Since the “Why models run hot” flap started a witch hunt in Congress, I thought I’d give the complete story of my funding for any work of any kind done on climatology since after I graduated Cornell. When I was a student I made about $13,000 a year.
I have received $110 in direct cash payments from donors (for which I am immensely and most sincerely grateful). That’s one hundred ten. United States dollars. This all came within the last three months. So I’m gathering up speed.
A generous reader sent me to the Heartland Conference last year, picking up the tickets, registration, and hotel bill (was it one night or two?). This ran to, say, six or seven hundred. I didn’t speak (wasn’t invited) but I did blog about the event, as regular readers will remember.
When I was a professor at the Cornell Medical School, they sent me to three or four AMS meetings and the like. Call it $3,000.
And one I nearly forgot. I was at the first Heartland Conference many years ago. I got some kind of honorarium for a talk on hurricanes (and boy was I boring: this was before I learned what I now know about statistics), the exact same talk I had given to the AMS annual conference a couple of months before that. This was around $1,000. I did the work on the hurricane papers on my own (I don’t recommend reading them).
Round it up to, say, $5,000. Spread over more than a decade. Because you’re my friends, I can tell you I blew that $110 all on whiskey and cigars.
How much did I get for “Why models run hot”? Nothing.
Of course, you have to balance that hefty five grand by the amount I’ve lost. For instance, I was being groomed to take over a spot at Lawrence Livermore lab a few years back (Ben Santer’s playground). And then, one day, the powers-that-were there suddenly forgot who I was. Emails and phone calls were never returned. Right, Bill?
I had another job lined up with a firm whose purpose was to expose bad science. But they backed off and said they didn’t want themselves to become known as working with a “denier.” I’d tell you who they were, but I signed a non-disclosure. They weren’t the first or last.
An interview I had with a small teaching college (“our students come first” kind of place) is typical. I did so well that I was brought into the office of the chair and shown just where to buy houses (there is obviously more to this story than I’m telling here). But later a department member found my website. This kind of thing has happened more than once.
Although, to be fair, this particular incident was exacerbated because I admitted that I would not write any government grants. I might have been forgiven for being a “denier”. But to refuse to bring in government money? Never. That’s academic freedom for you. It also hasn’t helped me that I don’t want to teach frequentist statistics to impressionable kids and fill their skulls with fallacies. Academic freedom insists you teach what you’re told. Of course, my stance that Diversity equates Mandated Uniformity is somewhat of a taint. Academic freedom again.
Understand I’m not complaining: it’s these schools’ money and they’re free to spend it any way they wish. Until the government makes it spend it the way they insist. I just don’t think the term “academic freedom” has any meaning.
That new CATO group was going to hire me on, at least to write some pieces for them. But I got a call that said one of the VPs there couldn’t work with me because of my stance on gay so-called marriage. Guess I’m a “denier” on that one, too.
And this is why I say on my “Who’s WMB” page that except for two weeks a year I am “completely independent”, a pleasant enough euphemism. At least it’s giving me time to finish this damned book about a better way to think about and do probability and statistics (almost there; stay tuned).
That’s about it. I do not jest when I say I’m thisclose to using what I learned by working with my father and setting up as a handyman.
Fair’s fair. Now let’s hear from the other side. If they have the guts.