Article on M&M Wins Dutch Science Journalism Award

Marcel Crok’s article on M&M in the Dutch science magazine Natuurwetenschap & Techniek , published in their February 1, 2005 issue, has won a prestigious Dutch prize (Glazen Griffioen) for science journalism from the Free University (VU) in Amsterdam, together with the VU Medical Center and Hogeschool Hindesheim. The shortlist of three finalists all consisted of investigative journalistic articles (one about food and health; one criticizing an article in The Lancet about the number of civilian victims in Iraq.) Congratulations to Marcel.

An English translation of the original article is here . A version was re-printed in the National Post in January 2005 and a German translation and adaptation was printed by Technology Review here (adding comments by Cubasch, von Storch, Mann, Latif and an interview with Stefan Rahmsdorff.) Some contemporary references are available in the sidebar link category News and Commentary.


  1. fFreddy
    Posted Oct 6, 2005 at 12:52 PM | Permalink

    This is excellent. Congratulations indeed to Mnr Crok and his editors.
    Any chance that Natuurwetenschap & Techniek has any affiliated magazines in the Anglosphere who might be persuaded to reprint this article ?

  2. TCO
    Posted Oct 6, 2005 at 12:58 PM | Permalink

    Is this the skeptics giving awards to themselves or does this body/uni have some general recognition and baliwick?

  3. Merlijn de Smit
    Posted Oct 6, 2005 at 1:41 PM | Permalink

    TCO: the Free University of Amsterdam and the Hogeschool Windesheim (not Hindesheim, I think) are of course recognized educational/scientific institutions.

  4. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Oct 6, 2005 at 1:42 PM | Permalink

    The link to Natuurwetenschap & Techniek give a 404. The correct link is Natuurwetenschap & Techniek.

  5. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Oct 6, 2005 at 1:53 PM | Permalink


    I looked through the jury list and it included some journalists, including Suzanne Weusten an editor of De Volkskraant; Mark Traa, science editor of De Tijd; Govert Schilling the chairman of the Weather Journalists Organization (Vereniging van Wetenschapsjournalisten); Adriana Esmeijer, director of the Prins Bernhard Culture Fund (Cultuurfonds); Peter Karstel, Journalistic Education Coordinator (opleidingscoàƒ⵲dinator Journalistiek) of the Christian University Windesheim (Christelijke Hogeschool Windesheim) in Zwolle; and headed by Wim T. Schippers.

    (I need to work on my Dutch.)

  6. Merlijn de Smit
    Posted Oct 6, 2005 at 2:00 PM | Permalink

    The “Vereniging van Wetenschapsjournalisten” would be the organization of Science journalists, rather than weather journalists.

  7. TCO
    Posted Oct 6, 2005 at 2:15 PM | Permalink

    Is it a neutral group or one already associated with skeptics?

  8. John A
    Posted Oct 6, 2005 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

    Is it a neutral group or one already associated with skeptics?

    There’s no good way to answer this. There’s apparently no “neutral” organizations out there.

  9. Theo Richel
    Posted Oct 6, 2005 at 2:31 PM | Permalink

    No the jury is certainly not associated with skeptics. Most of the members have never taken position in the Global Warming debate, apart from the Volkskrant (a Dutch sort of Guardian) which usually takes a pro environmentalist anti-skeptic position. I was told that the science editor of the Volkskrant shouted BOO when he heard of the award. Their jury member Suzanne Weusten is not a member of the science desk of de Volkskrant but associate editor.
    Be it afterwards this jury is a sort of ‘peer review’, or does one have to be a climatologist for that, it is all so confusing ;-). But the award is well deserved. Congratulations!

  10. Jonathan King
    Posted Oct 6, 2005 at 2:58 PM | Permalink

    Well done indeed. You must continue to pursue this until those claiming to be climate scientists finally begin to act like true science professionals. The level of bumbling amateurism within the climatology “profession” is astounding.

  11. Posted Oct 6, 2005 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

    re: #9
    I am surprised that Martijn van Calmthout would shout boo. Perhaps it was envy, as it was van Calmthout who was the first to publish about M&M in the Netherlands.
    His article was titled “With a red pen through the greenhouse” and was published in “De Volkskrant” on 1 november 2003.

  12. TCO
    Posted Oct 6, 2005 at 5:03 PM | Permalink

    Does the group have a right wing slant?

  13. Merlijn de Smit
    Posted Oct 6, 2005 at 5:59 PM | Permalink

    TCO: the jury includes an editor for De Volkskrant, which is left-of-centre if anything, and a journalist for HP/De Tijd, which is pretty centrist. I’m pretty sure that there is no political bias whatsoever in the make-up of the jury. For sure, the jury must have been vetted by the institutions handing out the price anyway, which, again, are two perfectly fine Dutch educational/research institutions. Someone who wants to go look for a “climate skeptical” influence or even a more general “right-wing slant” here is going to have a lot of work to do.

    The only political slant that one might discern is that both of the institutes, VU and Windesheim, are Christian (mainstream Protestant, to be exact). However, the mainstream Churches in the Netherlands tend to be on the political left rather than on the right.

  14. Posted Oct 6, 2005 at 6:52 PM | Permalink

    Congratulations to Marcel and you, too. I remember the article pretty well and it was kind of detailed, complete, and illuminating. Obviously, RealClimate will have to argue that Holland is a corrupt country funded by ExxonMobil (and Shell, of course). Also, it is the first country that had introduced the deadly system called capitalism that had destroyed the ecosystem of Mother Earth. 😉 Such a reply would not surprise me at all, by the way.

  15. Posted Oct 6, 2005 at 8:17 PM | Permalink

    Incidentally, the award does not seem to have a pure formality. According to the original source,

    if I understand Dutch well enough, the prize includes 10,000 euro. Pretty good job, Marcel.

  16. Posted Oct 6, 2005 at 9:03 PM | Permalink

    one criticizing an article in The Lancet about the number of civilian victims in Iraq.

    Well, that doesn’t inspire confidence in the folks selecting the shortlist…

  17. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Oct 6, 2005 at 9:25 PM | Permalink

    On the contrary, Tim. If you’ve actually read that article you will realize that it was nothing but a political set piece. But quite apart from the politics, if you work out the math of how the number of victims were calculated you’d realize that it amounted to projecting thousands of deaths on the basis of a literal handful of reported deaths. It made the statistical slight of hand by the Hockey Team seem like childs play.

    Actually it had one aspect which is of interest here. The article, in order to be published prior to the US Election, had to be rushed to press far too quickly for normal peer review to occur. I don’t remember the exact details any more, but it was something like the interviews being done one month and the article published the next. Rather reminds me of the things presently going on with the WA comment on MM05.

  18. Greg F
    Posted Oct 6, 2005 at 9:52 PM | Permalink

    The UNDP did a survey, with a much larger sample (roughly 22 thousand households), that put the civilian deaths between 23589 and 26705. This is significantly lower then the often quoted 100,000 from the Lacet hit piece. Seems to me the criticism of the Lancet article was indeed justified.

  19. JerryB
    Posted Oct 6, 2005 at 10:00 PM | Permalink


    Your comment suggests that you have read the article that criticized the Lancet piece, and that you found it deficient in some particulars.

    On the other hand, it just might be the case that you have not read that article, in which case your comment would seem to be baseless.

    Which is it?

  20. TCO
    Posted Oct 6, 2005 at 10:16 PM | Permalink

    stop being such a bully, Jer. I could take you…

  21. JerryB
    Posted Oct 6, 2005 at 10:45 PM | Permalink


    Being a bully? Not even close.

    As for you “taking” me: perhaps, perhaps not. Such an exercise would seem to be a waste
    of time, and a distraction from the useful aspects of this website.

  22. TCO
    Posted Oct 6, 2005 at 11:06 PM | Permalink

    come on…

  23. TCO
    Posted Oct 6, 2005 at 11:08 PM | Permalink

    Steve, please open the deputy thread. I want Tim Lambert to blather some more…

  24. JerryB
    Posted Oct 7, 2005 at 12:04 AM | Permalink

    come on…

    To what purpose? To waste people’s time? To distract from the useful information tha Steve posts here?

    As I have mentioned before, try being less ditzy.

    I do not view this website as a forum for your whims, nor for mine.

    If you imagine that a large portion of visitors to this website link to it in order to read your comments, then you might start your own blog and see how many people take the time to visit it.

    You might find such an exercise to be an edifying experience.

  25. TCO
    Posted Oct 7, 2005 at 12:13 AM | Permalink

    Give it a rest. Steve doesn’t mind (that much). I post plenty of discussion of science too. Just get off my case, soldier.

  26. James Lane
    Posted Oct 7, 2005 at 6:22 AM | Permalink

    Friends, please do not drag the Lancet study onto this site. There is a current thread over at Lambert’s blog where you can waste your time to your heart’s content.

    One of the great things about climateaudit has been the focus on the science. Even Dano engaged in the issues when he visited, and in a civil and useful fashion.

    I’m not in favour of censorship. Lambert should be welcome to post here, but if the issue is other than climate science, please take the debate over to Deltoid.

    TCO, you might find it amusing to play with Tim, but please do it on his turf. I do appreciate the contribution you make to this site, but some of us are time-poor, and I, for one, resent having to wade through some of the irrelevant crap that’s been posted in the last few days.

  27. TCO
    Posted Oct 7, 2005 at 8:05 AM | Permalink

    I don’t find it amusing and I don’t like have to read Lambert thermo/computer whining either. I guess I’m just sorta free-speechish.

  28. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Oct 7, 2005 at 8:40 AM | Permalink

    Re #26: no Iraq or Lancet or entropy whining here. There are lots of other forums to discuss these matters with interested parties. I will snip or delete on this.

    The Lambert deletions were discused in a post here, so, out of fairness, we’ve had to listen to Lil’ Tim’s different off-tune versions of "I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot the deputy". I think that we all now have a better knowledge of Lil’ Tim’s vocal range.

  29. TCO
    Posted Oct 7, 2005 at 8:56 AM | Permalink

    It’s all John’s fault…

  30. Posted Oct 7, 2005 at 10:13 AM | Permalink

    Maybe Steve could do a duet with Nigel.

  31. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Oct 7, 2005 at 10:45 AM | Permalink

    Tim, the question isn’t whether or not Stever COULD do a duet with Nigel, the question is whether or not he SHOULD. And on that subject, I’m in no position to be a judge.

  32. T J Olson
    Posted Oct 7, 2005 at 6:14 PM | Permalink

    Geel goed! Dank U – to the many Dutch savants for cleaning up matters on this good news post. It’s well earned for a lengthy article on a rather abtruse debate.

    Still, many of us would like to see this piece appear in native Anglophone countries media. Perhaps, Reason magazine science editor Ron Bailey could oblige?

  33. Doug Z
    Posted Oct 8, 2005 at 6:44 AM | Permalink

    TCO asked:

    Is it a neutral group or one already associated with skeptics?

    John A replied:

    There’s no good way to answer this. There’s apparently no “neutral” organizations out there.

    Of course not. Whether the group was “already associated with skeptics” or not, it is now, and must therefore be suspect!

    I occassionally come back to Climate Audit after a long absence only to find the usual suspects carrying on with their usual gibberish, for example, 9 comments by “TCO” in this thread…Is this the skeptics giving awards?…Is it a neutral group or one already associated with skeptics?…Does the group have a right wing slant?…and it only goes downhill from there (with Tim Lambert chiming in every now and then with a gem of his own)!

    And you guys humour and encourage them by replying seriously and politely. Come on, enough already!

  34. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Oct 8, 2005 at 7:22 AM | Permalink


    Are you purposely trying to be ironic, or does it just come out that way? Obviously your message doesn’t add to the advancement of the scientific knowledge of tree-ring methodology and statistics, the primary purpose of this site. As such it fits perfectly under your rubric of “usual gibberish” except that you’re not a “usual suspect”. So welcome to the USA (Usual Suspects Association).

  35. John A
    Posted Oct 8, 2005 at 8:06 AM | Permalink

    Re #33

    Of course the usual suspects are here.

    BTW the Exxon check is in the post.

  36. Posted Oct 8, 2005 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

    On my blog I made a very clear case why the limitation of fossil fuels would prevent us from releasing enough CO2 to cause the atmospheric concentration to exceed 400 ppmv:

    A case for the 400ppm CO2 limit

    Of course, if the CO2 is capped below a pretty reasonable value, then all discussions about global warming is meaningless. Meanwhile, the quick depletion of oil resource is an unprecedent, and IMMINENT threat to the very survival of human civilization! I wish we spend more time debating the problem of oil depletion, which is much more meaningful and relevant, rather than global warming, which is irrelevant and meaningless and purely hypothetical.

    Sure the CO2 is probably increasing at 1.5 ppmv per year, and it is probably due to burning of fossil fuels. But the matter of fact is we do NOT have many years left which we can burn fossil fuel at CURRENT RATE, which is 31 to 40 billion barrels of oil per year, and an equal amount of coal.


  37. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Oct 8, 2005 at 9:26 AM | Permalink

    Re: 36

    I read the blog. The entire basis of the argument is estimated conventional oil reserves. There is no mention of natural gas or coal reserves. There is no mention of tar sands or oil shale. There is also no mention that current known reserves may be underestimated.

    Estimated reserves are a minimum, not a maximum.

  38. TCO
    Posted Oct 8, 2005 at 9:34 AM | Permalink

    My question (and suspicion) are reasonable. What I’m asking helps me learn more to judge the relevance of the award. This is the same mindset that Steve shows when he considers likely places for shenanigans in the climate record papers.

  39. ClimateAudit
    Posted Oct 8, 2005 at 12:54 PM | Permalink

    The prize is the Glazen Griffioen 2005, which I googled to Dutch sources. There’s a machine translator at that does Dutch to English (probably one at google as well.) Here are a couple of links.

    De jury, onder leiding van Wim T. Schippers, bestond dit jaar uit Adriana Esmeijer, directeur Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds; Govert Schilling, journalist en voorzitter Vereniging van Wetenschapsjournalisten; Peter Karstel, opleidingscoàƒ⵲dinator Journalistiek, Hogeschool Windesheim Zwolle; Wilbert Spooren, hoogleraar Taal en Communicatie Vrije Universiteit; Mark Traa, redacteur wetenschap HP/De Tijd en freelance-medewerker van onder andere dagblad Trouw en Suzanne Weusten, adjunct-hoofdredacteur van De Volkskrant.

    The jurors are identified as:
    Wim T. Schippers
    Adriana Esmeijer, director of the Prince Bernhard Cultuurfonds;
    Govert Schilling, journalist and president of the Association of Science Journalists;
    Peter Karstel, training coordinator, journalism, Hogeschool Windesheim Zwolle;
    Wilbert Spooren, hoogleraar Language and Communication, Free University (Amsterdam);
    Mark Traa, science editor HP/De Tijd and freelance-medewerker of among other things daily Trouw
    Suzanne Weusten, adjunct-hoofdredacteur of Volkskrant

    I have never heard of any of these people in climate skeptic activities. Their titles all suggest that they are civilians.

  40. Posted Oct 8, 2005 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

    Wim T Schippers is writer, comedian and between 1995 and 2002 presenter of the National Science Quiz, (and also the dutch voice of Ernie of Sesame street)

  41. Doug Z
    Posted Oct 8, 2005 at 5:00 PM | Permalink

    Dave Dardinger wrote:


    Are you purposely trying to be ironic, or does it just come out that way?..snip..As such it fits perfectly under your rubric of “usual gibberish” except that you’re not a “usual suspect”. So welcome to the USA (Usual Suspects Association).

    Yes, of course Dave, you’re right. If I complain (once) that the likes of TCO (9 times in one thread), Lambert, Hearnden (is he still around?), etc, continually hijack threads with their predictable, repetitive ad homs and other pathetic smears then I’m as bad as they are. A bit like if someone gives an award to a skeptic then he must be a skeptic and thus the award is meaningless.
    Actually, if someone dares to put forward a disenting view about global warming, then he is a skeptic and thus his comments should be disregarded.

    I wonder if people like Steve M get sick of being accused of being corrupt?

    Anyway, you’re wrong about something – I won’t become a member of your Usual Suspects Association. This is the last you’ll hear from me. I don’t have anything relevant to say so I won’t say it. I just wish that TCO would do the same.

  42. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Oct 8, 2005 at 5:51 PM | Permalink

    You’re confused, Doug.

    TCO isn’t a warmer. Nor was I picking on you. I just couldn’t figure out what group you belonged to exactly, since you were unhappy with TCO, so I was trying to be ironic about the fact that logically you own attempt to ‘clear up’ the board instead clutters it up. You don’t, of course, even have to look at the responses to get the vast majority of the material of direct scientific interest on the site. Occasionally some material of interest also occurs in the discussion, but it’s pretty rare. So if you don’t like chit-chat and attempts to understand the posts in more detail, just keep to looking at Steve’s main posts and ignore the rest. BTW, I regard my main, self-imposed “duty” here is to be sure that the warmer critics who snipe without any attempt to discuss the actual material which has been posted, have a price to pay, so to speak. I don’t actually think Steve much likes it, but I, like you, think he spends too much answering questions just designed to make him waste time.

    As for TCO, I agree that the “effect” of his (or her; someone did remind me off-line that the response to my post accusing him of being a warmer in drag could be interpreted as meaning he is a she), posts is to waste some of Steve’s time, but he either likes TCOs posts or bears the response duty manfully and with a happy face.

  43. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Oct 8, 2005 at 8:34 PM | Permalink

    TCO reads my posts – he’s probably read more posts than anyone else – and comments on the content. He’s also cheerful. I’ve got lots of time for that. As to his questions on the Dutch jury, it seems fair enough to verify that it’s not cooked-up by skeptics – which it wasn’t.

    Doug Z, thanks for the support and please post up anytime,

    We wrote about Lambert and thus can hardly get too self-righteous about him posting back. I don’t think that he’s done himself any favours by the nature of his feedback. I think that that particular hand has mostly played itself out.

    This is thanksgiving weekend in Canada so I’m probably going to be offline for a couple of days.

  44. JerryB
    Posted Oct 8, 2005 at 8:44 PM | Permalink


    Enjoy the festivities; you have more than earned it!

  45. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Oct 9, 2005 at 2:40 AM | Permalink

    …Dave, you’re right. If I complain (once) that the likes of TCO (9 times in one thread), Lambert,Hearnden (is he still around?), etc, continually hijack threads with their predictable, repetitive ad homs and other pathetic smears then I’m as bad as they are.

    Name’s Peter, and it’s a bit pathetic using surnames so pejorativley…Crikey even John ‘A’ sometimes uses my first name 😉

    I am around, and atm I’m daring to put forward a dissenting voice about the clearly awful Jaworoski paper. I didn’t mention it first but I responded to a post about it. Is that not OK? I think light is being shed on it. Is that not OK?

    Oh, and where have I, or indeed anyone, accused Steve of being ‘corrupt’? How can he be ‘sick’ of something that I can’t remember happening – at least in comments here? I see NO evidence of corruption, I do see the work of a very fine mathematician clearly (if only based on sheer output) on somewhat of a mission. Fair enough, we all think we’re right, you certainly do.

  46. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Oct 9, 2005 at 7:18 AM | Permalink

    Peter, I just went back and re-read the entire thread where you’re supposedly putting forward a dissenting voice. In fact what you did is chime in to follow up on what Hans Erren had been saying for quite a number of posts and claim a debunking of J which you didn’t go to the trouble of citing (someone else did a number of posts later) and then after a number of people had looked at the debunking (well TCO and I chimed in anyway) and after a good bit of discussion [of the possibilities as to gas sample contamination and stomatal variation which you didn’t contribute anything to] resulted in Jim (who I gather must be the one who wrote the debunking), coming in and presenting his side as to why J was wrong per higher past CO2 concentrations, and Hans concurred, you did a little cheerleading as is your wont.

    Maybe “Hearnden” isn’t fancy enough for you and you should be referred to as “Herr Doctor Professor Peter von der Hearnden auf die Mann” or “Pete” for short, but an actual CONTRIBUTION to the discussion would be appreciated instead of the superficiality and “Authoritarianism” you have shown up to now.

  47. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Oct 9, 2005 at 10:46 AM | Permalink


    You certainly have the right to “put forward a dissenting voice about the clearly awful Jaworoski paper.” I have criticisms of the paper. I believe that it contains a lot of data, and I would prefer to see more graphics. Well crafted graphics make an author’s points better than presenting the same information in words. A prime example of this is the primary reason for this blog: MBH98’s “Hockey Stick” graph.

    The negative comments which I have read on ZJ’s papers do not address his main points, but rather they nitpick at side issues. In their criticisms, the self named “debunkers” use far too many logical fallacies in their arguments. When someone resorts to a logical fallacy to make their point, I agree with Jeremy Bentham.

    Where are the arguments from the “debunkers” describing how the ice cores have been protected from contamination?

    Where are the “debunkers” descriptions of the analytical techniques used in quantifying ice core CO2 levels? Which instruments were used? How were they calibrated?

  48. Louis Hissink
    Posted Oct 10, 2005 at 5:53 AM | Permalink

    Interesting post by Tim Lambert, and caused a predictable diversion.

    10,000 Euro’s was the reward for exposing the hockey stick as “crap”. Marcel deserves every centime of that reward.

    I wish that looking for diamond mines in the West Australian Yilgarn were that remunerative!

  49. Louis Hissink
    Posted Oct 10, 2005 at 5:55 AM | Permalink

    Sorry, renumerative,…….

%d bloggers like this: