Posted by Jeff Id on March 20, 2014
Bishop Hill blog has posted a fun thread on our favorite climate scientist wannabe, Dr. Stephen Lewandowsky. Apparently the moon landing followup psycho-paper was removed from publication entirely. A rare and embarrassing event to be sure. Especially for such strong pro-science individuals as Dana Nuccitelli of Skeptical Science™ (SkS) fame.
We are told from the BH article that the post vanished from their blog shortly after publication. Probably due to the fact that the blatant lack of objectivity didn’t quite reach the bar for a typical SkS post. The whole mess is stuck in the Google cash for us to read here.
My favorite quote in the deleted article is this:
Lewandowsky, known for his creative publication titles, came up with another doosey for the follow-up paper:
I’m glad Lew is known for his titles, cause it ain’t his sciency skills that are going to put food on the table.
Frontiers Bails Out
However, nobody likes being called a conspiracy theorist, and thus climate contrarians really didn’t appreciate Recursive Fury. Very soon after its publication, the journal Frontiers was receiving letters from contrarians threatening libel lawsuits. In late March 2013, the journal decided to “provisionally remove the link to the article while these issues are investigated.” The paper was in limbo for nearly a full year until Frontiers finally caved to these threats.
In its investigation, the journal found no academic or ethical problems with Recursive Fury. However, the fear of being sued by contrarians for libel remained. The University of Western Australia (UWA: Lewandowsky’s university when Recursive Fury was published – he later moved to the University of Bristol) also investigated the matter and found no academic, ethical, or legal problems with the paper. In fact, UWA is so confident in the validity of the paper that they’re hosting it on their own servers.
After nearly a year of discussions between the journal, the paper authors, and lawyers on both sides, Frontiers made it clear that they were unwilling to take the risk of publishing the paper and being open to potential frivolous lawsuits. Both sides have finally agreed to retract Recursive Fury.
It’s unfortunate that the Frontiers editors were unwilling to stand behind a study that they admitted was sound from an academic and ethical standpoint, especially since UWA concluded the paper would withstand a legal assault. Nobody wants to get caught up in a lawsuit, but by caving in here, Frontiers has undoubtedly emboldened climate contrarians to use this tactic again in the future to suppress inconvenient research. Academics also can’t be confident that the Frontiers staff will stand behind them if they publish research in the journal and are subjected to similar frivolous attacks. Frontiers may very well be worse off having lost the confidence of the academic community than if they had called the bluffs of the contrarians threatening frivolous lawsuits.
Hopefully editors of other climate-related journals will learn from this debacle and refuse to let climate contrarians bully them into suppressing valid but inconvenient research.
So it was those evil well-funded skeptics who beat up on the poor government funded science team who brazenly accused a bunch of people of saying and believing things they didn’t, using blatantly fraudulent statistics and making complete asses of themselves, all in an attempt to “discredit” those who recognize that OERVATOINS ARE NOT WARMING AS MUCH AS CLIMATE MODELS!
Not even close.
In the non-government world where people need to produce something functional to make a living, we have a word for non-productive people like Lewandowsky and Dana.
And then we fire them.