Quiet, uncritical, obedient: how the UK’s scientists failed the pandemic test
Throughout the pandemic, senior advisers and institutions have failed to challenge a post-truth government.
🔥 from @jameswilsdon
The core of the issue lies here, in a conflation of "science advice" (whatever that is) vs. policy or political advice
via @philipcball
Here then is a central issue
What role should "science advisors" have in policy making? (I have thoughts)

Science advisors, whatever their role, are surely not in place to offer a corrective to the failures of democratic governance, or are they?

Great article @philipcball

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More from @RogerPielkeJr

13 Jan
A follow up to Fishy Science

Last month I wrote about the retraction of a paper and its implications for the Biden Administration

Today, the OSTP commented on the issue ...


A well-regarded scientist, now a senior official at OSTP, violated PNAS peer review procedures as an editor so egregiously that it led to the paper she oversaw being retracted

The official is also leading the Biden Admin Science Integrity Task Force

Not a great look...
Today, @axios reports the following about the retraction and the officials role on the Science Integrity Task Force

My thoughts on this response follow . . . Image
Read 9 tweets
13 Jan
Interesting detail in Supreme Court ruling striking down the Biden Administration's vaccine mandate for employers . . .
The majority argue that Congress never gave OSHA authority to regulate public health in workplaces

A reaction might be for the Biden Admin to propose new legislation granting OSHA that authority

After all, Ds control House and Senate

But . . .
There is no chance of legislation passing that would expand OSHA regulatory authority

How do we know this?

The Senate voted last month to express disapproval of the OSHA vaccine mandate

It was party-line, except for two
Tester (D-MT)
Manchin (D-WV)

Supreme Court cites this Image
Read 4 tweets
11 Jan
🧵Some quick comments on the @WHOSTP science integrity report released today (just in time for my first grad seminar meeting of the semester, so thanks for that!) . . .
1⃣ The report does not define "scientific integrity" -- which is a problem because you cannot regulate that which is undefined ... and Potter Stewart imprecision won't do ... the report does say that future work of the Task Force will come up with a definition Image
2⃣ Notably missing is any discussion of congressional scientific integrity legislation, notable legislation introduced by @PaulTonko w/ 140+ bipartisan co-sponsors

Reason is likely that Biden Admin doesn't want to cede any oversight power to Congress Image
Read 6 tweets
10 Jan
@MunichRe today published their estimates for natural disaster losses in 2021, allowing me to update the time series of global disaster losses as a proportion of global GDP

This thread reports and discusses this update

TL;DR --> Figure below
Munich Re reports ~$270B in total weather and climate disasters losses for 2021, which is 0.28% global GDP

Previous 4 years:

2020= $194B, 0.23%
2019= $151B, 0.17%
2018= $150B, 0.18%
2017= $329B, 0.41%

Median= 0.21%
Average= 0.23%
Munich Re reports US saw ~$145B of the total global losses (~54% of weather/climate losses)

According to FEMA, in 2021 the US should have expected $141B in weather/climate disaster losses

In principle, US & global losses are in line with expectations

Read 8 tweets
7 Jan
"Spotting is an influential form of wildfire spread whereby firebrands (i.e. burning pieces of vegetation or other combustible materials) are blown into unburnt fuels and ignite separate new ‘spot fire'"
Storey et al. 2020
Albini, F. A. (1983). Potential spotting distance from wind-driven surface fires (Vol. 309). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station.
frames.gov/documents/beha… Image
This is an incredibly interesting paper:

Pitts, W. M. (1991). Wind effects on fires. Progress in Energy and Combustion Science, 17(2), 83-134.
doi.org/10.1016/0360-1… Image
Read 11 tweets
6 Jan
Evidence for +ive ROI for university investment in football incredibly thin

Take Colorado

Last year, 50k applicants (enrolled about 6k freshmen). Need more? No

State law limits out-of-$tate enrollment, near the cap. Need more? No

Colorado already "invests" ~$12m in athletics
Lots of things a university like Colorado might do with an extra $10m

Boosting the salary of a strength coach is not gonna be very high on that list

In the absence of finding some extra $, transferring existing funds from elsewhere on campus to football is utterly ridiculous
Alabama is cited by @wilnerhotline as an example of a school that benefitted by spending money on football, citing hiring of Nick Saban in 2007

Some data from US News college rankings
'Bama vs CU

Alabama 2008= 91st
Alabama 2022= 148th

Colorado 2007= 79th
Colorado 2022= 99th
Read 6 tweets

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