In my opinion, this comment by Anastassia Makarieva on the interactive part of the ACS website, as well as being a strong defense of their paper, is a powerful indictment of the state of affairs in the peer review of climate science. Given the grief of rejection, the tone is remarkably restrained. Instead, there is a channelling of energy into a righteous intensity which makes this a bit of a classic. Use the first link for the full version with all footnotes included.
Interactive comment on “Where do winds come
from? A new theory on how water vapor
condensation influences atmospheric pressure
and dynamics” by A. M. Makarieva et al.
A. M. Makarieva et al.
Received and published: 26 April 2011
Aside from our technical response to Dr. Held1 we also wish to discuss the criteria he
uses to assess our manuscript. All theories should be subjected to similar standards
of scrutiny regardless of whether they conform to conventional thinking or not. We find
many examples to show that much of the argument against our theory and in favour
of conventional ideas appears based on misconceptions. We conclude with an appeal
concerning the wider practical importance of our ideas.
1 High bar for unconventional findings
Dr. Held starts his review with the recommendation to reject our manuscript. He explains
that a study that goes against the standard perspective or aims to overturn the
conventional wisdom has to pass a high bar.
As science students we are taught about the sins of confirmation bias – that is the need
not to allow our preconceptions and judgements to cloud our objectivity. We should not
reject ideas, or data, that fail to conform to our expectations any more readily than
those we agree with. We all agree with that as an abstract idea though it can be hard
to achieve in practice. Biases are often hard to perceive for those who hold them
especially if they are pervasive. But we should strive for objectivity – when biases are
identified we must do what we can to remove or minimise them.