Bryan Lawrence : I'm still naive

Bryan Lawrence

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I'm still naive

I've just read the real climate post on how not to write a press release. I was staggered to read the actual press release that caused all the fuss (predictions of 11C climate sensitivity etc). The bottom line is that had I read that press release without any prior knowledge I too might have believed that an 11 degree increase in global mean temperature was what they had predicted (which is not what they said in the paper). I can't help putting some of the blame back on the ClimatePrediction.net team - the press release didn't reflect the message of their results at all properly, and they shouldn't have let that happen. I'm still naive enough to believe it's incumbent on us as scientists to at least make sure the release is accurate, even if we can't affect the resulting reporting.

Having said that, I thought Carl Cristenson made a fair point in the comments to the RC post (number 13): to a great extent, the fuss is all a bit much, we should concentrate on the big picture - the London Metro isn't the most significant organ of the press :-)

(I stopped reading the comments around number 20 ... does anyone have time to read 200 plus comments?)

Amusingly I read the RC post (and the final point: "not all publicity is good publicity") less than four hours after I listened to Nick Faull (the new project manager for cp.net) ruefully review the press coverage (in a presentation at a nerc e-science meeting). He finished up with "but at least they say no publicity is bad publicity" ... one can find arguments to support both points of view!

As an aside, we spent some time at the NERC meeting discussing the fact that current climateprediction experiment is completely branded as a BBC activity, even though NERC is still providing significant funding (and seeded the project in the first place as part of the COAPEC programme) ... this at a time when NERC needs to get its knowledge transfer activities visible.

Categories: climate environment

This page last modified Wednesday 26 April, 2006
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