What does a research paper need to look like?” Perhaps because it takes time to put together a paper.

Those things I listed above are some of the biggest shortcomings of my research and the industry as a whole. I can’t solve all of them, and we can’t solve them all. But relying on empirical research as the only solution to problems is a bad way to go about things.

While other economists can deviate from supported scientific evidence in order to find supportive examples, many active in the business science have chosen to ignore it as markers of a scientific advancement; and all of us who knew they were talking to scientists are in danger of being guilty of playing both sides of the issue. (See Nafeez Ahmed, The Tipping Point: when propaganda wins.) Of course, others could have mentioned this in arguments about whether or not peer-reviewed studies were credible, and colleagues would have told us they don’t need data, they just need a peer review. But I and others—for example, by describing what few studies are done and the colossal pile of conflicting evidence referenced and referenced and referenced—seem to have spurred a few more studies into existence, so that perhaps we don’t make the same mistakes all over again.

Are there modern journal articles designed to provide policymakers with sound evidence at right from the beginning?

Possibly. At least some of them are, and by empowering sympathetic journalists and scholars (particularly my mentor at University of Texas, Boston, James Robinson), researchers can overcome what scholars here have also complained about: a mass of industry-sponsored straight and narrow data.

One of the reasons the journal Nature is famous for its scientific rigor is its explicit mandate that all papers reporting evidence disseminated by utilities be politically neutral and/or defensible. But a lot of that is dictated by the editorial page of Nature, which is held to a higher ethical standard and is among the first names of the publisher on a scientific literature page. This debate has heated up recently, with the journal Nature’s Science Vol. 342 Simulating the Cut-off

A lot of people wanted to know what are the most energy efficient ways to generate electricity, and that’s a very interesting mantra, but I don’t think any expert reporter will be following up the question, and that’s missing a lot of tremendous information. It lacks specificity.

What does the Climategate affair say about our view of climate science?

It turned into quite an event. I knew about what had happened, but I didn’t know