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Study: Hollywood-like dramatic style, not science content, brings citations to climate change papers

One of the recent Phys.Org titles that I couldn't overlook yesterday was

What makes influential science? Telling a good story
Assuming a common (non-scientific) definition of a story (and this is the definition they mean, as we will see later), this headline basically says that influential research papers should try to emulate the style of the demagogic pop-science writers who work to impress the stupidest readers in the population. Well, if that would be the case in a scientific discipline, the scientific discipline would surely be absolutely rotten – it would cease to be a genuine scientific discipline. It would be a pop-science superstition masquerading itself as science.

So I was curious what was hiding behind the headline – which discipline demanded researchers to resemble pop-science writers and why. Well, it wasn't so hard to find the answer. The headline wasn't supposed to apply to all of science, even though Phys.Org tried to create this impression. Instead, the Phys.Org article was promoting a PLOS ONE study whose title says
Narrative Style Influences Citation Frequency in Climate Change Science (full PDF).
So it's not really "science" that the Phys.Org article should have talked about. Instead, it is climate science. A big difference!




OK, what did the authors – Ann Hillier, Ryan P. Kelly, and Terrie Klinger (obviously climate alarmists themselves) – find? It's truly damning for climatology.




They defined a quantity that reflects how good a paper is according to your eighth-grade teacher of writing, as Phys.Org helpfully said – something that measures how much they would like it at Hollywood. The quantity was named the "narrative index". When you look at these charts from the paper, you will quickly see that the "narrative index" is a combination of some "virtues" that people doing comparative literature might be familiar with, namely with
setting, narrating perspective, sensory language, conjunctions, connectivity, appeal to reader.
These six quantities are evaluated in a certain way for each of the 732 climate change papers in their ensemble. They find a clear positive correlation between almost all these variables and the citation count of the climate change article.

If I repost and order the table, the positive correlation between the "six literary virtues" and the citation count seems "statistically provable" at the following confidence levels:
  • Conjunctions: 99.9999992%
  • Connectivity: 99.9997%
  • Sensory language: 99.983%
  • Appeal: 99.63%
  • Narrative perspective: 68%
  • Setting: 64%
The positive influence of the narrative index on the citation count remains statistically significant even if you order journals.

They – and I – highlighted the statistically significant correlations by the bold face font. The conclusion is clear for four of them: If your paper about climate change is full of conjunctions, connectivity, sensory language, and perhaps appeal, it will maximize the number of citations you will receive – and the influence. That's pretty disturbing, especially because at least 3 of these things should be largely absent in a serious scientific paper.



The narratively impressive film version of an influential climate science project. After 6 years, I am still baffled that this was created by genuine alarmists. They must have been seriously recommending to murder 10% of kids to reduce the CO2 emissions by 10 percent.

It can't be surprising that Al Gore – the only individual in the history who has ever received a Nobel prize for something related to the climate – has been the most influential climate alarmist at some moment, despite his lousy grades from scientific subjective in the college. It's not the scientific content, its validity, originality, and universality. It's the conjunctions, connectivity, sensory language, and appeal that makes the difference. Leonardo DiCaprio may perhaps be the second most influential climate "scientist" among the "concerned ones", ahead of the intellectual giants such as Katherine Hayhoe. When climate science is being rated, low-quality readers, listeners, and "researchers" who are easily affected by the dramatic language and the "contact" with the leader ("scientist") are often the judges.

What I find amazing is that the authors of the paper in PLOS ONE realize the difference between the (characteristically artistic) narrative style and the (characteristically scientific) descriptive style of writing. In fact, I think that they have even described this difference in a rather descriptive style. But they fail to see what it means. It obviously means that
climate science as it exists in the real world of 2016 isn't a science, it isn't a meritocracy.
It's all about the P.R. and the emotional manipulation. That's also why Donald Trump and his administration should defund every single U.S. research unit and fire every single individual American citizen who has been getting money mostly for the climate alarmism in recent years. These people have nothing to do with science whatsoever. They're contributors to the political manipulation of masses that has run out of control in the recent decade – and that will hopefully be terminated in the U.S. rather abruptly.

I am confident that you won't find a statistically significant positive correlation between quantities such as the "sensory language" with the citation count in high energy physics and other hard scientific disciplines.

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