Reversing Curie

The online journal Frontiers promises open access and peer review. They have recently published Stefan Lewandowsky’s paper ‘Recursive Fury: conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation’.  So yes, access there is pretty open. Not so sure which peers reviewed this one, though.

In it, Lewandowsky describes the reactions of commenters to the publication of another paper, “NASA faked the moon landing|Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science”

This paper was based on an internet survey so bad that it beggars belief. Invitations were posted on the websites of climate activists and Lewandowsky and John Cook of Skeptical Science discussed the survey and nudged activists to go over there and phony up the results. They did.

Lewandowsky is a charlatan. His latest paper, co-authored by John Cook, is a flight of fantasy that ignores the fact that most of the comments that he labels ‘recursive fury’ were polite mentions of the fact that he Cooked the books in his survey–a survey he claims is published, but is not.

I play a minor role in this. As someone who has worked in the field of online research pretty much from the day online research started, I have participated in literally thousands of online surveys. I commented on Lewandowsky’s weblog posts concerning his survey, pointing out some of the (many) issues with what he had done and asking for a look at the questionnaire.

Lewandowsky deleted all of my comments. And his latest paper, which has a Data Supplement showing the ‘recursive fury’, which apparently means cherry picking a few of the comments he didn’t like, doesn’t mention my deleted comments for some reason.

In addition to biasing the sample, Lewandowsky presented different versions of the survey to respondents coming from different websites. His ‘conspiracists’ from the skeptic world were outnumbered by ‘conspiracists’ from the climate activist community. He has not published the data, despite promising to do so and claiming that he has.

He has clearly read the criticisms of his paper–indeed, he includes some of them in his data supplement. So there is no real reason to excuse him for what he has perpetrated on the scientific community in his latest effort.

Online Ed Fraud

He’s not doing either his field or science in general any favors. In fact he’s helping destroy a tradition and methodology that has advanced human progress immeasurably.

He doesn’t care.

43 responses to “Reversing Curie

  1. Hi Tom, I remember during the original dust-up that someone was prepared to bring his fraudulent work to the attention of his superiors at the U of W Australia. Are you aware of any response from the university?

  2. uknowispeaksense

    Hilarious. As a victim of heavy censorship at Bishop Hill, JoNova, Climate Audit and being banned from WUWT this post tickled my funny bone. Take any screenshots of those comments you claim he has deleted? The correct course of action for you though given your extensive research background and your serious accusations, is to write a rebuttal and have it published, preferably in the same journal. Unless of course you also think peer review is fraudulant.

  3. re comments on Landowski et al .:
    “As a professional market researcher with over 18 years of experience conducting online surveys…””

    Thank you for the edifying revelation of your metier.

  4. uknowispeakNONsense~ your comments at those sites, like certain substances unfortunately stepped into, were best scraped off and left behind. Say something with actual content, and you might get thru.

    • uknowispeaksense

      Leaving the juvenile and extremely unoriginal altering of my pseudonym aside, did you actually see the comments or are you just assuming that they were lacking in “actual content” based on your own prejudice? I would hate to think you are commenting out of ignorance. But, let’s talk about hypocrisy shall we? What “actual content” can you claim in your comment just now? I think I raised a valid point about the correct course of action to take when objecting to the methodologies in a peer-reviewed paper or when making accusations of scientific fraud. Do you have anything of value, perhaps with some “actual content”, to say about that or perhaps you’d like to engage in some more childish behaviour?

      • uknowispeaksense, you proved yourself to be a malicious troll last September on this topic. No one owes you anything based on your prior behavior. Out.

      • uknowispeaksense

        A “malicious troll”? Really? September? If you say so Bob. I guess I’ll just have to take your word on that. But if I’m a malicious troll, why are you bothering to respond to me? I think I’m asking a legitimate question and rather politely too. All I have got so far is childishness from Otter and now your troll accusation. If you don’t have an actual answer to the question, don’t bother responding.

      • uknowispeaksense, you are not making sense. It would be very easy to write a paper refuting Lewandowsky et al. Sadly, they have not made the data available for inspection. Of course this means that nobody serious will take them seriously. However, it also means that their paper cannot be rebutted.

      • uknowispeaksense

        The data is available in the supplementary. Presumably though you have no problems with the methodology or classifications they used? You don’t need data to rebutt that. The claim being made is that of scientific fraud. A very serious accusation that……cynics throw around quite lightly everytime they see a paper they don’t like. But here’s the kicker, if you don’t have the data as you claim, how do you know its fraud?

      • lol. Thanks for the morning laugh.

  5. I get the impression that Lewandowsky represents a cohorts of academics whose defining moment came with a whiff of teargas on the quadrant and who have never matured past that point — despite becoming a privileged part of the establishment that they once abhorred.

  6. In Lewandowsky’s world, according to his own selection criteria as demonstrated in his own data, anyone who disagrees with his work or his methods or even offers ideas on how to improve it is a conspiracy kook. Apparently more than just Betts are guilty of being conspiracy kooks. Anyone who dares disagree with Lewandowsky is a kook.
    Climate science is the word of God, and Prof. Lewandowsky is the chosen infallible defender of the right interpretation of God’s word. We must all kneel before His greatness.
    Tom, keep up the good work. Your patience with the trolls is amazing.

    • uknowispeaksense

      Congratulations on coming to that conclusion without reading the paper. The 6 classifications he used were already well established in the literature. He merely sorted them into their groups. He also used predetermined search criteria to select comments….I’m not going to explain it to you. The paper is freely available. Read it.

      • I did read it, self-declared professor. It is utter crap.
        Do you read, or has tenure in your school allowed you to become a completely fallow jerk?
        You do not seem capable of reading that according to the ‘well established critera’, major figures on the same side of AGW belief as you and the paper’s authors are declared to be conspiratorial for merely offering criticism on the style and methods of the paper.
        So my critique of the paper, as circular tripe and shallow posing, stands.
        And your ignorant defense of it simply means you are at home in such shallow reactionary waters.
        You sound a lot more like what we in the USA would accurately figure to be yet another Community College teacher pretending to be a professor, than any sort of actual academic. You and Lewandawsky have it all:
        Pretense to expertise outside your area of training, abuse of process, deceptive practices, grandstanding, confusion of opinion with fact, inability to read or think critically and assignment of motive, along with redefining words, terms and meanings as camoflage to rationalize your position as unquestinoable.
        Troll on, neverwuzzer.

      • uknowispeaksense

        “Pretense to expertise outside your area of training, abuse of process, deceptive practices, grandstanding, confusion of opinion with fact, inability to read or think critically and assignment of motive, along with redefining words, terms and meanings as camoflage to rationalize your position as unquestinoable.”

        You got all that about me from a few comments in here? Impressive. Tell me, what deceptive practices have I engaged in? What words, terms and meanings have I redefined? What processes have I abused? Actually, feel free to give examples for all your claims about me.

      • Not really impressive. You are just very obvious.
        A troll is as a troll does, and you are a troll’s troll.

  7. Tom, I’m sorry but I have to agree with uknowispeaksense on this one. These papers by Lewandowsky meet all the criteria and academic standards required in the field of Climate Science. They are, in fact, exemplary of the field as a whole and show us the respect Climate Science deserves in the greater community of science and public administration.
    Now, some might say that Climate Science is too important to join fields that have adopted similar rigor – such as ufology, crystal healing, and anti-GMO research. But this really is a choice to be made by qualified climate scientists. unknowispeaksense is correct, as I will show with an analogy. The only reasonable way to debunk a particularly bad paper in the science of Big Foot would be to write a rebuttal paper and submit it to a respected Big Foot journal where it can be peer reviewed by competent Big Foot researchers. This is how science works.

    • uknowispeaksense

      I teach a Diploma level course at an Australian university called “Understanding Science” and there is a whole section on the difference between science and pseudoscience. You clearly don’t know the difference and you are more than welcome to attend.

      • Your students should sue you for malpractice.

      • And do you present Lewandowsky and Cook as examples of science to your students?

      • uknowispeaksense

        Given that I base most of the course around climate science and they have an assignment where they have to examine the credibility of climate science denier arguments, we haven’t really examined much in the way of motivation behind climate science denial, just the difference between good science and bad. That said, I think that using the Lew et al paper is a great idea. Thanks. I’ll run it by the school and see if I can work it into the course for next semester. I’ll be sure to credit you for the idea.

      • Jeff,
        This neverwuzzer probably holds up Gleick as an example of excellence in activism.

      • I pity your students. Somebody probably tells them they are getting an education… I’ll commiserate with them next time they are driving my taxi to the airport.

      • uknowispeaksense

        That’s sort of clever. Not very original. I’d give it maybe a 5/10. Why would they drive your taxi? You can drive it yourself. See what I did there? I crack myself up sometimes.

      • Thanks for the credit! I think it’s a great idea. Really. It will be illuminating to the students with potential. Who’s your guest lecturer for the critical thinking portions of the class?

      • uknowispeaksense

        You see, now that was much cleverer than the taxi joke. It actually made me laugh. Well done.

      • I try. It’s much more fun to disagree w a sense of humor. In all seriousness, I hope the ongoing hoo-ha in Anthropology is a case study in your class. Whatever side your on there it is a fascinating debate.

      • uknowispeaksense

        You’ll have to fill me in there. Which debate in Anthropology? There’s always a few. I am tempted to look at the “Hobbit”.

  8. I am astonished that the world wastes even one drop of virtual ink on Lewandowsky.

  9. Does ‘Uk now I speak sense’ have any relationship with Prof.Lewandowsky? If so, and as a Lecturer in Science (which I would hazard a guess includes methodologies), what does he feel about this papers reductionist approach to classifying individuals from many cultures and backgrounds in a small amount of pigeon holes? As a health professional in Psychiatry I always find this a strange idea that people can be classed in such a way.

  10. Lew & crew are at a similar point in the AGW debacle where Sen. Joe McCarthy was in the Red Scare when he claimed to see commie plots in every part of life. Lew & crew are seeing evil conspiratorialists in every e-mail that dares to disagree with them. And if they have to ‘salt the mine’ to illustrate their point better, well it is all for a good cause. Just peter Gleick or the late Dr. Schneider about the importance of being….flexible…..in the important work of silencing climate denialist scum in the employ of the Koch Brothers and Big Oil. Lew & crew are clearly upholding that tradition and exploring new frontiers to add to it.

  11. Tom,
    What’s up with CG3? Are you and Steven going to just walk away from it?

    • Bit busy these days, although my taxi did go past the statue of liberty this morning…

      I think Mosh is doing something…

      Sent from my iPhone

    • The reason that I’m not excited about Climategate III is that the people who should have read all those books (including the well edited Crutape Letters) and articles didn’t. People who already had a poor opinion of Jones, like myself, acquired a poorer opinion.
      The only way I see any minds changing now is for the stereotypes to be broken down.

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  13. “Frontiers in Science” have just published a correction of one of the errors in “Recursive Fury”. I’ve just posted a comment suggesting they correct another, which consists of a truncated conflated, moderated and then unmoderated quote which amalgamates something Tom Fuller says with a comment from me.
    I’ve pointed out that since the paper consists of dozens of such errors, they might do better to withdraw the whole paper.

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  15. Pingback: Lewandowsky Timeline | Geoffchambers's Blog

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