Wharton Professor and Forecasting Expert Says Less Than 1% of Science Journals Follow Scientific Method

Wharton Professor and Forecasting Expert Says Less Than 1% of Science Journals Follow Scientific Method


By Kody Fairfield

Fewer than 1 percent of papers published in scientific journals follow the scientific method, according to research by Wharton School professor and forecasting expert J. Scott Armstrong.

Armstrong, who co-founded the peer-reviewed Journal of Forecasting in 1982 and the International Journal of Forecasting in 1985, made the claim during a presentation about what he considers to be “alarmism” from forecasters over man-made climate change, reports Breitbart.

“We also go through journals and rate how well they conform to the scientific method. I used to think that maybe 10 percent of papers in my field … were maybe useful. Now it looks like maybe, one tenth of one percent follow the scientific method” said Armstrong in his presentation, which can be watched in full below. “People just don’t do it.”


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According to Armstrong, the criteria necessary to follow the scientific method is eight fold:

Armstrong contends that very little of the forecasting for climate change follows this scientific method. “For example, for disclosure, we were working on polar bear [population] forecasts, and we were asked to review the government’s polar bear forecast. We asked, ‘could you send us the data’ and they said ‘No’… So we had to do it without knowing what the data were.”

According to Armstrong, forecasts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) violate all eight criteria, Breitbart reports.

“Why is this all happening? Nobody asks them!” said Armstrong, who says that people who submit papers to journals are not required to follow the scientific method. “You send something to a journal and they don’t tell you what you have to do. They don’t say ‘here’s what science is, here’s how to do it.’”

Breitbart explains that Armstrong attributes the flaws in science and motivations of entities ignoring a true scientific method to the  wealth of incentives for publishing papers with politically convenient rather than scientific conclusions.

“They’re rewarded for doing non-scientific research. One of my favourite examples is testing statistical significance – that’s invalid. It’s been over 100 years we’ve been fighting the fight against that. Even its inventor thought it wasn’t going to amount to anything. You can be rewarded then, for following an invalid [method].”

“They cheat. If you don’t get statistically significant results, then you throw out variables, add variables, [and] eventually you get what you want.”

“My big thing is advocacy. People are asked to come up with certain answers, and in our whole field that’s been a general movement ever since I’ve been here, and it just gets worse every year. And the reason is funded research.”

“I’ve [gone through] my whole career, with lots of publications, and I’ve never gotten a research grant. And I’m proud of that now.”

Armstrong believes that scientific evidence should be required for all climate regulations, reported Breitbart.

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  • Mike Austin
    March 30, 2017, 3:16 am

    Managing director of MSN!, is suggesting consumers to start off “Work at home” method, that Loads of people have been doing for more than a year now. These days alone, I made close to $36k up to now with nothing but my personal pc and some free time, although i have a full-time 9 to 5 job. Even people not used to this, can make $50/per h successfully and the profit can go much higher in the long run… This is how i started >> http://ru­.­vu/AKjGY

  • A-Train
    March 30, 2017, 12:42 pm

    Yep, especially the replication of results.

  • DoomsdayJesus
    March 31, 2017, 11:59 am

    I was always aware that they were plagued with garbage in, garbage out, but when you consider that in reviewing previous studies, it contaminates everything downstream as well that’s not using the simple and obvious standard he’s elaborated.

    This has been building upon itself for decades, and about 97% of the long term forecasts have completely missed their high and low forecasts beyond one standard deviation. Why are they still funded? It’s obviously not about being correct if over half of their work is getting out erasers and replacing the last flawed forecast.

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