Monday, January 19, 2009

Political Scientist?

Update: This is now my low point as a blogger, and one I had hoped to avoid. I'm keeping this post only because I hate it when others just get rid of their mistakes like it never happened. I completely misread the entire article referenced below. Reasons unknown but unimportant. My sincere apologies to Mr Yulsman for my mischaracterization of him and his interview.
I found this article (via Climate Audit) very interesting. It was this particularly enjoyable paragraph that stimulated my interest:
It is hard to say who is outside and who is inside scientific circles anymore. McIntyre now publishes regularly in the peer reviewed literature. [Pielke is speaking of Steve McIntyre, whom I would describe as a climate change gadfly; he publishes a blog called "Climate Audit"] Gavin Schmidt blogs and participates in political debates. [Schmidt is a NASA earth scientist who conducts climate research.] Lucia Liljegren works at Argonne National Lab as an expert in fluid dynamics and blogs quite well on climate predictions for fun. She is preparing a paper for publication based on her work, but she has never done climate work before. I am a political scientist who publishes in the Journal of Climate and Nature Geoscience and blogs. Who is to say who is 'outside' and who is 'inside'? Is participation in IPCC the union card? How about having a PhD? Publishing in the literature? Testifying before Congress?
The guy who wrote the article, Tom Yulsman, self-identifies as a political scientist. Guess what 'discipline' his training/degrees are in and what he teaches? A first glance, I see that there at least two logical fallacies in the excerpt above. How many can YOU spot?.

My youngest brother has degrees in Political Science and Public Administration, did the Ha-vaad Yaad post-grad gov't program thing, and is a recognized leader in his field, yet does not refer to himself as a 'political scientist'. Which leads to a question for Mr. Yulsman. By what stretch of the imagination, may a journalist legitimately make that claim?

I sent this article to a Special Correspondent (everyone gets a title these days) last night and he provided an interesting observation this morning:
Removed: It wasn't the Special Correspondent's fault I blew the citation

I'll follow up and expand on this topic in a later post after readers have a chance to mull it over a bit.

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