As sad as John's passing was to our community, he did an excellent job of passing the torch on before he left us. There was only one unresolved pull request from him (we are still working on it, actually), and he selected an excellent person with almost as many commits as him to take over. Michael Drottenboom has been doing an excellent job, and our developer base has actually grown a bit. Of course, we would love to have some more people involved, but there is absolutely no uncertainty in our community with regards to the future of matplotlib. Have you tried out the experimental WebAgg feature? Pure awesomness.
Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!
We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).
No LOL... you claimed that I said that there were so many problems that I wouldn't know where to start. That is not what I said, and I even provided a starting point. I pointed out a problem with your dependence upon using the press as the bona fide source of scientific consensus. Others have pointed out errors in other statements you made. Furthermore, you still fail to understand the distinction between a press release from a single scientist or scientific entity (be it a journal article or an article in a newspaper) as opposed to true scientific consensus. Just because it was published doesn't make it a part of the scientific consensus. As I stated, subsequent vetting of some of those ideas have resulted in finding flaws in the research, but you almost never hear of those articles in the press. Meanwhile, the vetting of other articles have yet to find significant flaws and the information has been subsequently been used in other research and proved valuable.
Of course, just because someone publishes an article claiming to find a flaw in someone else's research does not necessarially mean that the original research was flawed, either. That article has to be vetted as well. Science is slow, tedious, and a lot more ambiguous than the media has made it out to be.
There was a time when, based on their observations, scientists thought there were canals on Mars. The reception of that news was probably mostly positive too.
Actually, that was a result of a misunderstanding of the Italian word "canali" that resulted in a translation into English as canals. *Some* English-reading scientists then made the logical leap that the canals must be made by intelligent life. As soon as better telescopes became available, it was found that the original observed canali were an optical illusion, and the scientific community as a whole dropped the false canals idea.
Then there's the fact that global warming causes *everything*. Warm winter? Global warming. Terrible winter with lots of snow? Global warming. Bad hurricane? Global warming. Few hurricanes during the season? Global warming.
Every single thing in that list has been attributed to global warming in the press.
Emphasis mine. There are a bunch of other issues with what you have said, but I wish to focus on this: "in the press".
Academic discourse does not take place in the press. Just because a researcher publishes a single article in a scientific journal does not make it automatically a part of the consensus. It takes years of subsequent vetting to verify or refute the claims made in the article. I will tell you that in the current scientific discourse, we have found several of these claims to be bogus or unsubstantiated, but other claims have so far stood the test of scrutiny.
Link to Original Source
Link to Original Source
For the raw data that was freely (as in gratis and libre) available already, several other research groups have taken their published methods for quality-control and duplicated their results for that data. For the data that was not freely available, there were some groups that purchased the data themselves (much of this data was always available for purchase) and reproduced and published results as well.
On top of that, there were other research groups that performed "quality-control and analysis" on completely different sets of data, and their results agree well with results published by others. Note that I said the results "agree well" with each other. They are not perfect matches, and where there are differences, subsequent research and analyses have yielded refined methods and results. Think of it as a large bootstrapping problem.
Now, you ask that how do we know that the analysis was done in a fair and objective manner in all places? Well, we could never be 100% sure until each and every single datapoint has been vetted and doing this is now easier than before (not that it was impossible to do before). However, analyses and research on the published datasets have not revealed any such tampering so far, therefore *I* am fairly confident that it didn't happen. If you are not convinced, then feel free to take these datasets and others and perform the analysis yourself. Just remember to publish your findings whether they are for good or naught.