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date: Fri, 01 Aug 2003 16:56:59 +0100
from: "Eric W Wolff" <ewwoatXYZxyz.ac.uk>
subject: Re: Modelling intercomparison job description
I just came back, very tired, from a conference in the US. Perhaps I was not careful in my wording, and I am sorry if that was so. As I re-read what I wrote, i cannot for the life of me see why any group would think I was aiming at them. It just seemed to me inevitable that someone sat in any modelling group would see the world in a certain way, and see priorities in a certain way. For that reason, I prefer that the person has a measure of independence. It's not a question of lack of trust or anything else. If I was doing an analytical data intercomparison I would use blind tests for the same kind of reason.
I cannot withdraw an accusation I did not make. You must be well aware that, as a non-modeller, I don't know CGAM or any of the other groups well enough to have any opinion about past behaviour. I had no intention of starting a spat, and hope we can now forget it.
On the substantive issue, the question seems to remain (1) whether we put out an advert for an individual, or an AO for a group, (2) whether the person reports formally to the modelling sub-group or to the institute they sit in.
British Antarctic Survey
Cambridge CB3 0ET
Phone: +44 1223 221491
Fax: +44 1223 221279
Alternate fax: +44 1223 362616
>>> Julia Slingo <j.m.slingoatXYZxyzding.ac.uk> 01/08/03 16:03:40 >>>
As one of the modelling groups in question, I would like to refute your suggestions that we might 'absorb the person to do more of their work, or that there might be axes to grind about which models are "superior".'
I can assure you that CGAM always works with the best interests of the community in mind, and that we have never been accused of using staff employed on specific projects to do our own work. Nor do we have 'axes to grind'. I have spent many years working in the area of model intercomparison and in the assessment of model performance (I have just produced a very detailed report for the Hadley Centre on CGAM's assessment of HadAM3/HadCM3 which has been very well received). Any comments on why one model might be 'superior' have always been based on sound scientific reasoning, properly supported by objective evidence from model
results in comparison against observations.
I trust you will withdraw your remarks unless of course they can be justified.
Eric W Wolff wrote:
> Dear all,
> Peter makes a good point. But I'd be loathe to see one of the modelling groups actually take over and run the intercomparison, for fear that either they absorbed the person to do more of their work, or that there might be axes to grind about which models are "superior". On the other hand I can see also that we can't expect a fairly junior person to go at this by themselves. We need to find some compromise where they can get all assistance from a modelling group, but with independent management. I think that was Meric's intention in having the person reporting to him and the sub-group, but located in a modelling group.
> Provided we retain this kind of arrangement, I am equally content that this be run as a grant competition for institutions rather than a job advert for individuals. But my concern would be that that would probably delay the start of the intercompaiosn for several months at least.
> Eric Wolff
> British Antarctic Survey
> High Cross
> Madingley Road
> Cambridge CB3 0ET
> United Kingdom
> E-mail: ewwoatXYZxyz.ac.uk
> Phone: +44 1223 221491
> Fax: +44 1223 221279
> Alternate fax: +44 1223 362616
> ??? Peter Challenor ?P.Challenor@soc.soton.ac.uk? 31/07/03 16:31:31 ???
> At the moment the plan appears to be that we find an individual who
> then attaches themselves to a willing institution, rather like a NERC
> fellow. Are we sure we want to proceed this way? The alternative is to
> issue an AO and have institutions bid to carry out the intercomparison.
> I think this has some clear advantages over the currently proposed
> 1. If an institution is contracted to carry out the intercomparison if
> the individual leaves it is their responsibility to find someone else
> to do the rest of the work. COAPEC is having difficulty finding a
> replacement core team member at the moment.
> 2. The current advert says that part of the researcher's role is 'to
> investigate and apply statistical and climate dynamical methods to
> compare results between models and with observations'. This sounds like
> we are asking for some innovative research and as such I think we
> should be asking for some details of what is proposed, either from the
> candidates for the job or (I think better) from a PI in an institution.
> What does everyone else think?
Prof. Julia Slingo
Director, NCAS Centre for Global Atmospheric Modelling
Department of Meteorology
University of Reading
Reading RG6 6BB
Tel: +44 (0)118 378 8424
Fax: +44 (0)118 378 8316