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*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****

Responding to Valdis' comment--Yes, SNA analysis of the climate change
networks would be very interesting!  I and co-PIs are currently designing a
policy network research project to look at the diffusion of climate change
ideas from the IPCC and other sources through various national policy making
processes (Japan, Germany, US, Sweden, Net6herlands, Greece and perhaps
others).  Maybe we will find very different networks for "believers" and
"contrarians" ideas about climate change.  But at this point, I get the
impression that virtually the entire scientific community outside a small
circle in the US is filled with "believers."  The IPCC, for instance,
includes several hundred scientists who confer on this.  This Human
Dimensions conferences include thousands.  They seem to review all evidence
very carefully. 

**What, dear colleagues, do you think are the most important aspects of
national climate change policy-making systems that influence whether
believers or contrarians information dominates the debate and output?
Please let us know.  We want to test those various ideas in our comparative
policy network project.  Thanks.*****        

Jeffrey Broadbent
Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
Institute for Global Studies
909 Social Science Building
University of Minnesota
267  19th  Ave. S.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
USA 55455
Telephone: 1-612-624-1828
Main Office Fax: 1-612-624-7020
E-mail: [log in to unmask]
Webpage: http://www.soc.umn.edu/faculty/Broadbent.htm

-----Original Message-----
From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
Behalf Of Valdis Krebs
Sent: Friday, July 14, 2006 8:48 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: echo chamber of climate scientists?

*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****

Opinion piece in today's WSJ claims that SNA shows that the scientists
whom agree on global warming are all a tightly-knit group -- a mutual
admiration society -- that dismiss all contrary findings without
consideration.

Here is an excerpt... Wall Street Journal; July 14, 2006; Page A12

 > In addition to debunking the hockey stick, Mr. Wegman goes a step
 > further in his report, attempting to answer why Mr. Mann's mistakes
 > were not exposed by his fellow climatologists. Instead, it fell to two
 > outsiders, Messrs. McIntyre and McKitrick, to uncover the errors.
 > Mr. Wegman brings to bear a technique called social-network analysis
 > to examine the community of climate researchers. His conclusion is
 > that the coterie of most frequently published climatologists is so
 > insular and close-knit that no effective independent review of the
 > work of Mr. Mann is likely. "As analyzed in our social network," Mr.
 > Wegman writes, "there is a tightly knit group of individuals who
 > passionately believe in their thesis." He continues: "However, our
 > perception is that this group has a self-reinforcing feedback
 > mechanism and, moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicized
 > that they can hardly reassess their public positions without losing
 > credibility.
 >
 > In other words, climate research often more closely resembles a
 > mutual-admiration society than a competitive and open-minded search
 > for scientific knowledge. And Mr. Wegman's social-network graphs
 > suggest that Mr. Mann himself -- and his hockey stick -- is at the
 > center of that network.

Since this has become a political issue, is the opposing group also an
echo chamber? Similar to the red-blue political divide we see in the 
USA?

Would be interesting to run Mark Newman's community algorithm on all
scientists/papers involved in global warming, eh?

Valdis

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