While doing a search for the number of active scientists around the world, I found this list from 2004. It’s safe to assume the numbers have not reduced; more likely increased. But even if a decrease has occurred, I would doubt it would be by much.

The reason for conducting the search was spawned by an email I received the other day containing a link to the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. This is the committee on which the infamous Oklahoma Senator, James Inhofe resides as the minority (Republican) chair.

This is a list of the committee membership:

Senate Majority Committee Members
Barbara Boxer (Chairman)
Max Baucus
Joseph I. Lieberman
Thomas R. Carper
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Frank R. Lautenberg
Benjamin L. Cardin
Bernard Sanders
Amy Klobuchar
Sheldon Whitehouse
Senate Minority Committee Members
James M. Inhofe ()
John Warner
George V. Voinovich
Johnny Isakson
David Vitter
John Barrasso
Larry E. Craig
Lamar Alexander
Christopher S. Bond

The lineup, especially on the Republican side, certainly has more than a few members of the US Government ‘doubters squad’ to be sure. But that isn’t what gave rise to the search. That was due to the headlines gracing the website’s landing page.

U.S. Senate Report: Over 400 Prominent Scientists Disputed Man-Made Global Warming Claims in 2007

Senate Report Debunks “Consensus”

The email that contained the link led with a subject line saying, The Debate is Over .. I guess referring to the subtitle on the Senate report.

Hmm. At differing times over the past 30 years, I’ve had either ‘very close’ or ‘at least approximate’ relationships with numerous areas of study, having had some part in the ongoing debate over Global Climate Change (GCC). Consequently, I have a feeling the ‘debate’ has only just begun. But aside from this, I had a question.

How many scientists exist, worldwide?

How many people, having at least an M.S. degree, regardless of field, who are devoted to scientific study, guided by critical thinking and the basic search for hypothesis guided information seeking, actually exist out there? I had a feeling there would a lot of them. But I wanted a number. A tangile, scientific number that could be quantified.

I sought Google and queried: scientists active worldwide.

A whopping 165,000 returns were spit out. Yes, we all know the unlikelihood of ever getting to all those returns, but the first 50 offered a lot of very interesting material.

The list below provided the most accessible numbers of relative freshness; only 3 years old.

Why the numbers of scientists?

Simple. In the link to the CEPW report this bold statement, ‘… over 400 prominent scientists …’, seemed like a large number of scientists. It was impressive. It seemed a rather large field of expertise. But was it? What percentage, of the worldwide scientific community, did that ‘over 400‘ number truly represent?

Just taking the documented numbers for active members from the listings below, we get a total of 347,580 scientists. A cursory view of the list of organizations represented, reveals many prominent scientific organizations are not listed. Therefore, this large number, would no doubt become far larger if a true census of the scientific community were conducted.

But, never-the-less, let’s work with the numbers at hand and see what we find.

For the sake of argument, let’s assume duplications exit in the numbers. Meaning, that a person could be listed on the rosters of more than one of the listed organizations. Therefore, let’s reduce the total number by 10% for redundancy. Leaving a working number of 312,822.

Now, lets say that only half of these are actual research scientists whose work would be germane to the issue of GCC. That leaves 156,411 members of the scientific community that this sampling represents.

With this number we see that the, ‘over 400‘ number (even assuming the number to be the maximum possible of 499) … is still only 3/10ths of 1% (.00319) of this sample of the community of scientists worldwide. Not exactly a commanding number. Especially when compared to the likely, far larger, community of scientists that actually exists.

There are many elements within the report itself that promote serious debate on its validity and genuine scientific integrity.

But, that this committee chose to market their report as being upheld by such a commanding number of scientists, “… over 400…”, a number whose reality is an extremely small percentile of a sampled guesstimate of the actual community of scientists worldwide – alerts us to question – at least – these two elements of this committee report:

  1. level of sincerity and genuine interest in providing solution(s) to a serious problem
  2. validity of the report and those producing it

One quote, from the report is worth noting here as well. It really struck me as an odd comment and a rather, potentially, enlightening view into the driving force behind those who deny the existence of GCC.

Scientists from Around the World Dissent

 

This new report details how teams of international scientists are dissenting from the UN IPCC’s view of climate science. In such nations as Germany, Brazil, the Netherlands, Russia, New Zealand and France, nations, scientists banded together in 2007 to oppose climate alarmism. In addition, over 100 prominent international scientists sent an open letter in December 2007 to the UN stating attempts to control climate were “futile.” (LINK)

 

[NOTE: all links remain live. I suggest you read them and become familiar with what this group of eminent scientists have to say on this issue.]

 

 

 

So, what do I find problematic in the above quote? This comment really stood out.

 

“…international scientists sent an open letter in December 2007 to the UN stating attempts to control climate were “futile.”

In thousands of serious discussions on the issue of GCC, I have never heard a platform for debate to say anything about, attempting to ‘control the climate’. I have heard many points of argument and debate on both sides of this issue. Discussions varying from personal opinions from all points of the galaxy, to seriously interesting points worthy of further investigation. But, at no time, have I been privy to any reasonable presentation claiming that we – or anyone – could ‘control the climate’. The heart of the debate is whether or not the ‘actions of mankind’ have accelerated – by adding to – the changes we are now experiencing.

The point has been, and remains, concerning GCC and the ‘affects of possible man made influence’, on the planet’s climate … this:

If we are adding to the effects causing the current GCC, then we should halt – immediately – any and all such negative actions, in the hope doing so would – at least – lessen the eventual changes that will be experienced by all life on the planet.

The statement sets forth these important points:

  1. acknowledgment that adaptation WILL be required; by all life on earth, regardless of who is to blame
  2. man cannot control the climate, only his part of a potential acceleration of the natural effects on the climate
  3. whether man has had influence on the climate or not may be immaterial, change is coming and if we can do anything to eliminate any negative influence – we should do so.

I believe to say the debate is over, is very much premature. Much in the same vein as such infamous foot-in-mouth declarations as, “… the world is flat.”, “If man were meant to fly, he’d have been given wings.” and, “… there is no need for further study or research, we’ve learned all there is to know.”

It’s not over ’till the … well, until the outcome reveals itself.

The only thing about that reality is this… When we can see it, it’s too late.

Beyond The Ripples


American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
is the world’s largest general scientific society, publisher of Science.

American Chemical Society (ACS)
organization that consists of more than 163,000 members at all degree levels and in all fields of chemistry.

American Chemical Society – Division of Colloid & Surface Science

with approximately 2500 members throughout the world.
American Physical Society (APS)
more than 40,000 members in the arena of national, international, and governmental affairs
American Vacuum Society (AVS)
AVS is comprised of 10 technical divisions, 2 technical groups, 18 local-area chapters and about 6000 members worldwide.

CATS – Catalyst testing and evaluation service
CATS is a service aimed at evaluating, optimising and commercialising new compounds and materials as catalysts
Catalysis Section of the Royal Dutch Chemical Society
an organization with about 700 members , both in academia and in industry.
Catalysis Society of JapanChemical Society of Japan

DECHEMA Catalysis Activities (Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie
)
Mehr als 5.000 Naturwissenschaftler, Ingenieure, Firmen, Organisationen und Institute gehören ihr heute als Mitglieder an.

Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG)
die älteste und mit mehr als 45.000 Mitgliedern die größte physikalische Fachgesellschaft. Die Namen der Mitglieder – s

Electrochemical Society

ECS has 8,000 scientists and engineers in over 75 countries worldwide who hold individual membership, as well as roughly 100 corporations and laboratories who hold contributing membership.

European Federation of Catalysis Societies (EFCATS)
EFCATS is a federation of catalysis societies from 24 European countries.

European Materials Research Society
non profit scientific association founded in 1983,

Federation of European Materials Research Societies
Networking for European materials scientists and engineers.

Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE)
is a leading international body, providing services for and representing the interests of those involved in chemical, biochemical and process engineering world-wide.

Institute of Applied Catalysis

The institute currently has 13 industrial members along with over 70 individual academics from nearly forty universities.

Institute of Clean Air Companies (ICAC)
The nonprofit national association of companies that supply air pollution monitoring and control systems, equipment, and services for stationary sources.

Institute of Nanotechnology
established since January 1997… history …goes back even further… Centre in Scotland for Nanotechnology, … between 1994 and 1996. … major EU contract to lead a 2.7 million euro NanoNetwork of Networks

Institute of Physics (IOP)
a leading international professional body and learned society, established to promote the advancement and dissemination of physics.

International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC)
scientific, international, non-governmental and objective body, IUPAC can address many global issues involving the chemical sciences.

International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP)
stimulate and facilitate international cooperation in physics and the worldwide development of science.

Italian Group of Catalysis
an interdivisional group of the Italian Chemical Society ( Società Chimica Italiana , SCI). More than 500 academic and industrial researchers belong to this group.

Materials Research Society (MRS)
a non-profit organization which brings together scientists, engineers and research managers from industry, government, academia and research laboratories to share findings in the research and development of new materials of technological importance. Founded in 1973…consists of more than 12,000 members from the United States and over 50 other countries.

Nanoscale Physics & Technology Group of the IOP
research, technology and public awareness, related to the physics of nanoscale structures.

National Academies (USA)
consist of four organizations: the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council…created in 1863 by a congressional charter approved by President Abraham Lincoln.

National Nanotechnology Initiative (USA)

NICE – A Network for Industrial Catalysis in Europe
a group of companies with diverse interests in catalysis and catalytic processes

North American Catalysis Society (NACS)
to promote and encourage the growth and development of the science of catalysis and those scientific disciplines ancillary thereto

Physical Society of Japan
an organization of some 20,000 physicists, researchers as well as educators, and engineers.

Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
a network of 45,000 members worldwide and an internationally acclaimed publishing business

Royal Society of Chemistry, Applied Catalysis Group
to promote the interests, both within the RSC and externally, of all members of the Industrial Affairs Division working in or having a professional interest in applied catalysis.

Royal Society of Chemistry, SURCAT group
specialist interest group represents those with interests, experimental or theoretical, directed towards reaction processes involving solid surfaces, and especially chemisorption and heterogeneous catalysis. …membership of ca.380 is from both UK and international laboratories and has extensive representation from industry.

Societies Index from the Royal Society of Chemistry

Surfaces in Biomaterials Foundation
dedicated to exploring creative solutions to technical challenges at the BioInterface by fostering education and multidisciplinary cooperation among industrial, academic, clinical, and regulatory communities.

User Groups & Bulletin Boards
The purpose of this list is to provide information about User Groups, relevant sub-groups of national societies and surface science bulletin boards. Please feel free to e-mail new additions and corrections to r.m.nix@qmul.ac.uk

Maintained by kolasinski@virginia.edu

Last Modified: 3 December 2004

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