No, I'm Not Sorry, Allison Wing
August 31, 2017
Some readers may think I was unfair to Allison Wing making fun of -- actually roll on the floor laughing at -- her global warming/hurricane increase comment in my article yesterday Hurricane Harvey Proves Global Warming Increases Lifespans.
Not at all. That comment was from a Columbia University Add Your Story webpage. Wing had full control over the content and whether it was even there. Months before I mentioned it, I "Flagged story as inappropriate" and pointed out how ridiculous it was and how bad it made Columbia look, signing with my full credentials, including being a Columbia alum. And there the comment remained. Wing apparently couldn't be more proud of it. (Speaking of which, Wing is a professor at Florida State University now.)
At some point, long before you are a postdoc, you have to take responsibility for what you say in science. Just how long do you treat young scientists, particularly women, like overprotected children? That only produces scientists who can't do anything hard, like not being part of the scientific consensus when you know the consensus is wrong or maintaining scientific integrity when those around you succeed because of the lack of it.
What I did will be called bullying. Being bullied when you are young is painful but an incredibly useful experience. Trust me, I know, like every smart kid in public school. That's the only way to learn how to deal with real adult life. I pity those that experience is taken away from. They are going to be afraid their whole lives, looking to others for protection. A coward dies a thousand deaths, a hero but one. (Ironically, I was bullied when I was young so condemning me for saying bullying is useful won't be effective.)
Finally, think how nice I was to Kerry Emanuel of MIT, world famous global warming/hurricane increase expert. I didn't mention that Allison Wing was his grad student.