Thursday, September 27, 2012


1. AAUP proposes revisions of rules on research misconduct:
The proposal defines research misconduct as "fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results." To arrive at a finding of research misconduct, in-vestigators would have to establish that the conduct in question was a significant departure from accepted practices in the relevant research community, and that the action was committed intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly.
My emphasis added.  Doesn't sound all that different from current rules that are being flaunted by George Mason University over plagiarism among their climate denialist academics.

UPDATE:  No wonder it sounded familiar, it actually was the old set of rules - I stumbled through a link and thought it was new (HT to John Mashey).  Even more importantly, I should've said "flouted" the rules instead of "flaunted" the rules.

2. My sadly-unpaid advertising for Chris Mooney's Point of Inquiry continues, this time about the Truth Markets innovation that attempts to reward truth in political discourse with money.  Great idea, no idea if it will work.  I don't share Mooney's concern that the conservative reaction to the mostly truthful wikipedia - creating Conservapedia - represents a successful response on any level.  OTOH, the proposal for a Truth Campaign, "Over 95% of American scientists believe climate change is real" is problematic.  It should read "over 95% of climatologists publishing on climate change believe climate change is real."  Still, I hope the overall idea works out.

3. Nice Felix Salmon article about the positive interaction between straight regulation, a gas tax, and a theoretical carbon tax:
Porter is also right that in countries with higher gas taxes, fuel economy tends to be much higher. But he’s not necessarily right that the higher gas taxes alone are responsible. Porter implies that the US only has fuel-economy standards just because “a tax on gasoline doesn’t stand a chance” of being passed. But the fact is that even countries with very high gas taxes have fuel-economy standards as well. And, guess what, they’re significantly tougher than ours, and they always have been.... 
Auto emissions pollution was a problem in the 70s and 80s; it’s not a problem now, with today’s much cleaner cars. [Wow, that was a really wrong sentence in an otherwise smart article - Ed.
The fact is that fuel-economy standards are a pretty good way of ensuring that carmakers can plan for a more fuel-efficient future, without worrying about competitors undercutting them with gas-guzzlers. If the US government ever comes to its senses and increases the gas tax, or if it — wonder of wonders — actually implements a broader carbon tax, then at that point you would have three different forces conspiring to make America’s fleet more efficient. You’d have the tax, you’d have the fuel-economy standards, and you’d have the general global increase in fuel efficiency.
I added the emphasis, a point that I hadn't thought of before.