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« Gergis to resubmit at end of July | Main | So long, and Fanks for all the corrections »
Monday
Jun252012

Maddox prize

Roger Pielke Jr notes the advent of the Maddox Prize, named after the great editor of Nature magazine.

The John Maddox Prize will reward an individual who has promoted sound science and evidence on a matter of public interest. Its emphasis is on those who have faced difficulty or hostility in doing so.

Nominations of people at an early stage in their careers are particularly welcomed.

The prize is open to nominations for any kind of public activity, including all forms of writing, speaking and public engagement, in any of the following areas:
  • Addressing misleading information about scientific or medical issues in any forum.
  • Bringing sound evidence to bear in a public or policy debate.
  • Helping people to make sense of a complex scientific issue.
The prize: £2000. An announcement of the winner will be published in Nature.

Sir John Maddox, whose name this prize commemorates, was a passionate and tireless champion and defender of science, engaging with difficult debates and inspiring others to do the same. As a writer and editor, he changed attitudes and perceptions, and strove for better understanding and appreciation of science throughout his long working life.

I'm sure we can all think of at least one suitable candidate.

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Reader Comments (100)

Richard Betts, would you like to join me in a nomination?

Jun 25, 2012 at 10:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Jones

The person who's name should be blazened on this prize was listed as one of the fifty most influential people, a couple of years ago.

Jun 25, 2012 at 10:49 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

If the "emphasis is on those who have faced difficulty or hostility", obviously Rupert Sheldrake is bound to get nominated -- if only because of the way Maddox ludicrously destroyed his academic career by calling him a heretic and saying his book was a good candidate for burning.

Jun 25, 2012 at 11:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan

■Addressing misleading information about scientific or medical issues in any forum.
■Bringing sound evidence to bear in a public or policy debate.
■Helping people to make sense of a complex scientific issue.


Steve McIntyre of course!

Jun 25, 2012 at 11:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterHans Erren

Given its Nature , who wants to bet it will not be someone that has been pumping out climate alarmist articles and attacking any how dare question 'the cause ' ?

Jun 25, 2012 at 11:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

That will be:

Steve McIntyre.

No doubt about that.

Harry

Jun 25, 2012 at 11:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Kal

I am fairly confident that the first person that came to my mind was the same individual BH thought of.

It's a bit eerie. Almost as if it was specifically created with one individual in mind.

Jun 25, 2012 at 11:26 PM | Unregistered Commentertimg56

Dr Mann.

Jun 25, 2012 at 11:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterFairy Nuff

Micheal Mann of course for standing up and rebutting all of the oil funded denier shill misinformation. We are doomed and it is because of sites like this nothing has been done to avert the coming armagedon. For shame on you all.

Jun 25, 2012 at 11:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterMM

Jun 25, 2012 at 11:03 PM | Hans Erren, "Steve McIntyre of course!"

-------------------------------

There can be no competitor to SMcI !!

He has stood against the 'consensus' and done more for the integrity of science than any other in the 'modern era'.

Sounds like a football slogan. :)

Jun 26, 2012 at 12:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterStreetcred

We can nominate whomever we wish, but I doubt if anyone we'd like to win would even make the short list.

I would nominate Josh, who makes his devastating points with the fewest words to the greatest effect.

Jun 26, 2012 at 12:54 AM | Registered CommenterMique

Clearly it should be Steve M. However Jim Hansen or some such AGW champion will win it.

Jun 26, 2012 at 1:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Norris

Michael Mann. Who else.

Jun 26, 2012 at 2:40 AM | Registered Commentershub

* Helping people to make sense of a complex scientific issue

This is commonly referred to as "research". We will not be entertaining any further correspondence on the matter.

Dr Joelle Gergis (for a Dr she is) is a shoo-in for this one. With two thousand large in her kick she might even be able to fire up her blog again. I feel duty bound to nominate her.

Jun 26, 2012 at 2:47 AM | Registered CommenterGrantB

"We can nominate whomever we wish, but I doubt if anyone we'd like to win would even make the short list.I would nominate Josh, who makes his devastating points with the fewest words to the greatest effect"

I suspect Maddox would hail the first party to offer Josh a bribe larger than that paid by his present employers to change his mind,mere evidence having proven ineffectual.

Jun 26, 2012 at 2:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

“Nominations of people at an early stage in their careers are particularly welcomed”.

That’s Steve. His life’s work’s just beginning.

Jun 26, 2012 at 6:25 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

Commenters haven't thought this through.

Why would Steve want to have his good name sullied by some stupid award from an incompetent and tendentious agitprop rag like Nature?

How about Bob "attack chihuahua" Ward?

That's the ticket!

Might even encourage him to finish his piezophrenology thesis!

Jun 26, 2012 at 6:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby


■Addressing misleading information about scientific or medical issues in any forum.
■Bringing sound evidence to bear in a public or policy debate.
■Helping people to make sense of a complex scientific issue.

There must be a couple of BBC journalists in the running

/sarc

Jun 26, 2012 at 7:21 AM | Registered Commentermangochutney

Tim Flannery. The rightful repository for all such tendentious "prizes".

Jun 26, 2012 at 7:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

Both who should be and who will be have been named above

Jun 26, 2012 at 7:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterPatagon

Phil Jones!

There, I said it! Boom!

Mailman

Jun 26, 2012 at 7:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Zeddedbed

Jun 26, 2012 at 7:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

Zeddedbed ... seconded

Jun 26, 2012 at 8:33 AM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

If Nature had any credit then I would nominate the man who's name shall not be spoken?
However given its reprehensible behaviour I think they should award the prize to Andrew Wakefield of mmr infamy?

Jun 26, 2012 at 8:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterStacey

Nominations of people at an early stage in their careers

My emphasis

Not sure what that early means; whether they have to be early in a specific recognised career path, or just be young. I suspect it means being in an early recognised career path i.e. could be dated by their first pronouncement of the climate orthodoxy and their first scathing article from a denier (“faced difficulty or hostility in doing so”) they received.

This would be enough to log them in the pantheon of climate heroes ;)

Me-thinks some burgeoning trainee self-promoting climate bloviater who has been oppressed by Fox News will be the eventual winner ;)

Jun 26, 2012 at 8:43 AM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

It will be interesting to see if, when they give the award to a usual suspect, they announce how many nominations from outside their editorial board were received for each name. On that I am confident Steven McIntyre will head the list.

Jun 26, 2012 at 8:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterNeil Craig

We are all a bunch of pessimists even before they have announced the winner commenter’s here are already screaming that it will be some shill like Mann, I'm sure the publication what is it again Nature....oh wait....never mind....carry on....after there last article 'Your an evil denier' Mann’s a shoe in.

Jun 26, 2012 at 8:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterShevva

"...cheap propagandist rag..." Well, they turned into a science fiction magazine a few years ago, with their weekly "Futures" section.
'nuff said.

Jun 26, 2012 at 9:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterUlrich Elkmann

Martin B

"piezophrenology"

:-) Terry Pratchett would be proud!

Link

Jun 26, 2012 at 9:50 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

"Nominations of people at an early stage in their careers are particularly welcomed. "

A bit tricky, since we seem often to see that people who speak up for the evidence and against the consensus are in, or close to, retirement.

Jun 26, 2012 at 10:36 AM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

Lysenko ?

Jun 26, 2012 at 10:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterFrederick Bloggsworth

One thing seems fairly certain: whatever the final outcome Maddox is likely to be spinning in his grave.

Jun 26, 2012 at 11:04 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Nature, really. I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole.

Jun 26, 2012 at 11:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterJosualdo

Steve McIntyre by a country mile - but I'm sure he'd prefer one of Canada's top honours. How about it, you Canadians?

Jun 26, 2012 at 11:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterChris M

Jonathan et al.

Wasn't sure whether to post this but what the hell... someone is planning to nominate me :)

Not sure how I would compete with Richard B! At least I'm early career ;)

Jun 26, 2012 at 12:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterTamsin Edwards

Yep, no one can come close to Steve McIntrye

"in any of the following areas:

Addressing misleading information about scientific or medical issues in any forum.

Bringing sound evidence to bear in a public or policy debate.

Helping people to make sense of a complex scientific issue. "

He's a definite front runner!

Jun 26, 2012 at 12:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

Steve should hold off and wait for the Nobel.

Jun 26, 2012 at 1:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid C

[Snip - let's not go there]

Jun 26, 2012 at 1:35 PM | Registered Commenterpeterwalsh

The anonymous Climategate email whistleblower surely deserves nomination.

Jun 26, 2012 at 2:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterGary

Has anyone noticed that £2k is not that magnificent a prize? The price of a rather crappy used car?

Jun 26, 2012 at 2:20 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Tamsin, I was suggesting (or at least trying to suggest) that Richard could join me in nominating Steve.

Jun 26, 2012 at 2:37 PM | Registered CommenterJonathan Jones

Steve McIntyre is the obvious choice.

I recall how some sneery Smart Alec tried to slag him off in 'The Guardian' about a year ago - thinking that he was an obvious and easy target for the 'Guardianistas'.

What a surprise he got when there was a groundswell of support for Steve, with hundreds of comments - many from unlikely sources - in praise of the man and expressions of truly deserved admiration.

Jun 26, 2012 at 3:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterDougS

Hi Jonathan

I must admit that when I read your first comment at the top here, I was wondering whether you meant that you and I should jointly nominate Tamsin. She specifically invites an audience not normally welcomed by climate scientists, does a good job at explaining complex scientific issues openly and honestly, is "early-career" and has faced hostility from both sides - or at least, hostility from some folks on one side, and disapproval from some on the other.

Cheers

Richard

Jun 26, 2012 at 3:22 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts

Jonathan - I just assumed you meant Richard, especially after his discussion post asking for feedback recently. Ah well! Nominate him too?

Richard - you're too kind to say that you automatically thought that! I don't believe you :)

Jun 26, 2012 at 3:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterTamsin Edwards

I would have thought that if we are looking specifically at someone at an "early stage in their career", then Tamsin would be an excellent choice.
It does look pretty much as if the conditions of this race have been framed to suit "a bird with three wings" as a friend of mine once described a loaded job description!
The phrase above appears to at least imply an assumption that acceptable candidates will come from within the established scientific community. The three qualifications outlined would also seem to imply a science journalist. I suspect strongly that sceptics (whatever they might be sceptical of) "need not apply".

Jun 26, 2012 at 3:47 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Hi Tamsin

OK, you're partly right - I couldn't decide whether he meant you, or whether it was a jokey comment about nominating one of the famous climate scientists he sometimes tries to get me to talk about, or indeed even whether it was about himself (for successfully pursuing the FOI against UEA and getting the station data released) - but I quickly decided that he's not the kind of guy for the latter.

Cheers

Richard

Jun 26, 2012 at 3:58 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts

Thanks Mike! Fingers crossed... maybe I will even quote you (and others if they volunteer something) in the application :)

In fact, this is my favourite bit of feedback so far (I haven't looked through my blog comment records to try and guess if you are the same Mike):

"If the debate was conducted in as honest and even-handed way as you seem to be doing I would be a lot more ready to re-evaluate my scepticism."
- Mike, commenting at allmodelsarewrong.com

Jun 26, 2012 at 4:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterTamsin Edwards

Nominating Tamsin certainly crossed my mind, but I'm not sure that 8 posts is really enough!

Steve remains the obvious name however: not particularly for trashing MBH98, but rather for pioneering ideas such as (1) data availability, (2) post publication peer review, and (3) transparency of assessments, which have only recently started entering the mainstream.

Jun 26, 2012 at 4:20 PM | Registered CommenterJonathan Jones

I am quite amused that anyone here should have been in any doubt about who Jonathan was referring to in his first comment!

[Responding to Richard below]: Yes, I'm afraid this shows that there is still a big gap in the ways of thinking between the two 'sides'.

Jun 26, 2012 at 4:23 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Hi Paul

I have learn to think carefully about Jonathan's posts and not assume that I know what he means - his irony on Twitter has occasionally passed straight over my head without me realising.... :-)

Jun 26, 2012 at 4:26 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts

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