Lewandowsky Ghost-wrote Conclusions of UWA Ethics Investigation into “Hoax”

Following the retraction of Lewandowsky’s Fury, the validity of University of Western Australia ethics “investigations” is again in the news. At present, we have negligible information on the University’s investigation into Fury, but we do have considerable (previously unanalysed) information on their earlier and illusory “investigation” into prior complaints about the ethics application for Moon Landing Hoax (“Hoax”).

This earlier “investigation” (recently cited at desmog here and Hot Whopper here) supposedly found that the issues that I had raised in October 2012 were “baseless” and that the research in Hoax was “conducted in compliance with all applicable ethical guidelines”.

However, these conclusions were not written by a university investigation or university official but by Lewandowsky himself and simply transferred to university letterhead by UWA Deputy Vice Chancellor Robyn Owens within minutes after Lewandowsky had sent her language that was acceptable to him.

In today’s post, I’ll set out a detailed chronology of these remarkable events.

The Ethics Application for Hoax
Simon Turnill originally discovered and reported the machinations of Lewandowsky’s ethics application for Lewandowsky’s Hoax (noted up at CA here).

Hoax was published under the supposed authority of the University’s ethics permit RA/4/1/4007, a permit which had been originally issued for an entirely unrelated project under which pedestrians in Perth were interviewed about their “understanding of statistical trends in time series data”. The original ethics application included an ethics checklist, which, according to Australian policy, included the following question whether the research involved any deception or concealment: “Does the research involve active concealment of information from participants and/or planned deception of participants”. To which Lewandowsky answered “NO”.

By August 2010, Lewandowsky had become bored with the time series project and instead wanted to show that skeptics were conspiracy theorists. Instead of interviewing pedestrians in downtown Perth about trends, Lewandowsky wanted to do an internet survey about conspiracy theories.

Lewandowsky’s new project was so different from the existing approval that many important sections of the existing application ceased to apply (even the purpose of the study as stated in the original application no longer applied.) But instead of filing a new ethics approval for the entirely different project, Lewandowsky chose instead to pass off the new project as merely an amendment to his existing project, falsely assuring the ethics administrator in an amendment request that the survey would only be “modified slightly”. Attached to the email request were questions used in the Hoax survey. (^^- I’ll add a link to the documents.)

I am writing to seek approval for an amendment to the procedure for RA/4/1/4007.

In a nutshell, I want to administer the survey not in person but via the internet using professional survey software (e.g. http://www.surveymonkey.com or equivalent. As before, completion of the survey will be taken to constitute consent, and as before a variant of the approved infomration sheet will be shown before the survey commences.

The survey will be modified slightly as follows,
(1) The graphical extrapolation task is removed
(2) In addition to the already-approved items, some further questions will be presented that are enclosed in this email [information regarding questions already approved not reproduced here]
(3) In all other respects the approved procedure remains unchanged except that it is administered via internet, with consent again being expressed by completion of the electronic questionnaire.
(4) Participants will be recruited by posting links at relevant websites (e.g. http://www.uwa.edu.au/climatescience or science-oriented “blogs”.).

Misled by Lewandowsky’s false assertion that the survey was only “modified slightly”, ethics officer Kate Kirk approved the changes the next morning, the speed of the change surprising even Lewandowsky. (“wow, thanks for the quick approval.”) Emboldened, Lewandowsky then requested permission for active concealment of his association with the survey (a concealment that Lewandowsky only applied to skeptic blogs):

One question: would it be possible to mention only my assistant’s name, Charles Hanich, on the online survey? The reason for this is that I have been writing on the climate issue in public e.g. [here] and my name alone routinely elicits frothing at the mouth by various people, not to mention the hate mail I receive.

Because I am interested in soliciting opinions also from those folks, I would like to withhold my name from the survey as I fear it might contaminate responding.

Under the Australian National Statement, “active concealment” and/or deception in the course of a research project must be approved by a Human Ethics Research Committee and cannot be delegated to an ethics officer (section 2.3.4). Evaluation of proposed deception/concealment requires that the concealment or deception will not create any “harm” to the participants and that “a full explanation, both of the real aims and/or methods of the research, and also of why the concealment or deception was necessary, will subsequently be made available to participants” (section 2.3.6).

Kirk knew or ought to have known that only a Human Research Ethics Committee could approve deception/active concealment. Nonetheless, only five minutes after Lewandowsky’s email request, Kirk approved Lewandowsky’s deception/concealment request, saying that she “look[ed] forward to receiving the hate mail”:

Yes, fine for you to leave your name off as long as the standard complaints paragraph and contact details are there. I look forward to receiving the hate mail. I’ll let you know if I get any

Lewandowsky himself knew or ought to have known that only a Human Research Ethics Committee could approve deception/active concealment and that this was beyond Kirk’s authority. Nonetheless, Lewandowsky accepted this flawed approval. Lewandowsky even departed from these terms: although he withheld his association from the survey from skeptic blogs (not that any of them had heard of him at the time), he personally promoted the survey with eco-activist blogs.

Lewandowsky’s deception/concealment of his association with the survey later became an issue when, following publication of Hoax in August 2012, people wondered which skeptic blogs had been contacted by Lewandowsky. Because Lewandowsky had originally concealed his association with the survey from skeptic bloggers, searches of 2010 emails for “Lewandowsky” all failed (as I and others soon determined). Rather than explain his earlier concealment, Lewandowsky gleefully sought to embarrass bloggers who were unable to locate a survey invitation and taunted skeptic bloggers in a series of posts on a UWA blog. In one of his taunts, Lewandowsky coyly mentioned his “assistant”; I noticed the sly change from Lewandowsky himself and did a further search on “uwa.edu”, locating an invitation from Hanich. Within a few days, Pielke Jr, Roy Spencer and Marc Morano also located invitations, solving Lewandowsky’s game by September 10. A few hours after Spencer and Morano had identified themselves, Lewandowsky published a blog post purporting to expose the various bloggers (though they had already identified themselves.) Lewandowsky even back-dated his blogpost to seemingly precede the Spencer and Morano self-identifications and, in Fury, claimed to have outed all of the bloggers (even me).

Turnill’s October 2012 Blog Post
Returning to the sequence of events: in September 2012, Simon Turnill had filed an FOI request for the ethics application for Hoax, receiving the dossier on or about October 12, 2012.

Lewandowsky also received a copy of the FOI dossier and brazenly told university administator that the FOI release would show that he and ethics handler Kate Kirk had meticulously administered the amendments:

UWA is about to release a batch of my emails relating to the conspiracy paper to an individual in Sydney. I have enclosed the package, which to untrained eyes might suggest that Kate Kirk and I crossed every t and dotted every I with respect to the ethics application.

However, the reality was entirely different from Lewandowsky’s fantasy. Turnill immediately noticed the cursory approval process, describing the events in detail blog post on October 12. I covered Turnill’s first post at CA here). A couple of days later, Turnill wrote a followup post, in which he contrasted relevant sections of the National Statement (see post here) with the actual events. Turnill sent five ethics questions to UWA (at present, I don’t know whether the UWA responded.)

The October Complaint
After reading Turnill’s account of Lewandowsky’s ethics ‘amendment’, I notified Eric Eich (editor of Psychological Science) of Turnill’s findings, observing that the documents showed that Lewandowsky had not obtained “informed consent” for the Hoax survey, copying DVCR Robyn Owens:

Dear Dr Eich,
I draw your attention to the fact that Lewandowsky did not obtain informed consent from the University of Western Australia Ethics Committee for the survey reported in Lewandowsky et al 2012.

Lewandowsky had obtained consent for a study entitled “Understanding Statistical Trends” in which he proposed personal interviews on how people understood statistical trends. He then requested a “minor amendment” from an administrative officer, which was approved within 24 hours without the administrative officer apparently considering the major changes proposed by Lewandowsky.

Instead of the original proposal about “Understanding Statistical Trends”, Lewandowsky changed to a questionnaire about conspiracies. Instead of interviewing people in Perth, he changed it to an online survey. Lewandowsky said that he would leave his name off the survey request for fear of contaminating results, but the survey posts at several anti-skeptic blogs specifically refer to Lewandowsky. See http://australianclimatemadness.com/2012/10/12/lewandowsky-foi-substantial-last-minute-changes-to-project-waved-through-by-uwa-ethics-committee/
Regards,
Stephen McIntyre

Twenty minutes after receipt of my email, someone (presumably from Owens’ office) forwarded my complaint to Lewandowsky, asking him to have the research ethics committee send Owens’ office a letter saying that “they have no qualms about your study”:

Hi Stephan- [McIntyre] is back. His latest objection is in a different class from the others, as it relates to ethical issues surrounding your survey. Please check with your university’s research ethics committee and ask them to send me a letter to show they have no qualms about your study, the way it was actually done.
Best, ^
^

Later that morning (Saturday Oct 13 9:23), Lewandowsky replied as follows:

Dear Robyn [Owens] (and Gina [Barron]):
See below for an approach to the ^ of ^ by the same individual [McIntyre] who encouraged people to contact Robyn with allegations of research misconduct when he failed to find the emails he received in his in box.

In my view, the FOI release shows that I dotted every ‘i’ and crossed every ‘t’ with respect to ethics, and I have forwarded the entire tranche to the ^. However, it would be good if he could also receive a direct statement from UWA confirming that the study was done in accordance with HR Ethics stipulations.

My understanding is that you have already responded to similar such allegations directly, so I am wondering if you might have a letter handy that you could send to [Eich]. His address is on the CC line. Alternatively I can contact HR Ethics, please advise what you prefer.
Regards Steve

Late in the afternoon (October 13 18:53; FOIT,37), DVCR Owens replied to Lewandowsky (cc Barron; ^; Wilkin; Ferns; Dixon) that she would work with the Ethics Office to get a letter to Eich:

I’ll work with the Ethics Office to get a letter to the editor [Eich] as soon as possible next week.

In the evening (Oct 13 19:20; FOIT,37), Mark Dixon of the Ethics Office undertook to draft a response the following Monday (Oct 15):

Hi Robyn, I’ll compile the documentation on the ethics application, amendment, and approvals on Monday. If you like I can draft a response if you think this warrants a response. I can’t get TRIM from home, but I doubt that a minor amendment would have required a HREC review under the National Statement which we use as our guide for ethical review. Cheers, Mark Dixon

Dixon’s premise was, needless to say, diametrically opposed to the facts that Turnill had uncovered, which had shown both that the amendment was not only not “minor”, but an almost total transformation of the project, which additionally introduced active concealment of Lewandowsky’s association with the survey.

The next day (Sunday Oct 14 10:12; FOIT,36), Lewandowsky wrote to Dixon and Owens, co0unseling them to limit their response to the bare assertion that “the research was conducted in accordance with UWA ethics procedures”, drawing on his supposed experience with “this individual and others of his ilk”:

Hi Mark, just in case it saves you some time, I’ve enclosed the FOI release which contains all ethics correspondence for this study: see folio 13 and then folio 27 onward.

Based on my experience with this individual [McIntyre] and others of his ilk, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that his actions are not motivated by concerns about research ethics. In particular, my experience compels me to advise against responding to his concerns either directly or indirectly with anything but the briefest note that “the research was conducted in accordance with UWA ethics procedures.” (Which it most definitely was).

I can assure you that anything beyond that (e. g., an explanation of why the amendments were appropriate) would simply provide traction for interminable further rounds of dissections, complaints, and allegations. Please do not assume that those individuals are guided by the same ethical standards to which we subscribe.

l must hasten to add that I have no intention to interfere with your intended actions, so please feel free to dismiss my comments. However, equally, I would feel irresponsible if I didn’t alert you to the nature of the situation and the characters involved as best I can.
Regards Steve

That evening (Oct 14 20:12), Dixon wrote to Lewandowsky cc Owens, stating that he had looked at Climate Audit (“the inquirer’s blog”) and determined that I had “a private agenda and distorts and omits material where it suits his needs”:

Thanks Stephan, Much appreciated.
Whatever I produce by way of a compilation or draft will be at Robyn Owen’s discretion to use. I don’t plan on making any public statements on this outside of DVC(R) or HREC Chair. I can see from the inquirer’s blog that he has a private agenda and distorts and omits material where it suits his needs. So I am rather glad that I am not the one standing in the firing line. My congratulations, condolences and encouragement to you in that you are one such.
Cheers, Mark Dixon

Early Monday morning (Oct 15 7:36; FOIT,36), Lewandowsky replied to Dixon:

thanks, mark. I’ve gotten used to being in the firing line, although it does tend to waste time that I could otherwise spend on research. but then, that’s the whole point of their attacks. cheers steve

Dixon sent his promised comment on the ethics protocol to Owens and Lewandowsky on Monday morning (October 15 9:15):

Hi Robyn,
The research protocol Stephan is publishing from, RA/4/1/4007, was assessed as having low risk in accordance with §5.1.18 through §5.1.21 of the National statement on ethical conduct in human research (2007, p. 79) and in accordance with the National Statement’s definition of risk. The National Statement does not require such research to be reviewed by an HREC [Human Research Ethics Committee]. The people assessing the protocol for ethical considerations met all the requirements of §5.1.19 in making that assessment. Similarly amendments to the protocol which did not alter the risk did not require HREC review either.
Sincerely, Dr Mark Dixon

Let’s pause and parse for a moment. The protocol originally approved in RA/4/1/4007 was for the interview of pedestrians in Perth regarding their understanding of trends. Dixon observed that the risk associated with this protocol made it eligible for ethical review by qualified personnel (rather than the full Human Research Ethics Committee) and that the people who had assessed the original protocol had been so qualified. Dixon does not consider whether the (almost total) change in protocol requires a fresh ethics application, rather than a mere amendment. Be that as it may, the salient issue is whether the amended protocol – which now included the deception/active concealment – required HREC review.

An hour later (Oct 15 10:44; FOIT, 11), Owens asked Dixon to draft a letter to (apparently) Eich:

Thanks Mark. The [^ - editor ??] is [^ -Eich ??] (copied into your email), but I think it would be good to draft a letter to him, on my letterhead and one I sign, explaining this in a way that’s a little clearer to a US audience – can you do this please? Or we can talk first?

Dixon replied 15 minutes later (Oct 15 10:59; FOIT, 11) with draft language for Eich saying that the original research and each amendment had been determined to be “low risk” and “approved according to the requirements” of the National Statement. (This was over-egging the pudding, to borrow Briffa’s phrase, since a fresh questionnaire had not been completed for the wholesale changes of August 2010. Nor did Dixon address the need to send the proposed deception/active concealment to HREC.)

RO[wens]: “it would be good to draft a letter to him, on my letterhead and one I sign, explaining this in a way that’s a little clearer to a US audience”. Happy to talk about it, although the following might be enough. I suggest:

The research protocol followed by Professor Lewendowsky and published in Lewandowsky et al 2012 was submitted for review to the University of Western Australia’s Human Research Ethics Office where it was assessed against the principles and definitions of Australia’s national guide to research involving people: The National statement on ethical conduct in human research (2007, updated 2009). Both the original research, and each amendment to it, were determined to be ‘low risk’ and approved according to the requirements of that code of practice.

Later on the same day (Monday Oct 15 14:48; FOIT, 10), Dixon sent Lewandowsky the proposed language of the letter to Eich:

Hi Stephan, I have wording for Robyn Owens to prepare a letter, as follows:

The research protocol followed by Professor Lewendowsky with results published in Lewendowsky et al … was submitted for review to the University of Western Australia’s Human Research Ethics Office where it was assessed against the principles and definitions of Australia’s national guide to research involving people: The National statement on ethical conduct in human research (2007, updated 2009). Both the original research, and each amendment to it, were determined to be “low risk” and approved according to the requirements of that code of practice.

Robyn Owens would like to include a list of those publications, because she understands there may be several and we can cover all of them with the one statement avoiding, "oh, but what about … " inquiries. What do you think? Do you have such a list you can send me?
Cheers, Mark Dixon

Half an hour later (Oct 15 15:18; FOIT, 9), Lewandowsky replied by adding the sentences bolded below, which add the claim that the University had “considered” my claims and found them to be “baseless” and that his research had been “conducted in compliance with all applicable ethical guidelines”:

The research protocol followed by Professor Lewendowsky with results published in Lewandowsky, Oberauer, & Gignac (in press, Psychological Science) was submitted for review to the University of Western Australia’s Human Research Ethics Office where it was assessed against the principles and definitions of Australia’s national guide to research involving people: The National statement on ethical conduct in human research (2007, updated 2009). Both the original research, and each amendment to it, were determined to be “low risk” and approved according to the requirements of that code of practice. We have considered the issues raised by [^- Mr. McIntyre] in his letter to the [^ - editor of Psychological Science] dated 12 October and found them to be baseless. The research reported in the above paper was conducted in compliance with all applicable ethical guidelines.

Lewandowsky added that it was important to clarify that all my objections had been “found to be baseless” as I wasn’t easily fobbed off:

Are you ok with the added sentences above in red ink? The [^ - ??? ] asked for something along those lines, presumably so he can close the door on further approaches by [^ - McIntyre?]. I believe I forwarded that individual’s letter [McIntyre] to you over the weekend, and it would be important to clarify that all his objections were found to be baseless or unsubstantiated. Otherwise he will keep gnawing away at this-as he has on another paper that wasn’t to his liking for 14 (!)years.

The identity of the person who “asked for something along those lines” was redacted. Perhaps it was Eich in an undisclosed email. Perhaps someone else. A couple of hours later in the same afternoon (Oct 15 17:07; FOIT, 9), Dixon forwarded Lewandowsky’s re-draft to Owens:

Hi Robyn,
Please see the following updated text with insertions by Stephan and the rational for those.
Cheers, Mark.

Ten minutes later and without any further consideration or reflection (Oct 15 17:16; FOIT, 8), Owens asked her secretary to put Lewandowsky’s revision on her letterhead for signature to be sent to (presumably) Eich:

Dear Bernadette,
Can you put the following on my letterhead for signature, to be sent to [^ - Eich ?]. He’s at ^.

On October 16 (FOIT, 4), DVCR Owens sent (presumably) Eich the letter exactly as re-drafted by Lewandowsky.

On October 26, Eich sent me a blow-off letter quoting and highlighting the exact sentences that Lewandowsky himself had written and inserted in Owens’ response.

Dear Mr. McIntyre: I’ve received a letter from Robyn Owens (Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Western Australia that relates to your most recent email to me (shown below). Dr. Owens states that “We have considered the issues raised by Mr McIntyre in his letter to the Editor of Psychological Science dated 12 October and found them to be baseless. The research reported in the above paper was conducted in compliance with all applicable ethical guidelines”

If you have a complaint about ethics, please address them to UWA. If you have a concern about Dr. Lewandowsky’s paper, please submit a Commentary after it has been published. As noted in my email to you of 25 September, I would be happy to provide more details on the Commentary submission and evaluation processes. In the meantime, I will entertain no further correspondence on this subject.

Respectfully,
Eric Eich

The blog posts at CA and ACM in mid-October also triggered a couple of other complaints. One correspondent wrote on Oct 16 (FOIT,2):

Professor Lewandowsky has become embroiled in just such a situation. He is accused of what can only be described as gross misconduct. He is alleged to have got approval for a certain research project, then of switching the project to something else, and then of attempting to deliberately mislead in the publication of his results. The allegations can be found well summarised on the “Climate Audit’ web site with substantial supporting information, and on many other places on the web.

I wondered if the University was aware of these allegations and whether the university deemed it necessary to investigate these allegations to either clear Professor Lewandowsky or take the necessary actions if the allegations are found to have merit. To simply leave the allegations unanswered cannot be good for the university. 1 don’t believe that the responses from Professor Lewandowsky have been adequate and that as a result it may now be time for the University to step in.

The draft response to this complaint (the final response is not in the FOI materials) asserted that Lewandowsky had complied with process requirements and falsely stated that his protocols had been “approved by the Human Ethics Committee”:

A comprehensive application process is required for human research projects. This application process includes the proposal and any research instruments, such as a survey, that are to be utilised. The project undertaken by Professor Lewandowsky followed this process and the project, including the survey, was conducted as approved by the Human Ethics Committee.

Aftermath
Recently, in the wake of the retraction of Fury, Graham Redfearn of desmog referred back to this earlier incident, claiming that the university had “investigated” the earlier complaint and determined that the allegations were “baseless” and that the research had been “conducted in compliance with all applicable ethical guidelines” – language which, as shown above, was written by Lewandowsky himself:

FOI documents previously released show the complaints about ethics approvals were “baseless” and that Lewandowsky had carefully followed ethics guidelines. Several sceptics called for for investigations to be carried out and complained that researchers did not have proper “ethics” approvals for the study… UWA investigated and told Psychological Science the “research … was conducted in compliance with all applicable ethical guidelines”, and that complaints on these grounds were baseless.

Hot Whopper linked to Redfearn, falsely claiming that it showed that I had “made up stuff” and making “false accusations”:

Graham also wrote about how Steven McIntyre made up stuff, including falsely accusing the scientists of not get ethics approval (which they did)

Conclusion
Under UWA policies, if they receive an allegation of research misconduct, the “Designated Person” (DVCR Owens) is supposed to “conduct a preliminary assessment of the allegation” to determine whether “the substance of the allegation, if proven, would amount to research misconduct; and whether a prima facie case of research misconduct exists”. The Designated Person is required to maintain records of their investigation.

UWA documents show that no such investigation took place in response to complaints by me and others about Lewandowsky’s failure to properly inform the University about the scope of changes to the Understanding Statistical Trends protocol. These changes included the introduction of deception/active concealment of skeptic bloggers, a change that could not be granted by ethics officer Kirk, but which necessitated approval by the University’s Human Research Ethics Committee.

Most remarkably, the widely-cited key conclusions of the “investigation” – “We have considered the issues raised by Mr McIntyre in his letter to the Editor of Psychological Science dated 12 October and found them to be baseless. The research reported in the above paper was conducted in compliance with all applicable ethical guidelines” – were not written by an investigator or university official but ghostwritten by Lewandowsky himself and signed by DVCR Owens within minutes of receipt from Lewandowsky.

Today’s note pertains only to the ethics approval of Hoax. The circumstances surrounding the ethics application for Fury are much worse and will be discussed separately.


201 Comments

  1. Anthony Watts
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

    Kudos to Steve for wading through reams of administrative dreck to figure out what actually went on behind the scenes.

    • Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 7:51 PM | Permalink

      You’ve got that right, there are not many of Steve’s Ilk on this rock.

  2. Skiphil
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 2:03 PM | Permalink

    Incredible, yet nothing truly surprises anymore with these people.

    Imagine if every (alleged) miscreant were allowed to conduct their own ‘investigation’ (sic) and summarize the ‘findings’ as desired.

    Richard Nixon: “exhaustive investigation has found that this administration operates in strict accordance with all ethical and legal requirements.”

    Trofim Lysenko: “my rigorous investigations have proved that no other hypotheses need ever be studied in genetic science; Comrade Stalin is free to purge all inconvenient scientists.”

    • Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 3:38 PM | Permalink

      Yes. Imagine, for example, if a scientist under investigation were to get to choose which of his papers would be checked by the inquiry team investigating his conduct.

  3. PhilH
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

    My God. What kind of people are these? And they are supposed to be ethical? What a joke.

    • Taphonomic
      Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 3:18 PM | Permalink

      What kind of people? Consider that until February 2012 Peter Gleick was the Chair of AGU’s Task Force on Scientific Ethics.

  4. KNR
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 2:34 PM | Permalink

    Given the speed they replied , Dixon was either very keen to support regardless of facts or had little to do, either way they should no longer be in post.

  5. Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 2:36 PM | Permalink

    The story is worthy of a novel itself. But we will be satisfied with yours and Turnill’s efforts. A very enjoyable, if extremely troubling, read.

  6. Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 2:41 PM | Permalink

    Administrators at UWA need to bear in mind that the end result of this sequence of negligence on the part of UWA and the journal publisher is that a group of involuntary participants in a UWA research project were named without their consent in a publication and described as having clinical psychological disorders. Before they waive this away as a laughing matter they really ought to have the file read by someone who isn’t a partisan for Lewandowsky.

    • Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 5:41 PM | Permalink

      Oh Ross. Once again you’ve hit the nail on the head!

    • gober
      Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 7:06 PM | Permalink

      Is that right? Steve said:

      “Today’s note pertains only to the ethics approval of Hoax. The circumstances surrounding the ethics application for Fury are much worse and will be discussed separately”

    • cohenite
      Posted Mar 27, 2014 at 3:11 AM | Permalink

      Exactly; legally the word is defamation. Defamation can proceed on a class action basis and until it does people like Lewandowsky and institutions like UWA will continue to do it.

  7. Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 2:41 PM | Permalink

    Hi Steve

    If you do a follow up, please feel free to quote from my correspondence to UWA (ref Fury) and my ethics complaint.

  8. Bob K.
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 2:45 PM | Permalink

    Where I work any research that involves human subjects, which includes surveys and use of personally idenifiable information of any kind, must go through a substantial Institutional Review Board process to secure approval. Annoying as it may be, I understand why a long history of glib and abusive treatment of research subjects has led to this pass. Good research institutions adhere to the principles set out in the Belmont Report to ensure ethical treatment of human subjects in research. By contrast, UWA seems to have made a joke of them, which only plants in my mind the impression that UWA is a low-reach quality research instituton in all respects.

    • observa
      Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 7:08 PM | Permalink

      “By contrast, UWA seems to have made a joke of them, which only plants in my mind the impression that UWA is a low-reach quality research instituton in all respects.”

      As it plants in any serious scientific researcher’s mind and that’s the rub for all such persons at UWA now. Unless real research disciplines within UWA demand full accountability from a Psychology Dept, that to many looking on has become captive to partisan, political pseudoscience and grubby research ethics, they will all be tarred with the same brush. Over to all the staff at UWA on that now.

  9. Sven
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 2:46 PM | Permalink

    Oh my… Circle the wagons, protect your own against the “evil”. At any cost. I can’t but repeat what I said at Lucia’s – what science can the man do when from everything he says it’s clear that he has almost maniacal hatred for the subjects of his research. Also an ethics question, isn’t it?

  10. artwest
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 3:12 PM | Permalink

    “Please do not assume that those individuals are guided by the same ethical standards to which we subscribe. ”

    I’d like to think that I definitely do not subscribe to the same ethical standards as them.

  11. tlitb1
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 3:25 PM | Permalink

    Fascinating illustration of keeping the thread from the start to end so you can see how the people who it seems don’t have the full picture, each are enlisted by Lewandowsky in doing things on behalf as he walks it through ultimately leading to the a nice impression that the whole process is rigorous!

    It seems Lewandowsky quite often successfully pushes a button of ideological solidarity with his colleagues in order to help expedite things.

    I’ve ploughed through that FOI about the ethics approval and was amazed how the transformation from the initial specifications were jettisoned so completely and easily until you see only the prized RA/4/1/4007 designation number stays intact at the end.

    It is quite possible this happens often in UWA and their ethics procedure is a joke but if they do any thing serious under its auspices e.g. medical trials, I would certainly hope not.

  12. timothy sorenson
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 3:29 PM | Permalink

    I have to agree with one statement made by Lew:

    “those individuals are guided by the same ethical standards to which we subscribe.”

    Correct, you-Steve M. and other HAVE standards! They are guided by what?

    • timothy sorenson
      Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 3:31 PM | Permalink

      Whoops! sorry there was a NOT earlier in the quoted line.”
      Specifically:
      ” Please do not assume that those individuals are guided by the same ethical standards to which we subscribe.”

  13. LadyLifeGrows
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 3:32 PM | Permalink

    OK, they didn’t really follow the official ethics procedures. Certainly hiding Lewandowski’s name was important to get unbiased results. His results indicated that skeptics were more likely to believe in conspiracy theories. I should think so. Anybody skeptical enough to check facts on things quickly discovers that both the mainstream press and the government lie about many things and participate in serious coverups. The alternative theories can be pretty wild. But the truth can be even crazier.

    Lewandowski’s research inspired a survey on WUWT and other sites to debunk Lewandowski’s methods. After getting the respondents’ basic beliefs about climate change, a number of other questions were asked. The conclusion was that alarmists are more likely to sanction genocide. None of the WUWT commenters said that such result was valid. But while that result was too gruesome to face, I know that it is the truth. We have seen university studies cheering the idea that disease could kill a large slice of mankind. And my own sister is a convinced alarmist. She sent me a rough draft of a novel to critique. It was a nice story of the few survivors of some unnamed holocaust that had killed off most of mankind and sterilized most of the rest. She said she wrote it because most stories were too gloomy and she wanted to show a positive future. Mass death, sterilization and cars ditched in favor of bicycles–that’s an alarmist’s idea of “positive.”

    I am out to save the world–from the environmentalists. They are led by people willing to do any amount of damage to the natural world as long as it harms or kills people.

  14. Johna Till Johnson
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 3:35 PM | Permalink

    To paraphrase the late, great, much-missed Leona Helmsley, “Ethics are for the little people.”

    First he changes the study from in-person interviews to online; then he changes the content from “perception of statistical trends” to “conspiracy theories”; then he deletes his name from the survey (in violation of his institution’s guidelines)… and THEN, when called on all this, he accuses McIntyre of “baseless allegations”.

    Words fail me.

    I’d say I’m glad I’m not paying taxes in Australia, except I live in the U.S. So I’ll just shut up now. :-)

    • Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 5:54 AM | Permalink

      Yeah well I’m paying taxes in the UK and funding low lifes like Lewy.

      Great work Steve. Look forward to the next part. I update the relevant authorities at Bristol (Vice Chancellor, his PA and Lewy’s boss) with all updates to the Lew story. Full email trail kept (they no longer reply) but if the shit does hit the Lewy fan, they will not be able to claim ignorance.

      Twitter #Lewgate to keep an eye on this in the Twitosphere…

  15. Johna Till Johnson
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 3:37 PM | Permalink

    @tlitb1. Damn straight. From now on if I hear any cancer drug was rigorously tested by the UWA, I’ll be sure to run far, far away….

  16. Craig Loehle
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 3:37 PM | Permalink

    Most anyone will find that they themselves have operated according to their own ethical guidelines, though that may set the bar quite low.
    To post a survey on your buddy’s site and announce (wink wink nudge nudge) that the purpose is to disparage skeptics is no doubt up to the highest standards of post-modernism.

  17. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 4:00 PM | Permalink

    This post raises serious ethical issues. Perhaps Dr. Peter Gleick should be engaged for an opinion?

    • pokerguy
      Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 4:13 PM | Permalink

      Oh man, you beat me to it.

    • Paul Courtney
      Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 7:29 PM | Permalink

      If Mr. Lew can supply the language.

      • DEEBEE
        Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 7:07 AM | Permalink

        Does Lew know all the tongues that Gleick can use?

  18. JBirks
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 4:01 PM | Permalink

    It never ceases to amaze. The irony of an ethics committee trying to retroactively “approve” such shoddy work is simply delicious.

  19. DaveS
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

    I hope the University of Bristol will get to read this.

    • Anthony Watts
      Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 4:08 PM | Permalink

      “Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching- even when doing the wrong thing is legal.”

      ― Aldo Leopold

      • gaelansclark
        Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 6:31 PM | Permalink

        Yeah, like saying California was the only state when it was Cali +4. And you know what I am talking about.

  20. pokerguy
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 4:10 PM | Permalink

    Dear Steve,
    Just want to thank you for having the considerable intellect, integrity, drive, and patience to sort through all this dreck on our behalf Not just in this case of course, but over and over again. I’d hate to think where we’d be without you.

  21. Alexander K
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 4:22 PM | Permalink

    I am extremely puzzled as to the motives of the staffers involved in this at UWA who see Lewendowsky and his cohort as desirable for university employment and support. No wonder most Australians (and Kiwis) I talk with regard their universities, and particularly the social sciences departmenrs, as bizarre outposts that are absolutely unrepresentative’ of the local culture.

  22. Man Bearig
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 4:24 PM | Permalink

    Could this be “I have fully investigated myself and found I did nothing wrong, so please go away and leave me alone!”

  23. Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 4:34 PM | Permalink

    research … was conducted in compliance with all applicable ethical guidelines

    Isn’t it amazing that people like Gleick and Lewandowsky have somehow been imbued with the power to determine which “ethical guidelines” are applicable to their creative writing exercises (and/or other material they call “research”) and which are not?!

    As an aside, for a post I hope to finish writing today in which I feature the seeding and gestation of the recently blossomed (if not quite bursting out all over, yet) “bullying and intimidation of publishers” meme, I was going through some of the Turnill FOI files. UWA’s redactions of convenience make it somewhat challenging to fill in some of the gaps! The experience is not dissimilar to completing a jigsaw puzzle!

    One thing I hadn’t realized (until I saw Eich’s blow-off reply to you above) – or perhaps I did know, but had forgotten! – was that Eich had invited you to submit a “Commentary” on the then still unpublished Moon Hoax paper.

    One of the other things that struck me was the similarity between Lewandowsky’s misdirecting “Based on my experience with this individual [McIntyre] and others of his ilk …” and Jones’ equally misdirecting 15 minute (or thereabouts) guided “tour” of CA for the convenience of UEA’s FOI officer.

    But, all in all, after reading your own 2013 correspondence (which you posted clearly outlining the obvious defamatory claims and ethics violations (in hoax and fury), citing chapter and verse – and the rather curious timing of Lewandowsky’s PLoS ONE “replication” paper – I find it unfathomable that UWA, the APS and Frontiers think they can continue to get away with blind reliance on the profusion of confusions that Lewandowsky seems to be “choreographing” (with perhaps more than a little help from the Mann)!

    • Skiphil
      Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 7:41 PM | Permalink

      Perhaps Bristol University can raise funds to create the Peter Gleick Distinguished Chair in Climate Ethics.

      Lewandowsky can be the first to hold this position.

      Ironically, Bristol leads its website with this statement:

      “The University is internationally renowned, ranked in the top 30 universities globally (QS World University Rankings), due to its outstanding teaching and research, its superb facilities and highly talented students and staff.”

      They forgot to mention ethics and integrity, so all is well.

  24. curious
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 4:34 PM | Permalink

    I wonder if Kimberley is still comfortable?:
    +++++++++
    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 [Lewandowsky] 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
    +++++++++

    http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/rf1.html#3166

    • Steven Mosher
      Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 9:53 PM | Permalink

      This will be fun

  25. Sigmundb
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 4:35 PM | Permalink

    Something rotten in the kingdom of Denmark, eh, Australia?
    I assumed the haughty brush-off was due to laziness and convenience but this is mindblowing.
    It makes me literally feel sick, if it gets worse as stated in the article I’m not sure if want to know.
    Cutting through some red tape in the name of expedience I can only too well understand but the coverup is so beyond the pale, letting L. add insult to injury, I’m not sure to laugh, cry or vomit.
    Worst thing, they probably get away with nothing worse than a tsk, tsk from the next ethics investigation if there is one.

  26. Political Junkie
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 4:36 PM | Permalink

    Bristol University’s HR folks might want to go through his resume one more time to see if it also contains works of fiction.

    Unless, of course, their standards are equally low as those at UWA and they are proud of their recent hire!

    One wonders how much respect his students have for their prof.

    • KNR
      Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 4:56 PM | Permalink

      Lots , it is easy life for them has they can get away with any old rubbish given the ‘standard ‘ their tutor set them.

    • dfhunter
      Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 7:25 PM | Permalink

      bet he has this post up on screen,saying “see what I’m/were up against”

      how many will dare to say “Tosser” to his face I wonder ?

      thanks for exposing this Twisted Twit for what he is Steve (again), hope the UWA are proud of the pathetic involvement.

      • dfhunter
        Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 8:20 PM | Permalink

        PS – from BH –
        In Geographical Lew is quoted on the CONTRIBUTORS page –

        “He says that his research into denial has made him more skeptical about his own thought processes.
        “I constantly check whether my opinions are unduly influenced by my world views, and whether I’m overlooking inconvenient data” he says.”

        http://view.vcab.com/?vcabid=ghaSelrjjScllchah

        • Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 9:18 AM | Permalink

          Sounds like Lew is in two minds (or maybe more) – not a good thing for a psychologist I would have thought.

    • Skiphil
      Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 7:31 PM | Permalink

      Political Junkie,

      excellent idea re Lewandowsky’s c.v.

      perhaps it is good for crowd-sourcing scrutiny

      recall that the Duke Univ. cancer researcher was first tripped up by a fictional claim on his resume that was unrelated to his research per se, but which went to his character

  27. Tom C
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 4:40 PM | Permalink

    So, if he sues Mark Steyn at some point he can claim the he was “exonerated by the UWA”.

  28. JEM
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 4:41 PM | Permalink

    Attention academia: if you’re not disgusted you’re not paying attention.

    We’ve reached a point at which ‘ethics’ is only a function of public pressure, and as commercial enterprises appear more susceptible to it than government and academia, then we’re pretty much forced to conclude that corporate interests are more ethical than those that suck the tax bucks.

  29. Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 4:46 PM | Permalink

    Congratulations Steve for this object lesson in detective work. It’s not as statistically rigorous ,as your study of Briffa’s Yamal larches, and not as funny as your Starbucks Hypothesis. But it’s about people, not trees, who are more anxious to protect their posteriors than your average strip bark pine. So maybe the repercussions will be more immediate.
    I too had some interaction with Professor Eich (another tree) of the university of British Columbia. On the second of April 2013 he wrote to me as follows:
    “Dear Mr. Chambers–Your email to the Sage central office has been relayed to me, and in turn I have sent it to Dr. Lewandowsky and asked that he respond to your criticisms. I’ll write to you again once I receive his response, but please note that may be quite a while: my understanding is that Dr. Lewandowsky is in transit from Australia to England, and he will need time to settle into his new surroundings. …
    Eric Eich”
    Since when I have heard nothing.

    Your link labelled “frothing” leads to a Jo Nova article which refers to an article by Lewandowsky (11/3/2010)

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/33178.html

    in which he already announces the conclusions of the research on which he was to report three years later:
    “It must be of grave concern when the opinions of the same conspiracy theorists who believe that Prince Phillip runs the world’s drug trade are given credence by the media when it comes to climate change”.
    He goes on to say:
    “Anyone can experience this scientific consensus hands-on in a few seconds: Google “climate change” and you get nearly 60 million hits. Now go to the menu labelled “more” at the top, pull it down and choose the “scholar” option. 58 million hits disappear. The remaining scientific information will get you in touch with the reality on this planet, in the same way that applying the “scholar” filter after googling “sex” eliminates 500 million porn sites and leaves you with civilised discourse about sexuality.”
    I must admit that I’ve never applied the “scholar” filter after googling “sex” so I can’t vouch for Professor Lewandowsky’s conclusion. Can anyone here enlighten me? Is there anyone out there who has made a Google search in order to obtain a “civilised discourse about sexuality”?

    I thought not.

    • Lance Wallace
      Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 6:23 PM | Permalink

      Geoff, I did the search: 32,500,000 responses. First one was a book about Foucault (not the pendulum guy). The post-modernists do seem to love the word “discourse”

      • Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 5:59 AM | Permalink

        Discourse = a one way conversation for your post-modernist…

    • Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 6:33 PM | Permalink

      Professor Eich (another tree) of the university of British Columbia

      Oh, geeze … another one that lives on my patch?! Evidently, he was interviewed for a November 2013 piece in the APS’ Observer on the occasion of the second anniversary of his ascension to the position of Editor in Chief of the APS’ “flagship” Psychological Science. An excerpt [paragraph break inserted for ease of reading and emphasis added -hro] :

      [...] Last year I developed a new course designed to teach advanced UBC psych majors to think and write like reviewers for PS. Working in small groups or individually, students read and critically reviewed a wide variety of in-press papers (manuscripts that have recently entered the production pipeline) and compared and contrasted their assessments with the actual reviews and decision letters written by referees and editors.

      It was a fun course to teach, and it gave the students a unique opportunity to hone their critical-reasoning abilities, strengthen their speaking and writing skills, and learn about leading-edge research in psychology. I look forward to teaching it again next year.

      Considering the obvious limits to Eich’s own “critical-reasoning abilities” – as evidenced by the eventual publication of Lewandowsky’s et al‘s Moon Hoax paper – I do find it somewhat, well, alarming that he should be teaching such a course.

  30. JEM
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 4:47 PM | Permalink

    Those of you questioning UWA motives: THEY DON’T CARE.

    Until they feel at risk for their jobs and future livelihoods, THEY DON’T CARE.

    Until they think they might end up at the Gray-Bar Hotel, THEY DON’T CARE.

    They’re happy to prop up one of their own because they know there will be NO consequences.

    They know that there’s less likelihood that any of them will be sacked for this than for downloading a pirated copy of some nasty video.

  31. None
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 4:52 PM | Permalink

    Stephen Lewandowsky said:
    “thanks, mark. I’ve gotten used to being in the firing line, although it does tend to waste time that I could otherwise spend on research. but then, that’s the whole point of their attacks. cheers steve”

    That’s the words of someone who’d claim to be producing a balanced and solid scientific report on those same people’s psychological condition ? The guy hates the people he’s investigating and has wild conspiratorial notions about their motivations, then produces a paper accusing those people of having wild conspiratorial notions. It’s beyond parody.

  32. Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 5:20 PM | Permalink

    JEM

    That is right. Academics are the untouchables.

  33. cbb
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 5:33 PM | Permalink

    Are there any consequences to violating the university’s ethics code? Are there any consequences for those that have aided and abetted Dr. Lewandowsky’s violations, despite the fact that they were responsible to prevent them? While I enjoy seeing Dr. Lew barbecued in public as much as the next skeptic it appears that there is no professional downside for him to continue his behavior. As far as I can tell there has been no “come to Jesus” meeting by his superiors to “clean up his act” or even the slightest word of reproach.

    • Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 5:56 PM | Permalink

      cbb:

      Are there any consequences to violating the university’s ethics code? Are there any consequences for those that have aided and abetted Dr. Lewandowsky’s violations, despite the fact that they were responsible to prevent them? While I enjoy seeing Dr. Lew barbecued in public as much as the next skeptic it appears that there is no professional downside for him to continue his behavior. As far as I can tell there has been no “come to Jesus” meeting by his superiors to “clean up his act” or even the slightest word of reproach.

      So far there’s nothing. The way all the ethics people defer to Lewandowsky in Steve’s narrative tells me that they knew he was valued and in effect protected by those higher up. But things can change. Boy, they can change.

  34. Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 5:37 PM | Permalink

    The ethics guidelines for UWA are here

    http://www.research.uwa.edu.au/staff/human-research/facts

    Key principles are
    Respect for human beings
    Research merit and integrity
    Justice
    Beneficence.

  35. rogerknights
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 5:41 PM | Permalink

    Academia nuts. Wackademia.
    How sad it is to have lost your mind, or never to have had a mind at all. How true that is.

  36. Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 5:44 PM | Permalink

    For those of us who love science, who have defended science, this ethical betrayal, laid bare for all to see, is breathtaking.

    I was struck by this ironic remark from Lewandowsky:

    “Please do not assume that those individuals [sceptics] are guided by the same ethical standards to which we subscribe.”

    Indeed.

  37. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 5:45 PM | Permalink

    Steve, as always, your patience and attention to detail is legendary. The whole story is hilarious. Lewandowsky investigated himself and found that he was not just above average, but totally without stain or blemish … priceless.

    Keep up the good work,

    w.

  38. manicbeancounter
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 5:54 PM | Permalink

    Lewandowsky wrote (Oct 15 15:18; FOIT, 9)

    I believe I forwarded that individual’s letter [McIntyre] to you over the weekend, and it would be important to clarify that all his objections were found to be baseless or unsubstantiated. Otherwise he will keep gnawing away at this-as he has on another paper that wasn’t to his liking for 14 (!)years.

    Steve,
    People continually underestimate your tenacity and perseverance. It is something that needs to be exposed, though not something I relish reading.

    • Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 6:05 PM | Permalink

      The 14 years is amusing too, in its own way. This was written in October 2012 so I guess Dr Lewandownsky is thinking of the Mann hockey stick paper often called MBH98. As far as I know the history Steve was only alerted to the hockey stick when a variant dropped through his letterbox in Toronto as part of a government leaflet after the third assessment report of the IPCC was published in 2001.

      But he will keep gnawing away. That I think is fair comment. :)

  39. Donn Armstrong
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 5:59 PM | Permalink

    “Please do not assume that those individuals are guided by the same ethical standards to which we subscribe.”

    That’s right! Lew’s standards are very low and Mac’s are much higher.

  40. Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 6:02 PM | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Flying Tiger Comics.

  41. johanna
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 6:11 PM | Permalink

    What I find extraordinary is that UWA did not even make a pretence of actually investigating the complaint. They leapt straight into a knee-jerk response of circling the wagons,in collaboration with the person being complained about.

    Having been involved in handling complaints in other publicly funded organisations in Australia, I have never seen anything like it. At a pragmatic and principle-free level, it is remarkably stupid. They really must feel themselves to be utterly invulnerable.

    And yes, any research from UWA which has been connected to their “ethics” procedures must be regarded as suspect. Clearly, it barely rates the status of a rubber stamp. Why,they have a retrospective rubber stamp!

  42. Don Keiller
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 6:12 PM | Permalink

    Unbelieveable.

    I work at an institution which takes ethics very seriously. Anything involving human subjects, even willing participants, gets a full review. The system works on a “traffic light” basis- any “red lights” mean full review by the faculty ethical panel.

    This is not a “light touch” system.

    snip – up to and including UWA Deputy Vice Chancellor Robyn Owens.

    I tust an official complaint is being wriiten?

    • ianl8888
      Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 1:42 AM | Permalink

      I ttust an official complaint is being written ?

      To whom should it be written, Don ? (serious question)

      • Steve McIntyre
        Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 4:55 AM | Permalink

        Ian observes:

        I ttust an official complaint is being written ?

        To whom should it be written, Don ? (serious question)

        In earlier incidents, readers of various blogs piled onto early criticism of Lewandowsky and submitted a number of complaints that generally were too angry and poorly focused. These were easily dismissed by the University and built up resistance, diminishing the effectiveness of my own complaint.

        Unless readers feel that they are in a position to file documents that are at least as good as mine, I would prefer that they not contact the University. This would be worth conveying to WUWT readers as well.

        • pokerguy
          Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 1:37 PM | Permalink

          Boy is that good advice Steve. Anger, sneer, sarcasm however tempting, are not effective tools of persuasion. I respect Willis, but he’s often guilty of this in his “open letters” which seem designed to play to his home team, with little to no regard for the effectiveness on the other end. Monckton often does the same thing….

          It’s just not smart.

        • ianl8888
          Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 4:42 PM | Permalink

          Steve Mc

          I had not intended for that interpretation of my question – ie. to whom should someone or other now write to complain

          My comment was sardonic – ie. there is no point in complaining to anyone, as all possible UWA avenues seem already complicit

          I must remember that subtlety is not always perceived

        • Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 5:03 PM | Permalink

          Actually, I think that is why they made corrections for me so quickly. I pointed out the error and asked for changes that would lead to a resolution rather than threaten or write a letter pretending to be legally knowledgeable in another country’s system. I don’t know who’s complaints were who’s but some were a bit awkward sounding to create fear.

          Steve: your situation was easier to accommodate than mine.

        • Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 5:04 PM | Permalink

          I guess that by fear, I mean concern on their part of an unsuccessful defense.

        • Posted Mar 26, 2014 at 4:42 PM | Permalink

          Steve,

          My situation was much easier not just a little. Your situation and response is technical because it needs to be, it also addresses areas of policy which I’m not familiar with and am regularly surprised as to how deep into those policies you delve. My comment was meant for (I’m sure from syntax) others replies which read more like angry people with little legal representation, rather than specific wording related to complaints. It seemed to fit with what you wrote above. I just think people hurt themselves sometimes by trying to sound like lawyers.

        • Posted Mar 26, 2014 at 4:42 PM | Permalink

          I have a reply stuck in moderation.

          Steve: nothing in the Pending.

  43. Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 6:14 PM | Permalink

    As Steve points out there, one of the specialists in such dehumanising language and its links to genocide, Paul Bain, another Australian psychologist, repeatedly used the term “denier” to refer to climate skeptics in an article in Nature Climate Change.

    It’s common at such moments on climate blogs to say one couldn’t make it up. But there’s something here that one wouldn’t make up, not if one had any love for humanity left in one’s breast. But it’s actually there. We need a considered and powerful response.

  44. JEM
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 6:23 PM | Permalink

    geoffchambers – I think the point he’s trying to make is that unless you’re one of those he considers to be his academic kin, your opinion amounts to nothing more than a squint at a bouncing nipple.

    The problem is this: he’s no scientist. The field he works in exists, in many respects, on the dubious fringes of science. His work involves nothing approaching a scientific method.
    So his stridency comes from insecurity. He’s an outsider. He’s every bit as suspect to ‘real’ science as any of the uncredentialed of us. But he desperately wants to be ‘in’.

  45. pottereaton
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 6:30 PM | Permalink

    In his letter to Dixon and Owens, Lewandowsky did make one inarguably true statement:

    Please do not assume that those individuals are guided by the same ethical standards to which we subscribe.

    • pottereaton
      Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 6:47 PM | Permalink

      Reading all the posts belatedly, I see that several other people have picked up on the unintentional irony of Lewandowsky’s remark on ethical standards.

      It’s a classic.

    • Don Keiller
      Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 4:37 AM | Permalink

      IanI88888 not wanting to preempt/suggest what Steve might do- personally I would write (again) to Dr Eich, pointing out that he has been misled by Lewandowsky and UWA.

  46. Anto
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 6:31 PM | Permalink

    Who dots a capital “I”?

    • Jeff Norman
      Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 10:21 AM | Permalink

      Ditto. LOL

  47. Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 6:37 PM | Permalink

    Shakespeare understood psychology without ever needing to take a course in it.

    Lewandowsky doesn’t understand psychology, (which does include morality,) but he understands the game of being a “psychologist.”

    My father was a surgeon, and back in the 1960′s he raised a ruckus, stating “psychologists” should not be called doctors, for they failed to meet the standards. He got himself into trouble for taking this stance, but over the years I have seen everything he said, which seemed so wild back then, has been proven true.

  48. Anto
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 6:38 PM | Permalink

    Please do not assume that those individuals are guided by the same ethical standards to which we subscribe. Astonishingly said without a trace of irony.

  49. Political Junkie
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 6:52 PM | Permalink

    Mr. McIntyre,

    I write this out of humanitarian concern for Nick Stokes. He’s preoccupied full time on Lucia’s blog defending the indefensible.

    Don’t you think it’s a little unfair for you to open a second front here just because it is so damned easy for you to chronicle Lewandowski’s many scientific, technical and ethical lapses?

    Nick deserves a raise! The demands upon him are verging on the inhuman. Maybe Peter Gleick can lend a hand?

  50. Mike Singleton
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 6:59 PM | Permalink

    Steve,

    As always in awe of your work. I fully agree with JEM, aligns with my personal experience of some reaches of academia. One can but hope that the Abbott government will take notice and respond.

    Loss of employment and pension rights would be a minimum and hopefully be a wake up call to the fraudsters, time to start looking over their shoulder(s).

  51. Rud Istvan
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 7:09 PM | Permalink

    Complements, Steve. A solid lawyerly job. Too bad the miscreants don’t care. Perhaps some of us skeptics should devise more ‘tooth’. Am working on it, but for bigger game than Lew.

  52. RoyFOMR
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 7:44 PM | Permalink

    Repost of my post at WUWT- snip if inappropriate:

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/mar/21/contrarians-bully-climate-change-journal-retraction#comments

    • RoyFOMR
      Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 7:46 PM | Permalink

      Oops, dunno what happened there.
      Repost from a comment I made at BishopHill:
      Just checked Dana 97% Guardian blog thread where he,and his good buddies are pushing the line that Dr Lew was ethically sound, factually perfect but let down by cowardly journalists.
      There’s two posts (PythMontagne -23rd March 23:51and UnripeWatermelon -21:51) pointing out the SMc post.
      What’s the bet that these posts will fall foul of Community rules?
      For posterity:PythMontagne
      24 Mar 2014 23:51

      1
      2
      Guardian Pick
      McIntyre just dropped another bomb on Lewandowsky and it’s a beaut:

      http://climateaudit.org/2014/03/24/lewandowsky-ghost-wrote-conclusions-of-uwa-ethics-investigation-into-hoax/

      Report

      UnripeWatermelon
      24 Mar 2014 21:51

      4
      5
      Guardian Pick
      Here’s an update – Lewandowsky Ghost-wrote Conclusions of UWA Ethics Investigation into “Hoax”.

      You’re never going to convince the general pulic by lying and fudging the data all the time. It’s no wonder why scepticism is constantly increasing and “global warming” is considered a non-issue

      ==========
      Place your bets now, Ladies and Gentlemen.
      Here’s the link for WUWT readers. Select Newest Replies first:

      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/mar/21/contrarians-bully-climate-change-journal-retraction#comments

      • Ed Barbar
        Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 9:46 AM | Permalink

        In the article in the guardian:

        After nearly a year of discussions between the journal, the paper authors, and lawyers on both sides, Frontiers made it clear that they were unwilling to take the risk of publishing the paper and being open to potential frivolous lawsuits.

        Lawyers are involved?

      • RoyFOMR
        Posted Mar 27, 2014 at 2:41 PM | Permalink

        Took a few days but UnripeWaterMelon’s comment above has now been excommunicated from CIF. Maybe the 40 or so recommends it attracted were judged to be in poor taste!

  53. Curious George
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 7:52 PM | Permalink

    Dr. Lewandowski wanted to withhold his name from the survey. He did not use a name of a co-author, either. A giant of precaution.

  54. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 8:52 PM | Permalink

    Readers, please do not jump to conclusions that all Australians are bad, that all Australian Universities are bad, that all science is bad, etc.
    Steve has documented a series of exchanges that, if not invalidated in times to come, show actions requiring investigation.
    I deplore the tone and the possible consequences of some of the exchanges that Steve has given us.
    Some of the named people are showing that they are not my fellow Australians. If I could apologise for Australia, I would.

    • manicbeancounter
      Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 7:29 AM | Permalink

      Geoff,
      You make good points here. As a result of these events the stature of the UWA is tarnished, along with the academic reputations of people totally unrelated to Lewandowsky’s work.
      It is worth reminding people that the Professor of Clinical Microbiology is Nobel Laureate Barry Marshall. His work broke the established scientific consensus on peptic ulcers. It is another “scientific consensus” that the Prof Lewandowsky seeks to maintain by his work.

    • Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 9:50 AM | Permalink

      If I could apologise for Australia, I would.

      You did something much better.

  55. David L. Hagen
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 9:17 PM | Permalink

    Contrast Physics Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman’s standard of integrity in his 1974 commencement address at Caltech, Cargo Cult Science (abbreviated)

    It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty–a kind of leaning over backwards. . . .In summary, the idea is to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgement in one particular direction or another.

  56. bernie1815
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 9:34 PM | Permalink

    This is astonishing and depressing. With this level of integrity what are the odds that research methods and data integrity at UWA are what they should be?

  57. Skiphil
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 10:47 PM | Permalink

    For those most conversant with all of the details of Lewgate (which I am not): it could be interesting to analyze how Lewandowsky’s behaviors do or do not conform to the letter and spirit of his new employer’s research ethics policies, the University of Bristol.

    The argument would not be that he could be ‘formally’ judged by the requirements of an institution which he had not yet joined, but rather that it should be disturbing both internally and externally if Bristol turns out to have hired a researcher whose prior work does not meet it’s minimum standards.

    For instance, there is this document online:

    University of Bristol doc. on Ethics of Research Policy and Procedure

    There seem to be a variety of ways in which Lewandowsky’s past behaviors would have been dubious under the stated standards at Bristol. Again, not that Lewandowsky is in peril with Bristol in some ‘formal’ sense, but rather that Bristol officials and faculty should be embarrassed and dismayed if they have hired someone who in the past failed to meet their professed standards.

  58. betapug
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 10:50 PM | Permalink

    You forget the Lew is one of numerous “Winthrop Professors” at UWA. They are like ordinary professors but “one career step above Professors”. http://www.uwa.edu.au/university/history/former-officers/winthrop

    Steve, is it possible the huge mass of Magnetite in the vicinity exerts an attraction for second and third rate American academics? It does pay their generous wages.

    Lewandowsky, the odious philosopher and frequent flyer, Lawrence Torcello, Micheal Levine, the guy who introduced him on his 2012 ” The Moral Blameworthiness of Suffering Fools”, all Americans.

    http://search.uwa.edu.au/search.html?site=search&hl=en&query=search&words=lawrence+torcello

  59. Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 11:02 PM | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Power To The People and commented:
    Did UWA circle the wagons puts ethical standards in the trash re validity of Lewandowsky #Climate Sceptic Allegations?

  60. betapug
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 11:17 PM | Permalink

    A good example of being able to steer your UWA wheelbarrow of cash more or less where you wish, it the extention application of Tess Williams at page 10 in this PDF. (Google: uwa senate minutes ref 30391) Mention is made of Lewandowsky and Naomi Oresces presenting her paper at the IAS.

    There is also the wonderfully named “Near Miss Fund” for projects that did not actually meet the proper criteria, but, what the hell, give them the money anyway.

  61. rogerknights
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 11:24 PM | Permalink

    This whitewash’s dirty laundry reveals, to a social psychologist, a knee-jerk us-vs-them mindset, plus a slipshod and overweening arrogance. This mindset seems to be general throughout academia and “mainstream” climatology (e.g., see the stonewalling by a college in Albany, NY in defense of one of its employees who apparently fudged UHI data). In light of this revelation, it is easier to discount the “findings” of other whitewashes, such as those of the Team and Mann in Britain and the US, as similar instances of naughty-haughtiness.

  62. scf
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 11:41 PM | Permalink

    Geoff Sherrington:

    Nobody is jumping to conclusions about Australia. On the contrary, one thing that is so surprising is that this happened in Australia, of all places. It has certainly affected the image of UWA, but not of other Australian institutions.

    On the other hand, when comparing with the rest of the world. we have seen what happened at Univ of East Anglia in the UK wrt climategate, we know how the temp record has been manipulated everywhere including the US, and so on, so scientists behaving badly is hardly an Australian phenomenon. It is a worldwide phenomenon.

  63. Geoff
    Posted Mar 24, 2014 at 11:47 PM | Permalink

    This is a terrible story of cover up, and I hope it gets fully resolved with justice and truth.

    However echoing Geoff Sherrington’s comment above, don’t forget that UWA is the academic home of Prof. Barry Marshall, the Nobel Prize winner who discovered H. pylori bacteria and not stress caused ulcers. So this famous sceptic is evidence that some departments at UWA are excellent.

    • Mooloo
      Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 12:26 AM | Permalink

      Or it is evidence UWA would prefer to buy in excellence than develop it themselves (Marshall was not at UWA at the time of his discovery if I understand the timeline correctly).

      • Geoff
        Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 12:42 AM | Permalink

        You’re right he was at Freemantle Hospital when he wrote the Lancet paper (after starting the ulcer bacteria research earlier at the Royal Perth Hospital). He did get his bachelor’s degree at UWA and returned there in 1998, long before he got his Nobel (in 2005).

        By the way, he is also a visiting professor at Penn State.

        • Geoff
          Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 8:49 AM | Permalink

          OK, I’m sure no one cares but just for the record I checked the original Lancet paper from Barry Marshall and it shows his affiliation at that time as the Royal Perth Hospital, so I guess he did not move to Freemantle until later.

    • Bob K.
      Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 2:14 AM | Permalink

      Geoff, your point is well taken and I apologize if I offended anyone for making an overbroad comment earlier. It is possible that UWA has people doing excellent work who never deal with issues related to human subjects, and are therefore unaware of the mess that seems to be lurking on their campus. If so I hope they clean house. Anyone doing research in medicine or the health sciences should be especially concerned.

  64. Geoff
    Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 12:45 AM | Permalink

    To get to the bottom of the issue it may be necessary to go around or over the head of Robyn Owens. “The Human Research Ethics Committee is a Vice Chancellor’s Advisory Committee that is responsible to the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research)”. See http://www.research.uwa.edu.au/staff/human-research/management/hrec#Calendar

    Steve: Robyn Owens is/was the DVC (Research).

    • AntonyIndia
      Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 3:37 AM | Permalink

      From UWA’s HREC constitution page:

      “Exemption from liability for committee members

      11. The University of Western Australia provides indemnity for the Chair, members of the committee, and any of its delegates for any liabilities that arise as a result of a member exercising his or her duties in good faith.”

      Nice cop out. Who judges what good faith is? Their VC or their Senate?

      “The Senate is the governing authority of the University.

      It consists of 21 members and in the words of The University of Western Australia Act 1911 has “the entire control and management of the affairs of the University and may act in all matters concerning the University in such manner as appears to it best calculated to promote the interests of the University”.” http://www.governance.uwa.edu.au/committees/senate

      Not ‘the Truth’ will prevail, but the best interests of the University…

      • mpainter
        Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 9:57 AM | Permalink

        But did Qwens “exercise her duties in good faith”? It appears that she was remiss in her duties, hence is not to be indemnified.

    • Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 4:12 AM | Permalink

      Geoff –
      Robyn Owens IS the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research)
      I copied Prof Owens on all my Fury complaints to UWA ethics depratment, and my reporting of errors in LOG12 (Moon)to Erich Eich, chief editor of Psychological Science.

      • Geoff
        Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 5:15 AM | Permalink

        Hi Barry and Steve,

        Exactly my point. Since the HREC reports to DVC Owens, and it appears she has pre-empted any review of the issues by the HREC, any appeal to her (or the HREC) would be fruitless.

  65. Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 2:04 AM | Permalink

    Hi Steve, off topic, but another paleoclimate paper soon to be released that you may like to take a look at, from another West Australian University, on climate proxies from cyanobacteria on stromatolites, and other sediments in W.A. http://pindanpost.com/2014/03/25/climate-records-from-ancient-bacteria-paleoclimate/

  66. Messenger
    Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 2:48 AM | Permalink

    It would very interesting to hear what the Twittering students at UWA think about Lew’s shenanigans. I hope they will catch up with all this- it is their future reputations which will be at stake

  67. johanna
    Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 3:17 AM | Permalink

    A faint ray of hope – UWA Convocation acts against Lewanowsky using the UWA logo on his blog:

    http://www.convocation.uwa.edu.au/__data/page/186983/First-Ordinary-Meeting-2014.pdf

    At the First Ordinary Meeting of Convocation held on 20th
    March 2013, a member of Convocation, Mr Michael Kile,
    indicated that he was still awaiting response on a query
    he had raised at the Second Ordinary Meeting held in 21st
    September 2012. This query related to the use of the UWA
    logo on a website Shaping Tomorrow’s World.
    As Adjunct Professor Kerr was unaware of this query,
    following the First Ordinary Meeting where he was officially
    elected the Warden of Convocation, Adjunct Professor Kerr
    immediately contacted Mr Kile to ascertain the background
    to the query. He had then facilitated a response from the
    University’s Acting Director of Public Affairs, Ms Janine
    MacDonald who advised that since the website was not
    a UWA website, nor was the University an associated
    affiliation, she would be contacting those who were
    responsible for the website to advise them that the UWA
    logo and references of affiliation with UWA should be
    removed from the website.

    (Convocation is the alumni association.)

  68. Jim
    Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 3:23 AM | Permalink

    It is time to escalate to National Health
    and Medical Research Council. It might
    also be desirable to cc a copy to the
    relevant Minister.

    Maybe request that the authority of the UWA
    to submit Human ethics experiments be withdrawn.

  69. Latimer Alder
    Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 4:13 AM | Permalink

    Prof. Eich writes

    In the meantime, I will entertain no further correspondence on this subject.

    Oh dear. That is not a good phrase to use. I seem to recall that Joelle Gergis used something similar just prior to the disappearance of her career-limiting paper.

    This does not bode well either.

  70. Spence_UK
    Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 4:30 AM | Permalink

    This whole affair certainly has many parallels with Phil Jones’ FOI avoidance.

    Both Jones and Lewandowsky used the same approach to handling university administrative staff; to point them towards ClimateAudit, make unknowable assertions about intent or motive, at which point the administrative teams seem to lose all sense of professionalism or responsibility and simply rubber stamp anything the academic in question wants.

    Jones dodged a bullet when the statute of limitations kept him out of court, and all subsequent investigations were under the control of the UEA, who were hardly going to air their dirty laundry in public. Will the UWA be any better than the UEA? I can’t see any reason why they would be, but of course it is important to keep doing the right thing and holding up their standards to the sunlight. Thanks for your tireless efforts Steve!

  71. Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 5:57 AM | Permalink

    On 03/07/2013 11:05, David Alder wrote:
    >
    > Dear Mr Poynton
    >
    > Thank you for your recent email which was forwarded to me. The University has no reason do doubt the credibility of Professor Lewandosky’s research. We recognise that some areas of research will not always attract positive comment, but this does not diminish the value of the research in our opinion. As you point out, the University is of high repute and we take the quality of our research most seriously and we have no reason to doubt the quality of Professor Lewandowsky’s research.
    >
    > With best wishes
    >
    > David Alder
    >
    > David Alder
    > Director of Marketing & Communications
    > University of Bristol
    > Senate House, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TH
    > Tel: +44 (0)117 928 8867 (office); +44 (0)7748 337172 (mobile)
    > email: david.alder@bristol.ac.uk
    > twitter: @davidalde
    >
    >

    • Geoff Sherrington
      Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 3:55 PM | Permalink

      Jeremyp99,
      Does Bristol show that they have read any papers at all that have potential to link this work to credibility?
      Or, as in another inquiry, does the author get to choose which papers the university should consider to form an opinion?
      Or does Bristol simply close shutters and proceed with arrogance?
      ……………..

      Actions like Steve has described in his usual detailed way are doing severe harm to the images of all scientists. Public perception of science is in downslide.
      I don’t want my successors to live in a world of science known for shortcuts, frauds, cover-up, etc.
      One preferred image is that of the family GP in the 1940-50s, most often a respected pillar of society whose reputation was gained by performance and accountability in important tasks – important to a family with a member needing professional care.
      …………….

      I’m continuing with actions here in Australia to make senior university people and politicians aware of the problem. However, I’ve been out of the circle of importance for too many years and I’m increasingly finding the discourtesy of unanswered correspondence about level and legitimate matters.
      …………….

      Summary – I fear the long term effect of climate change work, much non-scientific but dressed up as such, on the future progress of scientific development in the world. It is too important to be bad mouthed.

  72. Salamano
    Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 6:41 AM | Permalink

    A couple exerpts I noticed…

    “…Because I am interested in soliciting opinions also from those folks, I would like to withhold my name from the survey as I fear it might contaminate responding.”

    So it looks like he honestly wasn’t trying to only solicit fake responses from accolytes aping as skeptics. It’s too bad he didn’t realize his failure to adhere to his witholding principle ironically resulted in contamination– but yet this contamination further founded the basis for his conclusions! Could this really survive Occam’s Razor?

    “…Based on my experience with this individual [McIntyre] and others of his ilk, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that his actions are not motivated by concerns about research ethics. In particular, my experience compels me to advise against responding to his concerns either directly or indirectly with anything but the briefest note that “the research was conducted in accordance with UWA ethics procedures.” (Which it most definitely was)…”

    The first part aside impugning your motivations (further irony), I actually see the rest of this as rather reasonable. I think anyone going up against the kind of lawyerly, almost congressional combing that you do with data and process would be wise to find the quickest way to say the least without any pea-moving so-to-speak. I’m surprised the equivalent of “I can’t recall” isn’t tossed out there more often. I find it wholly reasonable to expect ‘dissections’ when anything more is said– but some would call it sunshine. That kind of knifing analysis can cut any of us.

    “…l must hasten to add that I have no intention to interfere with your intended actions, so please feel free to dismiss my comments. However, equally, I would feel irresponsible if I didn’t alert you to the nature of the situation and the characters involved as best I can.”

    Don’t you think this statement was sent in mind for when the FOI invariably comes? I think this statement would even absolve Lewandowsky from any negative effects of ‘ghost-writing’, because even he lays out that it’s ultimately not his say– even if he offers the entire course of their eventual actions.

    • Steven Mosher
      Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

      ““…Because I am interested in soliciting opinions also from those folks, I would like to withhold my name from the survey as I fear it might contaminate responding.”

      he was a relative UNKNOWN when he wrote this.

      • KNR
        Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 4:36 PM | Permalink

        True but like many in climate ‘science’ relative UNKNOWN but with massive ego that meant he could never imagine others did not think was has important has he consider myself to be.

    • observa
      Posted Mar 26, 2014 at 12:07 AM | Permalink

      “..l must hasten to add that I have no intention to interfere with your intended actions..” but here goes why I will anyway..yada, yada

      And no we don’t need a degree in psych to work it out Lew but perhaps that’s your problem.

  73. eliza
    Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 6:44 AM | Permalink

    Ot but looks like mann has done another purposeful Poopoo

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/03/24/hide-the-decline-deja-vu-manns-little-white-line-as-false-hope-may-actually-be-false-hype/

    You can delete if not appropriate here or already known etc…. Just of interest I thought for SM. According to Mann NH temperatures can be represented as global now to show another “hide the pause” ….

  74. Mickey Reno
    Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 6:52 AM | Permalink

    Amazing! I’d be willing to bet that a vast majority of the 29,400 hits of the LOG12 paper were from the very people it sought to smear, (IE. skeptics, driven to it from Climate Audit, WattsUpWithThat, Bishop Hill, Jo Nova, Lucia, and other skeptical blogs). And these people wonder why they’re losing the public’s confidence and the public policy debate about CAGW.

  75. eliza
    Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 7:11 AM | Permalink

    Sherrington: Sorry mate but Australian Universities have really fallen in standards since the Hawking Keating changes in the 80′s. I lived through the whole process. Probably the main failings are in primary and secondary education as well as “politically correct” drivel has converted many Australians into living sheep. During the 30′s to 70′s Australian Universities and research organizations such a CSIRO were exemplary. Its very sad what has happened there re education but this is what is being produced these days: Flannerys (Australian of The year imagine!), etc

  76. Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 8:13 AM | Permalink

    “The first one is to accept that they have always been as they are; they didn’t just wake up one morning a few months ago and decide to become a low life. The further back you go into their history, the easier it’ll be to find and dig out the skeletons. They will be there.”

    http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/a-climate-of-deception-deceit-lies-and-outright-dishonesty/

    Wonderful investigative work Steve. Can’t wait for the next instalment.

    Pointman

  77. paqyfelyc
    Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 8:30 AM | Permalink

    Seems that Lew used a standard trick to cope with bureaucraty. Everyone use it : you get a permit for something from some low level officer, then you ask and get from the same officer formal approval for “a few” changes in the permit, eventhough the modified project should have got approval by some higher level officer or comitee. This way you avoid liability and save time (and money). This kind of trick is routinely used everywhere, with the active complicity of the higher level, because the formalities are such nonsense, and because the low level officier still can say “no that’s too much, i cannot approve myself, let’s go and ask the comitee” if he feels …
    And Lew would have had his ethic permit anyway. That’s why the “investigation” was another nonsense.
    Lew is a jerk, for sure, but methink you make too much fuss about this case.

    Steve: Lewandowsky made a huge fuss about people being unable to locate emails. The only reason why people were unable to locate emails was because Lew had concealed his association with the survey and then used the concealment to score points.

    • Posted Mar 26, 2014 at 8:34 AM | Permalink

      @paqyfelyc

      you get a permit for something from some low level officer

      That brought a smile to my face. While I doubt Kate Kirk thinks of herself as a “low level officer” that in effect is what she is.

  78. tomdesabla
    Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 8:40 AM | Permalink

    I cannot believe that they are literally writing their own “exonerations” now. And we will see if any of the media pick up on this.

    Steve, this is morbid, but if you died, who would carry on your work? Hopefully you have 40 more years, but you need to start training a replacement now just in case. We simply cannot afford to lose you. I will make some nominations from among those who seem closest to being able to fill the role.

    Ross McKittrick
    Andrew Montford
    UC
    Roman
    Anthony Watts
    Donna Laframboise
    Jeff Id
    David Holland

    Someone needs to begin emulating both your investigative choices and processes, essentially working separately and independently to beat you to the punch. If there is no one person, then people should start assembling teams. For now, you seem to be the only person doing these painstaking forensic reconstructions. It makes me nervous, and I wonder how much we wouldn’t know without your relentless and meticulous digging.

    • tomdesabla
      Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 8:43 AM | Permalink

      I suppose instead of all this, I could have just said:

      “Your work is valuable, so please don’t die”

      but it didn’t occur to me. Sorry.

      Steve: I was in a car accident yesterday. I’m OK but was very lucky. Hadn’t been in an accident for years.

      • Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 9:49 AM | Permalink

        Woah. Blessings. CA has a way of echoing the heart of the matter?

      • pottereaton
        Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 4:08 PM | Permalink

        A post over at WUWT:

        Aphan says:
        March 25, 2014 at 1:20 pm

        Hopefully Steve (and Anthony and others) are driving big, huge, heavy, cars that will protect them from any oncoming Prius drivers with an agenda. Prayers of thanks for Steve’s safety and continued thoughts for the safety and good health of everyone else in the fight.

  79. kim
    Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 9:56 AM | Permalink

    Who the odds would destroy, they first make curious.
    ===============

    • Posted Mar 26, 2014 at 9:16 AM | Permalink

      Quotable.

    • Stephen Richards
      Posted Mar 26, 2014 at 2:34 PM | Permalink

      One of your best !

  80. Donn Armstrong
    Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 10:10 AM | Permalink

    Steve,

    Excuse my ignorance, but was the correspondence you site above between Lew, Owens, Dixon & Eich in their response to your inquiry in the FOI by desmog? If not which FOI request was it? (I just skimmed the 282 pages and did not find them in the desmog FOI.)

    Steve: no, the SImon Turnill FOI mentioned in the post itself

  81. talldave2
    Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 12:40 PM | Permalink

    I’m bookmarking this sad spectacle for anyone who thinks the alarmists are playing fair.

  82. talldave2
    Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 12:45 PM | Permalink

    JEM — it’s the eternal recurrence of the old joke:

    Why are academic spats so vicious?

    Because the stakes are so low.

    Fortunately the latest polling seems to indicate that when the public is asked about the alarmist agenda, THEY DON’T CARE.

    • Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

      I’m sure the general mass of the public will not now become alarmist. It’s whether our democratic nations can overcome the radicalisation, by the likes of Lewandowsky, of budding elitists who are being taught, through the dirtiest means, not to care what inferior people think but persist with policies that could ruin them.

      • Mickey Reno
        Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 5:18 PM | Permalink

        [mods - clean version resubmit]

        Good point. Let’s not forget that in the EU, UK, USA, are being governed by true believers. One of Obama’s former czars, Marxist / totalitarian and Harvard Law School teacher Cass Sunstein actually plowed the ground now being re-disturbed by Lewandowsky. Sunstein was calling climate deniers conspiracy theorists more than 6 years ago.

        Conspiracy Theories, by Cass Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule (free download)

        http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1084585

        One short year later, the new probably Marxist President of the USA rewarded this good apparatchik with a job in the White House, in the branch of government that controls US law enforcement. Clearly he had influence at the highest level of the most powerful government in the world.

        The delicious irony of Sunstein’s work in this (and other) paper is his suggestions to use government power to undermine, thwart and subvert conspiracy “ideation” for the public good. How scary is that? He’s basically saying, these people are crazy and destructive, so men in the black helicopters ought to be coming to stop them from advancing their conspiracy theories! Some of his other academic papers make it quite clear that he wants to lump speech into buckets for government evaluation, low value speech affording fewer rights to the utterer, while high value speech is to get some unnamed legal preference from bureaucrat decision makers. Of course, he defines high and low value speech by its political left-ness and right-ness. In one paper, he starts with a diatribe against commercial radio speech (ie. he wants to re-institute the “fairness” doctrine and/or shut down/discourage Rush Limbaugh and other popular talk radio hosts. And he had help on that paper from the newest U.S. Supreme Court justice Elena Kagen, who, barring unforeseen health problems, will sit on the bench for a very long time.

        So don’t presume that a populace that “doesn’t care” cannot otherwise be controlled and manipulated. Indeed, that is the entire point of the Hoax paper and Recursive Fury. You and I are to be marginalized, our speech prevented or discredited before even being uttered, and all with the ostensible respectability of peer-reviewed science.

  83. Stacey
    Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 1:56 PM | Permalink

    From Mr Lewandowsky’s blog today:-

    http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/rf2.html

    “One of my most widely read papers, “Recursive Fury”, was recently retracted by the journal Frontiers even though they found no academic or ethical problems with the paper. The reasons underlying this decision are outlined here and here.

    Because of the paper’s popularity, I made it available after its retraction on a server hosted by the University of Western Australia, accessible under the short link sks.to/recursivefury. The demand on the paper appears to have been so large that this relatively small server could not always cope with the traffic. At one point, it took me more than 2 minutes to download the pdf.”

    It goes on and then da! da!

    “To resolve those bandwidth-related technical difficulties, the paper has now been moved to a more focal server within the University of Western Australia, and the UWA web manager has kindly created a special link to the paper that identifies its host more clearly: uwa.edu.au/recursivefury.

    I hope that this resolves any technical difficulties.”

    I make no comment and leave it to others to consider the ethics of Mr Lewandowsky and UWA and the poor judgement of Bristol University in appointing him.

  84. Ben Wilson
    Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 3:00 PM | Permalink

    At least in my personal experience, I’ve found that “ethics committees” in medical settings more or less function to provide some sort of cover for whatever abhorrent practice the hospital administration may want to pursue. It would not surprise me at all to discover that an ethics office in a university would function exactly the same way. . . . .

  85. ztabc
    Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 3:04 PM | Permalink

    In addition to being an expert on ethics, Lewandowsky has developed the following simulation of his cognitive logic. It is irrefutable.
    void Lewandowsky(){
    printf(“The research reported in the above paper was conducted in compliance with all applicable ethical guidelines.\n”);
    return(Lewandowsky());
    }

  86. JDN
    Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 3:27 PM | Permalink

    You guys here and @ WUWT get into such an echo chamber sometimes. It’s true that Lew doesn’t want a debate because he’s a teenage delinquent who likes looking important, winning, and not losing. But if Lew sought approval and then got approval, he got away with one. He didn’t violate policy. People regularly have others write mutually agreed-upon conclusions because it saves the boss time. So, you can’t touch him on this either.

    The thing which has my jaw hanging is the ethics officer who looked forward to getting hate mail about Lew’s treatment of research subjects. Does the animal use committee chair look forward to getting complaints of animal mistreatment too? What other research subject complaints do they look forward to? My point is that if your local university can be used to organize a campaign to smear their enemies as insane fools in the professional and international press, then you might have ethics problems, but only if an angry mob shows up to attack them. No angry mob = no ethics problems.

    So, I don’t approve of going after Lewandowski on the technicality. His university should be the target because they are the actual problem.

    Steve: the deception issue becomes important in Fury.

    • Pethefin
      Posted Mar 26, 2014 at 1:40 AM | Permalink

      Steve,
      in case you have not yet seen this:

      http://www.onlineethics.org/cms/8069.aspx

      it might be useful background information on Research Ethics in Australia, although I have no idea if it is up to date. In any case it provides a presentation of the development of the research ethics in Australia and mentions even the question of deception very briefly.

    • observa
      Posted Mar 26, 2014 at 1:41 AM | Permalink

      “You guys here and @ WUWT get into such an echo chamber sometimes.”

      Well that’s because mostly the obvious is so bleedingly obvious there’s no other conclusion to draw. In that regard you need to consider what came after that first statement of yours.

  87. vigilantfish
    Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 7:10 PM | Permalink

    Steve,

    I remember when Lewandowski’s study first came to light commenting on WUWT that I could not believe that any study conducted like his could possibly have passed a rigorous ethics review. I am familiar with what is required because my own work has had to go through this process. Thanks for following this up and unveiling the sleight of hand that enabled this “ethical” rubber-stamp. All I can say is “wow!” – both regarding their feckless and irresponsible behaviour and, gratefully, for your stolid perseverance.

    Should the occasion arise, I will have to warn prospective students that UWA endorses shady behaviour and that I cannot recommend it for their further studies. So sad.

  88. Don Monfort
    Posted Mar 25, 2014 at 11:50 PM | Permalink

    Ah, UWA is using the Zimbabwean ethical model.

  89. Tuppence
    Posted Mar 26, 2014 at 3:08 AM | Permalink

    The culture of self-exoneration pioneered by UEA and others in their official whitewashes of Climategate, lives on.

    • Posted Mar 26, 2014 at 4:22 PM | Permalink

      In Mann’s case, it would be the culture of tele-exoneration?

  90. Posted Mar 26, 2014 at 4:54 AM | Permalink

    “But this obvious conclusion that those believing in global warming are very subjective and change their interpretation to fit their beliefs in sharp contrast to skeptics who tended to base their views only on the data and not what they were told the data showed, was not only omitted from the paper, but instead it was replaced with a conclusion very strongly suggesting the opposite.

    As such not only does this paper show that members of the public who believe in global warming change their perception of the global temperature graph to fit what they believe it shows, but it is also strong evidence that at least some academics are so strongly influenced by their beliefs regarding global warming that (to put the best possible interpretation on their actions) they are “blinded” to obvious conclusion that do not fit their world-view.”

    http://skience.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/lewandowsky/

    • kim
      Posted Mar 26, 2014 at 5:51 AM | Permalink

      Heh, not ‘push polling’ but ‘pull polling’.
      ==============

      • kim
        Posted Mar 26, 2014 at 5:57 AM | Permalink

        Well, the metaphor is flawed, but I’m impressed by your dissection of Lewandowsky’s bias, Skience.
        ================

        • Posted Mar 26, 2014 at 7:00 AM | Permalink

          It sums it all up very well and it is highly ironic that it is Lewandowsky who provides the evidence.

          As far as I can see the data shows that the difference between Skeptics and believers is that a skeptic bases their view on the data and is largely immune to what others suggest the data shows. Whilst a believer in global warming are susceptible to suggestion and social pressure and they radically change their view depending only on what they are told by others that the graph is said to portray.

          And so I’ve no doubt that Steve McIntyre will not respond until he has checked the data thoroughly for himself and is thoroughly convinced by his own analysis.

  91. b4llzofsteel
    Posted Mar 26, 2014 at 7:42 AM | Permalink

    Well, Dr.Lew got what he wanted; from a nobody to a well known “scientist” in the climatology world. For all the wrong reasons, but who carez???

  92. mpaul
    Posted Mar 26, 2014 at 9:56 AM | Permalink

    BTW, on the first proposed research project, Lew had data which he was going to describe to participants as the price of a stock over time. He was then going to ask people to predict (project) the future price of the stock based on its historic performance. For the life of me, I can’t figure out what he was trying to prove. The fact that the real data were global temperature anomalies leads me (perhaps wrongly) to believe that that Lew was trying to show that people who looked at a hockey stick chart of stock price movement and concluded that past performance was an indicator for future results were “healthy” and people who concluded that there wasn’t enough information provided to make a forecast suffer from some Lew-invented psychological malady.

    I guess my simple question would be: if “healthy” people had the cognitive ability to forecast future stock prices based on past performance, then why aren’t they all rich?

    There’s just something about that first project that bothers me, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

    • JEM
      Posted Mar 26, 2014 at 10:43 AM | Permalink

      OT

    • Posted Mar 26, 2014 at 12:15 PM | Permalink

      To understand where he was coming from it would help to know he has done previous research on reading scatterplot graphs. From the way he formulated the project it is very clear that he expected global warming skeptics to be people who changed their views depending what they thought the graph showed.

      So the group were randomly split into those told the graph was shares and another told it was global warming and Lewandowsky then compared those within each group to see how their beliefs on climate affected each groups average prediction of the future.

      As it turned out (see: http://skience.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/lewandowsky/) the survey actually showed the complete opposite effect which is that skeptics in the group told it was temperature and those told it was share prices hardly differed whereas the expected future trend of those who are believers differed dramatically between those who were led to believe the graph showed share prices and those led to believe it was global temperature.

      On the face of it, this is a very significant finding as it indicates that those who believe in warming are very suggestible.

      But the final paper “avoided” this conclusion by focussing on the trivial finding that: “even skeptics predict it will warm”.

      To put it bluntly, the paper strongly suggests that people who believe in global warming are more gullible and sceptics are very resistant to false suggestions.

      • bernie1815
        Posted Mar 26, 2014 at 7:08 PM | Permalink

        Good job. I think that you are correct that this result is not what Lewandowsky expected. I managed to get a copy of the actual article and it is identical as far as I can see to what you linked to. This is supposed to be a flagship journal! The reporting of results is appallingly poor. Can you digitize the charts and check to see whether the actual numbers are remotely close?
        Did you notice the ages of respondents? Did you notice that of the 200 pedestrians approached in a pedestrian mall, “all 200 agreed to complete the task.” I have been involved in surveys for my entire professional life and this response rate is extraordinary. He references another study, did you manage to locate it?

        • j ferguson
          Posted Mar 26, 2014 at 10:24 PM | Permalink

          Bernie,
          re: 200 participants out of 200 solicited (term of art?).

          No wonder this guy thinks so highly of himself. I would think his hit rate so unlikely that impossible would not be too strong a word.

          This journal must have needed something to put between two real articles.

        • johanna
          Posted Mar 26, 2014 at 10:39 PM | Permalink

          A 100% response rate to a voluntary survey?

          As someone who has also been involved in professional survey work, all I can say is that it is as likely as all the respondents being unicorns.

        • Posted Mar 27, 2014 at 3:28 AM | Permalink

          Thanks. To put it in context my area of research at the time I came across this was trying to understand how relative expertise might change the interpretation of graphical plots. Unfortunately this is all I found and I would have preferred to have had a comparison of predictions between the general public and academics (which now I think about it I seem to recollect was mentioned in the proposal but isn’t in the report).

          It was only when reading the paper carefully that I noticed the conclusions didn’t make sense with the reported results.

          However, as this paper didn’t focus on my area of research, having understood the data, whilst I noted the conclusions didn’t match the results, my priority was to continue the research.

          It was only when I read McIntyre & other articles that I noticed the ethics proposal was written for this project and so I realised that the original project proposal focussed precisely on the area where the results did not match the conclusion. I realised that omission or carelessness was not an explanation and so Lewandowsky would have had to act pro-actively to avoid the conclusion matching the results.

          So, there appears to me to be only two possible scenarios.

          The first is that Lewandowsky deliberately hid this conclusion and then knowing skeptics were basing their conclusions on the data, he attacked them.

          The second is even more interesting: that there is some kind of psychological or perceptual block akin to the “invisible gorilla” such that Lewandowsky was mentally unable to see this conclusion even though the data backing this conclusion must have been very obvious.

          Steve: in October 2012, Simon Turnill wrote a very sensible letter to UWA about the ethics amendment. AMong other things, he pointed out that the earlier program did not recommend or point to investigation of conspiracy theory as a follow up to the research in the earlier article. Needless to say, the UWA’s reply was unresponsive.

        • Posted Mar 27, 2014 at 6:12 AM | Permalink

          As another survey veteran I can also say that 200 out of 200 is unheard of. I mean literally unheard of. I want that interviewer on my team. Pronto.

        • bernie1815
          Posted Mar 27, 2014 at 6:18 AM | Permalink

          Of course, his write-up could have been simply mangled but how could a conscious or conscientious reviewer not have noticed this in a 4 page paper?

        • HaroldW
          Posted Mar 27, 2014 at 8:26 AM | Permalink

          bernie1815 –
          I don’t think that they got a 200/200 response rate. The paper says, “200 pedestrians (mean age 37.8; s = 19; range 13 – 87) were approached in a downtown pedestrian mall in Perth, Western Australia, and completed the task without remuneration.”
          I read this simply as noting the number of participants, and not the entire number solicited. The word “approached” tells that the testers actively sought participation, as opposed to say, sitting in a booth waiting for people to volunteer. I don’t think it’s meant to exclude the possibility that others were approached who declined to participate; in fact, as you and others have noted, a 200/200 response rate is highly unlikely.

        • bernie1815
          Posted Mar 27, 2014 at 8:58 AM | Permalink

          Harold:
          You may well be correct as to what actually happened, but that is not what Lewandowsky wrote in his Method: Participants paragraph:
          “Two hundred pedestrians (mean age = 37.8 years, SD = 19, range = 13–87) were approached in a downtown pedestrian mall in Perth, Australia. All 200 agreed to complete the task without remuneration.”
          If he had written, “Of the pedestrians approached in a downtown pedestrian mall in Perth, Australia, two hundred (mean age = 37.8 years, SD = 19, range = 13–87) agreed to complete the task without remuneration” then the issue would be how many did you approach and what were the ostensible differences between those who declined to and those who agreed to participate.
          Bottom line, this sloppiness is another indication to me that Lewandowsky is not very careful in the way he writes and that the peer review process at Psychological Science lacks rigor.

        • bernie1815
          Posted Mar 27, 2014 at 9:21 AM | Permalink

          Harold: Your question also raises another pretty important methodological point. For the sake of illustration let’s assume that Steve McIntyre and Matt Briggs just happened to be on the Mall on one of the days of the study and they were approached by a researcher. If their responses were “I cannot give point estimates nor do I believe anybody can without more information,” how is that type of response captured? Is it credible that all 200 actually gave estimates even though they agreed initially to participate in the study? Given the subject of the study, wouldn’t this type of respondent be very important? Perhaps science or others familiar with decision-making research can chime in, but I believe this type of response is pretty important in understanding how individuals process this type of information. For example, what if the difference in the slope between AGW and non-AGW respondents was driven by a small sub-group who explicitly said, “can’t be done”? My response to the question for both Stock Price and Temp is the same – it cannot be done.

        • Sven
          Posted Mar 27, 2014 at 9:37 AM | Permalink

          Where do you see it, bernie1815? In the paper referred to by HaroldW, it says
          “200 pedestrians (mean age 37.8; s= 19; range 13 { 87) were approached in a downtown pedestrian mall in Perth, Western Australia, and completed the task without remuneration”

        • bernie1815
          Posted Mar 27, 2014 at 10:05 AM | Permalink

          sven:
          I found it via a university library e-resource in what I assumed is the hard copy journal version with the following top page information:
          Popular Consensus: Climate Change Is Set to Continue
          Stephan Lewandowsky
          Psychological Science 2011 22: 460 originally published online 17 March 2011
          DOI: 10.1177/0956797611402515
          The online version of this article can be found at:

          http://pss.sagepub.com/content/22/4/460

          Version of Record – Apr 12, 2011
          Online First Version of Record – Mar 17, 2011

          The wording is slightly different from the version Skience linked to. Even so, I think the ambiguity and lack of precision remains.

        • RomanM
          Posted Mar 27, 2014 at 10:26 AM | Permalink

          There appears to be a difference in the pre-print version as posted on the UWA and Lew websites:

          200 pedestrians (mean age 37.8; s = 19; range 13 { 87) were approached in a downtown pedestrian mall in Perth, Western Australia, and completed the task without remuneration.

          and the article as printed in the (paywalled) journal:

          Two hundred pedestrians (mean age = 37.8 years, SD = 19, range = 13–87) were approached in a downtown pedestrian mall in Perth, Australia. All 200 agreed to complete the task without remuneration.

          Doesn’t it bother anyone that the shares are given on a daily basis whereas the temperatures are yearly?

        • bernie1815
          Posted Mar 27, 2014 at 10:47 AM | Permalink

          Roman:
          I raised that issue with skience on his site. I was concerned at the visual look of the charts as presented to the respondents. If the copies in the article and original presentation to the ethics panel are visually accurate then the image is essentially square, which creates a much steeper visual trend. If you stretched the time axis (x-axis) out to what I would see as a typical visual display, then the trend is flatter. This may or may not change the relative difference between AGW respondents and non-AGW respondents but it certainly means that the size of the slopes reported are potentially artifacts of the way the data is visually presented.
          For me, the import of all this is the quality of the peer review at Psychological Science.

        • HaroldW
          Posted Mar 27, 2014 at 11:21 AM | Permalink

          bernie1815, sven, RomanM — Thanks for confirming that I didn’t entirely imagine the alternate wording.

          Google Scholar pointed me to this, which is apparently a third version. It looks “official”, bearing a SAGE logo and URLs, and is typeset in two columns. Below the abstract it reads, “Received 9/7/10; Revision accepted 12/6/10″ which may help to explain the multiplicity of versions.

          This third version differs from the version I linked to earlier (at uwa.edu), and presumably from bernie1815′s version (which is behind a paywall to me). The paragraph under Participants reads: “Two hundred pedestrians (mean age = 37.8 years, SD = 19, range = 13–87) were approached in a downtown pedestrian mall in Perth, Australia. All 200 agreed to complete the task without remuneration. Maximum temperatures during testing (February 2010) ranged from 24.6 °C to 34.3 °C (M = 31.5 °C), approximating the monthly average temperature (31.8 °C).”

        • RomanM
          Posted Mar 27, 2014 at 12:26 PM | Permalink

          The “printed” document I quoted from was downloaded from the Sage site this morning and is listed as the “Version of Record – Apr 12, 2011″ with the “OnlineFirst Version of Record” dated Mar 17, 2011. I haven’t checked to see what the differences might be between these two documents.

        • MikeN
          Posted Mar 27, 2014 at 12:32 PM | Permalink

          The odds of 200 people being approached, and all agree to the survey?

          We know 200 is the number of people who responded, because otherwise there would be no average age to report.

      • Posted Apr 2, 2014 at 7:21 AM | Permalink

        Two hundred climate scientists (mean age = 37.8 years, SD = 19, range = 13–87) were approached in a downtown pedestrian mall Yokohama, Japan. All 200 agreed to complete the task without remuneration. Participants in the global-data condition were shown global climate data identified as such; those in the proxy condition were shown data described as temperature proxies. In reality the data shown was just noise (1,2)

        stimuli1
        1 a=sqrtm(tril(ones(350)))*randn(350,1);plot(a);hold on;plot(lowpass(a,1/50,0,2),’r’)

        stimuli2
        2 a=filter(1,[1 -0.6],(randn(350,1)./randn(350,1)));plot(a,’.’);hold on;plot(smooth(a,20,’rloess’),’r’)

        Most common answers were
        1 clear trend plus relatively low-order Gaussian red noise
        2 linear relationship to temperature plus relatively low-order Gaussian red noise

  93. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 26, 2014 at 2:53 PM | Permalink

    Here’s an odd coincidence. The ethics officer who acquiesced in Lewandowsky’s changes retired in October 2012, the same month that Simon Turnill and others drew attention to her docile approvals:

    Kate Kirk was employed by The University of Western Australia from 1988 until retirement in October 2012. During her employment in Research Services she covered the disciplines of animal and human research ethics. She served as the Executive Officer to the UWA Human Research Ethics Committee for many years and has extensive experience in health research. She had a particular interest in helping students from all faculties recognise the importance of ethics in conducting their research.

    http://www.health.wa.gov.au/healthdata/docs/090429_HREC_List_of_commitee_members.pdf

    • bernie1815
      Posted Mar 26, 2014 at 3:23 PM | Permalink

      Steve: I am sure you also noted that by pure coincidence one of other members of the UWA ethics panel had an unusual but familiar last name, Briffa. Small world.

      Steve: Different ethics panel. Kate Kirk is now a layperson on a government panel.

    • KNR
      Posted Mar 27, 2014 at 1:45 PM | Permalink

      its a job few actual want to do , as you get ‘pressure ‘ from the star academics to approve stuff no matter what, blamed if funding is withdrawn because of time management problems you have nothing to do with and you get the blame if it all goes wrong . In addition its often the case this is ‘another job’ on top of the one you already do.

      We saw the same at CRU where Jones throw his weight around over FOI’s and although we do not have the evidenced I would give good odds Mann is a serial abuser of the poor ethics person.
      So those in it tend to be those with little choice or on the way out.

  94. Alice Thermopolis
    Posted Mar 27, 2014 at 1:23 AM | Permalink

    Steve

    This GWPF post yesterday may be of interest

    http://www.thegwpf.org/the-fine-paper-that-had-to-be-pulled/

    Talk about smokescreens and red herrings.

    SL re-inventing his image. He has transformed himself – chameleon-like – into bullied defender of the Academy from “limitations on academic freedom”.

    When are we going to get an official statement from UWA defending/rejecting his paper?

    At the moment, he seems to be claiming that merely having it hosted there is sufficient to confirm UWA’s support for it.

    More Bandwidth for ‘Recursive Fury’

    By Stephan Lewandowsky
    Professor, School of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol
    Posted on 25 March 2014

    One of my most widely read papers, “Recursive Fury”, was recently retracted by the journal Frontiers even though they found no academic or ethical problems with the paper. The reasons underlying this decision are outlined here and here.

    Because of the paper’s popularity, I made it available after its retraction on a server hosted by the University of Western Australia, accessible under the short link sks.to/recursivefury. The demand on the paper appears to have been so large that this relatively small server could not always cope with the traffic. At one point, it took me more than 2 minutes to download the pdf.

    I apologize for the inconvenience.

    Predictably, the technical difficulties with accessing the paper have given rise to some wild speculations about its existence or well being. No need to apologize for that: more confirmation of the well-established fact that denial of science often involves a measure of conspiratorial discourse never goes astray.

    To resolve those bandwidth-related technical difficulties, the paper has now been moved to a more focal server within the University of Western Australia, and the UWA web manager has kindly created a special link to the paper that identifies its host more clearly: uwa.edu.au/recursivefury.

    I hope that this resolves any technical difficulties.

    Alice

    • thisisnotgoodtogo
      Posted Apr 1, 2014 at 10:51 PM | Permalink

      One Elaine McKewon, 3rd year PhD journalism student, reveals herself as a peer reviewer, on “The Conversation”

      https://theconversation.com/the-journal-that-gave-in-to-climate-deniers-intimidation-25085

      • Posted Apr 1, 2014 at 10:59 PM | Permalink

        I don’t think that counts as revealing herself. The reviewers have been known pretty much from the start. Their names were actually discussed because the listed reviewers for the paper changed several times. The only “new” thing here is people have noticed her unremarkable qualifications.

        Incidentally, that piece of hers was so terrible I refrained from going to sleep because I had to write about it:

        http://hiizuru.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/lewandowskys-peer-reviewer-makes-things-up/

      • Posted Apr 2, 2014 at 3:39 AM | Permalink

        she has not revealed herself, the peer reviewers ( a changing group of them) were always named under the abstract! at Frontiers

        How does a 3rd year journalist PhD student get to peeer review psychology papers, and a Professors of Psychology at that (non anomously at that, so ‘no pressure’ on Elaine)

  95. Posted Mar 27, 2014 at 6:39 AM | Permalink

    UWA sent a ‘more detailed report’ to Frontiers’ request, responding to the journal’s questions.

    There is no reason for this report to remain confidential, if it supports Lewandowsky’s public contention that UWA found no ethical violations. Furthermore, it suggests Lewandowsky obtained further pre-study ethical clearance than suggested by the earlier Simon FOI release.

    Could UWA be requested to disclose documents relating to their ethics approval of the Recursive Fury project? They would be under obligation since their lawyer is planning to bill the university’s faculty insurance for his services, in case they are required.

    Steve: Simon Turnill filed an objection to documents withheld from his initial FOI and received supplementary documents in late March 2013. I did not parse these documents until relatively recently, but within the initially withheld documents is an exchange with Kate Kirk that Lewandowsky appears to have relied on as his ethics authorization for Fury. I plan to write about it.

    • Posted Mar 27, 2014 at 7:44 AM | Permalink

      on the 5th September (FOI docs) Lewandowsky wrote to DVCR Robyn Owens that had a team collecting data for his next paper –

      Had these NEW researchers (Marriott, Cook) been approved, and identified, on an amended or new ethics clearance

      He only wrote to ethics people on the 10th September..
      (suggesting merely collating responses required no approval)

      On his blog, MArriott was directly interacting with me and others on the 10th September… (concealement)

      he only obtained an amended approval on top of his previous ethics approval from Kirk on the 14th September…

      oops?

      Retrospective ethics approval for a research project cannot be granted. That is, ethics approval will not be granted for a project where recruitment of participants has already been undertaken, research data have already been collected, or where any other substantial research activity has already occurred

      http://www.research.uwa.edu.au/staff/human-research/facts

      • Posted Mar 27, 2014 at 8:19 AM | Permalink

        to be clear on his (Lewandowsky’s) blog, Marriott was directly interacting with me and others,

        days before Lewandwosky received even amended approval (for observing), yet we have a researcher interacting with research participants, concealing his role, the fact that Marriott attacks sceptics on his blog – Watching The deniers – makes you think carefully about thge ethics department at UWA. and Lewandowsky’s own professional conduct and judgement, by using Marriott.

        • kim
          Posted Mar 27, 2014 at 8:40 AM | Permalink

          Recursing corruption.
          ======

  96. JB Goode
    Posted Mar 27, 2014 at 7:35 PM | Permalink

    ‘Docile’ hahahaha So evocative.
    Steve you are rapidly becoming the world champ of the acerbic comment.Keep ‘em coming.

  97. kcom1
    Posted Mar 27, 2014 at 9:58 PM | Permalink

    In particular, my experience compels me to advise against responding to his concerns either directly or indirectly with anything but the briefest note that “the research was conducted in accordance with UWA ethics procedures.”

    (Which it most definitely was).

    This last, five-word line is the sum total of the entire investigation into the ethical questions regarding the paper. Lewandowski volunteers he did everything right with a simple declarative sentence and they take him at his word. Done. Then, to add insult to injury, they ask him to write the “findings”.

  98. Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 4:42 AM | Permalink

    Steve, thank you for the update on this matter.

    Lewandowsky is a man of the Left. His whole way of operating is in a Leftist fog. As an Australian I have no other way to explain how this man has gotten away with something so appalling.

    However, that is only Lewandowsky. There is a matter of other people who are a part of the University of W.A. It is both shocking and shameful that they have behaved in such an unethical fashion. Their standards are well below what I expect of the ethical standards that should be adopted by all Australian universities.

    Ethics in research is always a very serious matter. I only have to point to the downfall of Dr. William McBride to show what can happen when data is falsified in order for certain conclusions to be reached. With regard to McBride, I remember well his conclusions regarding Debendox, not Thalidomide where he was correct, and I remember my surprise that McBride had claimed that Debendox was linked to birth defects (because I had it during 3 pregnancies and had children without birth defects). McBride was driven by a desire to reach a certain outcome and he fell as a result of that desire.

    As a graduate from the University of Melbourne myself, I have to watch what I might want to say about the University of W.A., such as it being a home for failed politicians who suffer a condition known as sudden memory loss syndrome aka Dr. Carmen Lawrence who is also a part of the same psychology department. However, I do think that any institution that has become involved in the Climate Change rort has become tainted over time. It seems to me that ethics fly out the window when Climate Change is mentioned.

    As one who studied statistics more than 30 years ago as part of a degree, I am astounded over what has been occurring in recent years because everything that I learned at that time has been totally ignored by unethical individuals like Lewandowsky.

  99. James
    Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 3:16 AM | Permalink

    I still don’t understand how UWA can be arguing that the ethics procedure was followed properly, when Lewandowsky had already written the paper on which the original ethics approval was based. You can read it here: http://websites.psychology.uwa.edu.au/labs/cogscience/Publications/LewskyPsychSciInPressClimate.pdf

    He then claims he wanted a ‘slight’ amendment to the ethics approval of a done and dusted research project, to do a TOTALLY different research project which he had already started – the Moon landing Hoax.

    He and UWA claim all the applicable procedures were followed! Huh?

    Am I missing something? If the original research project is dumped or ‘used’ shouldn’t a new ethics approval be sought? Am I missing something?

11 Trackbacks

  1. […] read more: http://climateaudit.org/2014/03/24/lewandowsky-ghost-wrote-conclusions-of-uwa-ethics-investigation-i… […]

  2. […] Last week we covered the latest Lewandowsky scandal. Remarkably, this week it gets worse. Steve McIntyre picks up the story: […]

  3. […] as Steve McIntyre documents in a mind-boggling must-read post, today, Lewandowsky has evidently been imbued with the power to "exonerate" himself when […]

  4. […] http://climateaudit.org/2014/03/24/lewandowsky-ghost-wrote-conclusions-of-uwa-ethics-investigation-i… […]

  5. By The Climate Change Debate Thread - Page 3806 on Mar 25, 2014 at 8:56 AM

    […] […]

  6. […] Source: http://climateaudit.org/2014/03/24/lewandowsky-ghost-wrote-conclusions-of-uwa-ethics-investigation-i… […]

  7. […] « Lewandowsky Ghost-wrote Conclusions of UWA Ethics Investigation into “Hoax” […]

  8. […] or national policy, but because the University administration’s feelings were hurt by my recent blogpost describing the “investigation” by the University administration into the amendment of […]

  9. […] from McIntyre’s digging to previously released FOI documents, it appears Lewandowsky himself co-wrote portions of UWA’s ethics report inquiring into his previous ‘Moon […]

  10. […] We also have a clear case from UWA’s own records obtained via FOI law that Lewandowsky Ghost-wrote Conclusions of UWA Ethics Investigation into “Hoax”. […]

  11. By Once upon a time … | bobmcgee on Apr 4, 2014 at 1:37 AM

    […] was published. Some among the gnashers questioned whether the ethics guidelines were followed. It is alleged that instead of investigating that matter the University allowed the good professor to write his […]

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