Climategate, Global Warming and the Trident Workbench: Galileo and Peer Review
What would Galileo do? I think that he would head out to the local coffee shop, order a large cup of coffee and think about this whole situation with the “science” of global warming. Then he would walk home and think about what resources did he have to really look at the data behind the global warming investigation. Galileo can be safely called the inventor of the Thermometer so he weights in on the Global Warming situation in many ways, however, he was not the inventor of the telescope. (Unless you consider that in the US the inventor of the Radio is Telsa and in the rest of the world it was Marconi, so go figure.)
Let’s assume that Galileo could utilize tools like the internet for his research, and in his time he was a man of “letters”, which I always think of someone who used the postal system to share information, I think he would use the internet.
Galileo also observed. He looked at the moon and saw mountains on what the Catholic Church and others taught was a perfect sphere, not sure how that one was stated considering the craters. The difference is that Galileo could show people what he saw, the philosophers could not prove that the moon was a perfect sphere. Combining these two components: Sharing information and processes with instrumentation equals the Trident Workbench.
Then let’s say that Galileo writes his friends that he found a ring around Jupiter (instead of Saturn) as well as the moons. Since the telescope required to see the Galilean moons is pretty easy to build, his friends make a telescope using Galileo’s specifications and looks at Jupiter. They don’t see a ring, just the moons. Now they write back and tell Galileo that they didn’t see the rings, but they did see some objects that appeared to be moving around Jupiter. Galileo realizes his error and writes back saying, “I got distracted and wrote wrong planet down for the rings, I meant Saturn, Jupiter has moons.” In this manner, Galileo and the community forming around the concept of science could review what each other were doing, this is called peer-review.
Galileo research had provenance, provenance that was bound in peer review. In modern days, it is not as easy to check up on the provenance of research, the processes are not revealed in an easy to consume manner, the data is hidden in databases that are not easily accesses. How do we pull all of this together?
Well for now, take a look at the following site to get a feel for the difficulty of working with datasets from the Jupiter probe named after Galileo and that should be easy to use:
Take a look at the link, this is the type of data that I want to be able to ensure Humanity can review in 75 years. Using systems like the Trident workbench we may be able to maintain the processes in a manner that future researchers can review our data. Right now? Good luck.