Sunday, January 12, 2003

Kangaroo Court Alert!
Ken Parish has a nice summary of the antics of the Denmark's Committee on Scientific Dishonesty (UVVU in Danish or DCSD in English) in regard to Bjorn Lomborg.
As others have pointed out, the DCSD undertook no research or analysis of its own. It simply adopted in toto the criticisms of 4 environmental activist scientists published in Scientific American last year. They included Dr Stephen Schneider who, as John Daly observes, is "noted for his remark in Discover Magazine in 1989 - "To capture the public imagination, we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have. Each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective, and being honest."
And they completely ignored Lomborg's rebuttal of the SciAm whine. Uh oh, sounds like some people have their heads up their UVVU's! And who are these paragons?
The DCSD Working Group on Lomborg consisted of Dr Nils Axelsen, MD, an orthopedic surgeon; Professor Finn Collin, a philosopher; Professor Jørgen Dalberg-Larsen, a legal academic; Professor Arne Helweg, an agronomist; and Professor Margareta Järvinen, a political scientist. No wonder they simply uncritically accepted the criticisms of Schneider and his mates in Scientific American: - not one of them appears to have any relevant expertise that would have allowed them to draw independent conclusions of their own.
And what's the big deal with Scientific American? Despite their pretensions, it's no scholarly journal - it's a popular science magazine for the masses that brags about its newsstand sales. On that basis, we might as well ask these people.
Whatever one might think of Lomborg and his book, no person of integrity could regard the DCSD's "finding", or the processes leading to it, as anything more than a shameful travesty of justice.
We're talking ecoweenies here - nothing new.