Tom Curtis Writes

While CA readers may disagree with Tom Curtis, we’ve also noticed that he is straightforward. Recently, in comments responding to my recent post on misrepresentations by Lewandowsky and Cook, Curtis agreed that “Lewandowsky’s new addition to his paper is silly beyond belief”, but argued that “the FOI data does not show Cook to have lied about what he found. He was incorrect in his claims about where the survey was posted; but that is likely to be the result of faulty memory.”

Showing both integrity and personal courage, Curtis has sent me the email published below (also giving me permission to publish the excerpt shown.) While Curtis agreed that Cook’s statement to Chambers could not possibly be true, Curtis re-iterates his belief that Cook is honest, though he is obviously troubled by the incident. Curtis also reports that, as early as last September, he emailed both Lewandowsky (cc Oberauer) and Cook informing them that no link to the Lewandowsky survey had been posted at the SKS blog, only a tweet – a warning inexplicably ignored by Lewandowsky and Oberauer in their revisions to Lewandowsky et al (Psych Science).

Tom Curtis writes:

I have been following up on the issue of whether or not the LOG12 survey was posted at SkS, or only tweeted; and whether or not Cook or Lewandowsky knew that it had only been tweeted. To that end I have made a new search of SkS. When the issue was first raised, I extended your search method by looking not at the home page, but at the “recent articles” in the side bar for a period from Aug 28th to Sept 23rd, 2010. By using the sidebars of particular articles I was able to get continuous overlap and positively confirm that no blog post of the period had been deleted unless it was deleted withing a week of posting, and prior to Sept 23rd. I had written this up in a blog post but did not post it as it was intended as a footnote for a larger blog post that I have yet to complete.

Because of the renewed interest in the issue, I have (as noted) done a new search. In this instance I took a recent (early March) copy of the SkS archive page on the wayback machine. For each article listed on the archive from Aug 28th to Sept 30th, 2010, I found the earliest copy on the Wayback Machine of that article. I then checked that:

1) The preceding post listed in the “recent posts” sidebar was the preceding post in the March 2013 listing in the archive page;

2) That the survey was not mentioned either as a header or footnote;

3) That the date of the earliest copy on the Wayback Machine was close to the date of publication; and

4) That a link to the survey was not placed in the sidebars.

From (1) and (2) I can conclusively say that no post has been deleted from that period, and no post from that period mentions the survey.

With regard to (3), no page I checked was archived more than three days after publication; although I only checked about one in three pages for dating. I am confident, therefore, that if the survey was posted then removed, it must have been posted then deleted in four days or less, which is so improbable as to not be worth considering.

I did not think to check (4) until about a third of the way through, so it is possible that the link was posted in a sidebar on the 28th or shortly after, and taken down within a fortnight. I suspect such a procedure would stick in the mind, and such a short period of posting would be unlikely. Hence, absent contrary evidence this can also be discounted.

The only remaining possibility is that the survey was posted as a comment, then deleted. At SkS, deleted comments are only kept in an archive for a short period. If it was posted by this method, it may still be recoverable from the wayback machine, but given the improbability of the method, absent evidence making it more likely it is.

On the 29th Sept, 2012, I notified John Cook of my original survey, saying:

“I’ve been looking into nooks and crannies with regard to the Lewandowsky survey. One of the things I have found is a continuous record of SkS posts from the 17th of Aug to 23rd Sept contemporary with those dates. Comparison with the SkS archive makes it almost certain that notice of the Lewandowsky survey was not given on SkS during that period. At the same time, notice was given by you on Twitter on August 27th. It may also have been given by you on face book.

I’m letting you know so that you can notify Lewandowsky if you think he may have a need to correct any reference to SkS in his paper, and to ask if you had anything further to add, or whether you would accept that account (notification on twitter but not on SkS) as essentially accurate.”

At about that time, I also notified Lewandowsky in a brief mention of the fact that the SkS notice was by tweet only, but not the means of determining that. The email to Lewandowsky was copied to Cook and Oberauer.

In reply to a recent email, Cook still assures me that the survey was posted on SkS. He also mentions a half remembered email on the FOI release that mentions that posting, but that he cannot find at present.

For my part, I believe he is not trying to deceive. I have had considerable interaction with him as part of the SkS team, and he is, to the best of my knowledge, honest. He is, however, in this case, wrong.

I note that I owe you an apology regarding my response to your posting. Those responses were made in the very early morning (around 3 AM) and, owing to tiredness, I misread Cook’s “forensic evidence statement”. On rereading it after waking, I noted my error and that Cook definitely claims to have forensic evidence of having posted on SkS, which in fact he cannot have had, and certainly not for a posting on Aug 28th. I intend to correct that record publicly, both with a comment at Climate Audit and with a blog post at my blog. In lieu of the comment at Climate Audit, feel free to post all of this email to this point on Climate Audit.


133 Comments

  1. Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 9:17 AM | Permalink

    Tom Curtis says:
    “At SkS, deleted comments are only kept in an archive for a short period.”
    This wasn’t the case last March, because the Treehut Files contain a huge list of deleted comments from end of 2006 to March 2012.

    I’m afraid Tom’s belief that Cook in not trying to deceive is belied by his evasive e-mails to me, which end with this exchange:
    Me: “Can you confirm that his survey was not in fact linked from Skeptical Science?”
    Cook: “I did provide a link to the survey.”

    • Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 9:25 AM | Permalink

      Thanks for pushing on this Geoff, quite rightly. But I take the fuzzy view that Tom’s loyalty to a friend and colleague means that “I believe he is not trying to deceive” is also to be respected. That Tom’s not trying to deceive but that he’s almost certainly wrong, to coopt a recent phrase.

    • MikeN
      Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 9:28 AM | Permalink

      Can you confirm no link from SkS?
      I did provide a link.

      Note the noncontradictory statements.

    • Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 11:26 AM | Permalink

      Separately archived as well, maybe?

  2. Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 9:19 AM | Permalink

    Integrity. What a enormous relief that is.

  3. bernie1815
    Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 9:21 AM | Permalink

    Tom Curtis is a gentleman and scholar and deserves recognition for the same.

    • Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 11:11 AM | Permalink

      I agree entirely with your sentiment.

    • DocMartyn
      Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 11:54 AM | Permalink

      He was right to pass this to Steve and allow it to be posted.
      However, we are in April 2013 and he began his investigation quite some time ago.

  4. Jeff Alberts
    Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 9:27 AM | Permalink

    “the FOI data does not show Cook to have lied about what he found. He was incorrect in his claims about where the survey was posted; but that is likely to be the result of faulty memory.”

    Given how excited Cook was to be working with “Stephen Lewandowsky (Cognitive Scientist)”, the “faulty memory” explanation holds zero water. I’m going with “Fawlty Memory” instead.

  5. pottereaton
    Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

    Note to Lewandowsky: I’ve looked around and Wiki had the best definition I could find: “Lysenkoism is used metaphorically to describe the manipulation or distortion of the scientific process as a way to reach a predetermined conclusion as dictated by an ideological bias, often related to social or political objectives.”

    • pottereaton
      Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 9:32 AM | Permalink

      Pardon me for forgetting to thank Tom Curtis for his devotion to the pursuit of truth.

  6. pottereaton
    Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 9:36 AM | Permalink

    News on this subject from Anthony Watts

  7. Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 9:37 AM | Permalink

    I will add a few comments to those I made to Steve. At the time of those comments, I could not find a full copy of the Chambers/Cook correspondence. Steve pointed me to it, and from that I was able to determine that the existence of a tweet of the survey did not become known generally until after John Cook’s “forensic evidence” post. If he took my view at the time that posting by tweet or on the blog post represented no substantial difference, he could then honestly write as he did based on information about the tweet notification.

    The timing is crucial here, for certainly later Chambers was asking about whether or not there had been a posting on SkS as well as the tweet. Had he been asking that question at the time of John Cook’s “forensic evidence” post, then that post would have been deceptive at best; whereas as it is it merely fails to anticipate an issue that later became prominent.

    Further, John Cook continues to believe (in error) that he posted the survey on SkS as well. Therefore we must presume he has continued to advise Lewandowsky of the same. That being the case, Lewandowsky’s failure to check the record, and merely accepting John Cook’s assurances need not, and probably does not represent deliberate dishonesty.

    On the other hand, it is academically sloppy. The issue was being raised seriously and both Cook and (especially) Lewandowsky should have gone through the evidence as I and others have done to determine the exact posting record prior to publication, and most especially before making an argument that depends essentially on the survey having been posted on the blogsite, and not just tweeted.

    Steve: Tom, I don’t think that you’ve got the Chambers’ timeline right. Chambers had pursued questions about the SKS link in comments at SKS and had been told by moderators to take it up offline with COok. Cook then contacted Chambers leading to the exchange. Chambers’ email questions were specific to the blog link:

    So here are my questions:
    – The date the survey was posted
    – The date the post was deleted
    – Were there comments to the post? If so, how many, and are they still available, or were they deleted along with the original post?

    So the issue of the blog was front and center at the time of Cook’s correspondence.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 9:54 AM | Permalink

      Tom,
      UWA misconduct policies (http://www.hr.uwa.edu.au/policies/agreements/academic) include “reckless disregard for the truth”. They state:

      A researcher or reviewer shall not with intent to deceive, or in reckless disregard for the truth:
      • state or present a material or significant falsehood
      • omit a fact so that what is stated or presented as a whole states or presents a material or significant falsehood.

      It is evident that the statement is false and, in the final publication, is a “material or significant” false statement. The only remaining issue is whether it was made “with intent to deceive” OR “in reckless disregard for the truth”. Given the direct questions at the email, careful analysis of the evidence at Climate Audit and elsewhere (of which Lewandowsky was aware as shown by the Fury SI) and direct warnings, there is certainly convincing prima facie evidence of “reckless disregard”.

      • Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 4:20 PM | Permalink

        Point 2 is commonly overlooked in enthusiasm – or worse – to persuade. People think of point 1, but forget about point 2.

        Off the top, a simplistic example might be:
        “We found deposits rich in diamonds.”
        Without noting that they are:
        – industrial grade so worth less
        – at the bottom of a lake
        – getting at them requires an evern more arduous environmental permission effort than normal for a mine

      • Jambalaya
        Posted Apr 4, 2013 at 1:41 AM | Permalink

        Will someone be making a complaint to UWA ?

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Apr 4, 2013 at 11:33 AM | Permalink

          At least one person has already stated they’re pursuing a complaint with UWA in regards to Lewandowsky et al’s paper.

    • bernie1815
      Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 9:58 AM | Permalink

      Tom:
      Again thank you for your forthrightness. However, Lewandowsky surely can quickly look at the source of responses to determine the number of responses that came from SkS? Is not this one of the underlying issues? When I ran internet surveys for large business publications and clients, we kept track of IP addresses and other identifiers to eliminate duplications and ballot stuffing.

    • knr
      Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 10:09 AM | Permalink

      ‘ that posting by tweet or on the blog post represented no substantial difference’

      In the same way that dogs does not have a substantial difference from cats becasue their both pets that have four legs ?
      Remember the claims are based around ‘blog ‘ postings , Lewandowsky’s work is worth even less without them , its not a insubstantial difference between tweets and blogs in this context .
      Add to that Lewandowsky’s inability to prove he actual posted this survey to sceptical sites in the way he claimed and you can see easily a pattern .

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 10:35 AM | Permalink

      Readers need to remember that Tom continues to strongly hold his views on the importance of climate change as an issue. In addition, Tom has very recently contested my analysis of Marcott in comments at SKS e.g. here.

      • joshv
        Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 11:48 AM | Permalink

        Mr. McIntrye, following the link to Curtis’s comment, and based on various comments I’ve read here – what is your commentary on the following point?

        Tom Curtis wrote: “Very importantly, the comparison between modern (2000-2009) temperatures and Holocene temperatures is not based on the uptick, which Marcott et al described as not robust. Rather, they are based on the HadCRUT3 instrument record for 2000-2009 which is compared statistically to the probability distribution of Holocene temperatures are reconstructed in Marcott et al. Thus, the most important graph in Marcott et al is not Figure 1 B (the figure normally shown, and shown above), but Figure 3, which shows the comparison.”

        It seems the uptick in the reconstruction has been abandoned, and Tamino has shown that the re-dating does not substantially affect the reconstruction (other than possibly the uptick).

        It is indeed very odd that the uptick was included in the paper – but it appears that the climate community has “moved on”, and further forensic examinations of the uptick aren’t going to get them to admit to much of anything.

        So it appears to me if you want to attack the conclusions of the paper, Tom’s comment gets right to the core of their claims. I haven’t really seen you mention this point other than in passing and you’ve certainly not examined it in detail publicly here (unless I missed something).

        I don’t pretend to understand their methods, or the math involved, but on its face, the comparison of high frequency instrumental data to a low frequency, smoothed, proxy reconstruction would be at best difficult, at worst impossible. They claim to have somehow reconstructed the historical Holocene variability by calibrating against another proxy study. Have you looked into their methodology as it applies to this result in any detail?

        • pottereaton
          Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 12:06 PM | Permalink

          “It is indeed very odd that the uptick was included in the paper – but it appears that the climate community has “moved on”, and further forensic examinations of the uptick aren’t going to get them to admit to much of anything.”

          That’s analogous to someone causing an injury accident and suggesting that everyone involved just “move on” and forget about it. Of course they want to move. The paper is a public relations disaster, and it was meant to be the opposite.

        • pottereaton
          Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 1:47 PM | Permalink

          It occurs to me that this comment by joshv is off-topic for this post and should be moved over to the April Fools Day for Marcott et al comment area or deleted, along with my reply.

        • joshv
          Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 2:30 PM | Permalink

          @pottereaton – Yes probably off topic. Note that I am no kind of apologist for the hi-jinks that have been observed thus far surrounding the uptick. I would however like to see Mr. McIntyre’s opinion on what they now are claiming was the main point of the paper all along.

        • Gerald Machnee
          Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 4:35 PM | Permalink

          They have changed their mind on the main point of the paper as the up-tick has made them look bad. Well, they can withdraw the paper and issue one without the uptick. They got their publicity on the up-tick so they have to live with it or withdraw.

        • UC
          Posted Apr 4, 2013 at 2:44 PM | Permalink

          Thus, the most important graph in Marcott et al is not Figure 1 B (the figure normally shown, and shown above), but Figure 3, which shows the comparison.

          It is interesting figure, but to me a bit hard to figure out how it was generated. The SI says

          We first high-pass filter the Mann et al. reconstruction, excluding the post-1900 AD interval to avoid the large anthropogenically forced signal over this time (Fig. S21).

          Fig. S21 shows the Mann-smoothed reconstruction as ‘the raw’, but I guess that does not matter here. Large anthropogenically forced signal is removed at this point.

          We then low-pass filter the Holocene stack with a 1000-year cutoff, and add noise to each data point in the resulting time series randomly drawn from the high-pass filtered Mann et al. histogram.

          ‘Randomly drawn’ means that they draw iid samples ( using the histogram and some kind of density smoothing?), resulting a white series with the distribution similar to the high-pass filtered Mann et al. histogram?

          Since it is unclear whether high-frequency variability over the past 1500 years adequately represents high-frequency variability earlier in the Holocene, we also repeat this procedure after widening the high-pass filtered Mann et al. histogram by a factor of 2

          Why 2? Why not 10 or 1.1 ?

          We also add red noise to the Holocene stack using an AR-1 model that yields the same general spectral distribution of power as the Mann et al. reconstruction (Fig. S23).

          Add red noise, make a histogram, draw iid samples, I don’t understand the point of all this… If Mann08 really is perfect reconstruction, then just take the difference Mann-Marcott and use properties of that time-series to analyze the missing variability (*). Then there would be no need to worry about the large anthropogenically forced signal, that will be subtracted out.

          But is Mann perfect? Can we do similar analysis with MannJones03 :

          MannJ03

          Now there is another case of ‘missing variability’, compare the blue curve and the red curve! And I recall the raw-raw high-frequency reconstruction had some serious problems with missing variability in some steps as well:

          HighF19Mann08

          *) But make sure to plot Mann vs Difference to verify that the time series is independent of the true value.

      • Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 2:18 PM | Permalink

        Re: Steve McIntyre (Apr 3 10:35),

        Yep … Tom hasn’t converted to the ‘dark side’ ;-) … which is in my opinion all the more reason to commend him for standing up and looking for the truth here, regardless of “side”.

        Thanks Tom for trying to get to the truth, and to Steve for facilitating the conversation.

    • timg56
      Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 10:46 AM | Permalink

      Tom,

      I would argue that you are being too kind in calling Lewandowsky’s work sloppy. Sloppy implies something that can be cleaned up and still be usefull. Both of his papers are garbage. There is nothing about the data or methods which can be considered of worth. It does not matter how brillant or accomplished one is in their field. You cannot draw valid conclusions from crap data and methodolgy.

      A reasonable person has to wonder how he cannot be embarassed by them.

      • Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 11:38 AM | Permalink

        Worse. Lewandosky increasingly manifests himself as severely obsessive – to a clinical degree. What IS astonishing is that he has any academic credibility whatsoever. Certainly, he has added nothing to any field of study in these two recent “papers”.

        • Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 11:39 AM | Permalink

          Regardless, thanks are due to Tom Curtis for engaging with SM on this matter.

        • dfhunter
          Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 5:20 PM | Permalink

          first, I agree Tom Curtis deserves praise for honestly evaluating the evidence & modifying his initial stance on this debacle & thanks Steve for posting it.

          second – http://jeremyp99.wordpress.com/

          leads to a defunct site – From Rock ‘no Roll to Hip Op, sounds like Steve’s mum & friends might be interested if you started it back up :-)

          ps. re – Lew “What IS astonishing is that he has any academic credibility whatsoever.”

          agreed, I lose faith with all so called scientific pronouncements by the day.

  8. DGH
    Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 9:58 AM | Permalink

    Tom,

    Well done. I hope as open to arguments from the opposite side of any debate as you have been.

    One issue that I am struggling with, what “forensic evidence” do you suppose that Mr. Cook reviewed other than his own emails regarding the tweet?

    DGH

    • DGH
      Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 10:11 AM | Permalink

      Tom,

      John Cook wrote, “The only forensic evidence I could find was the email from Stephan asking for me to post a link and my reply that I posted it on the same day.”

      That’s cannot be true.

      DGH

  9. Craig Loehle
    Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 9:58 AM | Permalink

    Why does this “matter”? Cooks tweet list was pretty much personal at the time, and not likely to have any skeptics. If there was no link on the blog itself, this makes it very unlikely that many skeptics filled out the survey, since SkS is the only site of those posted with even token skeptic visitors (except maybe Junk Science site?). Which means that the odds of the small sample of skeptics in the survey being fake is even higher than the a priori suspicion would be. It is like calling random numbers of land lines to survey college students, but not asking if you have reached a college student, and not realizing that college students mostly only have cell phones, but writing in your paper that you did reach them. It does not matter what you believe as the researcher, you must document what you actually did so your readers can decide whether they believe you and so your work can be replicated.

    • Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 11:41 AM | Permalink

      Exactly. It’s analagous to posting a survey on Manchester City football club on a blog devoted to Manchester United supporters. In other words, a completely pointless exercise.

    • Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 2:47 PM | Permalink

      I like how you put that, Craig. That’s exactly what it’s like. You’ve hit the nail on the head.

  10. lurker, passing through laughing
    Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 10:07 AM | Permalink

    Lew & crew are providing great entertainment value. Of course they are going to use deceptiion and miselading and dissmebling to support the original paper. A phonied up paper can only be sustained by falsehoods.
    Lew & crew are demonstrating a nice corallary of the old saying about “one lie leads to more lies”.

  11. Don Keiller
    Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 10:20 AM | Permalink

    I’m afraid that Cook and Lewandowsky are showing all the signs of what psychologists call
    “Selective Memory Syndrome”.

    Fortunately it is treatable, but first the victims must acknowledge their problem.

    • observa
      Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 7:22 PM | Permalink

      We would all do well to remember that there are all sorts of memories that a particular branch of ‘science’ would rather forget dredging up in a most tawdry episode for their field-

      http://www.fmsfonline.org/

      I have a strong hunch what sort of quack psychiatry and psychology could call forth such an overly hysterical episode with far reaching consequences for the innocent for so long, before the real truth slowly became apparent. It only took one denier to stand up very publicly and call the emperor with no clothes and their quack edifice came crumbling down.

      There’s a definite analogy in there somewhere which escapes me just at the moment.

  12. TerryMN
    Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 10:24 AM | Permalink

    Tom Curtis – add my thanks for your work and honesty with this issue. Given the current status of the “debate” I’m sure it wasn’t an easy thing to do.

  13. Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 10:39 AM | Permalink

    Geoff Chambers, having just perused your full surviving comments at SkS on this matter, I can see no mention of the tweet. Further, the tweet appears to have been first raised here by DGH a day after the posting of an article quoting Cook’s “forensic evidence” post. Further, Steve assures me that post contains essentialy all of the correspondence, and no mention of the tweet is to be found. Absent other evidence, I have to conclude that at the time of the “forensic evidence” post, you were not raising the distinction between posting at SkS and the twitter post. Ergo it should not be interpreted with that background in mind, and hence not interpreted as an assertion that there was “forensic evidence” that the survey had been posted at SkS proper as opposed to posted at one of several SkS sites (blog, twitter, facebook).

    Do you have any evidence that you raised the issue of a posting distinct from the tweet prior to the “forensic evidence” post.

    Steve: the tweet issue was already in play. I’ll look as well.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 11:21 AM | Permalink

      Tom, here is the Cook-Chambers correspondence repeated. I’m looking for the first mention of the tweet by third parties. But even if the tweet had not been located as at that time, the issue was with the blog posting at SKS. Cook’s final email was based on a review of the correspondence and not on a hazy memory. If Cook knew that he had tweeted rather than blogged (as he must have given his review of the emails), then the statements below clearly “omit a fact so that what is stated or presented as a whole states or presents a material or significant falsehood”.

      JC: Hi Geoff, you can email me via this email address if you have any direct questions, although there’s not much more that I can add other than what I’ve mentioned in the comment threads.
      GC: Thanks John
      My interest comes from the fact that, of the eight “pro-science” blogs contacted by Lewandowsky, SkS is by far the most important. One might therefore expect that the majority of respondents to the survey came from SkS (depending on the coverage you gave it, and the date at which you posted it, etc.)
      At two of the six (Tamino’s and Deltoid) there was significant discussion of the survey, with people criticising and taking up positions. This, too, is interesting when it comes to interpreting the survey. So here are my questions:
      – The date the survey was posted
      – The date the post was deleted
      – Were there comments to the post? If so, how many, and are they still available, or were they deleted along with the original post?

      JC: Hi Geoff, sorry for the delay in replying, very behind in my email correspondence at the moment plus for this email, had to fire up the old machine that I was using back in 2010 to find any email correspondence back then. All I can find is an email from Steve on 28 August 2010 asking for me to link to his survey.
      GC: Hi John
      Thanks for the reply. So did you in fact link to his survey? It looks to me that you just forgot and didn’t post the link. So Stephan just assumed you had posted, and put in his paper the reference to eight blogs he’d contacted, including yours and the dormant NZ one. A silly mistake easily corrected. All he has to do is correct the “eight blogs” in his paper to six. Can you confirm that his survey was not in fact linked from Skeptical Science?
      JC: I did provide a link to the survey.

      GC: Hi John
      Any chance of telling us when you put up the link? Sorry to keep pestering you but you are being a bit coy.
      JC: I’ve given you everything I’ve got – I have no records in the blog archives (I searched the database for kwiksurvey, came up empty) so I must’ve either deleted the text link or deleted the blog post once the survey had closed. The only forensic evidence I could find was the email from Stephan asking for me to post a link and my reply that I posted it on the same day.

      • DGH
        Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 12:27 PM | Permalink

        Steve,

        What was the date of the “forensic evidence” email?

        DGH

        Steve: September 7.

      • Dave
        Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 12:37 PM | Permalink

        Re ‘forensic evidence’ can anyone more familiar with Cook’s normal way of speaking cast some light on whether that phrase is likely to have been meant even close to literally, or rather was meant in an ironic sense recognising the low evidential value of what exists? I can’t help thinking that the latter is just the kind of usage I’d come up with – but then I think it’s vaguely amusing to ask how many physicists it takes to rectify a fault with the photon-emission apparatus.

      • Laurie Childs
        Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 12:50 PM | Permalink

        JC: I’ve given you everything I’ve got – I have no records in the blog archives (I searched the database for kwiksurvey, came up empty) so I must’ve either deleted the text link or deleted the blog post once the survey had closed. The only forensic evidence I could find was the email from Stephan asking for me to post a link and my reply that I posted it on the same day. (my bold)

        If JC is referring to his email correspondence with Lewandowsky on 27/28 Aug 2010 (and I think it’s fair to assume he is), then at the time of sending the above to GC, he would have already been aware that he had sent a tweet, as that is discussed in the aforementioned JC/Lew exchange. Yet, in the above email, he is most definitely talking about actual, physical links to the survey on his blog and not a tweet.

    • DGH
      Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 11:26 AM | Permalink

      Tom,

      FWIW During my research I spent a great deal of time in the comments at Lewandowsky’s STW searching the comments for the terms, Twitter and Tweet among others to determine when they were publicly on notice regarding this issue. I found nothing.

      That said, I reiterate my point from above. John Cook wrote, “The only forensic evidence I could find was the email from Stephan asking for me to post a link and my reply that I posted it on the same day.” His email indicates that it was a tweet.

      DGH

    • Skiphil
      Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 12:45 PM | Permalink

      re: Twitter or Facebook vs. SkS

      John Cook’s statement can only refer to a link posted on SkS because he is explicit that “the blog archives” are the relevant source of evidence, not Facebook or Twitter accounts:

      [emphasis added]
      “JC: I’ve given you everything I’ve got – I have no records in the blog archives(I searched the database for kwiksurvey, came up empty) so I must’ve either deleted the text link or deleted the blog post once the survey had closed. The only forensic evidence I could find was the email from Stephan asking for me to post a link and my reply that I posted it on the same day.

      p.s. May I join others in commending Tom Curtis on striving to follow the facts and sound reasoning wherever they may lead.

    • charles the moderator
      Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 3:19 PM | Permalink

      Tom Curtis, if you believe that John Cook had no intent to deceive, then you must also believe that the paper (s) he worked on with Lewandosky were so sloppily prepared that they had no record, no notes, of the origins of their data, such as referral URLs and that Cook’s own review of his own emails is being misinterpreted by himself.

    • Skiphil
      Posted Apr 4, 2013 at 2:59 PM | Permalink

      It is clear that Cook was talking about his “blog archives” which would be SkS.

      Neither Twitter nor Facebook posts would qualify as “the blog archives” (Cook). Surely if he intended to include a posting at Twitter or Facebook the phrase used would not be “the blog archives” —

      http://climateaudit.org/2013/04/03/tom-curtis-writes/#comment-409565

  14. Chuck Nolan
    Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

    Thank you Tom and Steve.
    This is how we learn the truth.
    Let’s wait and hear from from the publisher.
    More than anything science needs honesty.
    I don’t think they can hide from this now.
    cn

  15. Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 11:03 AM | Permalink

    Thank you Tom Curtis

    When we found the tweet (DGH) , Geoff Chambers made every effort to persuade John, a silly over site, tweeted, but link forgotten.. and this is where we end up.. and some serious consequences (Geoff thinks defamed in Recursive Fury)

    The problem for the ‘moon’ LOG12 Lewandowsky et al paper is that it absolutely depends on the assertion that 8 blogs with a diverse opinion were surveyed, and this depends on a content analysis, of Skeptical Science, which doesn’t automatically extrapolate across the other blogs, anyway.

    (perhaps with conformation bias, in coming up with the magic number, then counting stopped, not purposely, but this happens elsewhere as soon as statistical or whatever significance is hit, trial stop, paper published, big issue in bio-med stuff)

    An analysis would be need to be made at each blog, but as we all know, those are on the whole the more antagonistic blogs, towards so called ‘sceptics’ (especially Deltoid)

    Which is presumably why links to the actual surveys were not included in the data for the LOG12 paper. 3 or 4 being obviously much lower traffic than Tamino, Deltoid, (whose readers are deeply antagonistic, only the most masochistic sceptic reads there, and would never trust a survey) and of course all those highly critical comments about the survey at those blogs.

    Without this 20% sceptic – diverse audience claim, the paper is reduced to dust, dominated by a few antagonistic blogs, that are pure anti-sceptic, quotes from people commenting that indicate a bit of gaming’ or fun taken place with the survey. I did in my emails ask Prof Lewandowsky for a break down in numbers by referring url, obvious data to collect, other who knows, 80% tamino, Deltoid took the survey? I did not receive an answer a question I would have hope a peer reviewer would have asked.

    And in 2 instances the author (Lewandowsky was made known) to the blog. as the blog owners themselves also comprise of 5 people that have guest authored at Skeptical Science. all that it was, was a thinly disguised message for the climate wars.. and perhaps with the follow up, and other comments, an attempt to build a body of evidence, naming sceptics, etc as a source of conspiracy Ideation (Recursive Fury) when in fact all the conspiracy’s started a month earlier, in the Guardian,

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2012/jul/27/climate-sceptics-conspiracy-theorists

    or Huffington post, picked up by a few readers one of whom started a discussion thread at Bishop Hill,

    taken over to Talking Climate (Adam Corner,’s blog – and Guardian author of that article)

    http://talkingclimate.org/are-climate-sceptics-more-likely-to-be-conspiracy-theorists/

    The fact that a few of us in that discussion thread turn up in named the data of Recurive Fury, may be of no surprise, with Geoff named in the paper. As, I was known to be a Guest Author at WUWT, perhaps to risky to include mine in main paper, or just watts up was good enough.

    I was the first person to list the url’s of the 6 surveys, – at Bishop Hill and fullset at Talking Climate – (Paul Matthews had posted the 8 domains at No Tricks Zone – we both had asked unknown to each other Prof Lewandowsky for the urls, for BOTH sets of blogs that same day) and asking where is Skeptical Science, as as my email correspondence with Prof Lewandowsky shows, he claimed to have had it, but lost the url, and that maybe that John Cook had deleted it.

    (Losing KEY survey link data in a published paper (and he fussed about people not having 2 year old spammy emails!)

    (who knows, I cannot get into this mindset, of my perception now of apparent retaliation by peer review)

    Thus when a month later the blogs that find themselves named Climate Audit, Watts Up, etc as a source of conspiracy Ideation, had in fact just run a story, and being the must high traffic blogs, readers of the previous blogs, just took the discussion there.. Which also by the way makes a nonsense of Recursive Fury, Lewandowsky, Cook, Marriott (forget the other guy?)

    Perhaps we could have looked forward to M Mann waving this peer reviewed science, that Watts, Mcintyre etc are all conspiracy theorists. look peer reviewed evidence!

    When the paper had a wider press release, (science by Press release (see roger PIleke jnr’s criticism of that) no one checked.

    it is perhaps rather embarrassing now for Dr Adam Corner writing, did not raise a sceptical eyebrow (bet he would if it had said environmentalists) Lewandowsky had sent him a copy before the press reelase over a month previously.. (see comments)

    http://talkingclimate.org/are-climate-sceptics-more-likely-to-be-conspiracy-theorists/

    Luckily, the moon paper did not get beyond all the usual suspect getting excited saying look, ‘peer reviewed science’, sceptics are conspiracy theorist, BUT those saying that were completely unaware of the blogs surveyed and were quickly told, in some amusement, lacking any further knowldege, the soundbite ‘sceptics are moon conspiracy theorists’ went no further, in face of the laughing.

    BUT it was resurrected last wek (and hotthe headlines in Germany, and where else, refereed toin NAture Cliamte change, etc, a whole knew area of research, LGG12 Lewandowsky et al, back to back with Recursive Fury, Lewandowsky, Cook, Marriott et al)

    YET, unbelievably to me LOG12 was published, the aggressive/confrontational title unchanged, and the fact KNOWN that the survey link that the whole paper depended on for diverse audience credibility, was FALSE.

    that takes a certain degree of arrogance, this shows what, to the rest of us, they thought theselves untouchable, they could just bluff it out in the media..

    Thanks to Tom Curtis, I have always only ever learned anything my ‘argueing’ with somebody that I disagree with. (As adults, who respect a difference of opinion)

    must read for background:

    http://talkingclimate.org/are-climate-sceptics-more-likely-to-be-conspiracy-theorists/

    • Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 2:16 PM | Permalink

      I asked for Prof Stephan Lewandowsky for the Skeptical Science URL, he had only provided domain names, he replied he told me it had been posted, he had made a note of it.

      “I worked with John Cook directly at the time and he posted it (and I made a note of it), but I don’t have the actual URL to the survey dating back to the time when he posted it” – Stephan Lewandowsky – August 01, 2012

      I to had never heard of Prof Lewandowsky as far as I recall at the time, I had merely read Dr Adam Corners article in the Guardian and sought to ask the lead author for the identity of the 8 ‘pro-science’ blogs and 5 ‘sceptic blog) blogs. Prof Lewandowsky had sent me the domains names, but not urls’ to the surveys. I had quickly located 6 of them, but could not find 2, I thought that the most high traffic website Skeptical Science was important, especially to see th ecomments! so that I might discuss this with Dr Adam Corner at his blog, where he had reproduced the Guardian article in full (less comments to wade through, 1300+, vs 42)

      http://talkingclimate.org/are-climate-sceptics-more-likely-to-be-conspiracy-theorists/

      This email exchange is below (all emails between us here:)

      http://climateaudit.org/2013/03/28/lewandowsky-doubles-down/#comment-407927

      Also, as you can see, I did not doubt that he ha contacted ‘sceptic’ blogs.

      ———————-

      From: barry.woods
      Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 5:00 AM
      To: Stephan Lewandowsky
      Subject: Links to surverys – Skeptical Science – Guardian Article about you recent paper.

      Hi Stephan

      sorry to approach you one more time.

      I cannot find the link to Skeptical Science survey, this is probably the most high profile blog with the most media/public recognition (i.e. won awards) of the ‘pro-science’ vs. the “Skeptical” blogs
      (I’m guessing Climate Audit, WUWT, Bishop Hill & maybe The Air Vent (ie Condon) and Jo Nova )

      I’ve found six of the links to the opinion surveys, and the range of comments on the blogs are quite interesting as well, did you consider this feedback in the research?
      but, I would expect that Skeptical Science would have the most comments and opinions and probably the largest readership.

      Can you send me the link to the Skeptical Science blog article/comments?

      And was the survey able to capture the referring blog, as this might also give indicators of relative popularity of the blog,
      does the survey break down by referring blog and are these figures available?

      Best Regards
      Barry

      rather than lots of questions, if you have the supporting data, etc in an easily accessible package (without too much trouble for yourself) could you send that as well.
      If not quickly to hand, that’s fine please don’t waste any time, as I’m mainly just curious on the couple of point above.

      there were the links I found:

      http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2010/08/counting-your-attitudes/

      http://profmandia.wordpress.com/2010/08/29/opinion-survey-regarding-climate-change/

      http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/29/survey-on-attitudes-towards-cl/

      http://hot-topic.co.nz/questionnaire/

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

      http://bbickmore.wordpress.com/2010/08/28/take-a-survey/

      I’m missing this blog survey link as well.

      http://www.trunity.net/uuuno/blogs/

      From: Stephan Lewandowsky
      Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2012 11:00 AM
      To: barry.woods
      Subject: RE: Links to surverys – Skeptical Science – Guardian Article about you recent paper.

      Hi Barry, the survey was done about 2 years ago, and I don’t have the link to SkS: I worked with John Cook directly at the time and he posted it (and I made a note of it), but I don’t have the actual URL to the survey dating back to the time when he posted it. I suspect he removed it when the survey was closed because then the link would have been dead.
      Regards Steve

  16. Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 11:18 AM | Permalink

    If, as Tom says, the timing is crucial, it should be pointed out that the first misstatement came from Lewandowsky in a mail to Barry Woods in August, 2012.
    The second was Cook’s reply to me 6th September. The existence of the tweet only became known later via the FOIA material obtained by Simon Turnull recently (Can DGH, who found the tweet, confirm that?).

    Tom says: “If he took my view at the time that posting by tweet or on the blog post represented no substantial difference, he could then honestly write as he did based on information about the tweet notification.”

    But Cook’s confirmatory email to Lewandowsky makes it clear that Cook did not think that a tweet and a blog post were equivalent. The mail from SkS says:
    “Tweeted. I’m hoping to post my own (much simpler) survey online shortly – when I blog post about that, I’ll probably include mention yours at the same time if you like (I’ll show you the blog post when I’m ready to go). Thanks.”

    In his first email to me, Cook said:
    “All I can find is an email from Steve [i.e. Lewandowsky] on 28 August 2010 asking for me to link to his survey.”

    Does that mean he couldn’t find his own reply, in which he said he’d post it at SkS when he put up his own survey, a survey he never did? If he knew at the time he’d only tweeted, why didn’t he tell me so, instead of giving the evasive reply I quote above?

    Steve: the tweet was known prior to Turnill’s FOI. It was reported at CA on Sep 15. I think that it had been known about previously but I can’t confirm that. Update: I can’t find any earlier reference. DGH posted it at CA and did the search himself- so that seems to be the first location of the tweet. I don’t see that this is material to Cook having told a baldfaced lie to Chambers.

    • DGH
      Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 12:22 PM | Permalink

      Geogg,

      The tweets were located using Snapbird only minutes before I posted them on this site. It is unlikely that you will find an earlier discussion of tweet vs. blog. I try hard to make sure that the crumbs I find are new to the conversation. I have gone back from time to time to see if the search engines have uncovered any tidbits that I missed and I have found nothing.

      Barry also located the tweet and you may want him to confirm same with him.

      That said, John Cook read his email and he therefore knew that it was a tweet not a blog post prior to claiming otherwise in the revised Moon Landing. He allowed the paper to be published knowing that the stats on visitors to his site were not meaningful.

      DGH

  17. Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 12:00 PM | Permalink

    Reply to Tom Curtis: (Apr 3, 2013 at 10:39 AM)
    (posted here to keep my comments and my brain in order)

    I’ve only just learned of the existence of the tweet, and have never commented on the “forensic evidence” comment.
    I’ve been back to the SkS article to try and make sense of the idea that Cook: “took [the] view at the time that posting by tweet or on the blog post represented no substantial difference”.

    At

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?p=1&t=155&&n=1540

    right after Tom Curtis’s comment 14 in which he says:
    “Skeptical Science and John Cook are not associated with Lewandowski’s study”

    is my comment 15, to which John Cook replies:
    “Skeptical Science did link to the Lewandowsky survey back in 2010 but now when I search the archives for the link, it’s no longer there so the link must’ve been taken down once the survey was over.”

    If he thought (mistakenly) that he’d posted, and knew he’d tweeted, why didn’t he just say so? He let me post eight questions about the post at SkS, then contacted me for an exchange of six e-mails, without once mentioning the tweet.

  18. Leo Morgan
    Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 12:02 PM | Permalink

    I appreciate Tom’s courtesy in debate. Kudos to him.
    Steve has shown equivalent grace in the face of slander, but there is something especially hard about acknowledging our own mistakes.
    Tom has given proof of his integrity, and therefore I intend to seek out his blog as an aid in my ongoing fight against my own ignorance, confirmation bias, Morton’s demon, partisanship and the temptation to go along with the herd.

  19. Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 12:15 PM | Permalink

    Looking at that SkS thread, and the very fast backtracking between Tom Curtis’s assertion that there was no link between SkS and Lewandowsky’s survey, and Cook’s false assertion a few hours later that SkS linked to the survey, I’m wondering what an FOI request for emails between UWA and SkS for the night of September 1st 2012 would turn up.

  20. Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 1:17 PM | Permalink

    Thank you Tom Curtis for participating in the detective work on the possibility of integrity issues with John Cook’s behavior wrt his alleged posting of the survey on his blog.

    Still, a more definitive statement from John Cook himself about the evidence against him is the necessary step to bring closure to the open issue of his integrity in the matter.

    Without a JC statement within a short time, there will be a tendency for this open issue on the survey to be given more public exposure and to be analyzed in greater depth.

    John

  21. Carrick
    Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 2:00 PM | Permalink

    My respect for Tom Curtis’s integrity continues to go up.

    While you can point to the titles of Lewandosky’s papers as “obvious spin” or distortion of truth, I really don’t think the erroneous assertions at issue here were willful in nature.

    Whether Lewandosky has reacted appropriately when confronted with his mistakes is another issue. Given the emotionally charged environment (that ironically he helped create), I do he should be given a pass on this one.

    There are more important things to consider here than establishing that one of us flawed humans is flawed.

    • Brandon Shollenberger
      Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 2:34 PM | Permalink

      Carrick, I don’t care to accuse Lewandowsky et al of willful distortions. To me, the details of why they did what they did don’t matter much. What matters is their work is shoddy beyond belief, and it paints people the researchers are hostile to in a (often falsely) negative light. Does it really matter whether the problem was willful deceptions or gross negligence/incompetence?

      The authors should never have gotten their work published. They should never have been allowed to do their “research” with utter disregard for basic academic standards. They are guilty of research misconduct.

      That’s what matters.

      • timg56
        Posted Apr 5, 2013 at 11:47 AM | Permalink

        Brandon,

        Your evaluation of the two papers is dead on. As someone involved with 1 – 12 grade science education, I see this as extremely dismaying. The example that has been set by Lewandowsky and his co-authors brings a stink to science and education. The only consolation is that outside of a small circle of folks interested in the climate debate, most people will likely never hear of the guy.

    • Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 4:10 PM | Permalink

      “I really don’t think the erroneous assertions at issue here were willful in nature.”

      Carrick, one of flaws of human nature is that people willfully make erroneous assertions. One of our biggest problems as a species. There is extensive literature on this point.

      Andrew

  22. Tom C
    Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 2:16 PM | Permalink

    Pardon me if I don’t join in the chorus of praise for Mr. Curtis. Lewandosky is a buffoon and the “paper” was absurd in conception and execution. Discussing details of timelines, etc. is a waste of brain waves and bandwidth. So, Curtis has every motivation to “throw him under the bus”.

    Rgarding Marcott et. al., it is plainly obvious that the authors tried to engineer a PR spectacle to bolster the hockey stick claim. All this lawyering is tiresome but apparently Curtis recognizes it as a battle that must be fought. I put him one notch above Stoat, which is not saying much

  23. miker613
    Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

    I guess I’ve said before that I agree with Carrick: People tell lies, they make excuses to cover themselves. I imagine that’s what happened here, and I don’t care that much.

    On the other hand, I think this makes it pretty clear that the “skeptic” responses on the survey were very likely bogus (if that wasn’t clear already). Continuing to publish such a survey – or to quote it – is malpractice and should be called out.

    At the very least, Lewandowsky has an obligation to provide all the information that he has (such as the survey versions) in an effort to support his claim that real skeptics answered the survey. I would think that the burden of proof should definitely be on him now.

    • Carrick
      Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 5:31 PM | Permalink

      mike613, I agree.

      Lewandowsky does have an ethical obligation to update and correct the permanent record here.

      Not doing that is much more serious than providing erroneous information in an email exchange.

      And, unlike the other, it’s not forgivable if he fails to do this.

  24. Salamano
    Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 3:25 PM | Permalink

    Do charges of willful misrepresentation or academic dishonesty really need to be pursued here? Is that going bring long-view benefits moreso than getting acknowledgement of a lesser charge without lawyering?

    Could not Lewnadowsky do some blame-shifting off onto SKS admins for what he was led to believe from them? Even if not, what is the solution of least claim of nefariousness? As Tamino attempted to do with Marcott et al, is the science put forth by the paper recoverable in some other avenue through the data? I suspect since its nearly all the most important data that’s corrupted the conclusions of the paper itself become unprovable even if they still maintain its self-evidency in the blogosphere.

    If it’s that open-and-shut, much like what Mann et al did post 1998, they can simply do a “new” “wider” “better” research project, this time with better methodology but without acknowledging any deficiencies in the prior attempt– and then that new study can “confirm” the results of the previous one. Know what I mean?

    Perhaps Lewandowsky et al, 2014 will generate/confirm their desired results through statistically robust phone surveys instead of anonymous blog volunteers. And then what? They can say that the issues discovered here are completely immaterial, or something.

    • Ray Boorman
      Posted Apr 4, 2013 at 12:27 AM | Permalink

      From comments I have seen by others, one important piece of info available to the researchers is the initiating website for each response to their survey. If so, Lewandowsky would have had that information, & would, if he is a reputable scientist, be able to search every response & quantify exactly how many were from each & every website where the link was posted. If none were from SkS, it settles the question about Cook, & means that more searching questions should be asked of UWA, where Lewandowsky professes to “work”.

  25. jc
    Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 3:28 PM | Permalink

    I am curious as to why my comment at 1.14pm is “awaiting moderation” although it appears (to me) in the body of comments, placed within the appropriate time-frame. Is this being withheld for some reason? If so, why?

    It is neither personal, or, I would have thought, terribly contentious, maintaining simply that people should be judged on their actions without looking for excuses for them. Is this completely unacceptable?

    • Nathan Kurz
      Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 5:54 PM | Permalink

      There are various words that can cause a message to be flagged for moderation. This is an automated process, and frequently gets things wrong. If your message is as you describe, it should appear once a moderator reads it and approves it.

      • jc
        Posted Apr 5, 2013 at 3:50 PM | Permalink

        So it appears someone has made their mind up.

        Original comment having reappeared but still notated as being under moderation, that is, not visible to others. Vanished again. My response to Nathan Kurz about this having appeared as being under moderation: now disappeared. And my comment as follow up that someone needed to make their mind up. Gone.

        The effect being the the extinguishing of my contribution, whatever it might be worth, and the exclusion of me as a legitimate participant. This last, being the only record allowed to be visibly available, confirmed by Kurz’s admonition.

        As I said previously, the personal nature of “Climate Science” – in a Facebook Like/Unlike; school-yard gangs type of way – being a marked feature of the “debate”, this non-exchange also has the characteristic of social niceties played out in the front parlour. Do not make the obvious obvious: that is an affront. Hide the potentially embarasing. To now have the world see this would be mortifying.

        Well beyond the point of no return. In the only important way of course: social positioning.

        I am unfortunate in not having a post-modern, post-normal, sensibility, which allows infinite flexibility. I am condemned to be rudimentary. To me, credibility is not provisional on circumstance, convenience, or cheer squads. It is absolute. It is universal or it doesn’t exist at all.

        Not so in Modern Life. And, it appears, this area of “Climate Science” being the ultimate expression of contemporary standards, desires, and expectations, not so here, whatever side of the fence is guarded ferociously.

        A small education for me as to how pervasive current Best Practice and the instincts behind it are.

        • kim
          Posted Apr 5, 2013 at 4:02 PM | Permalink

          Sometimes a zamboni is just a cigar.
          =============

        • jc
          Posted Apr 5, 2013 at 4:20 PM | Permalink

          Kim

          Pithy. But meaningless to me.

          Like to elaborate?

          Also, should I take it that you act as proxy for McIntyre?
          That your judgements are those being applied? That these are representative of both McIntyre and this site?

        • kim
          Posted Apr 5, 2013 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

          My hat it has three corners.
          Three corners has my hat.
          And if it has not three corners,
          Then it is not my hat.
          ===========

        • MrPete
          Posted Apr 7, 2013 at 6:23 AM | Permalink

          Re: jc (Apr 5 15:50),
          JC,

          This is a high traffic site, with very little resource available for moderation efforts.

          I suspect (but am not certain) that:
          a) Your message(s) contained flagged words that normally relate to religion – a 100% banned topic.
          b) If anything changed, then likely a fly-by moderator quickly scanned and did whatever they did.
          c) I took a quick look, and am not sure what you’re on about, other than your frustration with the inconsistency of moderation in subtle situations.

          Sorry, but I too have no more time at this point. If you feel your post had merit I suggest either reposting and sticking to science… and/or make a specific request to the proprietor of the blog. Steve’s quite reasonable, although it may take time to get back to you.

          (Don’t waste a lot of time noodling over fancy moderation games; nobody has time for that!)

  26. D. F. Seargant Jr.
    Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

    Tom Curtis. A relief to find some water after miles of desert.

    1 in 1000 will always stay true to their ideals.

    He will, unfortunately now be contacted by Deep Throat (AKA The Team) and told “not to interact with skeptics”. “For the good of the community and…..oh, for science”.

  27. Camburn
    Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 4:21 PM | Permalink

    Steve:
    It does no good for some, at least for me, to post a link to SkS. I have been banned there from being “cantankerous” I guess.

    Tom: I commend you on looking into this matter with open eyes.

  28. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 4:37 PM | Permalink

    Tom:
    RE: . **I do not expect that to be recognized at Climate Audit, however, where the focus is always on one sidedly nitpicking errors (even those that don’t exist), rather than on actually discovering facts about the world.**
    So what errors do not exist????

  29. Fred Voetsh
    Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 5:40 PM | Permalink

    Can other people verify my finding that RealClimate.org tends to reject comments that are in any way anti-CAGW and that make sense? In other words, they do approve anti-CAGW comments if they make skeptics look bad but they reject most others.

    I am not in a position to do so but perhaps someone could initiate a well-documented study showing the tendency of various climate sites to accept/reject comments that go against their perceived bias.

    • miked1947
      Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 6:45 PM | Permalink

      SOP at RC since 2005 and probably longer.

    • Skiphil
      Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 6:45 PM | Permalink

      OT (but perhaps useful): Fred Voetsh,

      I don’t follow RealClimate closely, but over time I have seen numerous “skeptic” or critical comments re-posted on other sites (after being deleted or bore-holed at RC) that were clearly polite, on-topic, and factual. RC moderation tends to mutilate challenges and challengers. Same with SkS moderation (and Lewandowsky’s “Shaping Tomorrow’s World” policy blog).

      otoh, I have seen many RC threads replete with “fan” comments which are sneering, non-factual, non-scientific, and/or abusive.

      There is a huge double-standard at RC in favor of its acolytes and against its critics.

      Here at CA Steve goes out of his way to preserve the opportunity of his CRITICS to comment and challenge, while deleting more “fan” comments if they are OT, emotional, repetitive, and/or do not add to the quality of the thread.

      • Brandon Shollenberger
        Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 7:55 PM | Permalink

        A telling thing about RC is they banned me before I ever posted there. It’s hard to imagine an offense so bad it’d justify banning someone who has never posted. So what have I done?

        I wrote a semi-thorough review of Michael Mann’s book that pointed out it was filled with distortions and untruths.

        • Skiphil
          Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 8:06 PM | Permalink

          Brandon, wow, that is a very informative incident, because it suggests that someone, whether Michael Mann or his acolytes (Fenton Communications employees?), trawls the web for critics who should be pre-emptively banned.

          One can’t even raise this matter without being accused of “conspiracy ideation” but it’s simple: what possible chain of events could lead to a person being banned on a website who had never posted there?

          *someone* had to come up with the user name or handle and ban them at RC, unless they have a software algorithm to do this sort of thing…. software might come up with candidates for banning, but it seems that there would have to be a human step to do it… or is there an AI program which can judge between nefarious critics and mere commentators all around the web?

        • Skiphil
          Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 8:33 PM | Permalink

          I just tried twice to comment (first time ever) at Real Climate, simple factual and actually non-skeptical comments…. neither has appeared at all (so far).

          Is it possible that “Skiphil” is pre-emptively banned at Real Climate based upon some prior offense, which could only mean assorted blog comments, nothing on the scale of Brandon’s detailed book review of Mann. If *they* would bother to ban me pre-emptively then presumably they may have banned a lot of others, because I’m only a tiny minnow.

          Maybe something else is going on, I didn’t get a message or anything, the comments simply vanished. But I’m not having any other problem with WordPress comments elsewhere.

        • j ferguson
          Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 8:34 PM | Permalink

          Brandon,
          How did you discover you were banned?

        • Skiphil
          Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 8:46 PM | Permalink

          I have now tried three times at Real Climate to post a simple innocuous factual comment (different each time), and none have appeared, not even in the “Borehole”…. I did find this, though, which I think is interesting:

          Reading “boreholed” comments at RC is a real hoot

          1190
          Salamano says:
          31 Mar 2013 at 1:21 PM

          I’ve been monitoring RC, curious about the questions I had posted– as they certainly have been “Frequently Asked” when it comes to Marcott et al.

          Instead, they have been deleted entirely after initially being posted; I don’t even see them in the borehole. I did not post offensively, flippantly, or nefariously. Admittedly, staff at RC certainly don’t have to answer everyone’s questions, nor accept everyone’s posts.

          Normally when a FAQ is designed by a group, it’s supposed to address whatever’s of concern in the way it’s voiced by those concerned– starting with the most frequently asked. True frequent questions that don’t get answered just keep getting asked. There’s probably some other philosophical somethinerother about frequently asked questions that are self-justified as not worth addressing becoming a growing weed allowed to spread by scoffing.

          Nevertheless, I will continue to use RealClimate as a great source for this sort of climate science information and connection to the scientists that publish it.

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 9:10 PM | Permalink

          It’s been about a year since I tried posting there so my memory is a bit hazy. I’ll look up what I wrote about it when I get home. If that doesn’t work, I’ll test it again and see if I’m wrong.

        • Skiphil
          Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 10:18 PM | Permalink

          Ok, my 3rd comment did appear with an explanation, although I still don’t know what happened with the first two (nothing in the Borehole). But obviously there is no reason to think I was “pre-emptively” banned at all.

          While Lewandowsky types may pretend this was an example of “conspiracy ideation” I’d say it was an ordinary suspicion (why couldn’t I post at a site which I did not know to have prior moderation of all comments). I rapidly disposed of the suspicious conjecture once one of my comments appeared with an explanation (still don’t know why the other two would not appear, but that can be chalked up to web mysteries I suppose).

          test – I can’t seem to post a simple comment here. Is there anything wrong with the site? I’m not having any trouble posting at other WordPress blogs.

          [Response: All comments are moderated. They won’t appear until approved by one of us. So be patient. –raypierre]

          Comment by Skiphil — 3 Apr 2013 @ 8:38 PM

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 10:49 PM | Permalink

          Ah, right. Now I remember. Any comment I try to post to RealClimate, even one amounting to just a single sentence complimenting them, disappeared without a trace. There was no line saying my comment was awaiting moderation. Moreover, the server acknowledges it holds the comments. To show that, I tried to submit the same comment twice and was told it was a duplicate.

          I think it’s reasonable to conclude I was banned. The moderators at RealClimate could fish my comments out if they wanted, but the fact mine don’t even get submitted for their normal queue indicates something.

          That said, a possibility does occur to me. It’s possible RealClimate automatically does this to all first time posters? I don’t believe that’s the case, but I should make sure. Has anyone posted there for the first time and had their comment appear visible (as being shown in the moderation queue) rather than it just disappearing?

    • Steve Reynolds
      Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 9:06 PM | Permalink

      There was a Climategate email from Michael Mann where he explained the RC ‘moderation policy’.
      After I had been a fairly active commenter there for several years, RC also banned me for complaining about that policy.

    • Paul Matthews
      Posted Apr 4, 2013 at 4:04 AM | Permalink

      Fred Voetsh and others may not be familiar with this CA thread.

      • Skiphil
        Posted Apr 4, 2013 at 9:02 AM | Permalink

        Re: Paul Matthews (Apr 4 04:04),

        Thanks, Paul Matthews, that is a helpful post for understanding the matter. I didn’t read all of the comments but this one jumped out at me on a quick skim:

        The *Real* Real Climate

        Jonathan Posted Nov 18, 2008 at 2:03 PM

        As a little experiment I tried posting on RealClimate (on the Mountains and Molehills thread), pointing out that I was a highly experienced and well qualified scientist who was less than entirely convinced by the AGW orthodoxy. Unsurprisingly I got somewhat flamed. So I posted a polite and fairly detailed reply, which simply disappeared into Gavin’s erratic censorship device. No explanation why, and it was far more on topic than most of the thread.

        Continuing my experiment I used another account (FredB) to post a snide personal attack on myself. This was swiftly approved, despite contravening RealClimate’s stated policies. No surprise there then.

        I sent in a third post pointing out this out. Deathly silence.

        Any lingering doubts I had about RealClimate’s honesty have been completely dispelled.

        Of course the procedure in clearly spelled out by Michael Mann in one of the Climategate emails — block or delay critical comments in order to completely control the messaging for propaganda purposes:

        Feb 9, 2006 from Mann to Osborn and Briffa cc Schmidt

        > Anyway, I wanted you guys to know that you’re free to use RC in any
        >> way you think would be helpful. Gavin and I are going to be careful
        >> about what comments we screen through, and we’ll be very careful to
        >> answer any questions that come up to any extent we can. On the other
        >> hand, you might want to visit the thread and post replies yourself.
        >> We can hold comments up in the queue and contact you about whether or
        >> not you think they should be screened through or not, and if so, any
        >> comments you’d like us to include.
        >>
        >> You’re also welcome to do a followup guest post, etc. think of RC as
        >> a resource that is at your disposal to combat any disinformation put
        >> forward by the McIntyres of the world. Just let us know. We’ll use
        >> our best discretion to make sure the skeptics dont’get to use the RC
        >> comments as a megaphone…
        >>
        >> mike

        • johanna
          Posted Apr 4, 2013 at 11:19 AM | Permalink

          While the comments you quoted are repugnant, they are dated about seven years ago. In fairness, many individuals or groups of people have genuinely changed their position in that time span.

          What would be relevant is evidence that the views expressed in that email are current. I am not having a go at you (at all), but subscribe to the view that there is too much personalia in the climate debate.

          I completely understand what you are getting at, but the “McIntyres” seem to be doing just fine despite the efforts of their detractors. It would be a surprise to learn that Steve thought that the discussion was all about him.

        • Speed
          Posted Apr 4, 2013 at 12:32 PM | Permalink

          Skiphil wrote, ” …the overwhelming dominant effect of the Marcott study so far is from all the hyperventilating headlines and media stories, which will not be retracted rewritten as new critical information becomes available.”

          Perhaps Steve should be writing and distributing press releases instead of the blog.

          Just kidding.

        • johanna
          Posted Apr 4, 2013 at 12:37 PM | Permalink

          I think that sinking Gergis et al is a pretty good example of how well Steve and Jean S and others are doing. The “wider world” is a term you introduced – not mine. It takes a while for things to percolate through the many filters between these arcane discussions and the rest of the world, but eventually they do. Being forced to withdraw a paper because it is rubbish is noticed in the small world of climate science, as well.

          You misunderstand my point. It is not whether Real Climate or whoever are still up to whatever was revealed years ago. Quite possibly, they are.

          But conflating seven year old emails with what is happening today just seems like pursuing vendettas. They are two separate issues, unless you can demonstrate a tangible link.

        • Skiphil
          Posted Apr 4, 2013 at 1:50 PM | Permalink

          I quite understand that the discussion of influence is OT to this thread, and in any case I was not suggesting that Steve and Jean S et al. have been doing anything less than heroic work on the issues which interest them. I was only faulting the “wider world” for failing to take sufficient notice. If this comment is allowed, I simply refer anyone interested to this discussion thread at Bishop Hill:

          http://bishophill.squarespace.com/discussion/post/2043497

        • kim
          Posted Apr 13, 2013 at 5:42 AM | Permalink

          A blast from the past. Jonathon and Fred B and I had a little fun with that thread.
          ===============

  30. Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 7:49 PM | Permalink

    “Tom Curtis…”

    I appreciate your courtesy and respect in publishing your view of the story here. That said, I have a great deal of trouble reconciling SkS’s willful revisionist approach to deleting inconvenient posts and re-editing old posts to appear ‘pro-science’ with Cook being anywhere near honest and sincere. That is an old discussion, so not relevant here, except as contributing to a lack of ‘proof’ about honesty.

    Still; I may be on the slow side, but as I understand this survey, analysis, writing, proof reading, re-editing, pre-publishing, publishing, revisions…; All this occurred prior to this point in time and we are asked to believe everyone central to getting this paper published are honest?! Seriously?

    The authors initiated the survey. I assume with advance discussion, especially as they have certainly indicated particular goals relevant to said survey.

    The authors just allowed the survey to run? Unwatched and unobserved with no one tallying daily results by blog? No effort was made to verify survey responses with assumed survey taker’s type (Science – AntiScience alarmist)?

    The author’s of the survey go to some lengths to ‘calculate’ skeptic responses versus alarmist home team responses. These calculations should’ve included a response rate per blog posting as part of their verification process. Not done I assume; (old news, also old ground covered here and WUWT, JoNova)

    These author’s are then so excited about the blogosphere responses that they begin a ‘new’ research paper based on the responses and blog posts. This required vetting and analyzing all relevant posts at involved blogs, including SkS.

    Surely, well before the first writings everyone involved would’ve noticed the discrepancy with survey respondents from SkS and relevant blog posts at SkS. Especially as so many skeptics visit SkS on a daily basis… Boy does that leave a bad feeling in one’s gut, to think that anyone but an alarmist would believe that claim. Given that SkS visitors are so critical for the survey’s response population; every post at SkS remotely linked with ‘ideation’ phrasings should’ve been carefully parsed and analyzed.

    Those issues involved which brought Tom Curtis here to post his research about the ‘survey’ link/no-link we are blinded by the recent details regarding the communications. A trees in the way of the forest analogy so to speak. The biggest part of the issue is that regardless of whether anyone believes Cook was honest; All of this should’ve have been discovered many months ago! By the authors, contributors and SkS hosts during the data collection/verification process.

    No history of data, no analysis of data, no verification of data, authors – contributor’s do not have detailed records… Seems to me there’s an F___d word (or two, both five letters)somewhere that describes this properly.

    • Skiphil
      Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 7:58 PM | Permalink

      The reason I emphasize the following (at link) is that by Lewandowsky’s own proclaimed standards he has eliminated the defense, “oh, stop talking about minor 2+ yrs old emails” etc. Lewandowsky established a clear public standard that the bloggers should be able to document any and every email communication with his team, even from Hanich of whom they had never heard before Aug-Sept 2012.

      Thus, Lewandowsky et al. are hoist on their own petard:

      http://climateaudit.org/2012/09/14/the-sks-link-to-the-lewandowsky-survey/#comment-409656

      • Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 8:20 PM | Permalink

        My omission Skiphil, (along with a few others I noticed after posting). Your emphasized link, information and commentary were resonating in my mind as I stumbled through my post. Please forgive me for my nearsighted oversights.

        You are correct; only I wasn’t visualizing a petard so to speak. Of course, if the petard’s fuse is lit and they hoisted the wrong end…

        • Skiphil
          Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 8:24 PM | Permalink

          oh don’t worry, no offence, I was only following up with stream-of-my-consciousness, I did not think for a moment you needed to link my prior comment nor did I assume you had seen it…. your comment simply spurred my own reflections, but it’s all good.

  31. Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 8:12 PM | Permalink

    “Steve McIntyre Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 9:54 AM |
    Tom,
    UWA misconduct policies (http://www.hr.uwa.edu.au/policies/agreements/academic) include “reckless disregard for the truth”. They state:

    A researcher or reviewer shall not with intent to deceive, or in reckless disregard for the truth:
    • state or present a material or significant falsehood
    • omit a fact so that what is stated or presented as a whole states or presents a material or significant falsehood.

    It is evident that the statement is false and, in the final publication, is a “material or significant” false statement. The only remaining issue is whether it was made “with intent to deceive” OR “in reckless disregard for the truth”. Given the direct questions at the email, careful analysis of the evidence at Climate Audit and elsewhere (of which Lewandowsky was aware as shown by the Fury SI) and direct warnings, there is certainly convincing prima facie evidence of “reckless disregard”…”

    After the details dredged up by all involved coupled with the above discussion(s) I begin to think that Steve’s Boolean ‘OR’ should’ve included the operator ‘AND’, e.g. ‘AND/OR’ with quite a bit of evidence towards the AND Boolean operator being the correct operator.

    The University should develop some ethics and science courses on how not to do research along with ‘signs that research is improperly performed’ courses for the legal students. After the University cleans up this mess, of course.

  32. Ed Forbes
    Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 9:43 PM | Permalink

    Ahoy mate, There be money in them there papers

    ———

    Case I: Define scientists who oppose a government policy as “pseudoscientists”, research ways to discredit them
    Lewandowsky and Oberauer’s last joint effort took two years to analyze an internet survey which asked questions of the wrong crowd, had almost no relevant responses most of which were likely faked, was ethically dubious, yet scored headlines in the press to denigrate scientists, was delayed and remains still unpublished three months later. Stephan Lewandowsky, who  had his name on $1.7 million in government grants now has his name attached to $2m in grants since 2007.

     DP130101735  Lewandowsky, Oberauer & Brown
    Information seeking, cognition, and individual differences

    $138,000  for 2013
    $100,000  for 2014
    $100,000  for 2015

    Total $338,000.00

    http://joannenova.com.au/2012/11/are-arc-grants-for-science-or-a-form-of-government-advertising-disguised-as-research/

  33. Ian
    Posted Apr 3, 2013 at 11:15 PM | Permalink

    RC are or at least seem to be a lot more tolerant of those who do not ardently support their views. Gavin Schmidt has been particularly accommodating on the Marcott blog. However for banning and/or deleting posters with a view that is considered critical, whether it actually is or not, the ludicrously misnamed Open Mind run by the egregious (sorry moderator snip if necessary but he is) Grant Foster (aka Tamino) has to get first prize.

  34. DGH
    Posted Apr 4, 2013 at 2:56 PM | Permalink

    Odd stuff going on with SKS website…

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/cgi-sys/suspendedpage.cgi


    Steve: came up fine for me.

    • DGH
      Posted Apr 4, 2013 at 3:47 PM | Permalink

      Yes it seems to be better. But it was erratic earlier. Oddly enough the suspended notice remains on the site at the link provided.

      I tweeted the same thing to @skepticscience. we will see what he says. I know he uses twitter. ;)

  35. Mark
    Posted Apr 4, 2013 at 3:39 PM | Permalink

    Tom Curtis is an all too rare individual on the warm side, he cares more about reality than winning points in the debate. I may disagree with him on some issues but it appears we agree that facts matter. I hope more on the warm side look to his pursuit of truth regardless of the outcome as a role model.

  36. Bill
    Posted Apr 4, 2013 at 4:30 PM | Permalink

    Steve:

    It looks like Shakun indirectly responded to you at comment 124 of the Markott post on Real Climate.I am particularly interested in his assertion that MD95 2011 and 2043 did not have core top ages in the original publications. I thought they pretty clearly did as set out in your dating service post?

    I look forward to your comments on Shakun’s comments, and thank you for the work you do.

  37. DGH
    Posted Apr 11, 2013 at 4:55 AM | Permalink

    Cross posted at Retraction Watch

    It appears that they’ve acknowledged differences in versions. A new post is up at Frontiers In.

    The original article now feature this note,

    “Correction: Recursive fury: Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideationFrontiers in Psychology Editorial Office”

    which links to http://www.frontiersin.org/Personality_Science_and_Individual_Differences/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00218/full

    The page provides a link to the “Provisional PDF” which is apparently a fourth version of the article. Because it is provisional can we assume that there will be a fifth version?

    • DGH
      Posted Apr 11, 2013 at 5:02 AM | Permalink

      This could be the best part,

      “This Provisional PDF corresponds to the article as it appeared upon acceptance, after rigorous
      peer-review. Fully formatted PDF and full text (HTML) versions will be made available soon.”

      • DGH
        Posted Apr 11, 2013 at 5:20 AM | Permalink

        The Provisional PDF is simply the correction notice regurgitated not the a new version of the paper. This seems to indicate that the publisher intends to forgo any concerns vis-a-vis ethics, inaccurate characterizations of study subjects in raw data, etc., and will publish the article soon.

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Apr 11, 2013 at 2:15 PM | Permalink

          The provisional pdf was the original version, not a new one. I have no idea why they appended the correction notice to the title page of it though. That’s just weird.

          But it was almost certainly an accidental screw up, nothing more.

        • DGH
          Posted Apr 11, 2013 at 7:19 PM | Permalink

          Brandon,

          Most certainly accidental? In the vernacular of our host, “puhlease.”

          One incident is accidental. Two accidents are bad luck or bad planning. Three accidents are clumsiness.

          To wit see the bottom of the correction page, “Correspondence: Mr. Frontiers…” They are just throwing stuff against the wall to see what might stick.

          How many chances define incompetence?

          DGH

          Steve: actually my usual spelling is puh…leeze.

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Apr 11, 2013 at 7:51 PM | Permalink

          DGH, you’re free to believe a pointless action that has no purpose was taken for nefarious purposes. Me? I believe otherwise. I believe a pattern of meaningless mistakes indicates carelessness not nefarious intent.

          Now I hope you’ll forgive something of an appeal to authority. I happen to be one of the people involved in filing complaints with the journal. My actions even helped trigger many of the complaints. And most importantly, my communication with the journal is what lead to the journal acknowleding the (erroneous) existence of multiple versions of the “final” version of the paper.

          I think my opinion on this particular topic is more likely to be correct than yours.

        • DGH
          Posted Apr 12, 2013 at 8:59 AM | Permalink

          Brandon,

          My post stated very clearly that this is beyond and accident, somewhere between clumsy and incompetent. There’s nothing nefarious about incompetence.

          As for the rest of your comment, “I happen to be…my actions…most importantly…I think my opinion…likely to be more correct…”

          Congratulations. You’re certainly right and I will make sure to credit you at every opportunity.

          DGH

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Apr 12, 2013 at 10:26 AM | Permalink

          DGH, you said it was accidental, but that was only after you said this indicates (or at least seems to indicate) that the journal is going to forgo conncerns regarding the paper despite serious ethical issues. That is basically saying the journal is going to help cover things up. I think nefarious attempt is an apt description.

          Incompetence wouldn’t make a journal forgo concerns. That requires intent. And that intent cannot be good.

        • DGH
          Posted Apr 12, 2013 at 11:38 AM | Permalink

          Brandon,

          The word forgo carries no prejudice. It simply means to refrain from taking action. That you’ve read something more into what I wrote may say more about your thoughts than mine.

          My point was that the journal issued a correction to the paper that is under review because of certain complaints*. If the editor felt it was likely that those complaints would end in a retraction or a rewrite of the paper, then it seems odd to me that they would issue the correction at this stage. Why issue a correction then retract the paper and then retract the correction? That process seems a bit cumbersome an unnecessary but I could surely be wrong about what will happen.

          As for the incompetence of the journal, they’ve published a paper as a draft, deleted the link, updated the link, published 2 different final versions, deleted the link to the final version, issued an explanation days later, issued a correction in draft with typos, then issued a final version of the correction. Have you heard the one about the monkeys and the football?

          I hope that makes my opinion clear and that we can move on from this discussion.

          DGH

          *Brandon Shollenberger’s actions helped trigger many of the complaints. And most importantly, his communication with the journal is what lead to the journal acknowleding the (erroneous) existence of multiple versions of the “final” version of the paper. His opinions on this matter are superior to mine.

        • DGH
          Posted Apr 12, 2013 at 12:02 PM | Permalink

          Brandon,

          I just went back and read this thread to the “puhlease,” comment, oops, puh…leeze. Is that what triggered this flame? Usually Steve aims that directly at the commenter or writer. In this case it was intended to underscore the utter lack of competence demonstrated by the journal. To the extent you felt that I was aiming that point at you, I apologize.

          Retraction Watch’s original comment on this issue was interesting and a refreshing departure from the discussion of Dr. Lew and @skepticscience. It was disappointing to see the comments on that thread heading the wrong way.

          The concept behind Frontiers In is very interesting. It seems to me that paper journals and the processes behind them will continue to evolve towards the online model. But Frontiers In does need to clean up its act by a) creating procedures and processes for correcting, delinking and retracting papers and b) refraining from using activist graduate students in Journalism as reviewers for papers on psychology. (But that’s an entirely different issue!)

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Apr 12, 2013 at 4:51 PM | Permalink

          DGH:

          The word forgo carries no prejudice. It simply means to refrain from taking action. That you’ve read something more into what I wrote may say more about your thoughts than mine.

          I didn’t read any prejudice into the word “forgo.” If we’re going to suggest erroneous interpretations of people’s remarks indicates something negative about the reader, it’ll only speak poorly of you.

          Forgo indicates intent. In this case, I believe that intent is fairly described as “nefarious.” Few people would take issue with calling the cover up of serious ethical concerns “nefarious.”

          Your claim that “forgo carries no prejudice” is a red herring. I never claimed it does. I merely claimed it indicate intent, something you have never disputed. If an action is intentional, it is not accidental. And if the action is taken to cover up serious ethical concerns, it is detestable. And thus, nefarious.

          I just went back and read this thread to the “puhlease,” comment, oops, puh…leeze. Is that what triggered this flame? Usually Steve aims that directly at the commenter or writer. In this case it was intended to underscore the utter lack of competence demonstrated by the journal. To the extent you felt that I was aiming that point at you, I apologize.

          That part of your writing had nothing to do with what I said, and I didn’t think it was addressed to me.

          I hope that makes my opinion clear and that we can move on from this discussion.

          As far as I can tell, you think the journal’s behavior indicates it will effectively try to cover up serious ethical concerns. That’s been the only issue I’ve discussed. I think that view is unfounded, offensive and demonstrates the very behavior Lewandowsky et al. looked for.

          If that is your view, we can “move on” and just agree to disagree.

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Apr 12, 2013 at 5:04 PM | Permalink

          I should clarify a couple things. First, what I’m referring to as “nefarious” is:

          This seems to indicate that the publisher intends to forgo any concerns vis-a-vis ethics, inaccurate characterizations of study subjects in raw data, etc.

          It is fair for DGH to point out the actions of the journal thus far would not be nefarious by his statements. The nefariousness he makes claims towards are the actions that the journal will take in the future (that they’ll “forgo any concerns vis-a-vis ethics”). I’ve done a poor job distinguishing between these two sets of actions. Second:

          My point was that the journal issued a correction to the paper that is under review because of certain complaints*. If the editor felt it was likely that those complaints would end in a retraction or a rewrite of the paper, then it seems odd to me that they would issue the correction at this stage. Why issue a correction then retract the paper and then retract the correction?

          No correction was ever retracted. I don’t know what DGH has in mind here, but it seems he has misunderstood something.

          And while it isn’t a factual error, the idea that the correction the journal recently made is not “odd” at all. They made a mistake while modifying the paper before final publication, and that mistake caused two different versions of the paper to come into existence. Their latest posting merely acknowledged that mistake and indicated what the (mistaken) version should have said.

          That isn’t odd. That’s natural and good.

        • DGH
          Posted Apr 13, 2013 at 12:19 AM | Permalink

          Brandon,

          No. Sorry. We cannot agree to disagree. I believe what I believe no matter what you want to otherwise argue ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

          We can disagree about the meaning of a word, “forgo.” The online definition that I’ve found confirms my position. You’ll find another definition. Whatever.

          It seems to me that the editors of Frontiers In stumbled into the climate blog wars and are incompetent to deal with the circumstance. I don’t (and didn’t) believe they are bad people with nefarious intent. Should they choose to deny your compaint* by forgoing the opportunity to amend or retract Recursive Fury that is simply a difference of opinion between you and them. Based on the fact that they issued a correction to the original paper it seems (to me) unlikely that it will be retracted.

          Brandon Schollenberger wrote, “I think that view is unfounded, offensive and demonstrates the very behavior Lewandowsky et al. looked for.”

          Yet another blogosphere psychologist is born. As if we hadn’t had enough.

          DGH

          *Brandon Shollenberger’s actions helped trigger many of the complaints. And most importantly, his communication with the journal is what lead to the journal acknowleding the (erroneous) existence of multiple versions of the “final” version of the paper. His opinions on this matter are superior to mine.

        • Posted Apr 13, 2013 at 1:39 AM | Permalink

          It would be pity if this thread died out in a flame war between two people who have done a lot to bring this matter within sight of a conclusion – Brandon by his article at WUWT and his letters of protest, and DHG by his discovery of the key Cook tweet.

          Frontiers In are just a bunch of people doing a job – publishing peer-reviewed articles free on line – which is surely something to be encouraged. They’ve let through a shoddy piece of work, and must be amazed at the fuss they’ve caused. (They wouldn’t be amazed if they’d read the TreeHut files, the SkepticalScience internal mails, in which Cook says how Lewandowsky enjoys “poking the ants’ nest”.)

          The bigger story is about the fetishistic status of peer-reviewed literature – the fact that any published paper, however bad, is immune from rational criticism, however good, unless that criticism is itself peer-reviewed. This is the bigger battle that Climate Audit and others are fighting. When they finally win, as they surely will, Lewndowsky will get the footnote in the story that he merits.

        • DGH
          Posted Apr 13, 2013 at 2:23 AM | Permalink

          Geoff,

          A flame war? That’s between folks who disagree.

          I reiterate my earlier apology in hopes that this argument will die down. I don’t like what Brandon has recently posted but I respect his efforts in regards to the issue of climate change.

          DGH

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Apr 13, 2013 at 2:48 AM | Permalink

          DGH:

          We can disagree about the meaning of a word, “forgo.” The online definition that I’ve found confirms my position. You’ll find another definition. Whatever.

          No, I won’t. I clearly explained what I took from your use of the word “forgo”: that you implied the existence of intent. You have never disputed that interpretation. Why would I find another definition when, as far as I can see, we haven’t disagreed about the definition of “forgo”?

          You’ve chosen not to address what I’ve said about the word. You’ve chosen to instead address a red herring. That isn’t a problem of definitions. That’s a problem of your interpretation of what I’ve said.

          Should they choose to deny your compaint* by forgoing the opportunity to amend or retract Recursive Fury that is simply a difference of opinion between you and them.

          I don’t believe one can fairly describe covering up serious ethical concerns as “simply a difference of opinion.” Tacitly promoting lies which directly harm people is not a matter of opinions. It’s a matter of ethics.

          If you think the journal wouldn’t be showing nefarious intent by covering up serious ethical concerns, that explains where our disagreement lies.

          Yet another blogosphere psychologist is born. As if we hadn’t had enough.

          Sarcastic remarks like this accomplish nothing. I haven’t done anything to merit this response. Please refrain from petty behavior like this.

          geoffchambers:

          It would be pity if this thread died out in a flame war between two people who have done a lot to bring this matter within sight of a conclusion – Brandon by his article at WUWT and his letters of protest, and DHG by his discovery of the key Cook tweet.

          This isn’t a flame war. Moreover, the only reason this has continued is DGH and I haven’t agreed to what each other’s views are. Once we do that, we can “just agree to disagree” if no resolution can be reached.

          (Or at least, I hope we can.)

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Apr 13, 2013 at 3:08 AM | Permalink

          geoffchambers:

          They’ve let through a shoddy piece of work, and must be amazed at the fuss they’ve caused.

          For what it’s worth, this is the impression I’ve gotten from the journal. It seems (to me) they hadn’t anticipated something like this happening for any paper and thus don’t really know how to handle it.

          The bigger story is about the fetishistic status of peer-reviewed literature – the fact that any published paper, however bad, is immune from rational criticism, however good, unless that criticism is itself peer-reviewed. This is the bigger battle that Climate Audit and others are fighting. When they finally win, as they surely will, Lewndowsky will get the footnote in the story that he merits.

          The question I’m curious about is if a paper that gets retracted still qualifies for this “status.” If the journal sides with the critics of Lewandowsky et al, will people accept that as indicating the paper is wrong? I hope so. I just worry people will make excuses for the retraction/withdrawal of the paper. Can you imagine if the minimal standard of “peer-reviewed” winds up being considered too strict?

          (I can. Just read John Cook’s Twitter stream. It’s enough to shake anyone’s confidence in science.)

        • DGH
          Posted Apr 13, 2013 at 6:57 AM | Permalink

          snip – editorial end to this line of dispute

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Apr 13, 2013 at 11:04 AM | Permalink

          snip – editorial end. I snipped both sides.

  38. Posted Apr 11, 2013 at 2:58 PM | Permalink

    I’ve put a comment up at

    http://www.frontiersin.org/Personality_Science_and_Individual_Differences/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00218/full

    The fact of having several URLs announcing the same paper, all ending in “/full” none of which lead to the paper itself, is very confusing.
    My correspondence with the editors, who are based in Switzerland, has been with a number of very polite ladies with Italian names (though one of them is Irish) who write in perfect English.The defence of the two Lewandowsky papers which aim to show that opponents of action on climate change are paranoid fruitcakes is currently being carried out at the editorial offices of Frontiers in Science by Mss Carina Paraíso, Adriana Timperi, and Costanza Zucci, while (according to the fourth, or possibly fifth version given by Frontiers Science) both the editing and the peer reviewing of the “Recursive Fury” was the work of Viren Swami, of the University of Westminster, United Kingdom.
    I’m learning a lot about the way peer reviewed science proceeds. If there are any social scientists out there who want to know on what basis trillion-dollar world energy policies are decided, I have information that might be of interest.
    The public servants, think tanks and media commenters who influence our leaders of all political stripes read Huffington Post, the New Yorker, and the Guardian. These sources, along with many others, cite the two Lewandowsky papers approvingly.
    The fact that they are based on a lie, and contain dozens of factual errors, apparently counts for nothing.

  39. Brandon Shollenberger
    Posted Apr 13, 2013 at 3:50 AM | Permalink

    I noticed an interesting comment from Tom Curtis over at Skeptical Science:

    michael sweet @36, when I first raised issues regarding Tamino’s argument, I raised them at Open Mind. They never got past the “awaiting moderation stage”. I reposted the comment to be sure, with the same result. I have drawn the conclusion that Tamino does not want my comments, for whatever reason, and given that, would not deign to comment at Open Mind again if future.

    Since you asked …

    I noticed it because I posted this comment:

    John Cook recently “tweeted” this:

    If we don’t change our direction, we’ll end up where we’re headed – powerful graphs by Jonathan Koomey

    Sharing a link to this piece which shows a graph of projected temperatures grafted to Marcott et al’s reconstruction. The visual impact of this graph depends largely upon the uptick of Marcott et al’s reconstruction flowing into the projected temperatures. However, this post says:

    Much of the manufactured controversy about the Marcott paper is in regards to the ‘blade’ or ‘uptick’ – the rapid warming at the end of the graph over the past century. While their reconstruction does identify an approximately 0.6°C warming between 1890 and 1950, the authors note in the paper that this result is probably not “robust.”

    Without the uptick in Marcott et al., there would be little (if anything) to create a visual connection between the “reconstructed Temperature” and “Projected Temperature” of the graph John Cook says is “powerful.” You guys say that uptick is “probably not ‘robust.'”

    How can a “powerful” graph rely upon a result that is “probably not ‘robust'”?

    I thought I should share.

    • Skiphil
      Posted Apr 13, 2013 at 8:50 AM | Permalink

      Of course Tamino’s”Open Mind” cannot permit comments from Tom Curtis, or from anyone else who is not 100% reliable for The Cause.

      It reminds me of Michael Mann’s Climategate email in which he cautioned others about contact with Andy Revkin of NY Times, saying Revkin was “not as reliable as we would like” — this is how people behave when they put The Cause above the dispassionate search for facts, truth, and honest understanding.

  40. jc
    Posted Apr 5, 2013 at 5:14 AM | Permalink

    And now it has just reappeared. Still subject to moderation. Someone needs to make up their mind.

  41. jc
    Posted Apr 5, 2013 at 3:55 PM | Permalink

    And now it has all reappeared again! You need to fix your process of excision: obliterate more decisively. Although I suppose if only the person who seeks to post a comment can see all this, it doesn’t matter. Could even be a minor amusement for the right person.

8 Trackbacks

  1. […] http://climateaudit.org/2013/04/03/tom-curtis-writes/ […]

  2. […] the paper where John Cook lied about posting the LOG12 survey at SkS.  Cook was a co-author.  The Cook’s site provided much of […]

  3. […] however, John Cook never posted the survey at Skepticalscience (see here and here). In the face of this false claim, the authors’ post-hoc exercise of computing skeptic exposure […]

  4. […] however, John Cook never posted the survey at Skepticalscience (see here and here). In the face of this false claim, the authors’ post-hoc exercise of computing skeptic exposure […]

  5. […] recall this is the same Cook who teamed with Lewdy to write a paper about an imaginary survey that was never posted at Cook’s site making bizarre claims about moon landings and […]

  6. […] http://climateaudit.org/2013/04/03/tom-curtis-writes/ […]

  7. […] Both Cook and Lewandowsky were, of course, involved in a previous incident also involving lying, a conclusion which Tom Curtis of SKS also reached: see here here. […]

  8. […] lying: see here, a conclusion which Tom Curtis of SKS also reached in respect to Lewandowsky (see here) but not Cook, though, in my opinion, the evidence against Cook is […]

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