‘Real science’

From ‘The most influential climate science paper of all time’, The Conversation, October 8, 2021 (emphasis added):

Manabe, working with various colleagues, went on to write many more seminal climate modelling papers. He set the foundation for today’s global climate modelling efforts. The physics was beguilingly simple so his models could run on these early computers. Yet, by being simple, the results could be understood and tested. His application of these simple models to the pressing problems of today was insightful.

After graduating with a degree in physics over 30 years ago, I chose a career in atmospheric science over particle physics. I always worried about how my applied physics was viewed by mainstream physics colleagues. With a Nobel prize in physics under our discipline’s belt, it gives me and climate modelling colleagues the credibility and recognition we have yearned for: climate science is real science.

The author of the article is a Piers Forster, a professor of physical climate change at the University of Leeds. The part in bold is an unlikely comment from a ‘real scientist’, quite in the spirit of Elon Musk when the latter said in 2018 that nanotechnology is “bs”. But while it’s disappointing to read, considering how it equates scientific legitimacy with winning a Nobel Prize, it may be more useful to interpret the comment as a reflection of how science really works: not by the isolation of facts and discernment of principles alone but also through social acceptance and the (maximal) recognition of one’s peers.