the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Adults in the room?

Posted by Jeff Id on April 6, 2014

Several blogs are already carrying the comment by the journal Frontiers of Science, which appears to be in response to Lewandowsky et ilk’s even-wilder-than-the-paper claims of having their rights suppressed.

(Lausanne, Switzerland) – There has been a series of media reports concerning the recent retraction of the paper Recursive Fury:Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation, originally published on 18 March 2013 in Frontiers in Psychology. Until now, our policy has been to handle this matter with discretion out of consideration for all those concerned. But given the extent of the media coverage – largely based on misunderstanding – Frontiers would now like to better clarify the context behind the retraction.

As we published in our retraction statement, a small number of complaints were received during the weeks following publication. Some of those complaints were well argued and cogent and, as a responsible publisher, our policy is to take such issues seriously. Frontiers conducted a careful and objective investigation of these complaints. Frontiers did not “cave in to threats”; in fact, Frontiers received no threats. The many months between publication and retraction should highlight the thoroughness and seriousness of the entire process.

As a result of its investigation, which was carried out in respect of academic, ethical and legal factors, Frontiers came to the conclusion that it could not continue to carry the paper, which does not sufficiently protect the rights of the studied subjects. Specifically, the article categorizes the behaviour of identifiable individuals within the context of psychopathological characteristics. Frontiers informed the authors of the conclusions of our investigation and worked with the authors in good faith, providing them with the opportunity of submitting a new paper for peer review that would address the issues identified and that could be published simultaneously with the retraction notice.

The authors agreed and subsequently proposed a new paper that was substantially similar to the original paper and, crucially, did not deal adequately with the issues raised by Frontiers.

We remind the community that the retracted paper does not claim to be about climate science, but about psychology. The actions taken by Frontiers sought to ensure the right balance of respect for the rights of all.

One of Frontiers’ founding principles is that of authors’ rights. We take this opportunity to reassure our editors, authors and supporters that Frontiers will continue to publish – and stand by – valid research. But we also must uphold the rights and privacy of the subjects included in a study or paper.

Frontiers is happy to speak to anyone who wishes to have an objective and informed conversation about this. In such a case, please contact the Editorial Office at editorial.office@frontiersin.org.

This statement is in stark contrast to some other Lewandowsky’s claims (rants) which are now known to be complete fabrications:

The strategies employed in those attacks follow a common playbook, regardless of which scientific proposition is being denied and regardless of who the targeted scientists are: There is cyber-bullying and public abuse by “trolling” (which recent research has linked to sadism); there is harassment by vexatious freedom-of-information (FOI) requests; there are the complaints to academic institutions; legal threats; and perhaps most troubling, there is the intimidation of journal editors and publishers who are acting on manuscripts that are considered inconvenient.

Lewandowsky seems posses a singular ability to ignore evidence which does not support his worldview.  I’m no psycho-ologist but it seems clear that his simplified reality is a shelter for him, where he can exist as a white-hat good guy and throw rocks at those who don’t fit his model.

It seems to me that Lewandowsky is dangerously deep in his own imaginations of conspiracy.  How far will a man go who has written several articles to the point with no visible evidence to back his claims up.  In his recent rant, he made the even more ridiculous point that nobody has made a “scholarly” critique of his articles.  The same articles Lewandowsky, and his journal,  recently and consistently have refused to give others any access to the data he alleges created the paper.

UWA Vice Chancellor Johnson Refuses Data Again Again

They even called Steve McIntyre unbalanced in their refusal.  Even one with Lewandowsky’s limitations must recognize that he cannot be addressed in science, if he refuses access to his secret data.  Data which allegedly was used to conclude that many of my favorite scientists, engineers and climate professionals are conspiracy theorists. 

I mean really, this scientist is claiming that his paper is un-critiqued, while simultaneously refusing data to the people who would critique it.

I have to be careful here, or he will assume that I am saying he illegitimately adjusted the data to produce a trend and publish another whacko paper referencing me, in the last continent which will have him.   I wouldn’t put it past him one bit to tweak the data himself illegitimately, but his methodology is so skewed that the data doesn’t require tweaking to achieve his result.   It only needs a few crazy answers created by “internet people” –having fun.  Take it from a blogger, internet people are crazy!!  :D

Not as crazy as Lewandowsky though.

Still, Anthony Watts had the right title for his article: Journal takes Lewandowsky and his supporters to task on ‘threats’ over retracted ‘Recursive Fury’ paper.

It seems to me that the Journal, seeing the continuing ridiculous comments by Lewandowsky and many of his internet advocates, was compelled by the extreme inaccuracy and childish behavior of the authors, to set the record straight. I unreservedly applaud them for taking that step, it restores a modicum of their own credibility in my eyes, yet I am still left with questions:

How did that kind of blatant character attack paper get published in a “scientific” journal in the first place? 

Does the journal recognize this as an obvious symptom of internal problems?

Will the journal take the necessary self-examination steps required to correct the problem for the long term?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


47 Responses to “Adults in the room?”

  1. Skiphil said

    Hi, Jeff — great to see you on the case! fyi, Dana N. has some vague mutterings over at RetractionWatch.com which seem to promise some kind of dramatic response(s) this week from Lewandowsky and friends.

    Oh, goodie!

    The LewSpewCrew will strike again. Here is one of Dana’s comments today:

    The evidence will be forthcoming in short order. Ultimately it’s going to be the authors’ words against the journal’s words, though email exchanges between the two groups support the former, not the latter. So do all public statements except the newest Frontiers comments.

    dana1981

    April 6, 2014 at 2:46 pm

  2. Skiphil said

    and this one in response to one of my comments:

    “Right now we have only statements from Frontiers”

    That’s all you have, and that’s the problem. You’re assuming Frontiers is being honest and accurate in its new statement. You’re only getting one side of the story – that will change next week.

    dana1981

    April 6, 2014 at 2:43 pm
    Reply

  3. Skiphil said

    sorry, meant to leave links for the above:

    http://retractionwatch.com/2014/04/04/journal-that-retracted-conspiracy-ideation-climate-skepticism-paper-says-it-did-not-cave-into-threats/#comment-90046

    http://retractionwatch.com/2014/04/04/journal-that-retracted-conspiracy-ideation-climate-skepticism-paper-says-it-did-not-cave-into-threats/#comment-90047

  4. omanuel said

    Thanks for the posting. Official responses to Climategate emails and federal snooping into the lives of individuals probably increased paranoia in society.

    http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/tag/paranoia

  5. Jeff Id said

    Some of my comments to the journals were fairly strongly worded. Nothing that could be construed as a physical threat although I did state that what the authors wrote about me was clearly libelous and was done with intent to do character harm. I also pointed out that it was against the policy of the journals to name the studied subjects while associating a psychological disorder with them.

    I’m sure from Skiphil’s comments above that Dana and Lew are going to double down.

  6. Skiphil said

    oh and this was one of my favorite moments in this latest fracas, when Dana cried crocodile tears for the journal, worrying that by abandoning LewCrew the journal will “self-destruct” —

    Dana N. at RetractionWatch.com

    It’s just really sad to see Frontiers self-destruct and try to take Lewandowsky et al. down with them. They obviously made a mistake in deciding the paper needed to be retracted. They received more blowback from the academic community than they would have from the denial community had they just left the paper published. Those threatening legal action didn’t have a leg to stand on – UWA’s lawyers knew it. But the journal made the mistake and caved to the threats – and yes, they caved, despite their denial of that obvious fact.

    Now they throw the authors under the bus, claiming their revised submission “did not deal adequately with the issues raised by Frontiers.” I happen to know the authors agreed to all the revisions requested by Frontiers, so if those revisions did not adequately deal with the issues they raised, that’s Frontiers’ own fault for not requesting changes that would satisfy them. To announce that like it’s Lewandowsky et al.’s fault is just despicable behavior by Frontiers.

    The authors and the journal agreed to language regarding the retraction, and now Frontiers has reneged on that agreement too in order to throw them under the bus. It’s hard to think of how Frontiers could have handled this whole fiasco any worse. They’ve made one stupid decision after another, and frankly I suspect they’ve now opened themselves up to legal action by the authors whose legal agreement they broke.

    dana1981

    April 5, 2014 at 12:39 am

    • Timothy S said

      Funny, it is Frontiers own fault that the authors did not have adequate ability to address the issue raised but thought they did. Seen it a million times on test: “But I studied so hard and you failed me.” “Don’t I get partial credit for all this work?” Dana the Defender thinks Frontiers had no right to judge their response inadequate. Almost, feel sorry for him.

    • page488 said

      I can’t believe that somebody out there actually created and mans a blog called “RetractionWatch.”

  7. Skiphil said

    There have been various references in BlogWorld to the (assumed) legal agreement that may have been created between the journal Frontiers and Lewandowsky et al., regarding the retraction.

    Dana claims insider knowledge repeatedly, presumably from the Cook-Lewandowsky nexus, and asserts that Frontiers has violated said legal agreement. We will have to see, right now it is only speculation heaped upon speculation.

    However, it seems to me most likely that the journal regarded the outpourings from the Lewandowsky camp (including Dana N. in his blog at The Guardian) as standing in violation of some aspect(s) of that agreement. i.e., most likely the journal’s executive team, with legal advice, judged that Lew et al. have violated the retraction agreement, and THEN proceeded to “throw (Lewandowsky et al.) under the bus” in Dana’s evocative phrase.

    We will see, when/if real hard info becomes available, but I’m rather confident that the journal did not “self-destruct” and that they have solid grounds for regarding Lew & co. as in violation of the agreement first. Would it come to legal action from the Lew camp? Seems most unlikely, they would have a lot to lose in more intense public and legal scrutiny…. but who knows, there are some very unsound minds in LewWorld.

  8. Skiphil said

    Lewandowsky has now issued a response on some points in a blog article at Shaping Tomorrow’s World:

    Revisiting a Retraction

    Revisiting a Retraction

    By Stephan Lewandowsky
    Professor, School of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol
    Posted on 7 April 2014

    I’m not going to enter any speculation on the accuracy of his narrative or the legal points regarding a document that is not (yet) public. Right now it’s still in a “he said, he said…” impasse without sufficient information in the public realm.

    All I can say is that if Lewandowsky’s account is accurate then the journal may well need to scramble to defend its behavior. On the other hand, most of us have learned not to rely upon anything that issues from Lewandowsky, so we will have to see what other information emerges.

    • Jeff Id said

      If lewandowsky keeps it up, I might start asking for his data. Right now, I couldn’t care less. If he continues acting like a child, it may become necessary to teach him like a child. I have literally zero respect for the left-wing idiot or his current group of friends. They literally believe that they should have full reign to lie in print about whomever they like with no repercussions and should get paid government tax money to do so. I’m not taking much more of it myself.

    • hunter said

      Lewandowsky should quit when he is only so far behind. If he keeps this up he is going to tossed out of Bristol U, and academia as well. Maybe he will be able to get a gig at a Community College when the dust settles.

  9. Skiphil said

    On the current LewSpew thread at Bishop Hill, the ever helpful Barry Woods posted some of the backstory on Lew and the public battles over climate policy. I had not realized that Lew had been so active a controversialist for YEARS. ,He has taken to writing academic psychology papers to smear people with whom he had already had a long-standing adversarial relationship. This is so disgraceful, contemptible, and un-scientific.

    [excerptof the Barry Woods comment]

    In 2010 Lewandowsky organised John Cook to write a book called ‘A skeptics guide to the Sceptics Handbook’ as a counter to Jo Nova’s a Sceptic Handbook. and organised students to hand it out at Anthony Watts/Jo Nova’s lecture at the University. He even organised a counter event the same week.

    I suppose it was only fair, as in 2009, Jo Nova handed out copies of the ‘Sceptics Handbook’ 7 months previously at a debate about climate science with Professor Lewandowsky on the panel.. (bitter opponents then? , absolutely)

    Cook writes that Jo Nova and Anthony Watts are his direct opposition (Yale forum 6 weeks after the Moon survey) and as for Marriott – the Watching the Deniers blogger – one look at his website should be (and appears to be, because I sent links to Frontiers) should give any journal a very serious reason for concern, that the authors might be PERCEIVED as using the journal to go after critics/opposition.

    MY point, Lewandowsky, Cook and Marriot, are just way to close to the subjects they are observing(and are publically atagonistic towards them), any reasonable person can see this, any journal can see this.

    What is not amusing is perceptions that a climate activist professor is naming people in psychology papers, that they have had a long standing very public media battle with (a reader of the paper, would have no clue about this, as it appears that Lew is just an observer) Prior to that event he had slides labelling Jo Nova as a hyper emotional irrational conspiracy theorist.( misogyny as well? white male 50 something privileged Australian Professor).

    • Actually – I first of all, Left the full comment under the Statement at Frontiers!!

      http://www.frontiersin.org/blog/Retraction_of_Recursive_Fury_A_Statement/812

      What is not amusing is perceptions that a climate activist professor is naming people in psychology papers, that they have had a long standing very public media battle with (a reader of the paper, would have no clue about this, as it appears that Lew is just an observer) Prior to that event he had slides labeling Jo Nova as a hyper emotional irrational conspiracy theorist.( misogyny as well? white male 50 something privileged Australian Professor).

      He was pontificating in the media about sceptics being conspiracy theorists, linking to Aids denial, Princess Di’s death, etc months before the survey, his own pet prejudices? and a little bit of confirmation bias, and surprise he goes ahead and ‘proves’ it, with a very dodgy anonymous online survey, (and he and UWA refuse to release the raw kwik survey data for the ‘Mon Hoax’ paper!) held at blogs that hate skeptics, where the intent was so obvious, that people comment – they did not think the hardcore denialists would fall for it……

      http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/08/28/survey-says/#comment-44084

      “These surveys are designed for an outcome, which as was apparent from the reply in first post, and thus in this case for either entertainment or wind-up, or a learning point on who ordered the survey for correct slotting. They’re so transparent.” – ‘Moon Hoax’ surveyed blog comment

      http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/08/28/survey-says/#comment-44097

      “Yeah, those conspiracy theory questions were pretty funny, but does anyone think that hardcore deniers are going to be fooled by such a transparent attempt to paint them as paranoids?
      Also, here are two words that, when put together, ought to make anyone critical of this research: “online” and “survey ” – ‘Moon Hoax’ surveyed blog comment

      http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/08/28/survey-says/#comment-44061

      “You missed the long series of questions about various conspiracy theories. Those were fun!

      In 2010 Lewandowsky organised John Cook to write a book called ‘A skeptics guide to the Sceptics Handbook’ as a counter to Jo Nova’s a Sceptic Handbook. and organised students to hand it out at Anthony Watts/Jo Nova’s lecture at the University. He even organised a counter event the same week. I suppose it was only fair, as in 2009, Jo Nova handed out copies of the ‘Sceptics Handbook’ 7 months previously at a debate about climate science with Professor Lewandowsky on the panel.. (opponents then? , absolutely)

      Cook writes that Jo Nova and Anthony Watts are his direct opposition (Yale forum 6 weeks after the Moon survey) and as for Marriott – the Watching the Deniers blogger – one look at his website should be (and appears to be, because I sent links to Frontiers) should give any journal a very serious reason for concern, that he authors might be PERCEIVED as using the journal to go after critics/opposition.

      MY point, Lewandowsky, Cook and Marriot, are just way to close to the subjects they are observing(and are publically atagonistic towards them), any reasonable person can see this, any journal can see this.

      What makes it really fascinating is clearly Professor Lewandowsky and John Cook do not see this!

      Get some neutral researchers to investigate the blogs, and I have participated in research myself, interviewed by the very ‘warmist LSE, for a research project 3 hours of interview. A number of other UK sceptics were also interviewed), a tonnes of consent forms to sign, an absolute right to pull out and full transcripts to be provided.

      The perception any neutral observe would get, I believe is Lewandowsky et al, are too involved to be perceived as neutral observers.

  10. And the Vice Chancellor turned me down for the data..
    I only found it in my spam folder after I saw Steve Mcintyre blog post about Paul Johnson’s reply to him

    I had asked Prof Maybery, (Head of School, Psychology) a months ago, then a reminder 2 weeks later, but I got a reply from Paul instead..

    his quote to me, is en par with Jones to Warwick hughes?

    From: Paul Johnson

    Sent: Friday, March 28, 2014 8:08 AM

    To: barry woods Cc: Murray Maybery ; Kimberley Heitman

    Subject: request for access to data

    Mr B. Woods

    Dear Mr Woods,

    I refer to your emails of the 11th and 25th March directed to Professor Maybery, which repeat a request you made by email dated the 5th September 2013 to Professor Lewandowsky (copied to numerous recipients) in which you request access to Professor Lewandowsky’s data for the purpose of submitting a comment to the Journal of Psychological Science.

    It is not the University’s practice to accede to such requests.

    Yours faithfully,

    Professor Paul Johnson,

    Vice-Chancellor

    —————————-

    I posted up my emails to Prof Maybery (which prompted this), and my previous email to Prof Lewanadowsky reporting errors in LOG12 (Moon Hoax paper) here,

    http://unsettledclimate.org/2014/04/05/i-requested-data-from-the-university-of-western-australia/

    I told Steve that I had requested data a few weeks back, and it prompted Steve to remind Paul Johnson, that Steve had requested data months previously.
    We both got an email the same day (I think?) from Paul Johnson
    (Pauls, above was politer to me than to Steve)

    Steve did a post as well:

    http://climateaudit.org/2014/03/30/uwa-vice-chancellor-johnson-circles-the-wagons/

    • Jeff Id said

      Thanks Barry.

      Can I ask what your intent is when you receive the data? Are you planning to publish a reply depending on your findings?

      • My intent was only to specifically address the issue that SkS (1 of 8 blogs) did not publish the survey..

        and the key claims that 390,000 people potentially viewed the survey, and 78,000 skeptics viewers (20% sceptical audience) potentially saw the survey.
        the 20% sceptics audience based on a ‘content analysis of Skeptical Science provided by John Cook.

        these figures were some how used(smeared) across all the blogs that participated….

        yet evidence shows (wayback machine) hat this is impossible (and Tom Curtis (sceptical Science has stated it was not held there.

        the raw kwik survey data has the only ‘possible’ evidence to show that it was pubished there. – referring urls from the domain that the participant clicked on..

        I’m requesting the data to see IF it proves me wrong..(ie IF there were hundreds – or even One – response referred from SkS)

        I also requested John Cook’s methodology for the content analysis, so that I could follow his procedure, for each of the 7 blogs that did participate in the survey.
        thus showing the true figures for the survey.

        Erich Eich – editor Psychological Science suggested to me that I submit a comment, I decided to take him up on it – UWA VC Paul Johnson, says, no data

        • Jeff Id said

          Erich Eich and I traded emails where I told him I did not make the statement Lewandowsky accused me of. HIs reply was to tell me that I was wrong in my own opinion of my opinion so Lew was right but they would still take it out.

          He ain’t an unbiased observer himself and I can’t wait to see your comment when you send it.

  11. Another Ian said

    More coming

    http://joannenova.com.au/2014/04/new-lewandowsky-study-finds-uncertainty-monster-under-his-bed-will-cost-billions/

  12. Jeff Id said

    If someone has access to this lewandowsky paper, please send a copy. I would very much like to understand how it doesn’t matter if climate sensitivity is low or not.

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-014-1082-7

    Abstract

    Uncertainty forms an integral part of climate science, and it is often used to argue against mitigative action. This article presents an analysis of uncertainty in climate sensitivity that is robust to a range of assumptions. We show that increasing uncertainty is necessarily associated with greater expected damages from warming, provided the function relating warming to damages is convex. This constraint is unaffected by subjective or cultural risk-perception factors, it is unlikely to be overcome by the discount rate, and it is independent of the presumed magnitude of climate sensitivity. The analysis also extends to “second-order” uncertainty; that is, situations in which experts disagree. Greater disagreement among experts increases the likelihood that the risk of exceeding a global temperature threshold is greater. Likewise, increasing uncertainty requires increasingly greater protective measures against sea level rise. This constraint derives directly from the statistical properties of extreme values. We conclude that any appeal to uncertainty compels a stronger, rather than weaker, concern about unabated warming than in the absence of uncertainty.

    • hunter said

      Not to put too fine a point on it, but the author of that abstract has no idea what he is saying. An engineer or risk manager would find it puzzling in its lack of understanding of uncertainty, risk or risk mitigation.

      • Jeff Id said

        I think he does understand exactly what he’s saying. I also think the reviewers understood exactly what he is saying and I think that there is a lot of this nonsense in climate science. It allows MSNBC and it’s general audience to believe that there are all of these supporting scientific papers for immediate heavy-handed government intervention – based on the science.

        • hunter said

          If the authors “understand it”, they are either delusional or corrupt. Their stated approach to risk is not sane.

    • RomanM said

      Jeff, I don’t have a copy of the paper, but there is a Supplementary document available at

      http://link.springer.com/content/esm/art:10.1007/s10584-014-1082-7/file/MediaObjects/10584_2014_1082_MOESM1_ESM.pdf

      It gives an idea of the flavor of the paper – the approach is heavily mathematical. Although I can’t be completely sure how some of these things are implemented without seeing the paper, but an apparent weakness would be the use of “expert judgments of equilibrium climate sensitivity” to guess a numerical value in nature.

      • Jeff Id said

        Aside from Lewandowsky, I need a primer on subjective discrete variables and how they are handled correctly in statistics. One presented in more detail than – they’re not. I say it a bit tongue in cheek but it seems that there could be defined situations where subjective discrete variables could be reasonably statistically separated. Are there instances, T/F type questions which are subjective that can be reasonably concluded from.

        It seems reasonable that in extreme results, i.e. 90% believe the sky is blue or that gravity is down would be a good indicator of at least what people believe, if not the color of the sky or the direction of gravity. There is uncertainty and biasing present in the phrasing of the question and uncertainty infinite other factors influencing the answers but the result seems fairly obvious. It is actually confusing from that standpoint.

        I mean clearly, Lewandowsky is making quite a career out of stats which I can’t get my head around. This guy is plotting opinions on continuous graphs and applying probability distributions to them, which is clearly and unequivocally nonsense. I’m thinking of having some fun with them but am seriously time-constrained right now.

      • Kenneth Fritsch said

        The other side of that coin is, of course, ignored and that being what is the uncertainty of government mitigation attempts being effective or even probable.

        I am guessing that the point of the uncertainty paper is that with more uncertainty the wider the limits for warming and thus the more likely that with some probability the warming will be at what some expert deems dangerous for human life. Here one would have to get into the current evidence for these worst case scenarios. If we blindly accept expert judgment for the detrimental effects then we have to determine the probability of that judgment being unbiased and correct. What none of us knows with any certainty and will never know is what is human kinds’ limits for adapting. Worst case scenarios in my view would require engineering solutions for climate effects that can be shown to be detrimental and solutions that do not cause other problems. The further these attempts get from government influence the better.

    • Dr C said

      Jeff, I just emailed them to you. Enjoy. (?)

    • Dr C said

      BTW, another article from the ‘didn’t bother killing a tree for it’ version of ‘Climatic Change’ is titled, ‘The importance of reduced meat and dairy consumption for meeting stringent climate change targets.’

      Was it Richard Niemoller who said, ‘First they came for the incandescent light bulbs, and I said nothing. Then they came for the meat and cheese, and I went batshit crazy!’ Or something like that….

  13. Lady in Red said

    The good news is that Frontiers — no one, in fact! — is going to have to “correct the problem for the long term.” Lewandowsky is a one-off, rather like Haley’s comet, not to be seen again, in a single lifetime.

    When he’s finally gone, he will be gone. ….Lady in Red

    • Jeff Id said

      Frontiers let this thing trough review when it was so obviously an unscientific attack on those who believe in free market economics and who don’t believe in climate mitigation as a good approach. I don’t see much apology for that from them for that.

      I wish it were a one-off but when there were several co-authors willing to put their names on it and at least one reviewer who is proud to have let the thing through.

  14. hunter said

    Lewandowsky is doing a meltdown on a scale of Capt. Queeg.

    • Skiphil said

      the strawberries, the strawberries! who stole the strawberries….. poor Lew, he needs to be the focus of his own kind of human subject study, soon!

      Lewandowsky as Captain Queeg:

      “Ahh, but the strawberries that’s… that’s where I had them. They laughed at me and made jokes but I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt and with… geometric logic… that a duplicate key to the wardroom icebox DID exist, and I’d have produced that key if they hadn’t of pulled the Caine out of action”

  15. Skiphil said

    Not only does the Lewandowsky et al. approach to “uncertainty” (his most recent two papers) give them carte blanche to spend trillions of dollars in re-shaping the world to their preferences, but they have previously announced that they aim at …. “Shaping” …. “Tomorrow’s” …. “World” …. (that is the very title of their blog):

    http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/

    So what skeptic could possibly be sufficiently grandiose in “conspiracy ideation” to deal with people who have already announced their explicit intentions to (re-)shape the entire world?? Lewandowsky et al. have interfered to widely influence the very circumstances they purport to study objectively and scientifically.

    [the following cross-posted with Climate Audit]:

    A general point that I have not seen emphasized (I may have missed it): Lewandowsky et al. intervened pervasively in the materials of their “research” by first founding this blog with the grandiose title “Shaping Tomorrow’s World”…. They announce that they intend to shape (re-shape) the world, then pretending that they had not provoked the very critical responses they pretend to “study”….

    Merely that title, never mind the many vitriolic and alarm-oriented screeds which they published there before and during their so-called research, propounds their comprehensive goal of…..

    “shaping” …… “tomorrow’s” ……. “WORLD”

    So first Lewandowsky, Cook, Skeptical Science moderators, et al. issue declarations of their intent to “shape” the very “world” in which we all live.

    Then they attempt a study which is supposed to be scientific analyzing critical responses to their own grandiose pomposity.

    Talk about injecting themselves and their ideas into their own subject of study, and then pretending to “research” the critical responses.

    • Skiphil said

      a different example:

      Karl Marx famously said, ““The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.”

      (“Theses on Feuerbach”)

      These words are even inscribed on his gravestone.

      Now suppose that Marx or any of his followers had started railing against anyone who objected to their plan to “change” the world by publishing pseudo-scientific “research” in psychology journals etc. (well had such existed at that time…during most of the 19th century psychology was still treated pretty much as un-empirical philosophy)

      Suppose that Marxist psychologists had raged that anyone who objected to their grandiose plans to “change” the world must be in the grip of “conspiracist ideation” with delusions of “nefarious intent” … “unreflexive counterfactual thinking” …. “must be wrong” …. “nihilistic skepticism” …. “nothing by accident” …. etc.

      My oh my, such Marxian psychologists would have a field day giving pseudo-psychological explanations for every form of intellectual and scientific criticism of their plans.

  16. Jeff Id said

    A trackback was left to a different LEW article.

    http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2014/04/09/frontiers-of-intimidation-what-a-controversial-papers-travails-teach-us-about-libel-laws-and-publishing/

    It seemsed kind of interesting so I left this comment at that thread and wonder if it will make it through moderation:

    I think it is important to look at the reasons for the warring hoards. People seem to think it is only politically based and should be ignored but that is only part of the story and they are missing the point. The reality is that the science has become corrupted by the politics, and only a cursory reading of the paper being discussed here reveals that fact.

    Basically, we don’t know much about climate change as a species. We do know it will warm but everything after that point is unknown. Damages, danger, magnitude etc.. The truth is that nobody knows and the other truth is that the VAST majority of even politically chosen climate scientists agree with my statement here. People like myself who point out these facts are dangerous to the politics, not the science, and to find your name in a paper written on another continent is surprising in itself. Finding it in another continent in a Journal where you are being deliberately mischaracterized for political gain is something else entirely.

    Frontiers made a mistake in publishing this paper both from a scientific perspective and from an ethics perspective. They should be thoroughly embarrassed at using their journal for yellow science.

  17. kuhnkat said

    “We remind the community that the retracted paper does not claim to be about climate science, but about psychology. The actions taken by Frontiers sought to ensure the right balance of respect for the rights of all.”

    What exactly, is this supposed to be telling us?!?!

    • HaroldW said

      In their latest, Frontiers tries to clarify. My interpretation: Because the paper claims to be about psychology, it has a responsibility to protect the subjects of its study. A paper on climate science has no such obligation, because its subject is inanimate.
      [Editorial comment: in my view, the paper is not really about psychology; rather it's a not-so-subtle ad-hominem against skeptics, summarized as "they're all crazies, don't believe a word they say about the science. Or the politics. Or me, by the way."]

  18. Kenneth Fritsch said

    “How did that kind of blatant character attack paper get published in a “scientific” journal in the first place?

    Does the journal recognize this as an obvious symptom of internal problems?

    Will the journal take the necessary self-examination steps required to correct the problem for the long term?”

    Jeff, I have been emphasizing the same points in the few comments I have had on this issue. I have major reservations about what Frontiers has done in originally publishing this psycho- babble and then in attempting to remedy it. It appears that they reacted only after being reminded that feeling people were being maliciously defamed as a means to an end. As I posted at the Blackboard. the authors and Frontiers need to issue a full apology explaining were their actions were ethically improper and how psychology was abused.

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