A climate scientist has admitted that he pushed a “preapproved” narrative on climate change in order to get papers published in leading journals.
Patrick T. Brown told The Free Press “I knew not to try to quantify key aspects other than climate change in my research because it would dilute the story that prestigious journals like Nature and its rival, Science, want to tell.”
He continued, “editors of these journals have made it abundantly clear, both by what they publish and what they reject, that they want climate papers that support certain preapproved narratives—even when those narratives come at the expense of broader knowledge for society.”
"Savvy researchers tailor their studies to maximize the likelihood that their work is accepted. I know this because I am one of them.— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) September 5, 2023
Here’s how it works."@PatrickTBrown31 with a must-read piece:https://t.co/mubB5oyygK
Brown, who also lectures at Johns Hopkins, added that the biases of the editors and reviewers of journals are well known among aspiring scientists who will often omit inconvenient truths to please them, a process he says “distorts a great deal of climate science research, misinforms the public and most importantly, makes practical solutions more difficult to achieve.”
Well, I wanted the researche to get as widely disseminated as possible, and thus I wanted it to be published in a high-impact journal.— Patrick T. Brown (@PatrickTBrown31) September 5, 2023
Brown admits that he regularly hyped up the impact of greenhouse gas emissions, rather than offering practical solutions, knowing that is the “clean narrative” that journals want to see.
“In my paper, we didn’t bother to study the influence of these other obviously relevant factors. Did I know that including them would make for a more realistic and useful analysis? I did,” Brown wrote, adding “But I also knew that it would detract from the clean narrative centred on the negative impact of climate change and thus decrease the odds that the paper would pass muster with Nature’s editors and reviewers.”
Last week, I described our paper on climate change and wildfires:https://t.co/dm1hRsdQ7a— Patrick T. Brown (@PatrickTBrown31) September 5, 2023
I am very proud of this research overall. But I want to talk about how molding research presentations for high-profile journals can reduce its usefulness & actually mislead the public.