Steve McIntyre is a statistician with decades of experience in the mineral exploration business. He is best known for his scientific paper pointing out errors in the "hockey stick graph" used by the IPCC to justify the Anthropogenic global warming theory.
In 2007, he noticed an anomaly in the NASA GISS Surface Temperature Analysis. This led to NASA correcting several records of temperature stations in North America, causing a change in rankings of the hottest years in the United States (1998 was formerly considered the hottest, the revised numbers put 1934 at the top). See also: Anthropogenic global warming theory.
I've found that scientists strongly resent any attempt to verify their results. One of the typical reactions is: don't check our studies, do your own study. I don't think that businesses like being checked either, but one of the preconditions of being allowed to operate is that they are checked. Many of the most highly paid professionals in our society - securities lawyers, auditors - earn much of their income simply by verifying other people's results. Businesses developed checks and balances because other peoples' money was involved, not because businessmen are more virtuous than academics.
Back when paleoclimate research had little implication outside academic seminar rooms, the lack of any adequate control procedures probably didn't matter much. However, now that huge public policy decisions are based, at least in part, on such studies, sophisticated procedural controls need to be developed and imposed. Climate scientists cannot expect to be the beneficiaries of public money and to influence public policy without also accepting the responsibility of providing much more adequate disclosure and due diligence.
- Will the Real USHCN Data Set Please Stand Up?
- Top ten warmest years