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« Taking the fight to the enemy | Main | Bishop Hill, Guardian blogger? »
Thursday
Mar212013

Lewandowsky and Cook in spectacular carcrash

There has been great hilarity overnight, with Stefan Lewandowsky and Skeptical Science's John Cook making complete fools of themselves again.

It started when Barry Woods was examining the supplementary data to Lewandowsky's latest paper, the one that analysed sceptic reactions to his previous carcrash paper on various blogs and tried to present these as evidence of "conspiracy ideation". Among the comments categorised as "Espousing Conspiracy Theory" was this one:

The thing I don't understand is, why didn't they just make a post on sceptic blogs themselves, rather than approaching blog owners. They could have posted as a Discussion topic here at Bishop Hill without even asking the host, and I very much doubt that the Bish would have removed it. Climate Audit also has very light-touch moderation and I doubt whether Steve McIntyre would have removed such an unsolicited post. Same probably goes for many of the sceptic blogs, in my experience. So it does appear to that they didn't try very hard to solicit views from the climate sceptic community.

Unfortunately, this was written by Richard Betts, the very mainstream head of climate impacts at the Met Office. Oh dear.

Richard seems somewhat taken aback, quizzing Skeptical Science's John Cook, a coauthor on the paper:

Hi , why was my comment here "espousing conspiracy theory"?! That's just crazy.

Cook, a winner of the Eureka award for advancing climate change knowledge, offered this hilarious response, pretending that a comment that had been categorised by him and his coauthors was "raw data":

supplementary data for Recursive Fury are any comments *related* to particular theory. It's raw data, not final paper.

The Universities of Western Australia and Queensland must be very proud.

The final word should go to Richard:

Here at Aug 31, 2012 at 9:00 PM. Lewandowsky et al clearly deluded!

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (82)

I think Geoff Chambers preceded Barry on this one. He'll be able tell you who spotted what in what order. See Lew’s Crew: The Plot Sickens. But hilarity it has been.

Mar 21, 2013 at 9:04 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Consider that John Cook of the SkepticalScience blog is much too deeply conflicted, and implicated in documented conspiratorial behavior, to be an appropriate investigator in a "scientific" study of human subjects already affected by his previous behaviors:

Behind the scenes at Skeptical Science

Opengate - Josh 158

Michael Mann and SkepticalScience: well-orchestrated

Having been instrumental in creating actual, documented conspiratorial behaviors of considerable interest to visitors on this and related blogs, Cook then pretends to do "scientific" study of later so-called "conspiratorial ideation" -- without adequate disclosures of his own central role in demonstrating conspiratorial behaviors to the "human subjects" who are then to be studied.

Cook has polluted the pool of research subjects and comprehensively influenced the subjects he then purports to study. Surely research ethics standards for human subjects must have something to say about what Cook has done.

Mar 21, 2013 at 9:46 AM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

I've been having a somewhat one-sided dialogue with UWA - involving a complaint about a complete distortion in this paper of a quote I made on Loony Lew's blog, Shaping Tomorrow's World (or "Tomorrow Belongs to Lew" - as I like to think of it).

Brandon Shollenberger dug it up at WUWT recently.

Although I didn't get an apology from them, they removed the offending reference from the pdf & print version of the final published paper but, with the competence that has come to characterise the Abbott & Costello of climatology - they left it in the online version.

Barry & Geoff's revelation that the Comedy Climate Kings have "outed" Richard Betts as a "conspiracy motivated denier" is the delicious cherry on the cake.

Lew & Cookie have certainly now earned their place in the hall of academic fame - people will still be chuckling at their names when Popper & Feynman are but faint memories.

In case anyone's interested - I hope Bish doesn't mind if I post an anonymised version of my UWA correspondence here for the record.


Dear Ms XXXXX WITHOUT PREJUDICE

I was disappointed not to receive any acknowledgement of, or response to my follow-up email of March 11th (attached).

I was also surprised and very disappointed to discover yesterday that the paper concerned has now been published online on the Frontiers in Personality Science and Individual Differences website - including the reference to the offending falsified quotation by me.

http://www.frontiersin.org/Personality_Science_and_Individual_Differences/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00073/full#note4

I note however that the pdf version of the paper, linked alongside the online version, has had the offending quote removed - presumably as a result of my complaint.

This raises several serious issues:-

1. The fact that the falsified quotation, attributed to me, has been removed from the pdf (and presumably print) version of the paper shows that someone (author, publisher or academic institution) has acknowledged that the quotation is false and represents academic fraud and possibly libel.

2. The fact that someone else has decided nevertheless to include the falsified material in the widely read online version implies that they did this in full knowledge that it was false and therefore removes any possible defence of accident or error.

3. The fact that there are now several versions of the final, published paper in circulation, each with different content, makes it academically worthless and it should be withdrawn from the peer reviewed literature forthwith.

4. The fact that the paper record version of the paper was changed without any apology (or indeed any communication) to me or any public announcement or record of the change shows extreme bad faith on the part of the authors, publishers and academic institutions involved - and the continuation of the offence in the online publication exacerbates this bad faith.

I would appreciate an immediate response to this email with an explanation of what has happened and an indication of how you intend to resolve it.

Yours sincerely

Foxgoose


From: foxgoose@hotmail.co.uk
To: xxxxxxx@uwa.edu.au
CC: xxxxxxx@uwa.edu.au; xxxxxxx@uwa.edu.au; xxxxxx@uwa.edu.au
Subject: RE: Academic Misconduct
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2013 15:32:55 +0000

Dear Ms XXXXX

Thank you for your prompt reply, confirming that you will investigate my complaint.

I understand your reservations about my anonymity and I am taking legal advice to see if my interests would be best served by agreeing to waive this under some kind of confidentiality agreement.

I think there are two distinct aspects to my complaint which might be better treated separately:-

1. The fact that the paper took a comment I had made and applied in in a context which gave it a completely different meaning seems to be a relatively simple case of academic misconduct. It is a question of the researcher taking a piece of data and changing it to match his requirement - in much the same way as a dishonest medical researcher might change a response figure in clinical trials or a physicist might change the value of an instrument reading to confirm a required result.

The fact of the misconduct is made quite clear by comparing my original statement, in the context in which it was made, with the text of the paper - which ascribes a completely different meaning to it. I would have thought that the university would need to address this matter, simply to preserve its own reputation for academic integrity.

It seems to me irrelevant whether you become aware of this misconduct via an anonymous informant or a named one - the facts speak for themselves.


2. The issue of whether I have suffered damages as a result of the paper is obviously more personal and complex. Although I use an anonymous username for internet discussions, I also correspond with influential people in this debate using my own name and I believe that the "conspiratorial" view ascribed to me in this academic paper could certainly damage my reputation with them.

This is particularly true since the individuals I correspond with under my own name are aware of my professional and business history which includes an engineering degree and senior positions as chief executive or chairman of several technology companies. Furthermore - the fact that the fraudulent quotation appeared in a peer reviewed academic paper bearing your university's inscription gives it an authority and longevity which means it could be quoted indefinitely in the future as part of the scientific record. I therefore consider the damage I have suffered considerable and, if this is confirmed by legal opinion, I will waive my anonymity and pursue action in my real name.

Bearing in mind the above, my suggestion would be that the paper be immediately withdrawn or amended with an announcement and apology to me in my username on an appropriate public website - to correct the clearly fraudulent statement covered in 1. above.

You could then await a legal approach from me, in my own name before dealing with the issue of libel and damages. I would appreciate your confirmation of whether you agree with this approach.

Yours sincerely

Foxgoose

From: xxxxxxx@uwa.edu.au
To: foxgoose@hotmail.co.uk
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2013 16:13:16 +0800
Subject: Academic Misconduct

Dear Sir/Madam,

I write to confirm receipt of your complaint made by email on 10 March 2013. Your complaint in reference to the recent paper by Professor Stephan Lewandowsky and Dr John Cook has been received under the Public Complaint Policy and details regarding the policy and procedures can be found at http://www.complaints.uwa.edu.au/home/general

The University does not generally act on anonymous complaints but we will look into matters raised to consider if a more formal review is required. If you choose to remain anonymous you must realise that the University’s ability to deal with your complaint may be proportionately diminished.

The matter you have raised will now be sent to the relevant, senior member of staff for their consideration. Please note that with only this email address as our contact information with you, there will be some limits as to what can be communicated. If you have any questions about the process, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Regards, XXXX

To xxxxxxxx@uwa.edu.au, xxxxxxx@uwa.edu.au, xxxxxxxx@uwa.edu.au, xxxxxx@uwa.edu.au

Dear Mr XXXXXXXX

I understand from your university's website that you are the manager responsible for human research ethics at UWA.

Apparently a paper titled "Recursive fury: Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation'" was recently published by a group of your academics led by Professor Stephan Lewandowsky and Dr John Cook.

The subject matter of this paper lies in a controversial area, where certain academics who are enthusiastic about the need for political responses to potential climate change have decided that those who remain unconvinced may be motivated by irrational psychological responses - rather than simply holding opposing opinions.

Unsurprisingly, this theory has produced vigorous and sometimes vituperative debate, on internet discussion sites, between the academics concerned and those they consider irrational. As in many web debates, a substantial number of those involved, including a number of respected academics, use anonymous usernames rather than real identities.

I am writing to you with such an assumed identity and it may well be that you feel that fact alone is sufficient to ignore this communication. I would urge you however to read it in its entirety, even if you choose not to reply, since it involves a matter of serious academic misconduct.

The essence of the matter is that the paper referenced above contains blatantly fraudulent statements, achieved by taking comments made by myself and others on internet sites completely out of the context in which they were made and applying them to different situations.

The complete background can be read on this website post, include a detailed comment by myself this evening explaining my particular complaint.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/09/stephan-lewandowsky-and-john-cook-making-things-up/


I think the fraud involved in this paper is so self-evident and blatant that it must be retracted and I would appreciate confirmation from you of the action you propose to take.

I should say that I think it may be unlikely that I could pursue a civil action for libel of an anonymous username - but I do intend to discuss this with my solicitors next week and, if this is a possibility I will be in contact with you again using my real name.

I am also in touch with some of the other individuals who were libeled, some under their real names, and you may soon be hearing from them.

I would however urge you to give me the courtesy of a reply to this email since the academic fraud involved here is a serious ethical issue - regardless of its effect on individuals.

Yours sincerely

Foxgoose

Mar 21, 2013 at 10:08 AM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

Some people might want to know the journal is still taking comments on this paper. Since I get a name check in the same column as Richard Betts I've posted a question there. :)

Mar 21, 2013 at 10:08 AM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Criticizing a post that exposes conspiracy ideation is clearly a sign of conspiracy ideation. People, we are all just burying ourselves even deeper.

Mar 21, 2013 at 10:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterLuis Dias

I am the very model of a modern Cook-Lewandowsky...

I better stop right there.

Mar 21, 2013 at 10:19 AM | Unregistered Commenterredc

I've just had this awful vision of poor old Richard strapped into a ducking stool, over the ornamental pond outside Julia Slingo's office ......

"I'm sorry Richard but once someone has been denounced as a denier - we have to follow procedures."

Mar 21, 2013 at 10:22 AM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

I've just had this awful vision of poor old Richard strapped into a ducking stool, over the ornamental pond outside Julia Slingo's office ......

Yes indeed. I'm sure Sir John Beddington is speed dialling Julia Slingo right now and shouting

“What on earth have you idiots been saying?” :)

Mar 21, 2013 at 10:26 AM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

The Bishop is frantically trying as hard as he can to distract attention away from the obvious truth. The obvious truth is that Richard Betts is a big-oil-funded mole within the climate science establishment. Thanks to Lewandowsky for his brilliant detective work which led to exposing Richard!

But, I fear that there's more. Perhaps there's a whole fifth column of people like Richard?

Mar 21, 2013 at 10:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterSara Chan

@Sara Chan. You have along way to go to catch zbd, I would give up whilst you can.........

Mar 21, 2013 at 10:34 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohnnyrvf

Foxgoose - from the UWA (and you), "..the recent paper by Professor Stephan Lewandowsky and Dr John Cook.."

"Dr" John Cook. Really? What the hell in? Time to hand my bit of paper back in I think.

Mar 21, 2013 at 11:06 AM | Registered CommenterGrantB

@johnnyrvf
That was <sarcasm>! Apologies for omitting the tags.

Mar 21, 2013 at 11:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterSara Chan

GrantB not Dr Cook at all , so they could not even get that right ,unless his claimed its so and then been stupid enough to believe him.

Mar 21, 2013 at 11:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

OK who do I complain to?


Lewandowsky even CHERRYPICKED PART OF MY COMMENT, his supplementay data (url below) he quotes me.

http://www.frontiersin.org/Journal/DownloadFile.ashx?sup=1&articleId=40138&FileId=2676&FileName=Data Sheet 1.PDF&contentType=Data Sheet&contentTypeId=6&version=1

"someone has looked at the data. and the conclusions and title of the paper are utterly fraudlent. ie 45 out of 48 those that reject climate science REJECT the moon landing conspiracy theory" - Barry Woods

the url provided in the supplementary data didn't work for some reason, so I had had a search for my comment and found he had selected part of it.


MY full comment was actually this, which backs up my statement, whilst linking to an analysis of Lewandowsky's actual data for LOG12)

Barry Woods (Comment #102532)
September 2nd, 2012 at 3:53 am

someone has looked at the data. and the conclusions and title of the paper are utterly fraudlent. ie 45 out of 48 those that reject climate science REJECT the moon landing conspiracy theory

Looking at the data, those that most strongly ‘reject’ climate science, ALSO strongly reject ALL the conspiracy theories…

extract below:
http://manicbeancounter.com/2012/09/01/lewandowsky-et-al-2012-motivated-rejection-of-science-part-3-data-analysis-of-the-conspiracy-theory-element/

So what of the conspiracy theory that most the moon landings were faked? The one in the title “NASA faked the moon landing:Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science“

45 out of 48 of those who dogmatically reject climate science, also dogmatically emphatically reject the conspiracy theory. The two who score 4 are rogue results.

In fact, the response is pretty emphatic in every group. Consider the abstract.

We additionally show that endorsement of a cluster of conspiracy theories (e.g., that the CIA killed Martin-Luther King or that NASA faked the moon landing) predicts rejection of climate science as well as the rejection of other scientific findings, above and beyond endorsement of laissez-faire free markets.

Let me be quite clear. The title of the paper makes a false claim from authors with an agenda of silencing opponents. It is entirely without any proper evidence.

The other eleven results are below

well worth a look at the pivot tables in the above link


------------------------------------

That was MY FULL comment is at Lucia's here:

http://rankexploits.com/musings/2012/multiple-ips-hide-my-ass-and-the-lewandowsky-survey/#comment-102532


;-) ;-) This is beyond satire, who will psychoanalyse these troublesome activists psychologists.. ;-) ;-) !

Mar 21, 2013 at 11:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

It's OK Sara, I think most of us got it...just don't put those stupid "sarc" tags on your post, they are for the ironically challenged.

Mar 21, 2013 at 11:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterBuffy Minton

Is there a plain English version of this story - I don't understand a word of it!

Mar 21, 2013 at 11:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

don't put those stupid "sarc" tags on your post, they are for the ironically challenged.

They are required on WUWT, else you get flamed by the ironically challenged Americans.

Mar 21, 2013 at 11:42 AM | Registered Commentersteveta

Buffy,

If one's comments can be construed incorrectly, they will be, even here. As the web never forgets, any comment you make can be used as evidence against you, as this BH post demonstrates.

Mar 21, 2013 at 11:50 AM | Unregistered Commenterssat

I think that just observing who 'defends' whatever LewCookie attempt to present as an argument pretty much decides who are the real nutters.

I am a bit disappointed that so few in the warming community have latched on to his 'peer reviewed science'(!), although they so eagerly want to elevate 'published' to the gold standarad (replacing reality and observations). Off(!) course Michael Mann did, but are/were there many more in his camp?

Mar 21, 2013 at 12:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

Mar 21, 2013 at 11:41 AM | Charlie

Is there a plain English version of this story - I don't understand a word of it!

I'll have a stab:

*Climate alarmist and Australian social science academic writes a paper claiming to shows that conspiracy theories predominate among climate sceptics.

*The paper uses data from on-line surveys.

*There is clearly no attempt to control the rigour of his papers' surveys, and essentially no real understanding of who saw which questionnaire and when remains to this day.

*Many people point this out, and other problems, in detail.

*Climate alarmist and Australian social science academic produces a second fast track paper, via a new open source website, which uses the widespread criticism of his first paper as "data". The new paper alleges that the criticisms of his first paper show a "rejection of science" from sceptics.

*Climate alarmist and Australian social science academic includes prominent climate scientists in his list of people who have said something that fit this rejection of science category ;)

Mar 21, 2013 at 12:09 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

The Leopard In The Basement,

So, if you don't agree with what they say, it's proof positive of you being a nutter and makes their case.

Would this be what's known as confirmation bias?

Mar 21, 2013 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered Commentercosmic

Mar 21, 2013 at 12:20 PM | cosmic

Would this be what's known as confirmation bias?

I'm only a layman I'm not qualified to say. :)

Mar 21, 2013 at 12:24 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

The oddest thing is not who he picked to label as a conspiracy theorist, but why.

Read again the quote.

Apparently simply making a comment/suggestion about how this study could be better performed, is enough to make you a conspiracy theorist.

Thus, anybody who does not accept lewandowsky's work uncritically is a conspiracy theorist whose views should be disregarded. Presumably this logic would also extend to anybody who peered reviewed lewandowsky's papers?

It seems that lewandowsky has just proven himself scientifically infallible.

If you disagree, or doubt, you're a lunatic conspiracy theorist.

Mar 21, 2013 at 12:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterCopner

Mar 21, 2013 at 12:24 PM | Copner
If you disagree, or doubt, you're a lunatic conspiracy theorist.

Well, sadly, that seems to be the default position for Climate Science™

Mar 21, 2013 at 12:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterBuffy Minton

All this talk about conspirasy is clearly subconsious project since neighter Lew or Cook can be oblivious to climategate. Someone, maybe a psychologist, more likely a psychiatrist, should write a paper on that.

Mar 21, 2013 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered Commenternormalnew

Oh, my. How embarrassment (as Effie, a Greek/Australian who translates literally, would say).

Lewandowsky is a third-rate academic from the US who lucked into tenure at the once reputable University of Western Australia. Cook, sadly is one of our own.

The whole notion of academics using their taxpayer funded sinecures as launching-pads for their personal views needs urgent attention.

Mar 21, 2013 at 12:41 PM | Registered Commenterjohanna

Dr. Lew demonstrates academic integrity and good science the way Peter Gleick demonstrates business ethics and effective communication. They should team up and do work together.

Mar 21, 2013 at 12:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterlurker, passing through laughing

Mar 21, 2013 at 11:23 AM | Barry Woods

the url provided in the supplementary data didn't work for some reason,

On the grand scale of their incompetence, this is very minor point ... but, as I think I mentioned in the discussion thread, what I found (after Geoff had kindly alerted me that even I'd made his Lew's hit-list) is that whenever the URL text is wrapped within the cell, only the first line is hyperlinked. Hence many of his links to actual sources, and all links to his carefully garnered webcitations go nowhere ... unless the reader takes the trouble to manually copy and paste into a her/his browser!

Mar 21, 2013 at 1:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterHilary Ostrov

Judith Curry is included in the data as well.

Last row on pg 3. Her comment qualifies under two criteria.

Mar 21, 2013 at 1:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

KnR

"not Dr Cook at all"

What, not even a Nobel laureate..?

Mar 21, 2013 at 1:14 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Sadly, the idea has already caught hold and is doing its pernicious work.

L&C's idea seems to be that anyone who doubts that the end of the world will assuredly come from releasing CO2 must, therefore, be deranged and so believe all real scientists are in a conspiracy. This was paraphrased to me on the Guardian website.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2013/mar/14/japan-gas-climate-change

The lack of logic involved is staggering. No government is completely decarbonising so that must mean, by the same logic, that all the world's governments are colluding in a counter-conspiracy to doom us all. Which doesn't seem probable.

But I think this shows the idea is only designed to boost the morale of the troops. It isn't meant to be persuasive to the neutrals. It wont be because it's laughable.

Any psycholgists want to study when and why a group wants to turn inwards?

Mar 21, 2013 at 1:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterM Courtney

Sadly, the idea has already caught hold and is doing its pernicious work.

L&C's idea seems to be that anyone who doubts that the end of the world will assuredly come from releasing CO2 must, therefore, be deranged and so believe all real scientists are in a conspiracy. This was paraphrased to me on the Guardian website.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2013/mar/14/japan-gas-climate-change

The lack of logic involved is staggering. No government is completely decarbonising so that must mean, by the same logic, that all the world's governments are colluding in a counter-conspiracy to doom us all. Which doesn't seem probable.

But I think this shows the idea is only designed to boost the morale of the troops. It isn't meant to be persuasive to the neutrals. It wont be because it's laughable.

Any psycholgists want to study when and why a group wants to turn inwards?

Mar 21, 2013 at 1:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterM Courtney

Recursive publishing.

Mar 21, 2013 at 1:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterJan

The Abstract of the Lewandowsky, Cook paper is here:
http://www.frontiersin.org/Personality_Science_and_Individual_Differences/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00073/abstract

which has a link to the Lewandowsky / Cook supplementary day here:

http://www.frontiersin.org/Journal/DownloadFile.ashx?sup=1&articleId=40138&FileId=2676&FileName=Data Sheet 1.PDF&contentType=Data Sheet&contentTypeId=6&version=1

You will find mine and Richard Betts comments in it, with the urls to where the comments originally appeared. It is a spreadsheet layout with heading: Excerpt Espousing Conspiracy Theory

Richard’s comment is under the heading: Didn't email deniers

The paper itself has this to chew over:
http://www.frontiersin.org/Journal/DownloadFile.ashx?pdf=1&FileId=3516&articleId=40138&Version=1&ContentTypeId=21&FileName=fpsyg-04-00073.pdf

CONSPIRACIST CLASSIFICATION CRITERIA
We derived six criteria fromthe existing literature to permit clas-
sification of hypotheses pertaining to LOG12 as potentially con-
spiracist (see Table3). Our criteria were exclusively psychological
and hence did not hinge on the validity of the various hypotheses.


Thus for the purposes of this paper, all criticisms of Log 12, however valid! are used

The original 'moon' paper is here (still in press)

NASA faked the moon landing|Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax:
An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science - Lewandowsky et al (LOG 12

http://websites.psychology.uwa.edu.au/labs/cogscience/documents/LskyetalPsychScienceinPressClimateConspiracy.pdf

my criticism of Log12 (highlighted in recursive fury paper), that by even by the data Lewandowsky provided, it did NOT support the provocative title.!!
my comment was under heading Methodology Flaws:

"someone has looked at the data. and the conclusions and title of
the paper are utterly fraudlent. ie 45 out of 48 those that reject
climate science REJECT the moon landing conspiracy theory" – Barry Woods

Which Tom Curtis at Skeptical Science agreed, in a comment at Lewandowsky’s blog ages ago) and the paper should be rejected on this fact alone, especially as it appeared to be politically motivated

“It is very difficult to believe that the title is anything other than a deliberate attempt to be offensive so as to draw attention to a paper of poor quality, but which is thought to be useful for “messaging” in the climate wars. Let me leave no-one in any doubt. In choosing the title of his paper, Lewandowsky not only acted unscientifically, but immorally as well. It was a despicable act.” - Tom Curtis.

http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/news.php?p=2&t=83&&n=166#1460

Mar 21, 2013 at 2:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Without a suggestion of motivation it doesn't even come close to being conspiratorial. They might have just been lazy or incompetent in their approach.

Hell, it might even be that they didn't try hard to solicit genuine sceptic views because that didn't suit their goal of making sceptics look kooky. As if the whole exercise had any goal other than that, but they'll label you a JFK moon landing denier if you suggest just that.

Other explanations could be that you are biased, prone to premature conclusions, draw long bows etc, it ain't call conspiracy ideation.

Mar 21, 2013 at 2:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveA

Thank you for reminding me of that Tom Curtis quote Barry. One of the best - one of the very few good things to come out of this sorry tale.

Mar 21, 2013 at 2:38 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Come on guys give Lew a break, he maybe a failed academic but his work will be studied and ridiculed for decades to come.

Mar 21, 2013 at 2:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterShevva

Here's another study dripping in every bit as much scientific rigor as Lewandowsky's work:

http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/12838

Mar 21, 2013 at 3:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterJEM

I recommend people go read Brad Keyes rather excellent and pungent comment over at Frontiers.

To call Lewandowsky a quack smears ducks.

Mar 21, 2013 at 3:21 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Glad Richard thinks differently to Stephan Lewandowsky
http://theconversation.edu.au/there-is-a-real-climategate-out-there-4428#comment_14042

Stephan Lewandowsky

Australian Professorial Fellow, Cognitive Science Laboratories at University of Western Australia
. In reply to Ben Heard

Ben, i agree regarding the impossible problem which arises from any kind of direct engagement.

See the comment thread on http://theconversation.edu.au/way-off-balance-science-and-the-mainstream-media-4080 where some of us actually had a fruitful discussion of possible solutions.

Engagement, in my view, is not a solution but just an enormous waste of time.

Mar 21, 2013 at 3:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Actually, Brad Keyes is somewhat unfair to the mad Lew in the "duck" posting.

Brad was commenting on the anomolous position of a psychologist who could say "Engagement, in my view, is not a solution but just an enormous waste of time."

Brad says about the above comment: "He doesn’t see the point, though, of sullying himself by actual *communication* with us."

However, if you look into the source the Lew's comment, he is specifically saying that there is no point in engaging with Doug Cotton.

Which I think means that in this instance, many of us would have to agree with Lew.

Mar 21, 2013 at 4:00 PM | Unregistered Commentersteveta_uk

This is a standard psychological test: 'The Grand Lewandowsky Incompetence Scale', which uses the task of performing an internet survey. This particular illustration is simply an attempt to assess maximal measurable incompetence. I, for one, admire his scientific tenacity and haunting video presence:

http://youtu.be/s4GUMMx4sK8

Mar 21, 2013 at 4:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

Apologies to all for mistakenly awarding Cookie his PhD - I remembered reading somewhere that he'd done postgrad physics & jumped to conclusions.

I noticed a deliciously ironic little further twist in the tale today.

One of Cookie's fan club commentators at the Tree House Club has started inserting 911 "truther" propaganda videos into his comments - suggesting that their side should model their approach on them.


funglestrumpet at 02:02 AM on 21 March, 2013

.....Perhaps this side of the fence should take a leaf out of Architects and Engineers 911 Truth's approach to getting its message across. Imagine something like Explosive Evidence - Experts Speak Out but with climate change as the issue. (Pilots for 911 Truth videos are also interesting to watch, especially for those interested in aeronautics.)

No one over there seems to find this at all unusual or noteworthy however .....Hmm

Perhaps someone could write a paper about it.

Mar 21, 2013 at 4:11 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

Reading the comments at http://www.frontiersin.org/Personality_Science_and_Individual_Differences/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00073/abstract had a death by a thousand cuts feel to it. In the real world this person has became unemployable. I stress real world.

One term that I noted in a comment there that would seem to have much application these days is "Punitive Psychology".

In a post by A. Scott on 06 Feb 2013 at 07:22am

James - the term I have heard used - and I apologize to the source, but I do not remember where - is Punitive Psychology. That is what Mr. Lewandowsky practices almost exclusively.

Mar 21, 2013 at 4:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterMick J

Lewandowsky is all over the media in Australia, and giving talks and the like..
Nobody knows about any of this activist media, and Jo Nova has hard time because of him (he's not so funny in Australia)

Mar 21, 2013 at 4:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Sara,

I was pretty certain it was sarcasm.

[DNFT]

Mar 21, 2013 at 4:28 PM | Unregistered Commentertimg56

I think we should be grateful to the distinguished professor for providing a very useful summary of links to the blogposts that exposed what a complete load of dingo's kidneys his so-called 'research' is.
I am honoured to be listed there in such company along with Richard Betts and Judith Curry and the rest of you (commiserations to those who were left out).
My conspiracy theory apparently was to suggest that people ought to take copies of a self-contradictory sequence of excuses on a SKS thread in case they disappeared; quite ironic that this is considered a conspiracy theory, given the wholesale deletion of all Tom Fuller's comments, and of course the notorious deletion record of SKS.

There is a nice analogy with Marcott et al here. Both papers provided supplementary info files that showed clearly that the original paper was a complete fabrication. I wonder if there is some psychological term for this effect - being so confident that you are right that you provide information that shows you are wrong.

Mar 21, 2013 at 5:45 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

"Sara, I was pretty certain it was sarcasm." --timg56

I thought at first it was Saracasm [sic], but then again, warmists do say such bizarre things, so I moved on without further attention.

Mar 21, 2013 at 5:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

Re: John Cook's "raw data" claim

No, the collage of quotations in their SI is cropped, mangled, and manipulated data, not "raw" data.

They say explicitly that they expect other researchers to rely upon the "data" in their SI in future studies, but by presenting quotations ripped from all original context and nestled into the classification scheme of their SI, the "Recursive Fury" authors have greatly misled any readers of their study and any future researchers who mistake what Lewandowsky et al. have presented as "raw data" -- for instance, any future researcher who accepts the scheme as presented, absent independent information, would take the Richard Betts quote as something intended to substantiate a conspiracy theory. There is no information in the SI to put that quote in the proper context, especially information about the views and background of prominent climate scientist Richard Betts..... whatever he intended as the meaning of that quote in context, clearly it was not to substantiate a conspiracy theory. I suspect he was wondering more about the scientific competence of the researchers.....

Mar 21, 2013 at 5:49 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

Barry W, steveta_uk and others

How about this qoute, also from our conspiracy ideation quote-mining <I>climate expert Lewandowsky, about The Australian:


the australian isn't doing what it's doing "for fun" or because they don't know better. they know. but they have an agenda.

Lewandowsky knows, he just knows as he always has!

Mar 21, 2013 at 5:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

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