American Statistical Association Agrees with Climategate Review Panel: Climate Researchers Should Collaborate with Professional Statisticians

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The American Statistical Association (ASA) responded today to comments accompanying the release Wednesday of a review by a panel of academicians who investigated the scientific procedures used by the University of East Anglia climate researchers. ASA said that it agrees with the panel’s statement that research in an area that depends so heavily on statistical methods “should be carried out in close collaboration with professional statisticians.” [Note to editors: ASA experts are available for interviews on this subject]

The American Statistical Association (ASA) responded today to comments accompanying the release Wednesday of a review by a panel of academicians who investigated the scientific procedures used by the University of East Anglia climate researchers. ASA said that it agrees with the panel’s statement that research in an area that depends so heavily on statistical methods “should be carried out in close collaboration with professional statisticians.”

The ASA Board of Directors expressed a similar sentiment in a 2007 statement commending the close collaborations that exist between some statisticians and climate scientists. The ASA statement also recommended greater involvement of statisticians in both the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the US Climate Change Science Program (CCSP).

"Our 2007 statement is still relevant and could be broadened to include other panels," said ASA President Sastry Pantula. "Today, ASA has members very active in climate science research, making valuable contributions to the advancement of climate science."

Past ASA President (2009) Sally Morton joined the heads of 17 other science organizations on a October 2009 letter to U.S. Senators, which said "Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver." The complete letter can be viewed at http://www.amstat.org/outreach/pdfs/climateletterfinal.pdf.

Members of ASA's Climate Change Policy Advisory Committee also commented on the status of climate change science in the March Issue of AMSTAT News and held an online Q&A on their article. The article’s authors, who also held an online Q&A on their article, were Richard L. Smith, University of North Carolina; L. Mark Berliner, The Ohio State University; and Peter Guttorp, University of Washington and Norwegian Computing Center. Click on the link to read the article and the discussion comments: http://magazine.amstat.org/2010/03/climatemar10/

For more information:
Rosanne Desmone
703.302.1861 office
703.946.3820 mobile
rosanne(at)amstat(dot)org

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