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Earth System Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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doi:10.5194/esdd-4-451-2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Review article
03 May 2013
Review status
This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Earth System Dynamics (ESD). The revised manuscript was not accepted.
Agnotology: learning from mistakes
R. E. Benestad1, H. O. Hygen1, R. van Dorland2, J. Cook3, and D. Nuccitelli4 1The Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Norway
2The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, The Netherlands
3Global Change Institute, the University of Queensland, Australia
4Tetra Tech, Inc., McClellan, California, USA
Abstract. Replication is an important part of science, and by repeating past analyses, we show that a number of papers in the scientific literature contain severe methodological flaws which can easily be identified through simple tests and demonstrations. In many cases, shortcomings are related to a lack of robustness, leading to results that are not universally valid but rather an artifact of a particular experimental set-up. Some examples presented here have ignored data that do not fit the conclusions, and in several other cases, inappropriate statistical methods have been adopted or conclusions have been based on misconceived physics. These papers may serve as educational case studies for why certain analytical approaches sometimes are unsuitable in providing reliable answers. They also highlight the merit of replication. A lack of common replication has repercussions for the quality of the scientific literature, and may be a reason why some controversial questions remain unanswered even when ignorance could be reduced. Agnotology is the study of such ignorance. A free and open-source software is provided for demonstration purposes.

Citation: Benestad, R. E., Hygen, H. O., van Dorland, R., Cook, J., and Nuccitelli, D.: Agnotology: learning from mistakes, Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss., 4, 451-505, doi:10.5194/esdd-4-451-2013, 2013.
R. E. Benestad et al.
Interactive discussionStatus: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version      Supplement - Supplement
 
RC C236: 'Review', Anonymous Referee #1, 22 May 2013 Printer-friendly Version Supplement 
SC C251: 'Review Report of “Agnotology: learning from mistakes”', Rasmus Benestad, 09 Jun 2013 Printer-friendly Version 
SC C304: 'Benestad wrong about Dirichlet conditions', Paul Matthews, 01 Jul 2013 Printer-friendly Version 
 
RC C250: 'Review #2', Anonymous Referee #2, 07 Jun 2013 Printer-friendly Version Supplement 
SC C313: 'Reply to the review by Referee #2', Nicola Scafetta, 02 Jul 2013 Printer-friendly Version 
SC C321: 'corrigendum', Nicola Scafetta, 03 Jul 2013 Printer-friendly Version Supplement 
 
SC C253: 'Comments on Agnotology', Craig Loehle, 13 Jun 2013 Printer-friendly Version 
SC C258: 'Response to C. Loehle', Rasmus Benestad, 14 Jun 2013 Printer-friendly Version 
SC C318: 'Reply to Benestad's comment on Loehle's rebuttal', Nicola Scafetta, 02 Jul 2013 Printer-friendly Version 
 
SC C257: 'Comments from Solheim, Humlum, Stordahl and Yndestad', Jan-Erik Solheim, 14 Jun 2013 Printer-friendly Version Supplement 
SC C262: 'REsponse to Solheim et al.', Rasmus Benestad, 16 Jun 2013 Printer-friendly Version 
 
SC C261: 'Comment on esd-2013-12', Ross McKitrick, 14 Jun 2013 Printer-friendly Version Supplement 
SC C269: 'Reply to McKitrick', Rasmus Benestad, 16 Jun 2013 Printer-friendly Version 
 
SC C277: 'Some notes on "Agnotology: learning from mistakes" by Benestad et al.', Oliver Bothe, 21 Jun 2013 Printer-friendly Version 
SC C280: 'Comment to O. Bothe', Rasmus Benestad, 21 Jun 2013 Printer-friendly Version 
 
SC C285: 'Comments on “Agnotology: Learning from mistakes” by R. E. Benestad, H. O. Hygen, R. van Dorland, J. Cook and D. Nuccitelli', Jaap C. Hanekamp, 24 Jun 2013 Printer-friendly Version 
SC C296: 'Response to the comment by Dr. Jaap Hanekamp', Rasmus Benestad, 26 Jun 2013 Printer-friendly Version 
SC C311: 'Reply to R. E. Benestad, H. O. Hygen, R. van Dorland, J. Cook and D. Nuccitelli', Jaap C. Hanekamp, 01 Jul 2013 Printer-friendly Version Supplement 
SC C322: 'Response SC C311 comment by Hanekamp.', Rasmus Benestad, 04 Jul 2013 Printer-friendly Version 
SC C325: 'Reply to Interactive comment on “Agnotology: learning from mistakes” by R. E. Benestad et al.', Jaap C. Hanekamp, 04 Jul 2013 Printer-friendly Version 
SC C327: 'Interactive comment on “Agnotology: learning from mistakes” by R. E. Benestad et al.', Jaap C. Hanekamp, 04 Jul 2013 Printer-friendly Version 
 
SC C291: 'Comments from Klimarealistene', Jan-Erik Solheim, 25 Jun 2013 Printer-friendly Version Supplement 
SC C292: 'Reply to Ellestad/Solheim/"klimarealistene"', Rasmus Benestad, 25 Jun 2013 Printer-friendly Version 
 
SC C305: 'A comment to Case 10 in Agnotology: learning from mistakes', Kristoffer Rypdal, 01 Jul 2013 Printer-friendly Version 
SC C333: 'Response to Dr. Rypdal. I appreciate the work', Rasmus Benestad, 05 Jul 2013 Printer-friendly Version 
 
SC C312: 'Comment on “ ‘Agnotology: learning from mistakes’ by R. E. Benestad, H. O. Hygen, R. van Dorland, J. Cook, and D. Nuccitelli”', Nicola Scafetta, 02 Jul 2013 Printer-friendly Version Supplement 
SC C340: 'Response to the comment of Scafetta', Rasmus Benestad, 05 Jul 2013 Printer-friendly Version 
 
SC C328: 'A clash between denialists', Kristoffer Rypdal, 04 Jul 2013 Printer-friendly Version 
SC C331: 'reply to Rypdal', Nicola Scafetta, 04 Jul 2013 Printer-friendly Version 
SC C338: 'Scafetta and predictability', Kristoffer Rypdal, 05 Jul 2013 Printer-friendly Version 
SC C347: 'Short response to Rypdal', Rasmus Benestad, 05 Jul 2013 Printer-friendly Version 
 
AC C393: 'Reply to referee comments', Rasmus Benestad, 16 Aug 2013 Printer-friendly Version Supplement 
 
EC C400: 'Final Editor decision', Matthew Huber, 03 Sep 2013 Printer-friendly Version 
R. E. Benestad et al.
R. E. Benestad et al.

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