. It does, however, constitute a significant reason to ask Pielke to step down, given that policy mandated that they ask some editorial board members to step down.

On this point I disagree with Albatross. It is not clear at all that Pielke did a lousy job. In his first four years on the board (2007-2010) he was only slightly below average in reviews undertaken, and he contributed an editorial. Elsevier had every reason to appreciate that work; and every right (indeed, an obligation) to say so. It is just that after 2010 he went missing in action. And given that, and a policy requiring that a "... journal’s Board generally undergoes a complete revision every two or three years, and this will involve removing some individuals, inviting others, and renewing some existing members for another term", its a no brainer to remove an individual who has contributed nothing over the last two years.

So, Elsevier had a policy of periodically refreshing editorial board membership; Pielke was asked to step down as part of that policy; he (rather than some other of the editors) was among the five asked to step down because of his low (effectively zero) contribution after 2010; but his low contribution after 2010 in no way diminished Elsevier's appreciation of his real contribution from March 2006-Dec 2010. There is no contradiction in this, and no reason to suspect any falsehood in the communications by Elsevier and the GEC editors with Pielke.

Doug said...

Again, everyone is presuming to know things they don't. We don't know:

1. How many reviews all the other 38 editors contributed over the years or the average number of reviews each contributed over their tenure on the board.

2. The length of time each member has served or what the average length of service is. Was Roger terminated long before the average length of term of service?

3. If the editors prefer reviewers who will be difficult on the usual warmist tripe that is published in a lot of climate journals, or whether they appoint reviewers who might give favorable treatment to the warmist point of view. (Roger's termination is an indication that the latter might be true, but we don't know that.)

We do know this was handled clumsily, that it was suspiciously close in time to a blog post that lampooned a published paper in the journal, and that Roger deserved to be apprised of any problems in his performance if he was not meeting the standards they required of him.

Given Roger's reticence on all this, I doubt we will ever know what transpired and whether it was justified.

Mark Bahner said...

"In his first four years on the board (2007-2010) he was only slightly below average in reviews undertaken..."

You can't *know* he was "below average" unless you know what the average was for the other 37 editors. You don't know how many articles the other 37 editors reviewed, do you?

"...its a no brainer to remove an individual who has contributed nothing over the last two years."

In 2011, he wasn't given any articles to review. What do you propose he should have done about that? And in 2012, two of the three articles he was asked to review were outside of his field. Do you think he should have reviewed them anyway?

"...was among the five asked to step down because of his low (effectively zero) contribution after 2010;"

Again, he wasn't asked to review any articles in 2011, and of the three articles he was asked to review in 2012, two were outside of his field.

Tom Curtis said...

Doug @118:

As of the last issue of 2004, 28 out of 29 members of the editorial board were stood down. The one survivor was stood down as of the publication of the first issue in 2010, so no member of the current editorial board has served for more than eight years. The average duration of service since the end of 2004 was 4.97 years, ie, one year less than the just over six years Pielke served. His term is, therefore, longer than average.

Further, of the five stood down this year, two has only served for three years, two (including Pielke) for six years, and one for eight years (being from the twelve members of the board whose first term commenced in 2005.

Further, and contrary to Pielke's repeated assertions, Pielke was not dismissed in the middle of a term. He has served exactly two terms, the periods of the terms being determined by the three Volumes (for each term) of which he notionally contributed. The term started prior to the first three year interval only because it takes as much as a year to shepherd articles through review. The term, therefore, is from the start of review process for the first Volume until the publication of the last volume in which he was involved.

Further, there was nothing clumsy about the handling of this issue be Elsevier or GEC. There is only a courtesy of prior notice when absence of notice causes inconvenience to the person being advised. In this case, because the position was unpaid and Pielke was not involved in any reviews, no inconvenience arose for Pielke apart from the ridicule and disdain he now faces due to his cynical and unwarranted accusations. As those are, however, entirely of his own manufacture, they are not the responsibility of either Elsevier and GEC.

Further, there is nothing odd about the timing of the notice that he was stood down. Pielke's blog post on Brysse et al is not the only time he has criticized main stream articles on climate science. To suggest that the response by GEC to this instance would be different from all the others is rather paranoid. Far from opposing such critiques, GEC has actually published a critique by Pielke of the Stern review as an editorial in 2007.

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

-120-Tom Curtis

Thanks for your comments. A small correction ... that 2007 GEC of mine was a peer-reviewed paper:

http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/admin/publication_files/resource-2543-2007.21.pdf

Thanks!

Tom Curtis said...

Roger, the article in 2007 is listed by GEC as an editorial.

Listing as an editorial is a little odd at GEC in that sometimes editorials have co-authors who are neither editors, nor members of the editorial board. On the other hand, not all articles authored by members of the editorial board are listed as editorials, an example of which is article seven on the above link, for which three out of four authors are on the editorial board.

The point is that I do not dispute your claim that the article was peer reviewed; but neither can I gainsay GEC's own classification of the article.

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

-122-Tom Curtis

Thanks, I think we can safely say that GEC does not run the tightest ship in the fleet;-)

TLITB said...

Roger, I think that if your 2007 article turned out to be listed in the "Wine and Food" section of the GEC website, then any further denials from you about really being their cookery correspondent could be easily gainsaid by showing that you have contradicted their website ;)

mrpeteh said...

This is quite the fascinating and sad thread.

I won't add further comment to the inanity. One thought that I've not seen expressed:

It seems to me very few commenters have recognized the significance of Roger's notes clearly articulating a number of ways board members can contribute value other than via reviews... and he's been very active in non-review contributions.

Based on that, it is quite reasonable that the "0 to 5" standard could easily include zero as an acceptable level of review. Some of my most-appreciated mentors and advisors spend almost no time with me. But those few minutes can be incredibly valuable.

If nothing else, this whole adventure has been valuable for shedding light on various peoples' perspectives.

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