Watt about Michael Mann at the AGU Chapman conference?

There’s another recent post on Watts Up With That (WUWT) called watch Michael Mann’s self aggrandizing AGU presentation. It’s referring to a presentation given by Michael Mann at the recent AGU Chapman conference called Communicating Climate Science: A Historic Look to the Future.

According to the Final Program Michael Mann gave an invited talk called The battle to communicate climate change lessons from the front lines. So, it’s clear that Michael Mann has been at the front line of communicating climate science and has been invited to talk about his role in the front line. According to Anthony Watts, however, his talk was self-aggrandizing. What was he meant to do? Not mention himself? If anything – having watched his presentation – he actually downplays his role somewhat.

Now, I don’t know Michael Mann. I don’t know if he’s a nice guy. I don’t actually know if he’s liked and respected by his colleagues. Maybe he was just “lucky” that he published a high-profile paper 15 years ago and has been living off that ever since. He does, however, seem like a nice guy who’s respected by his colleagues, but I don’t actually know if this is indeed the case. I have, however, just watched his presentation (which I include below) and found it very good. I’ve just been at a 5 day conference and would have been quite pleased if someone could have given a talk this clear, entertaining and humorous. As far as I can tell, everything he says is factually correct and presented very clearly. What did Anthony want him to do? Ignore all the ridiculous things that some have done in order to undermine the evidence presented by climate science?

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8 Responses to Watt about Michael Mann at the AGU Chapman conference?

  1. Rachel says:

    Great talk. I think it’s probably true what he says about the dissenting voices getting more outlandish being a sign of a dying campaign.

  2. I haven’t yet had the chance to watch the AGU videos. Have a backlog of hours of video from Heartland and AGU that I need to go through… So I can’t say anything about the presentation itself, yet.

    Where I can add my two cents is on the character of Dr. Michael Mann. In all my interactions with him he has been polite and nice. From my e-mail exchanges with him, to during the interview I had with him and the pre-interview parts where the tech was being set up. He’s nothing like how a lot of the so-called sceptics try to portray him.

    In public discourse he can be a bit harsher, but that’s not strange as text doesn’t always convey intonation very well and considering the accusations made towards him it’s not strange for someone to do a good poke back sometimes.

    Almost every single scientist I’ve had contact with are very patient and willing to answer questions on their research or work. As long as you approach them honestly and civilly they will act the same towards you. Although that approach is rarely applied to opponents by a lot of folks.

    Which explains a lot about the tone of the current ‘debate’.

  3. Yes, I noticed what he said about dissenting voices near the end of the talk. I tend to agree. If the skeptics are resorting to that kind of dialogue, it probably does mean that they’re starting to lose the argument, even if they don’t know it yet.

  4. Yes, I’ve no real reason to think he isn’t a perfectly pleasant and decent person. I’m amazed and impressed that he’s been able to carry on doing what he’s doing despite the accusation thrown at him. I don’t think I could do it. I would find it incredibly stressful.

  5. One of the topics of Mann’s talk was the intimidation of scientists with FOI requests.

    In Germany the Freedom of Science and Research is in the constitution and consequently science is exempt from the German freedom of information laws. Exactly to prevent its abuse to intimidate scientists.

    I know it is hard to change the constitution of the USA, but maybe the freedom of science and research is sufficiently uncontroversial that this would be possible.

  6. Interesting. It may be possible to change things in the US. They still have tenure at universities, so ensuring – at some level – academic freedom. There are clearly some who value the freedom of science and research and from Michael Mann’s talk, this includes quite a number of prominent Republicans.

  7. Mann is a nice guy who’s liked and respected by his colleagues, by the way. But just seeing his name is like waving a red flag in front of deniers’ faces. It’s impossible for them to respond to Mann rationally.

  8. That was certainly my impression, but without knowing him I couldn’t really say for sure. So far, however, from what I’ve seen and from what everyone who’s commented has said, it does seem that he is not really someone who would give self-aggrandizing presentations.

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