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Quit saying you are a Nobel Prize winner if you are not

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Recently, we were talking about Thomson Reuters handicapping system for the next Nobel Prizes.

But why did it take so long to even try to put a stop to this abuse?:

When the IPCC was awarded half of the Nobel Peace Prize back in 2007 (Al Gore won the other half), its chairman profoundly over-stepped his authority. Writing to IPCC-affiliated academics en masse, Rajendra Pachauri proclaimed: “This makes each of you Nobel Laureates.”

Excellent news for them, if true!

Trouble is, the Nobel Committee does not see the 9000 people who helped the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), co-Nobelist with Al Gore for the Peace Prize in 2007, that way. As Donna Laframboise puts it in Financial Post,

The same prize was bestowed on Amnesty International in 1977. Eleven years later, it went to UN peacekeeping forces. If people who used to work for Amnesty went around calling themselves Nobel laureates, we’d dismiss them as insecure egos run amok.

In fairness, the Committee has made that clear, especially now that a climate scientist suing a magazine for defamation forced a legal-quality discovery of the facts, which seems to have required the IPCC to finally issue a clear but largely unpublicized statement.

One problem is, because the issue was climate change, many conflate their Peace Prize with science prizes, which are judged on different criteria. Put another way: If climate activism reduces world tensions, the climate activists might deserve a peace prize even if their science is a mess. The Prize can’t be used as a demonstration of the science’s correctness any more than the Catholic Church can demonstrate the truth of its doctrines because Mother Teresa won in 1979, on behalf of the poorest of the poor (who did not subsequently claim to be Nobelists).

Laframboise asks,

Why do science academies remain mute as Pachauri and others are falsely described as Nobel laureates year after year? If the public can’t count on them to police a matter this straightforward, what purpose do they serve?

Is it barely possible that the worst offenders, in terms of impact, were fronting popular causes, so no one wanted to tackle it? Even though the good name of the Nobel Prize is at stake?

File with: The peer review system is sadly bust.

Hat tip: Five Feet of Fury

6 Replies to “Quit saying you are a Nobel Prize winner if you are not

  1. 1
    Axel says:

    Is Greg now claiming I said that!!??

  2. 2
    Mung says:

    DR. Axel, PHD, DD, Noble Prize Winner, future Miss America

  3. 3
    Axel says:

    Thank you, Mung. So kind of you. Especially the last one! not.

  4. 4
    Axel says:

    Ironical, really, Mung. I just remembered this morning, as a founder member of the Institute of Translating and Interpreting, I was entitled to put MITI after my name, but on a mad impulse, I had it transferred to some guy in Glasgow I’d been speaking to on the phone, who’d led the team translating Collins Spanish-English dictionary.

    That impressed me no end – while I wasn’t really into that ‘letters after your name’ sort of thing. I regretted it later as it would have been helpful professionally. I think the ITT would have been pleased to have him on board, so were happy to accommodate my suggestion.

    Mind you, Dr Axel does have a certain ring to it, doesn’t it? So, I can’t pretend not to be grateful to you and Greg for that! How about, Dr Axel-Tree, DD, Nob. Laur?

  5. 5
    Mung says:

    Axel, stop saying you’re going to be miss america if you’re not.

  6. 6
    Axel says:

    Miss Brisbane, if you please, Mung. Isn’t that right, Greg?

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