It's official. 2014 was the hottest year ever recorded!
Oops! Never mind. It turned out upon closer investigation that NASA scientists admitted that there was only a 38% chance that was true. Perhaps Vox should have peered just a few months into the future when it made that declaration to see their own article written by Julia Belluz and Steven Hoffman which stated that Science is often flawed. It's time we embraced that. Okay, great, but will Vox embrace it in the future when it comes to wild declarations about Global Warming or will they relapse to their normal routine? Vox starts out by giving us an example of flat out scientific fudging in the case of Dutch social scientist Diederik Stapel engaging in a practice that sounded very much like the hide the decline that went on among Global Warming scientists at the University of East Anglia a few years ago:
"I preferred to do it at home, late in the evening... I made myself some tea, put my computer on the table, took my notes from my bag, and used my fountain pen to write down a neat list of research projects and effects I had to produce.... Subsequently I began to enter my own data, row for row, column for column...3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 4, 5, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 5, 4, 3, 3, 2. When I was finished, I would do the first analyses. Often, these would not immediately produce the right results. Back to the matrix and alter data. 4, 6, 7, 5, 4, 7, 8, 2, 4, 4, 6, 5, 6, 7, 8, 5, 4. Just as long until all analyses worked out as planned."
Diederik would have felt perfectly at home performing this Global Warming fudge factor trick:
I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.
As Vox points out, outright fudging of data is but a small part of scientific errors:
From study design to dissemination of research, there are dozens of ways science can go off the rails. Many of the scientific studies that are published each year are poorly designed, redundant, or simply useless. Researchers looking into the problem have found that more than half of studies fail to take steps to reduce biases, such as blinding whether people receive treatment or placebo.
How about conducting a study to find out the correlation between scientists receiving juicy government grants and finding evidence of Global Warming?
So how many of scientific research papers published are fatally flawed? The result as revealed by Vox will shock you:
After publication, there's the well-documented irreproducibility problem — the fact that researchers often can't validate findings when they go back and run experiments again. Just last month, a team of researchers published the findings of a project to replicate 100 of psychology's biggest experiments. They were only able to replicate 39 of the experiments, and one observer — Daniele Fanelli, who studies bias and scientific misconduct at Stanford University in California — told Nature that the reproducibility problem in cancer biology and drug discovery may actually be even more acute.
And how acute when applied to Global Warming analysis as when publications such as Vox happily exclaimed that "2014 was the hottest year on record?" Isn't there a peer review to prevent such laughable errors?
Yet there are flaws in this traditional "pre-publication" review model: it relies on the goodwill of scientists who are increasingly pressed and may not spend the time required to properly critique a work, it's subject to the biases of a select few, and it's slow – so it's no surprise that peer review sometimes fails. These factors raise the odds that even in the highest-quality journals, mistakes, flaws, and even fraudulent work will make it through. ("Fake peer review" reports are also now a thing.)
It also relies on the goodwill of scientists who are increasingly influenced by those tempting Global Warming government grants. Meanwhile please avoid eating egg yolks because they cause harmful cholesterol. Oops! That analysis has proved as valid as the Global Warming theory so it is now perfectly okay to include egg yolks in your breakfasts.