This is a follow on to my previous article about Anthony Watts' big announcement of a new "sceptic" organisation for open atmospherics.
Here is some more detail, if you can call it that, about the OAS. No, it's not the Organization of American States - oas.org. Nor is it the short-lived Organisation de l'armée secrète. And don't confuse it with the OSS.
This is the Open Atmospheric Society or Free Air Society or whatever - theoas.org.
I've had a chance to look over the OAS website. Two words come to mind: Mickey and Mouse. It doesn't have a professional look and feel. It's a WordPress site "under construction" though not labelled as such. It's not finished by a long shot. Maybe they need funds from member subs before fixing it. (It's still got all the alpha and beta stuff in there. Not prime time.)
The most curious thing about it is that not a single person is publicly formally associated with the society. The only names to be seen anywhere - at WUWT and at the OAS website, in any direct capacity, are Stephen and Dr. Mary Graves, which could be the Stephen and Mary Graves Family Foundation. They put up some money to get the show on the road.
John Coleman and Joseph D’Aleo are mentioned in the press release giving testimonials. John Coleman said he looked forward to being a member (would he qualify for full membership? I don't think he has a science degree, his degree is in journalism). Otherwise there is no suggestion that they are associated with the formation of the organisation (though you could take a guess). Anthony Watts has his name on a dummy article. Of these three, it looks as if Joe D'Aleo is the only one who would qualify for full membership, which is open to:
An individual with a Bachelors or higher level degree in Atmospheric sciences, Earth Sciences, Physical Sciences, General Science, Technology, or Engineering – OR- an individual that has at least three (3) published peer reviewed papers an individual that has at least three (3) published peer reviewed papers in any accredited peer review publications that have an ISSN designation.
I could not find a single name associated with the organisation in any official capacity. There are no directors - they are still to come. There is supposedly an executive director already appointed (according to the charter), but not identified anywhere. It's a "no name" organisation.
Whoever is in on this is very shy. Not a single person willing to be associated with it directly, except for John Coleman who is looking forward to being a member, and the commenters at WUWT who've said they've joined up. And they mostly use pseudonyms or first names only.
So much for transparency and shining a light on truth!
Strange name and motto
I wonder if they used a professional to help pick the name? It's a strange one. The Open Atmospheric Society. Not atmospheric science. Not earth science. The initials are unfortunate. Anyone looking for oas.org will end up at the Organization of American States.
The motto is "Verum in Luce". Veritas would have been better than verum I'd have thought, unless they are talking about some intrinsic truth about photons. But I'm not fluent in Latin. Anthony Watts says it means Truth in the Light. AFAIK verum is a specific truth about something, whereas veritas is about truth in a general sense. Perhaps someone who's studied Latin can shine some light on this :)
[Update: GM has commented on the motto. I also think I've figured out where Anthony Watts got it from. Not from any knowledge of Latin. Not from the Classics. I reckon he used Google Translate! ha ha. Sou 19 Sept 14]
What's weird is this notion of shining a light or getting at the truth, while hiding behind an organisation. As I said earlier - I could not find the name of a single person listed on the website in any official capacity whatsoever. The only names are those of the people who gave the start up grant - and even that could be a foundation rather than individuals.
A shaky start
The society is off to a shaky start. So far, they've had donations of $330 (probably excluding the startup grant) and 25 people have signed up to get emails. Not as stunning a result as the Climate Council, which raised $1m in only a few days after Tony Abbott got rid of the Climate Commission. The USA has more than 10 times more people than Australia. And the society is supposed to be international - so it has potentially 7 billion donors. Maybe it's decided on a slow and steady approach. I have a feeling that most full members will be engineers who happen to be climate science deniers. There just aren't enough research scientists who would want to be associated with it. I'd be surprised if it could snag someone like Judith Curry.
Role and purpose
They have a charter and goals. The charter is simple. The goals are primitive and full of conspiracy ideation (by implication). For example:
- To provide an organization that offers an alternative to the highly politicized organizations that exist now.
- To offer a safe place where ideas may be exchanged and examined without fear of retribution.
- To provide a scientific journal where publications can be made where no politically motivated peer review interference occurs. Papers must be replicable and pass on merit, not on a viewpoint.
It's not that the goals aren't worthy, it's the implication that there is a big bad world of science out there, full of bogey men out to snare poor little fake sceptics or stop them from publishing their fake science.
Let's be positive - if possible
If they are able to deliver good science or make a decent contribution to public debate and policy, they'll fail the fake sceptics' aspirations.
From the WUWT comments
September 16, 2014 at 9:03 am
The Open Atmospheric Society is going to be cloud based. I’m sure there’s a joke in the somewhere.
BTW, congratulations to everyone involved in setting this up.
September 16, 2014 at 9:16 am
Best of luck with this endeavor. I fear that the establishment science community will treat this like they do open debate. There will be an aversion to publishing in the journal so as not to legitimize it. Then they can compare it to Fox News and laugh. The model-based “science” will still have their pet publications for alarm. At least it is a step in the right direction.
September 16, 2014 at 9:33 am
I’m signed up as an associate. I don’t drink.
They may laugh at this in public, but behind closed doors… they will be sweating. This is an important initiative.Get something published from Judith Curry right away.
September 16, 2014 at 9:38 am
Congrats! Lifetime Founding Associate Member application and payment submitted.
September 16, 2014 at 9:55 am
it must be replicable, with all data, software, formulas, and methods submitted with the paper. …..
I hope that works out…….it’s going to be difficult with most of the facts being conjecture, and most of the history fabricated
cjames prefers extremist right wing bias to scientific bias:
September 16, 2014 at 10:05 am
I am a Fellow of the AMS but dropped my membership several years ago due to its political bias. This organizations sounds like a great idea. I will join and I wish it great success.
September 16, 2014 at 10:47 am
Climatology has been plagued by applications of the equivocation fallacy resulting from ambiguity of reference by terms in the language of climatology This has resulted in widespread misperception of a pseudo-science as a science .Thus, it would be well if the authors of articles submitted for publication to the new journal were to be required to write them in a disambiguated language developed for this purpose by the OAS.
September 16, 2014 at 3:45 pm
Thinking along the same line.
As state sponsored “scientific concensus” on global warming is proven wrong by actual scientists.
And not just your run of the mill skeptic like myself.
The grants will start to dry up as the politicians that sign off on them.
Come to the shocking reality that they are going to be far more accountable to the owners of those monies they are handing over.
This little provision is going to be the cause for extreme angst among the Manns and co. of the fraud that is global warming.
“Open journal— The Journal of the OAS will be free to read by the public. Open science— a transparent online peer review process”.
Behold, the emperor has new clothes!
September 16, 2014 at 12:15 pm
Congratulations Anthony and all the team that was involved with you in creating this important new organisation to further open access science. The public across the world will thank you all. The formation of this organisation will shake the foundations of the established societies and not before time.
Bloke down the pub - asking about Kenji
September 16, 2014 at 12:48 pm
Anthony, will Kenji be taking out membership?
Will Robertson (is this a Poe?)
September 16, 2014 at 1:07 pm
Dear Gentlemen all,
I heartily endorse your efforts at creating a counterculture professional organization butting heads with the current madness concerning AGW. My best wishes to all of you who are arguing on the right side of the scientific and philosophical fence. However, even though I am but a simple meteorological technician, a work-a-day forecaster, out here in the hinterlands of the Desert Southwest, I can see that many of you for whom I have great respect have missed a (if not THE) basic tenant of the whole AWG regulatory push. At least I don’t see it written about much. Please consider that this whole kerfuffle is NOT about controlling climate chemistries for the benefit of mankind, it IS about controlling the actions of whole populations on a global scale for the benefit of those would be our dictatorial overlords. One government controlling all of humanity is their goal – with them in control. AWG is just one of the current vehicles designed to carry these individuals forward toward their goals of 1) setting enforcable global law precedent, 2) enriching those who are foisting, controlling and providing future management of these regulations, and 3) maintaining these individuals in positions of power because, of course, they are the solitary holders of the wisdom to know what is best for all the rest of us. IMHO, for them, scientific truth is irrelevant and in actuality an obstacle toward their intended ends. Dare I suggest that we are in a political power war, not a scientific opinion debate? However, scientific truth is gradually providing ammunition against these Napoleon Complex power brokers, so please keep up the good work.
Tom is the only person I noticed who showed any curiosity about who might be involved in the organisation. And that was limited to Anthony Watts himself.
September 16, 2014 at 4:02 pm
Anthony, this seems like a welcome initiative, with open peer review. Who could sla y that idea? Could you just make it clear to the community if you have any financial interest, whatsoever, in The Open Atmospheric Society, OAS.org, or any derivative thereof?
September 16, 2014 at 5:25 pm
just because people submit code and data doesnt mean its replicateable.
just a nit.. otherwise, nice idea. wish you well!