Lewandowsky’s Fury

Moon Hoax author Stephan Lewandowsky is furious that Frontiers in Psychology has retracted his follow-up article, Recursive Fury. See also Retraction Watch here.

Accompanying the news, Graham Redfearn at desmog has released FOI documents from the University of Western Australia that include correspondence between the university and the Frontiers editorial office up to May 2013. (Lewandowsky did not take exception to an FOI request from desmog.)

One of the last emails in the dossier is a request from the Frontiers editorial to the University of Western Australia in early May 2013, acknowledging receipt of the University’s statement that Lewandowsky had been investigated and cleared of various misconduct allegations.

The University’s investigation had been swift, to say the least, given that some of the complaints had been made as recently as April 5, 2013, and that, at a minimum, the falseness of Lewandowsky’s SKS claim had been unequivocally confirmed by SKS editor Tom Curtis.

The Frontiers editorial office sought particulars of the procedures of the UWA investigation (see list below), telling UWA that they had appointed a team of senior academics to examine the incident and hoped that “the team’s report could state that they have seen UWA’s decision and the background documents and are happy to be able to rely on that as a solid and well-founded decision (assuming that to be the case)”. They also stated that they not only wanted the evaluation to be “robust, even-handed and objective” but for the process to be perceived as such:

I am therefore writing to ask if it would be possible for the team evaluating the complaints to have a little more information in the process adopted by UWA in assessing these issues. The sole purpose of any such access would be to assist the evaluation team in its work. We are striving to ensure that the evaluation is robust, even-handed and objective and this information would be helpful not only to facilitate this but also to allow it to seem to be so. The idea would be that the team’s report could state that they have seen UWA’s decision and the background documents and are happy to be able to rely on that as a solid and well-founded decision (assuming that to be the case.)

We are well aware of the sensitivity of whole question…

If UWA felt able to share any of the following types of information it would be helpful:

1. The specific complaints made
2. The articles of the code of conduct which were considered relevant for the assessment
3. Whether any codes of conduct relating specifically to psychology were considered relevant and if so, which ones
4. The aspects of factors considered by UWA in its investigation
5. The reasoning adopted to support the findings of the preliminary investigation
6. Whether the recommendations referred to in UWA’s letter concerning dealing with conflicts of interest means that UWA considers that conflicts of interest were present in this case
7. Confirmation by UWA that those who assessed these allegations were independent of each of the authors and had no conflicts of interest or similar challenges in carrying out this task (note that we are not asking for details or evidence, just UWA’s confirmation
8. Finally, from UWA’s letter we understand that the conclusion is that there was neither any breach nor any research misconduct as defined by the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. Is this correct?

A few days later, the UWA appears to have sent a “more detailed report” (according to an acknowledgement by Frontiers on May 6, 2013.)

Lewandowsky’s blog article contains the following short statement which has now been issued by Frontiers will issue later today:

In the light of a small number of complaints received following publication of the original research article cited above, Frontiers carried out a detailed investigation of the academic, ethical and legal aspects of the work. This investigation did not identify any issues with the academic and ethical aspects of the study. It did, however, determine that the legal context is insufficiently clear and therefore Frontiers wishes to retract the published article. The authors understand this decision, while they stand by their article and regret the limitations on academic freedom which can be caused by legal factors.

The statement conspicuously does not contain the planned statement that they had “seen UWA’s decision and the background documents and are happy to be able to rely on that as a solid and well-founded decision”, from which one can surmise that they were unable to to make such a statement.


98 Comments

  1. Tony Hansen
    Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 9:13 AM | Permalink | Reply

    ‘…to allow it to seem to be so…’
    Rather than ‘to be seen to be so’?

  2. observa
    Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 9:28 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The last thing in the world any real afficionado of the scientific method would want to do Messrs Lewandowsky, is abrogate your right to open your mouth or publish what comes out of it. Psychologists more likely but not true scientists.

  3. Bob Koss
    Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 10:19 AM | Permalink | Reply

    … therefore Frontiers wishes to retract the published article.

    They call that a retraction? Wishing to do something isn’t the same as actually doing it. Additionally, the pdf is identified as provisional, so I guess that leaves them free to change their mind.

  4. AntonyIndia
    Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Lewandowsky: “The strategies employed in those attacks follow a common playbook”…. so a conspiracy?

  5. kim
    Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 10:43 AM | Permalink | Reply

    When the broughah breaks
    Juggernaut argot naughty;
    Rock a bye, baby.
    ==========

  6. Speed
    Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 10:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

    “I am therefore writing to ask if it would be possible for the team evaluating the complaints to hae a little more information in the process adopted by UWA in assessing these issues.”

    Please. Pretty please with sugar on top.

  7. Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 10:53 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Good on you for persisting with this. I wish I had half your patience!

  8. Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 11:10 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve, I know you think that Frontiers should be commended (for finally doing the right thing). But it seems to me that they’ve done the right thing, for all the wrong reasons – and in the wrong way. It is rather bizarre that the abstract is still intact – and includes “The paper has not been withdrawn or retracted” preface with no discernible direct link to the retraction [although they appear to have reset the counters on the abstract page)

    But that aside, when I read their:

    The idea would be that the team’s report could state that they have seen UWA’s decision and the background documents and are happy to be able to rely on that as a solid and well-founded decision (assuming that to be the case.)

    along with their:

    7. Confirmation by UWA that those who assessed these allegations were independent of each of the authors and had no conflicts of interest or similar challenges in carrying out this task (note that we are not asking for details or evidence, just UWA’s confirmation

    8. Finally, from UWA’s letter we understand that the conclusion is that there was neither any breach nor any research misconduct as defined by the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. Is this correct?

    In light of Frontiers' [IMHO] unfathomable conclusion:

    This investigation did not identify any issues with the academic and ethical aspects of the study.

    Colour me somewhat skeptical, but I couldn’t help wondering if Frontiers’ “appointed team of [unnamed] senior academics” included Oxburgh and Muir Russell – both of whom are renowned for their failure to find fault, primarily because they didn’t even look!

    They appear to have simply taken the word of UWA – just as Oxburgh and Muir Russell simply took the word of UEA. And in the process, they’ve handed the activists and advocates a new meme on a silver platter.

    Not to mention that since Lewandowsky and Mann have already teamed up, I wonder how long it will take before Mann decides to amend his many misleading pleadings to claim he has been “exonerated” by UWA and/or Frontiers’ “investigation” ;-)

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Hilary, my comments at Bishop Hill and WUWT was directed at the incorrect statement that the journal’s concern about defamation liability was “very strange” and to make them aware that I had formally complained to the journal about false and defamatory statements about me in the Lewandowsky article. While the retraction is a step in the right direction, I entirely agree that the journal’s retraction statement (particularly in combination with Lewandowsky’s republication of the article at the UWA website) leaves important issues unresolved.

      Since the journal said that it wanted to be “even-handed and objective” and since it appears to permitted Lewandowsky to comment on and rebut the report of the investigation, I asked the journal to provide me with a copy of the report and a similar opportunity to comment.

      • Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 3:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks,Steve…that makes me feel somewhat better.

        Btw, did Frontiers extend to you the courtesy of communicating their “disposition” and/or “retraction” statement directly in advance of yesterday’s profusion of confusion engendered by the “now you see ‘em, now you don’t” games being played by the kidz at Camp CookLewNut? (Sorry, I’m sure you would much prefer that we follow your lead along the high-road, but I couldn’t resist!)

        Which reminds me … while I was wading through the smoggies’ version of your well-documented complaint, it occurred to me that for the record – and for the benefit of any newcomers to this saga – it might be helpful if you could append to this post a link to a pdf of your original submission. And any other relevant correspondence you’d care to disclose at this time.

        I know I’d really like to read it again; because I’m sure that in my irritation at the (IMHO, unnecessary) gaps, I would have missed some of your points. So, colour me lazy, if you must … but I just don’t fancy wading through those redaction-riddled waters a second time :-)

        Besides, I think it will give us all food for thought, while we are waiting for the “even-handed and objective” journal to respond to your eminently reasonable request. In the meantime, here’s hoping that it doesn’t take another year before you hear from them!

        steve: The journal did not give me any notice of their decision.

        here is my defamation complaint to Frontiers, which does not appear to be in the UWA FOI materials.

        Here is an unexpurgated version of the complaint shown on pages 84ff of the desmog FOI.

        Here is an unexpurgated version of pages 95-97 of the desmog FOI.

        Here is an unexpurgated version of pages 99ff of the desmog FOI.

        • Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 5:13 PM | Permalink

          36 pages Steve, all in trademark calm but frank style. Massive thanks for what you’re doing here on behalf of so many others.

        • bernie1815
          Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 5:38 PM | Permalink

          After reading your letter to Frontier, it seems to me that any half-awake editor would recognize that the paper was both flawed and a legal time bomb – regardless of what UWA investigation showed. The mere identifying of specific individuals by the insulting labels should be more than enough to red flag the piece. If it turns out that the reviewers have a record of similar animus towards you or other explicitly mentioned critics then the editor must have realized that he or she was in a dangerous situation, ethically and legally.

        • Ed Barbar
          Posted Mar 22, 2014 at 3:11 AM | Permalink

          Regarding Steve’s link:

          “here is my defamation complaint to Frontiers, which does not appear to be in the UWA FOI materials.”

          Isn’t that enough to make one wonder, that Steve’s well written complaint does not appear in the FOI material at DeSmog?

          In fairness, perhaps Lewandowsky did find something. Conspiracy types are attracted to actual conspiracies. In this case, a very complicated conspiracy pulled together by people with very different motivations.

          As a skeptic, the science is not clear. The Al Gore fortune tellers have been proven wrong often, and they take advantage of global warming for individual or political advantage. Their acolytes impugn truth-seekers like Steve (my read). The earth’s climate is not cooperating with the models.

          I used to think that it was overall beneficial to humanity to definitively disprove global warming. I still think that’s the best outcome. But, if the theory does not prove out, there are serious consequence. In this future, science takes a hit, as do other institutions. I don’t see an easy way out of the damage, if the AGWers are wrong.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 11:32 AM | Permalink | Reply

      I wonder how long it will take before Mann decides to amend his many misleading pleadings to claim he has been “exonerated” by UWA and/or Frontiers’ “investigation”

      Excellent point.

      • Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 2:28 AM | Permalink | Reply

        I am not sure ‘Frontiers’ is too important at this stage.
        This ‘Retraction’ story has been taken up by the dear old UK Guardian (with their predictable CAGW slant). I followed their link to the Lewandowsky paper currently available on the UWA website, and I could not miss the red-line-encircled ‘header’ explaining the background to the posting of this article (not sure if it matters, but it is not clear to me whether this is now part of the paper, or whether it was added by UWA).
        The first paragraph is a summary of certain laws / libel in USA & England (I am not knowledgeable enough to understand relevance to a posting on a UWA web-site); and a second paragraph states some basic information re the article. The third & fourth paragraphs state:
        ‘The article attracted nearly 30,000 abstract views and 10,000 full-text views. It also attracted a number of complaints which were investigated by the publisher. The investigation did not identify any issues with the academic and ethical aspects of the study. It did, however, determine that the legal context was insufficiently clear for Frontiers to retract the published article. The retraction statement can be found here [link included by others above].
        ‘The article is now hosted on a website of the University of Western Australia, which has come to a different assessment of the risk posed by this article and reaffirms its commitment to academic freedom. Further details about the history of this article and continued attempts to suppress inconvenient science can be found at sks.to/rf.’
        I am not sure how to interpret what is being stated here:
        ~ The third paragraph refers to the publisher’s investigation (making no reference to any reliance on UWA enquiries);
        ~ The fourth paragraph does not refer to an ‘investigation’ by UWA, but clearly states they have made a different assessment of the risks (which presumably required as a minimum a careful consideration of facts/circumstances).
        ~ I find the last sentence to be interesting/provocative.
        All in all I am very intrigued – it would appear that UWA feel the article is defendable. I saw reference in the earlier comments to an analysis of the legal issues (by Nick Stokes) which may help explain how this is a reasonable conclusion. However, I am getting tired and could not immediately locate this material.
        Link to UWA: http://websites.psychology.uwa.edu.au/labs/cogscience/Publications/LskyetalRecursiveFury4UWA.pdf

    • kim
      Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 12:24 PM | Permalink | Reply

      ‘Did not identify’ covers a multitude of sins of omission. Fear and trembling at the Frontier.
      ==============

      • thisisnotgoodtogo
        Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 3:47 AM | Permalink | Reply

        “It did, however, determine that the legal context was insufficiently clear for Frontiers to retract the published article.”

        That sentence is strange. The investigation determined that the legal context was insufficiently clear for retraction (therefor retracted).

        Did they not really mean that the legal matters were sufficiently clear that retraction was called for(therefor it was retracted)?

        • HaroldW
          Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 7:16 AM | Permalink

          thisisnotgoodtogo -
          “It did, however, determine that the legal context was insufficiently clear for Frontiers to retract the published article.”
          This is just a clumsy way of stating that the question of libel is enough of a possibility that Frontiers does not wish to run the risk of continuing to publish the article after the complaints had been received. As things now stand, Frontiers can claim that they are not culpable in any alleged defamation, having removed the offending material upon notice.

          [P.S. Note that Frontiers worded it a little better than UWA: "[Our investigation] did, however, determine that the legal context is insufficiently clear and therefore Frontiers wishes to retract the published article.” The Frontiers notice appears to have been constructed with the participation of the authors and speaks carefully so as not to suggest any impropriety on the authors’ part.]

        • bernie1815
          Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 7:55 AM | Permalink

          After Steve’s letter it is hard for me to imagine that the fundamental problem of the article was not clear to Frontier’s editors.
          It seems to me that Frontier could have offered all those mentioned in the Recursive article the opportunity to offer rebuttals. I suspect that if Frontier had offered the opportunity for rebuttals, Lewandowsky would have retracted his paper himself.
          This at least would have been an interesting methodological innovation though the ethical issues,inaccuracies and misrepresentations would stand. Fundamental problems with much psychological research is that the reasoning behind experimental subjects’ actions are unilaterally attributed to them by the researcher and there is little exploration of those who behave in ways contrary to the proposed hypothesis. For example, in the Milgram experiments the thinking of those who declined to “electrocute” recalcitrant is not explored.

  9. Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 12:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The statement conspicuously does not contain the planned statement that they had “seen UWA’s decision and the background documents and are happy to be able to rely on that as a solid and well-founded decision”, from which one can surmise that they were unable to to make such a statement.

    The first really ‘Lewcid’ point to be taken in by this reader on the latest stage of a very sorry story. Thanks as ever for the moral clarity. The retraction is indeed a step in the right direction. But as Hilary and many of us feel the right destination is far from guaranteed with so many mealy mouths seemingly in charge of the cleanup operation.

    I asked the journal to provide me with a copy of the report and a similar opportunity to comment.

    One non-mealy mouth can make such a difference. I hope very much the journal complies.

  10. Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 12:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “This investigation did not identify any issues with the academic and ethical aspects of the study.”

    Which does not preclude not finding anything either way because they were not give the full information they requested.

    Saying what they did not find is a negative that does not say what did find or what they were unable to determine.

    Hey, this PR, not science. Don’t expect anything but spin.

  11. Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 1:38 PM | Permalink | Reply

    It seems Frontiers in Psychology asked the UWA for a reasonable amount of information to conduct its inquiry. Question is, what did Frontier’s inquirers actually investigate? From the brevity and alabaster tone of Frontier’s retraction statement, many regular readers at CA might wonder if this wasn’t just another case of institutional CyA, and whether a copy of the report will be forthcoming. A curious fly might have wondered at the reaction in the editorial offices of Frontiers in Psychology when they discovered what was going on behind Recursive Fury.

    Recently I had a comment in over at Brandon Sholenberger’s blog where I had cause to mention that one risky – or risqué – comment in a review by Graham Greene caused the bankruptcy of his publisher Night and Day in a lost libel suite. Private publishers are much more at risk financially than public institutions, so it’s just so much easier to make everything look as milquetoast as possible, while presenting the appearance being professional, reasonable, and possibly wronged.

    The CA question of the day is: will Lewandowsky use this “exoneration” as evidence that the conclusions of the “Recursive fury” are ‘scientifically sound’?

    W^3

    • Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 1:47 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Private publishers are much more at risk financially than public institutions

      That’s a key piece of the background to consider, thanks W^3.

      • Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 1:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Yeah, a publisher can’t simply transfer its liabilities to the taxpayer.

  12. pottereaton
    Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 1:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Lewandowsky in his statement:

    As far as we can tell, Recursive Fury attracted more attention than any other paper in psychology ever published by Frontiers. It attracted 9,124 full text views, and the count of abstract views was 29,324 when we last checked (at which time the article that we identifies as runner-up had 12,086 abstract views and 1,091 full text views).

    Given its popularity, and given that approximately 29,300 viewers did not complain about our work, it would be a shame to deprive the public of access to this article. Because the work was conducted in Australia, I consulted with the University of Western Australia’s chief lawyer, Kim Heitman, who replied as follows:

    “I’m entirely comfortable with you publishing the paper on the UWA web site. You and the University can easily be sued for any sorts of hurt feelings or confected outrage, and I’d be quite comfortable processing such a phony legal action as an insurance matter.”

    — Kimberley Heitman, B.Juris, LLB, MACS, CT, General Counsel, University of Western Australia

    29,300 viewers “did not complain about [their] work.” Most were probably too nauseated to bother.

    It attracted a lot of viewers for the same reason a train wreck attracts a lot of viewers.

    • Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 1:57 PM | Permalink | Reply

      What Mr. Lew failed to take into account many of us who went to Frontiers to view the paper or the abstract then came HERE, or other places in the blogosphere, to complain about it.

      • JEM
        Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 2:03 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Well, when someone reads the paper then forwards the link to their attorney for review, and Counselor Dewey of Dewey Cheatham and Howe forwards it to his intern for review to look it over…well you’re gonna get a lot of pageviews out of that, aren’t you Dr (it hurts to say that) Lewandowsky?
        ;)

    • manicbeancounter
      Posted Mar 23, 2014 at 6:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Prof Lewandowsky takes the number of hits to suggest the stature of the article. In the case of “Recursive Fury”, it is a mark of notoriety. Hardly something in the article’s favor.

  13. A. Reader
    Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 2:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The Front fell off the Recursive Fury paper. It is now being towed out of the publishing environment…

  14. ThinkingScientist
    Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 2:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Lewandowsky:

    As far as we can tell, Recursive Fury attracted more attention than any other paper in psychology ever published by Frontiers. It attracted 9,124 full text views, and the count of abstract views was 29,324 when we last checked (at which time the article that we identifies as runner-up had 12,086 abstract views and 1,091 full text views).

    Or the numbers could simply reflect how many rubberneckers clicked through from high traffic climate sceptic blogs such as WUWT, BH or CA?

  15. Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 2:07 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Lewandowsky’s comment there is all sorts of stupid. He’s using the number for how many times the page his abstract was on got opened. A link to his abstract being clicked ~29,000 times does not mean ~29,000 people viewed his work. His abstract is not his work. By his own admission, the link to the actual text of his paper was only clicked ~9,000 times. That means he’s inflating his number by at least 20,000.

    Additionally, he’s describing views, not visitors. The same person may visit a page more than once. I know I probably visited the page for his paper 50 times or more. There’s no way to know how many of those ~9,000 views were unique as opposed to people revisiting the page.

    It seems Lewandowsky is incapable of getting anything right.

    • Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 2:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

      I suspect he counted the number of people filling in his original Moon Hoax survey questionnaire the same way. It’s the only possible explanation of how a survey which attracted comments from just 90 unique commenters (many of whom couldn’t or wouldn’t complete the survey) supposedly attracted 1300+ responses.
      Incidentally, in a talk on Vimeo Lewandowsky gives preliminary results of a new survey in which he gets members of the public to rate our mental health (they agree with Lewndowsky). And the URL for his article on Shapingtomoorowsworld is labelled rf1 (preumably to be followed by rf2, rf3…)

      • manicbeancounter
        Posted Mar 23, 2014 at 6:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Geoff,
        I must take issue with you on relating the comments to the survey responses. The vast majority of respondents to a survey will not comment. In a similar way the hits to comments ratio at a blog is often quite low. At this site the average is 23 hits to 1 comment. At WUWT it is 113 hits per comment.

        • Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 1:59 AM | Permalink

          Manicbeancounter
          Thanks for the hits/comments ratios. I wonder if anyone has figures for similar ratios for comments/completed questionnaires for online surveys? Maybe rough figures could be obtained from recent surveys at WUWT and Scottish Sceptic?
          I confess my scepticism is based entirely on a hunch, and on the fact that while writing a comment is quick and fun, filling in an on-line survey is not. It took ten minutes apparently, and you couldn’t complete it if you admitted you didn’t have an opinion on one of the conspiracies. It’s a funny kind of sceptic who gives a helping hand at Tamino’s, and an even funnier one who never says “I don’t know”. Yet Lew found 250 plus of them in a week or so, and then started looking for them at sceptic sites.
          I just don’t believe that. We shall never know the truth of course, because the survey firm was hacked, lost a lot of data, and went bust.

    • bernie1815
      Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 2:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Brandon:
      First, I was in the field and I had never heard of this journal – it certainly is not one that I would describe as prestigious. Second, the paper and abstract got the views, for whatever reason. Third, positive citations are of much greater import.

  16. Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 2:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The DESMOG released FOI emails from UWA contains the Frontiers confidentiality agreement blank form which Frontiers told UWA that they would have Frontier committee members sign as a precondition of them seeing the ‘ “Recursive Fury”: UWA Ethics Report ‘. Below is an excerpt from the proposed confidentiality agreement. The timeline appears to be that Frontiers received the ‘ “Recursive Fury”: UWA Ethics Report ‘ prior to attempting to get Frontiers committee members to sign the confidentiality agreement. Given that the Frontiers retraction statement today does not contain reference to the ‘ “Recursive Fury”: UWA Ethics Report ‘, one cannot assume that Frontiers committee members reviewing the complaints about ‘Recursive Fury’ actually signed the confidentiality agreement and/or actually saw the UWA’s ‘ “Recursive Fury”: UWA Ethics Report ‘.

    “[. . .]

    I confirm that, if that UWA ethics report is made available to me, I will keep it confidential and will not disclose it to others, and will not use it for any reason other than to support my work as part of the evaluation team referred to above.

    [. . .]”

    John

  17. Matt Skaggs
    Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 2:58 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I followed the “furious” link to Lewandowsky’s blog. Lew wrote:

    “The strategies employed in those attacks follow a common playbook, regardless of which scientific proposition is being denied and regardless of who the targeted scientists are…”

    I know others have pointed it out, but it is hard to imagine a more cogent prima facie example of conspiracy ideation! Then for good measure he somehow takes his pretzel and transforms it into a Klein bottle:

    “…our finding that rejection of climate science is associated with conspiratorial thinking triggered elements of conspiratorial discourse among those who sought to deny that denial of climate science involves a measure of conspiratorial thinking.”

  18. Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 3:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The graphic and links (from Watching the Deniers blog – Marriott – co-author)that denigrated both myself and Anthony Watts, I posted in my first comment at Lewandowsky’s website, these were a few weeks before the ‘research’ period of the Recursive Fury paper..
    http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/rf1.html#3166

    Here is another graphic, in the middle of the ‘research’ period by Fury, co-author Marriott. Where Marriott is attacking Anthony Watts, who was later named as a ‘source of conspiracy ideation in the paper and the WUWT graphic shown, is adulterated by Marriott to say “Verified Bullshit” (the article in question is my authorship)

    https://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/watts-explains-why-lewandowsky-paper-on-conspiracy-theories-is-wrong-its-a-conspiracy-between-john-cook-and-the-prof/

    Marriot and Cook were brought in because they were supposedly independent of LOG12, yet Mariott was cheerleading Lewandowsky, and attacking LOG12 critics. (13 articles about it in the research period)

    I don’t care what was said by Marriott on his blog, the issue is that ethically, how can a researcher be seen to be publically attacking his research subjects, before after, or especially during the research period of the paper. (I am even interacting with him in the comments!)

  19. rogerknights
    Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 4:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Lewandowsky’s furry?? Don’t rub him the wrong way!!

  20. pottereaton
    Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 4:16 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Frontiers says: ““In the light of a small number of complaints received following publication of the original research article cited above, Frontiers carried out a detailed investigation of the academic, ethical and legal aspects of the work.” Actually, if Steve is right, they were prevented from carrying out a full detailed investigation if UWA didn’t provide them with the details of their investigation.

    By Lewandowsky’s count, there were 24 complaints (29,324 minus the 29,300 who “did not complain.”) All it takes in a defamation case is for one person to file. In this case, if you take them at their word, there could have been many people who implied that they might file a suit for damages if the paper was published.

    Then they say, “This investigation did not identify any issues with the academic and ethical aspects of the study.” What a curious way to phrase it! Why not “This investigation found no issues. . .etc” What does “did not identify” mean? There were “issues” but they decided not to list and “identify” them publicly?

    Frontiers again: “It did, however, determine that the legal context is insufficiently clear and therefore Frontiers wishes to retract the published article.” Translation: the article could too easily be found to be defamatory and malicious in court.

    Then Lew, pronouncing himself innocent of all charges says, “In other words, the article is fine but Frontiers does not want to take the legal risk that its restoration on the website might entail.”

    No where does Frontiers say the article is “fine,” whatever that means.

  21. Skiphil
    Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 4:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I know a philosopher (specializing in ethics) who has served on a variety of institutional boards for medical research, experimental subjects, and reviewing academic honesty.

    He cynically (but accurately) says that it is difficult to get defensive bureaucrats and academics to pay sincere attention to ethical arguments, but as soon as a lawyer in the room says “we may get sued” then it focuses the attention rather quickly and critically.

    • Skiphil
      Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 5:03 PM | Permalink | Reply

      reminiscent of the old quote atributed to Samuel Johnson, “nothing concentrates the mind like the prospect of a hanging”

      • Skiphil
        Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 5:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

        attributed*

  22. Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 6:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Comments from Geoff and me are now up below the Frontiers retraction statement, pointing out the absurdity of their claim to have found no academic or ethical issues.

  23. mikemUK
    Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 6:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

    ” The authors … stand by their article and regret the limitations on academic freedom which can be caused by legal factors.”

    At first glance this might simply suggest ‘Frontiers’ chickened out for fear of legal repercussions, but might it not be that the UWA investigation quietly found that Lewandowsky had indeed flouted/short-circuited their own permission procedures illegally?

  24. thisisnotgoodtogo
    Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 6:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

    If it was all on the up and up, and Lew could remove whatever defamatory items were complained about, why couldn’t they publish?

    The explanation that seems most plausible, is that the university did find that proper procedures were not followed.

  25. Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 7:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Just a general note. PLEASE can you fix this site so that it’s readable on a mobile. The page is half off the left of the phone screen and cannot be made to display in a readable way! Thanks.

    • RoyFOMR
      Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 8:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

      I usually view CA on my Android Kindle and when I use Bing to load it, I get the same problem.
      But, and I’ve no idea why, when I link to CA from bishophill I get a normal view.
      Both links go to climateaudit dot org but the screen is totally different!

      • RoyFOMR
        Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 8:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Just checked on my iPhone. If you goto bottom of page and click view full site the problem is fixed.

        • Posted Mar 22, 2014 at 7:43 AM | Permalink

          RoyFOMR, many thanks for resolving a long-standing problem I, too, was experiencing :-)

      • Speed
        Posted Mar 22, 2014 at 1:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

        On Windows Phone, go to “settings” (slide up the three dots) and for “Website preference” select “desktop version.”

    • MrPete
      Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 8:43 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: ilma630 (Mar 21 19:39),
      I’ll get to it ASAP… unfortunately Real Life has intervened, in the form of an about-to-be-born grandbabygirl… :)

      • dfhunter
        Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 8:55 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Real Life should always come first (easy to forget sometimes) hope all goes well for you & yours MrPete.

  26. dfhunter
    Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 8:15 PM | Permalink | Reply

    this guy is good(read sad) for a laugh,from the link-

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

    SM & others should stop bulling the poor guy,it’s just not fair :-(

    • observa
      Posted Mar 23, 2014 at 8:11 AM | Permalink | Reply

      “..and perhaps most troubling, there is the intimidation of journal editors and publishers..”

      Translation: The nerve of those guys trying to influence OUR sock puppets?

  27. GrantB
    Posted Mar 21, 2014 at 10:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Dr Nick Stokes, one of Australia’s most highly regarded Queen’s Counsel, has already debunked over at Lucias the legal aspects that he imagines have been put forward by contrarians.

    Not a lot on whether he believes Recursive Fury is a scientific crock or not. But he’s only a QC.

  28. Streetcred
    Posted Mar 22, 2014 at 1:05 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Interesting: Lewandowsky: UWA general counsel a Greenpeace supporter.
    http://australianclimatemadness.com/2014/03/22/lewandowsky-uwa-general-counsel-a-greenpeace-supporter/

  29. hunter
    Posted Mar 22, 2014 at 4:39 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Watching how Lewandowsky and the SkS gang act out the conspiracy ideations they accuse skeptics of is rather a lot of fun.

  30. Posted Mar 22, 2014 at 7:28 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Interesting comment below borrowed from Dana’s Guardian article.
    Has anyone looked at he US survey that supposedly replicated LOG12′s findings (data link included):
    http://discussion.theguardian.com/comment-permalink/33394479

    “Unfortunately the Lewandosky stuff isn’t very good at any level – a simple survey dressed up with too much statistics that even basic data checks weren’t carried out.
    His data for his US study is available online:
    http://websites.psychology.uwa.edu.au/labs/cogscience/documents/PLOSONE2013Data.csv

    Lewandosky had five statements to measure belief in climate change. Classifying climate skeptics as those taking a skeptic view on 3+ of those statements (18% of the sample) and AGWers as taking a pro-science view on 3+ of those statements (45% of the sample) we find the percentage of those with skeptic views also holding other views as follow (is brackets is the percentage of those with pro-AGW views).

    New World order conspiracy – 28% (17%) – big gap
    Martin Luther King conspiracy – 15% (16%)
    Moon landing didn’t happen – 6% (8%)
    JFK conspiracy – 33% (33%)
    9-11 conspiracy – 12% (16%) – a little lower than pro-AGW
    Princess Diana conspiracy – 13% (17%) – a little lower than pro-AGW
    Climate change is a hoax – 50% (10%) – big gap
    The US created AIDs – 9% (10%)
    Passive smoking is a hoax – 18% (12%) – higher than pro-AGW
    HIV doesn’t cause AIDs – 6% (4%)
    Smoking isn’t a cause of cancer – 6% (2%) – higher than pro-AGW

    Note that there is some junk in the data that wasn’t cleared out and some questionnable answers which suggested people clicking at random at times (like inconsistencies with someone who believes and doesn’t believe at the same time). In these type of online panel driven surveys low percentage numbers aren’t to be trusted. But pretty obviously the results show the majority in all cases – skeptic or pro-AGW don’t hold conspiracy theory views.”

  31. Posted Mar 22, 2014 at 8:38 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Frontiers have changed the “abstract” page – again.

    Well, whoever is managing this particular page has finally succeeded in eliminating the mangled html – and the “abstract”. For the record, it now reads (with a handy dandy auto generated link on pasting):

    This article, first published by Frontiers on 18 March 2013, has been the subject of complaints. Given the nature of some of these complaints, Frontiers has provisionally removed the link to the article while these issues are investigated, which is being done as swiftly as possible and which Frontiers management considers the most responsible course of action. The article has not been retracted or withdrawn. Further information will be provided as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience. – See more at: http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00073/abstract#sthash.mvrTi7yc.dpuf%5Bemphasis added -hro]

    They seem to have reset the counter (again) and upped it to 41,677, but still show no discernible link to the Retraction – or to an earlier “Correction”

    Perhaps Frontiers Media SA should give serious consideration to renaming this particular Journal from Front. Psychology to Front. Incompetence and Mediocrity. Seems to me that this would would certainly be the right spot for Lew and his pals – including the Editor of this section frequently cited by Lew, as Geoff Chambers has documented, who also reviewed Fury.

    • kim
      Posted Mar 22, 2014 at 10:09 AM | Permalink | Reply

      The song has ended but the melody lingers on.
      =============

      • JEM
        Posted Mar 22, 2014 at 12:30 PM | Permalink | Reply

        The dog has squatted now only the lawn suffers.

    • Posted Mar 22, 2014 at 2:30 PM | Permalink | Reply

      One for Retraction Retraction Watch?

  32. Don Keiller
    Posted Mar 22, 2014 at 9:44 AM | Permalink | Reply

    There’s only one conspiracy theorist in this affair.

    Step forward Professor Lewandowsky!

  33. Posted Mar 22, 2014 at 3:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

    My own complaints seem to be missing from the FOI release. hmm.

    Steve: the FOI appears to be UWA correspondence with Frontiers. Your correspondence with Frontiers may not have been forwarded to them.

    • Posted Mar 23, 2014 at 2:55 AM | Permalink | Reply

      I complained directly to UWA as well as complaining to Frontiers.. (only my frontiers correspondence is in the FOI material)
      I wonder if Frontiers was made aware of the complaint I made to UWA?

  34. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Mar 22, 2014 at 8:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

    What is the current status of the Gergis et al 2012 study ‘Evidence of unusual late 20th century warming from an Australasian temperature reconstruction spanning the last millennium.”?
    I’m all for good research being publicised without dark actions like suppression of expression. However, some papers involving retraction or its possibility seem to need a procedural review to see if taxpayer funding by grants or whatever should be refunded when there is a paper of abysmal quality. It is not my argument here that either Lewandowsky or Gergis/Karoly have written poor papers, merely papers where retraction has been mentioned.
    I’m concerned that there needs to be a mechanism to encourage good quality and to punish dreadful quality, a mechanism beyond rejection by peer review. The Australian Research Council declines to advise me if it has a rebate policy. Australian Consumer Law offers some protections to the purchaser in terms of product quality, but I cannot recall activity along this path.
    Do some other countries have structures to assist in the production of high quality academic product?

  35. TerryS
    Posted Mar 23, 2014 at 5:40 AM | Permalink | Reply

    One of the problems of personally identifying individuals in a paper is that it might open the doors to obtaining information that isn’t available via FOI.

    For example, if either the journal or University were located in the UK then those people identified within the paper could submit a subject access request under the Data Protection Act and obtain all correspondence that identifies them. This could include any review comments of the paper (since the paper names them), email exchanges, documents submitted to any investigation – basically any document that mentions you.

    I don’t know what the rules are in either Australia or Switzerland.

    • Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 8:15 AM | Permalink | Reply

      details of the Swiss data protection act are here, in English.
      http://www.dataprotection.eu/pmwiki/pmwiki.php?n=Main.CH
      I haven’t got time to look at it now, but a joint approach by the four of us named in table 3 of Recursive Fury might be interesting.

      • Steven Mosher
        Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 11:31 AM | Permalink | Reply

        It would be a good thing to try that. You never know what will turn up. Recall that climategate was more about the flauting of the FOI process than anything else

        Steve: c’mon. FOI wasn’t an issue in Climategate emails until summer 2009.

  36. Posted Mar 23, 2014 at 6:44 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The point about a sensational paper on Eugenics is to grab tomorrow’s headline in the newspapers. Any debate about its veracity can confidently be expected to be buried in obscure science journals and will get quickly bogged down in the technical detail.

    However, a complete retraction is a PR disaster.

    Pointman

  37. michael hart
    Posted Mar 23, 2014 at 7:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

    If, as Lewandowsky appears to claim, there is only some vague legal ambiguity that has brought this piece of work low, then maybe he should resubmit it at a later date, after appropriate revisions to remove names? It shouldn’t be difficult to avoid any trace of libel in a science paper.

    Lewandowsky owes this, as a minimum, to his student John Cook.

    What he says to his collaborators, such as Michael Mann, and others who have cited this paper, is another matter. Is it considered good etiquette to inform third parties when a paper is withdrawn or heavily modified?

  38. MrPete
    Posted Mar 23, 2014 at 11:05 AM | Permalink | Reply

    A (minor) Miracle Happened :)

    I found a quick fix for mobile. Enjoy!

    • Posted Mar 23, 2014 at 2:24 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: MrPete (Mar 23 11:05), Thank you!

    • Curt
      Posted Mar 23, 2014 at 7:16 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Works on my iPhone. Thanks!

    • FlightlessBird
      Posted Mar 23, 2014 at 7:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Mr Pete, you’ve made my day!

    • Phoenix
      Posted Mar 23, 2014 at 10:36 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Sorry, but I don’t see what you found that we can enjoy (using Google Chrome).

      • MrPete
        Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 12:54 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Phoenix (Mar 23 22:36),
        The “mobile” version is now very simple and easy to view. Using the “desktop” version on a mobile phone would not be much fun.

        • RuhRoh
          Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 10:24 AM | Permalink

          Rightio, working great now on Canada’s own Blackberry Z10…

          Scroll down and click ‘Mobile Site’.

          The previous ‘view full site’ would only fix the permanent 30% indent ‘when it was in the mood’.

          Thanks for the effort(s)!
          RR

  39. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 11:28 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I just received a response from Frontiers in Psychology to my request to receive a copy of the “investigation” report and to have an equivalent opportunity to comment on it. The letter was as follows (written before the journal itself posted the retraction):

    Last year, you published an article by Lewandowsky et al, which, with malice, made a variety of defamatory and untrue allegations against me.

    It is my understanding that you established an investigation into the complaints. For your information, I was never contacted by anyone involved in the investigation nor have I received any communications from you in nearly a year.

    Earlier today, Lewandowsky reported that Frontiers had retracted the article. However, Lewandowsky immediately re-posted the article online together with the following short statement which, according to Lewandowsky, will be the final statement of Frontiers on the matter:

    This investigation did not identify any issues with the academic and ethical aspects of the study. It did, however, determine that the legal context is insufficiently clear and therefore Frontiers wishes to retract the published article. The authors understand this decision, while they stand by their article and regret the limitations on academic freedom which can be caused by legal factors.

    While the retraction of the article is a positive step, I am concerned with your statement (if true) that the investigation did “not identify any issues with the academic and ethical aspects of the study” since, among other matters, maliciously making defamatory and untrue statements is not only a legal issue, but an ethical and academic issue.

    Nor does this statement, as it stands, resolve the legal issues for me. The above statement is half-hearted and fails to adequately mitigate the original libel.

    In a letter to the University of Western Australia, you stated that you wanted to ensure that your investigation was not only “robust, even-handed and objective”, but would be perceived to “be so”. However, the investigation appears to have considered rebuttals from Lewandowsky but not from myself and other complainants. In addition, it appears that you provided Lewandowsky with a copy of the report and an opportunity to comment, but did not provide a corresponding opportunity to myself or other critics.

    In the interests of fairness and in keeping with your professed goal of being “even-handed and objective”, I therefore request a copy of the investigation report and an opportunity (that is fully equivalent to the opportunity already afforded Lewandowsky) to comment on any statement by Frontiers prior to its formal issuance,

    The journal refused as follows:

    Thank you for your message. Our decision on the retraction of this article was taken on the basis of a number of factors. Frontiers does not wish to enter into further correspondence regarding this matter and we appreciate your understanding.

    “A number of factors”. no doubt.

    • pottereaton
      Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 12:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Is it because they think that you still might file a defamation complaint against them?

      I sit on a community board that governs a small gated community of large parcels. Over 140 owners. We’ve been told that when litigation is threatened or imminent to not communicate with potential litigants because anything you say can be used against you.

      • Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 2:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

        I made two complaints to Frontiers last year. They replied as follows:

        27/03/13
        Dear Mr. Chambers,
        Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We are taking this email very seriously and will temporarily remove the article while we investigate your claims. Please feel free to forward us any further information that will assist us with our investigation. 

        Dear Mr. Chambers,
        Further to my email regarding your concerns of the Lewandowsky. I would just like to reassure you that we are still investigating into the matter and would like to know whether it would be okay for you if we forwarded along your concerns to the authors? Thank you for letting us know. 

        03/04/13
        Dear Mr. Chambers,
        Thank you for your various emails on this subject.  You have made a general allegation of defamation; to allow Frontiers to investigate any claim of defamation we need to have specific references to quotes from the article, together with specific explanations of why you consider it or them to be defamatory.  Such latter explanations should include, where relevant, references to any other materials which support your allegation.
        You will understand that Frontiers is neutral in this matter and simply wishes to establish the facts.  We need to handle this matter swiftly and must therefore request that your detailed response, in a form to be forwarded to the authors, reach me by Friday 5th April at 1400 CET.  If we have not received your materials by that time (which represents approximately three days since our original request) we will in principle have to proceed on the basis that you do not intend to proceed with your allegations.  
        Please let me know if you have any further queries.

        The urgency of their third letter suggests that they were more interested in avoiding a libel case than in correcting errors in the paper. Lewandowsky apparently had our complaints in his hands for nearly a year before they reached a decision. What was going on?
        I’m thinking of following up Terry S’s excellent idea of seeking discovery of documents concerning my complaints under the Swiss data protection act.
        http://www.dataprotection.eu/pmwiki/pmwiki.php?n=Main.CH
        Anyone else who complained and who is interested in following this up please ask Steve for my email address

    • Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 8:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

      To be honest, Steve, I cannot say that I am surprised by this reply from Frontiers. But, I suppose, looking on the bright side, we should be thankful that it didn’t take them too long to “respond”.

      ‘Mediocrity forever’ must be their motto, methinks!

    • sue
      Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 1:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Steve, I came across this response from Frontier to someone’s inquiry about the retraction. Thought you might be interested.

      “I received a not answer from the journal in regards to my message asking about the paper:

      Thank you for your message. Our decision on the retraction of this article was taken on the basis of a number of factors. This decision had nothing to do with caving in to pressure and was driven by our own analysis of various factors and advice received. Frontiers is not engaged in the climate science debate but is clearly engaged in favor of solid science, and that it is of regret that the weight of the different factors involved led us to the conclusion that we had to retract the article.

      Frontiers cannot comment further on this decision and we appreciate your understanding.”

      http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/03/21/the-paper-they-dont-want-you-to-read/comment-page-1/#comment-770446

  40. Skiphil
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 11:24 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The journal fundamentally out-sourced any ‘investigation’ of the allegations to UWA.

    The fact that the UWA turns out to have conducted no investigation at all means that the journal’s position, both ethically and legally, is on quicksand. [emphasis added below]

    The Frontiers editorial office sought particulars of the procedures of the UWA investigation (see list below), telling UWA that they had appointed a team of senior academics to examine the incident and hoped that “the team’s report could state that they have seen UWA’s decision and the background documents and are happy to be able to rely on that as a solid and well-founded decision (assuming that to be the case)”. They also stated that they not only wanted the evaluation to be “robust, even-handed and objective” but for the process to be perceived as such:

    Steve: my blog was about an investigation into the earlier Hoax (published by Psych Science), not Fury (published by Frontiers) and in the news. It is extremely important to get your facts right. Otherwise you give easy targets for people to dismiss criticism and end up making things harder for me.

    • Skiphil
      Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 8:52 AM | Permalink | Reply

      So sorry for referring to the wrong article/issue, perhaps delete my comment? Thx

  41. sue
    Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 12:24 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Lew knows that naming participants in the SI was unethical as per this comment on a later paper.

    “The questions are answered in the Methods section. The poll was conducted by a professional survey firm that specializes in representative samples. Individuals are, of course, *not* identified for ethical reasons.”

    http://www.plosone.org/annotation/listThread.action;jsessionid=CD0A2CE65FA6AD297DDB0AE81B3CC35A?root=73329

    • Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 3:38 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Nice catch, Sue! Of course he knows this – just as he knows that he lied when he claimed to have contacted five skeptic blogs in his initial Moon Hoax “survey” paper. Not to mention the lies he put forward in the course of using the cover of an ethics checkbox application for a completely different subject for his misleadingly proposed slight amendment.

      It would indeed be quite fascinating to hear Lew (and/or UWA and/or Psychological Science and/or Frontiers in Psychology) expound on this obviously cutting-edge theory of “variable ethics” when applied to the identification of individuals in a “research” paper, would it not?!

      • sue
        Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 4:17 AM | Permalink | Reply

        I’ve noticed that Lew has reposted the paper but not the SI. Does Frontiers have a policy that SI material must be supplied? That would explain why the paper was retracted yet Frontiers could still say the PAPER had no ethical issues. It is hard to keep track of “variable ethics” with these guys.

  42. pottereaton
    Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 8:45 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Hits on Lewandowsky’s Fury paper at UWA overwhelmed the server so they’ve provided more bandwidth for it

    • Skiphil
      Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 8:55 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Lewandowsky insists on characterizing the paper’s ‘popularity’ when he should be calling it ‘notoriety’

  43. tlitb1
    Posted Mar 26, 2014 at 5:10 AM | Permalink | Reply

    @Sue Mar 25, 2014 at 4:17 AM

    I’ve noticed that Lew has reposted the paper but not the SI. Does Frontiers have a policy that SI material must be supplied? That would explain why the paper was retracted yet Frontiers could still say the PAPER had no ethical issues. It is hard to keep track of “variable ethics” with these guys.

    Excellent point! How can this be considered a “real” paper if they don’t ensure that the SI data is there to back up the work?
    I would love to see how they managed to extract Richard Betts from the table in 40138_Lewandowsky_DataSheet1. I think however they try it would expose the arbitrariness of their data gathering. ;)

    Also that Frontiers response you found from the Travis Stewart comment on PZ Myers is pretty devastating to the victim-hood “bully” claim.

    This decision had nothing to do with caving in to pressure and was driven by our own analysis of various factors and advice received.

    Can’t be any argument against that indicates Frontiers do *not* think they have been bullied into their decision.

    • sue
      Posted Mar 26, 2014 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Reply

      tlitb1,
      I’ve been thinking about the investigation on Frontiers part some more and I’m not convinced about what I wrote before. I believe there is some evidence of some real academic and ethical problems with the paper itself.

      As for the victimhood and bullying, if I was a Lew supporter, I would be laying low to see how this pans out rather than printing excuses and opinions in a national newspaper, since now they seem to have been contradicted by the publisher themselves ;)

6 Trackbacks

  1. By Week in review | Climate Etc. on Mar 22, 2014 at 10:38 AM

    […] Steve McIntyre […]

  2. […] http://climateaudit.org/2014/03/21/lewandowskys-fury/ […]

  3. […] BishopHill (here and here), Geoff Chambers, Steve McIntyre, Australian Climate Madness (here and here), and the […]

  4. […] http://climateaudit.org/2014/03/21/lewandowskys-fury/ […]

  5. […] that they “wish to retract” Lewandowsky et al‘s Fury paper [see Steve McIntyre's Lewandowsky’s Fury for details] and Nuccitelli took to the airwaves at the U.K. Guardian. Notice any November […]

  6. […] http://climateaudit.org/2014/03/21/lewandowskys-fury/ […]

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