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Flashback: The rise of the unskeptical scientist

People from the How Arrogant Art Thy Name-calling thread were wondering what we call people who toss out “Denier.” I suggested that the best response to “denier” is just to point out they are name-calling thugs trying to stop people talking about the evidence.

That said, the discussion reminded me that I had another more sneaky, devious and comic response way back two days before ClimateGate broke, (and my web traffic numbers soared) and many people may have missed this post. Times have changed since then, and now even Pachauri is paying token lip service to the “value of skeptics”. But there are still plenty of people who want to disown the word skeptic because of the long PR campaign to slur it. I say that only makes it o-so-much more valuable. Let’s use their own PR campaign against them.

The rise of the unskeptical scientist

Nov 17, 2009: I’ve done it, I’ve finally solved the dilemma of how to refer to scientists who actively promote a crisis due to carbon, but can’t provide the evidence that carbon causes major warming. Not Team-AGW, not alarmist, a far better one has come to me.

Once upon a time, a scientist and a skeptic used to be one and the same thing. Actually, it still is. The motto of The Royal Society — the longest lived scientific association in the world, is Nullius in Verba — “On no one’s word” (take no one’s word for it).  The Climate Industry marketing has tried to turn “skeptic” into a dirty word. So in perfect symmetry, if we are Skeptical Scientists, they are obviously:

the Unskeptical Scientists

(or “Unskeptics” for short).

What could be more appropriate?

It covers all bases; is true to its form, and if you think being a skeptic is so unattractive, it’s flattering —right? I can see them queuing up now to print the badges proclaiming themselves as the proud people who are not skeptics. So in the spirit of helpfulness I’ve done them up their very own T-Shirt and Badge —copyright free.

It’s time to reclaim the term skeptic. It is, after all, just what a scientist is. It’s time to rescue the brand of the word skeptic, and rebadge those who are not… skeptical.

It reflects their PR campaign right back at them.

These images are available for anyone to use. And Ralph from Kane-TV has helped out again by producing files that can be scaled up to billboard size. (Thanks!) The Illustrator files are infinitely expandable (Cinema screens, Trucks, Skyscrapers). The Tif files are perfect for printing stickers. The Powerpoint files are… obvious.

Download: Unskeptical Scientists Trust Committees (the red and white rectangle above)

Illustrator “Trust Committees” 660kb ….Tif “Trust Committees” 115kb

Powerpoint “Trust Committees” 300kb

Download: Unskeptical Scientists Have Faith (the circular one above right)

Illustrator “Orange Unskeptical Badge” ….Tif “Orange Unskeptical Badge”

Powerpoint “Orange Unskeptical Badge”

There are other coloured versions available too.


Bryn Thomas  November 17th, 2009 at 7:24 am

I like it. The unsc(k)eptic, a variation of “the undead”, the zombie that keeps on coming. Now where is that stake for the heart or my silver bullets?


What’s a UN Scientist? — UNscientific.

Thanks Joe for reminding me of my old front page line.

The Royal Society changed their motto from Nullis inVerba to Respect the Evidence. So how do you show “respect” for the raw data?  Lose, hide, delete and adjust.

Thanks Colin.

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