UWA Vice-Chancellor Refuses Lewandowsky Data

Over the past 15 months, I’ve made repeated requests to the University of Western Australia for a complete copy of Lewandowsky’s Hoax data in order to analyse it for fraudulent and/or scammed responses. Up to now, none of my previous requests were even acknowledged.

I was recently prompted to re-iterate my longstanding request by the retraction of Lewandowsky’s Fury. This time, my request was flatly and permanently denied by the Vice Chancellor of the University himself, Paul Johnson, who grounded his refusal not on principles set out in university 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 Lewandowsky’s ethics application .

In September 2012, I carried out several preliminary analyses of Lewandowsky’s data using a grey version then in circulation. Like Tom Curtis of SKS, I concluded that some of the responses were fraudulent. In response, Lewandowsky argued that I had not “proved” that the responses were fraudulent. The grey version of the data lacked important metadata for the individual responses, all of which was necessary for a forensic examination. In addition, Lewandowsky had removed several questions (including CYIraq) from the grey version and had removed numerous responses for various reasons, including duplicate IP addresses, incomplete data or implausible consensus or age responses.

In order to carry out a thorough analysis, I particularly wanted to see metadata that included the questionnaire used by each respondent and the date of each response.

In February 2013, I sent a polite request to Lewandowsky, who did not acknowledge my request.

Subsequent to this, Roman Mureika obtained from coauthor Oberauer a version of the dataset that included the CYIraq and life satisfaction questions, but still without metadata on questionnaires and dates as well as the several hundred responses that Lewandowsky had excluded.

After waiting a couple of months, I sent a polite request to Caixing Li of the UWA Human Resources Ethics Office. Again no response.

Reminded of these past refusals by the recent retraction of Fury and Barry Woods’ efforts to obtain Lewandowsky data, I once again requested data, this time writing Murray Mayberry, Head of the School of Psychology, copying the Human Resources Ethics Office, the Vice Chancellor and the Australian Research Council, as follows:

Dear Sirs,

Last year, the editor of Psychological Science suggested that I submit a comment to the journal regarding statistical errors in Lewandowsky et al (Moon Hoax).

Since then, I have unsuccessfully been trying for over a year to obtain comprehensive data from the University of Western Australia pertaining to the Lewandowsky “Hoax” study. In the last year, I have received no acknowledgement whatever.

Let me recap the request.

1. After my initial failure, Roman Mureika has received a subset of the original data, from which several hundred responses had been removed. I request a copy of the dataset including the removed responses, with a denotation of the removed responses.

2. I request that each response (row) show the version of the questionnaire. There are two reasons for this: first, Lewandowsky said that the versions had different question orders for “counterbalancing”. Second, the questionnaire version provides some information on the originating blog. This information would be retained in any competent design.

3. I request that each response (row) show the date of each response. This is important because the responses are not homogeneous to order number. In addition, Lewandowsky made a preliminary presentation of results while the survey was still open and I wish to check if this had any effect. Again this information would be retained in any competent design.

4. The survey was also filled out by respondents at the UWA using a different questionnaire number. Although this form of distribution was listed in Lewandowsky’s ethics amendment, Lewandowsky excluded this data from the original analysis. Lewandowsky has said that this exclusion didn’t matter, but I wish to verify this.

Previous requests that were not acknowledged include a request to Lewandowsky on February 6, 2013, to Caixia Li on April 4, 2013.

For your information, the former employee of the University of Western Australia, who has thus far withheld the data, also criticized me in articles, published insulting commentary on a blog then sponsored by the University and purported to diagnose that I have psychological disorders in an article now retracted by a journal but defiantly re-published on a UWA website.

Regards
Stephen McIntyre
Climate Audit

This time, I received a response from Vice Chancellor Johnson himself, flatly and categorically refusing to provide me the data. But Johnson purported to justify the refusal not in accordance with university or national policy, but because of my blog post on the ethics “investigation” of the amendment of Lewandowsky’s ethics application:

Dear Mr McIntyre,

I refer to your series of emails to University officers including Professor Maybery and myself (which you have copied to other recipients including the Australian Research Council) in which you request access to Professor Lewandowsky’s data.

I am aware that you have made inflammatory statements on your weblog “Climate Audit” under the heading “Lewandowsky Ghost-wrote Conclusions of UWA Ethics Investigation into “Hoax”” including attacks on the character and professionalism of University staff. It is apparent that your antagonism towards Professor Lewandowsky’s research is so unbalanced that there is no useful purpose to be served in corresponding with you further. I regard your continued correspondence to be vexatious and there will be no further response to your requests for data.

Yours faithfully,
Professor Paul Johnson,
Vice-Chancellor

Comments
First, Johnson’s objections to my blogpost of a few days ago do not justify their prior refusals.

Second, I do not accept Johnson’s accusations that the blogpost demonstrated that I had become “unbalanced” nor do I agree that it contained “inflammatory statements”.

I try to write with minimal editorializing and few adjectives in order to let the facts speak for themselves as much as possible. Thus, “inflammatory statements” are unusual in Climate Audit posts, as even my severest critics generally recognize. (Mann, for example, observed in his pleadings in Mann v Steyn that I had never publicly accused him of “fraud”).

In the post in question, I compiled a detailed chronology of events in which I quoted directly and copiously from the original correspondence with negligible editorial comment. In my review, I didn’t see any language that can fairly be described as “inflammatory” – if readers disagree, please tell me. Nor does it appear to me that I made any editorial statements about the “professionalism” of the University staff. Lewandowsky said that the correspondence showed that he and the university administration had meticulously dotted each i and crossed each t. While I believe otherwise, I did not directly express my opinion or editorialize otherwise in the blogpost. Instead I thoroughly presented the facts to readers, leaving them to draw their own conclusions.

I particularly take exception to Johnson’s claim that this blogpost demonstrates that I have become “unbalanced”. On the contrary, it seems to me that the blogpost shows my usual carefulness in avoiding needless editorializing. Even my severest critics have long recognized that Climate Audit posts avoid libelous claims and, when re-read, seldom offer targets. Oscar Wilde once observed that a true gentleman never hurts someone’s feelings unintentionally. If I have unintentionally hurt anyone’s feelings within the University of Western Australia administration, I apologize.

In addition, as is my policy, if there are any inaccuracies in the criticized blogpost, I will undertake to promptly correct them when brought to my notice.

In any event, even if my blogpost did contain “inflammatory language” about university administrators (which I deny), that is not grounds for refusing data.

Johnson seems to be unaware of how data obstruction played out in climate. Phil Jones famously said “Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.” This attitude has never been acceptable to the wider public that pays the salaries of Jones and other climate scientists. Much of the public distaste for Phil Jones, Michael Mann and the Climategate correspondents arose from their attempts to obstruct data access.

Post Climategate, it has become somewhat harder for climate scientists to obstruct data access, even to critics, though problems remain at many journals. One notable exception is Nature which has moved decisively to eliminate the charade under which obstructing authors used third parties an excuse for not providing data. Nature now requires that authors must obtain permission from third party authors to release any previously unarchived data, thus cutting off the daisy chain previously beloved by obstructing authors.

Now Vice Chancellor Johnson of the University of Western Australia has joined the ranks of data obstructionists. I believe that this was an unwise decision on Johnson’s part, one that I hope that he promptly reconsiders.

Appendix
University data policies say that research data “must be available for discussion with other researchers” – a policy that I referred to in my initial request. Here are other relevant clauses:

3.2 Research Data must be held along with other records associated with the research project and retained in accordance with the Western Australian University Sector Disposal Authority and the UWA Records Management Policy.

3.3 Wherever possible, original research data must be retained in the school or research centre in which they were generated and retained in accordance with clause 3.2 of this policy

3.4 Individual researchers are able to hold copies of their research data for their own use. However, retention solely by the individual researcher provides little protection to the researcher or the University in the event of an allegation of falsification of data.


3.7 In all cases, prior to the publication of research findings a Location of Data Form must be completed.

3.8 Research data related to publications must be available for discussion with other researchers.

165 Comments

  1. Frank Cook
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 9:45 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The totality of the UWA correspondence is utterly damning. No need for editorializing.

    The cover-up is often worse than the original “crime”.

    It’s a close call in this situation, though.

    • eloris
      Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 1:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

      I just found this blog and had no idea what this controversy was about, so I went back through some of the older posts about it. The funniest thing I saw was from the post on 09/08/2012: http://climateaudit.org/2012/09/08/lewandowsky-scam/ which read:

      >>Lewandowsky withheld results from the Iraq WMD question.

      Of course he did. Of course he did.

  2. Sven
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The university, just as Lewandowsky, have ample possibilities to respond to your very clear and fact based blog post and prove you wrong. If not here as they do not want to engage you on your blog, they could use their own sites, Lew’s site, SkS, a letter, whatever. The fact that there is no response speaks a million. And the response to your request for data written with this pathetic level of sophistication by someone on such a high level of hierarchy of a university – vice chancellor – is just sad. For the university. And probably also shows that there is zero, absolutely zero, willingness to understand what this is all about.

    • Duke C.
      Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 12:50 PM | Permalink | Reply

      And would he write this without first getting legal advice? I suspect that UWA attorney Kimberley Heitman had a big hand in this, possibly even drafted it.

      • Dave L.
        Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 2:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

        A common courtroom tactic is to ask an expert consultant a completely absurd question or to present him/her with a totally ridiculous hypothesis, the objective being to arouse the emotional state of the expert to cloud his/her reasoning and thereby to elicit anger or arrogance — diminishing the credibility of the expert in the eyes of the jury or judge. The response submitted to Steve was almost certainly crafted by a legal beagle with the intent to provoke an angry reply from Steve, thereby confirming the accusations spelled out in the response. Had Steve ‘taken the bait’ and made a derogatory or inflammatory public response, such a response would become Exhibit A should the matter progress to a higher appeal.

        • PaddikJ
          Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 10:36 PM | Permalink

          Actually, I had just the opposite immediate reaction to Johnson’s response – “Boy, this guy would never cut it in an American or British university. His response was way too specific (and emotional). He has a tin ear for the career administrator’s marshmallowy circumlocutions.”

  3. AndyL
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 10:04 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re-reading your previous post in a light most favourable to Johnson’s claim of “attacks on the character and professionalism of University staff” I can only find two examples.
    You described Kate Kirk as “docile”
    You referred to a “cursory and even negligent approval process”

    I find it astonishing that Johnson has such a thin skin that he is offended by these phrases to such an extend that he ignores the meat of your post and refuses reasonable access to data. With behaviour like this one wonders why Australians refer to us Poms as “whinging”. (oops there I go attacking his character…)

    Steve: I think that these adjectives are appropriate, but they are not necessary to the narrative. In keeping with my usual practice of avoiding unnecessary adjectives, I’ve edited the post to remove two of the three adjectives. Perhaps Johnson will now like the post.

    • AndyL
      Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 10:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Touché

    • AndyL
      Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 10:44 AM | Permalink | Reply

      The reply to my post was deleted, but let me clarify that Johnson is in fact English and not Australian as I had assumed

    • kim
      Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 9:57 AM | Permalink | Reply

      I like docile, but compliant works, as does complicit.
      ========

  4. Craig Loehle
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 10:05 AM | Permalink | Reply

    There seems to be a common view within administrative bodies that any criticism of them is unjustified. The idea that individuals in the wider society can be guilty of crimes, incompetence, or venality and deserve to be fired or jailed but that those within an administrative body can not be so guilty is so bizarre. Likewise, the closing of ranks around their faculty no matter how out there or bizarre they become (like calling for imprisonment for skeptics or allowing fraudulent survey responses) does not redound to their credit.

  5. pottereaton
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 10:07 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Your comments weren’t inflammatory. His comments are inflammatory.

  6. RichieRich
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 10:07 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Of course, this could all have been avoided if Psychological Sciences – apparently “the highest ranked empirical journal in psychology” – had a requirement that, in order to be published, authors had to make data publicly available.

    But the best they can do is offer badges!!!

    Psychological Science is the launch vehicle for a program intended to incentivize open communication within the research community. Through this program, manuscripts accepted for publication on or after January 1, 2014, are eligible to earn one or more of the following “badges” in recognition of open scientific practices:

    *Open Data badge, which is earned for making publicly available the digitally-shareable data necessary to reproduce the reported result.

    * Open Materials badge, which is earned for making publicly available the digitally-shareable materials/methods necessary to reproduce the reported results.

    *Preregistered badge, which is earned for having a preregistered design and analysis plan for the reported research and reporting results according to that plan. An analysis plan includes specification of the variables and the analyses that will be conducted.

    The criteria for earning badges and the process by which they are awarded, along with answers to frequently asked questions, are described in the Open Practices document found here. The document proposes two ways for certifying organizations to award badges for individual studies: disclosure or peer review. For now, this journal will follow the simpler disclosure method. See the the Observer interview for more information.

    Journal staff will contact the corresponding authors of accepted manuscripts with details on the badge-awarding process.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 10:37 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for pointing this out. Eich’s initiatives are commendable even if too late to enforce on Lewandowsky. See

      https://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/journals/psychological_science/ps-submissions

      http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/observer/obsonline/whats-new-at-psychological-science.html

      http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/11/25/0956797613512465.full

      I agree that his initiatives on data are inadequate. Eich’s idea of badges does open up many possibilities: perhaps a WWF badge??

      <img src="panda” alt=”” />

      • JunkPsychology
        Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 1:32 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Which researchers is Psychological Science afraid won’t submit articles, if they are required to make their “data, materials, or preregistered design and analysis plans publicly available”?

      • j ferguson
        Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Reply

        There might be an additional badge. No, not the bodge badge, but the “My paper made it through the Mcintyre sieve and emerged intact.” badge.

      • Luther Bl't
        Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 12:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

        G**gle “token economics” for an explanation of those badges vis-a-vis academic psychology. I presumed it had not survived the punk era; sadly I am wrong. The panda design is very appropriate.

      • agfosterjr
        Posted Apr 1, 2014 at 1:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Can I use that logo? –AGF

    • seanbrady
      Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 10:43 AM | Permalink | Reply

      “Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges!”

      http://www.monkees.net/famous-quote-attributed-to-micky-dolenz-2/

      • Dr C
        Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 11:22 PM | Permalink | Reply

        OT – the original “stinking badges” line comes from the Humphrey Bogart classic, “Treasure of the Sierra Madre.” Now back to the post.

    • Sundance
      Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 2:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Once upon a time in Japan you received ribbons of shame for inferior work. From Wiki:

      “Ribbons of shame usually refers to a Japanese management practice of giving ribbons with criticisms to those employees who fail to meet the expectations of the management.[1] According to some authors that in Japanese Management Programs, employees participating in truth exercises would declare those weaknesses which have been known to cause errors in the past.[2] Is it also a part of Kanrisha Yosei’s Japanese management training class.[3][4]”

      Maybe a ‘badge of shame’ for authors like Lewandowski is needed.

      • Another Ian
        Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 3:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Maybe time to reinstate the WW2 Air Force award of

        “The Most High Derogatory Order of the Irremovable Finger”

        with “Knuckles” for repeared stuff-ups?

  7. AntonyIndia
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 10:12 AM | Permalink | Reply

    This article from November 2011 ago gives some insights into Vice Chancellor Paul Johnson stay in Australia. A few quotes: “By his own admission, his tasks as Vice-Chancellor are rather mundane and Johnson sees his role as the chief executive of a business.” and “It was this closeness between politics and education that most surprised Johnson. In the UK, there is an intermediary body that provides separation. Not so here. Within two weeks of arriving in Australia, Johnson attended a dinner with the Prime Minister and had a meeting with the Education Minister the following week.” and “He thinks a Liberal government may further deregulate fees and even introduce a voucher-based funding system, which is ‘a typical right-wing…approach to how you bring consumer choice into the provision of public services’”.

    http://www.upstart.net.au/2011/11/21/infinite-possibilities-in-the-west/

  8. pottereaton
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 10:17 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Here is an example of an inflammatory comment:

    “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

  9. GrantB
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 10:18 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Professor Johnson’s response is quite strange because everyone knows that *real* academics don’t lower themselves to read Climate Audit.

  10. Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 10:32 AM | Permalink | Reply

    To be technically most fair, the “unbalanced” target point
    Is aimed not quite at you but at “your antagonism”
    Attacking that, and not that your whole psyche’s out of joint
    But clearly unbalanced, and supports catastrophism

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

    • Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 10:35 AM | Permalink | Reply

      The italicized “he’s”
      ‘ere “unbalanced” got lost
      Such loss, in degrees
      Is part of the cost
      Of not having a way
      To go back and edit
      I long for the day…
      Ah well.

      Just forget it.

      ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

      • kim
        Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 12:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Thank goodness you’re back, Keith; I was feeling highly inadequate.
        ==============

  11. Sven
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 10:39 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Yes, Steve, you are unbalanced, not like prof. Lew who, as a scientist, is absolutely scientific, balanced and unbiased in his research and quest for more knowledge. What a circus!

  12. JEM
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 10:52 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Vice Chancellor Johnson’s reply seems to be a pretty good definition of ‘hurt feelings and confected outrage’.

  13. Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 10:55 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I requested the list of 8 blogs surveyed from Professor Lewandowsky in July 2012

    Which he promptly provided, giving the domain names, but not direct survey url links.
    I discussed these on Dr Adam Corner’s Talking Climate blog.

    I searched for the surveys and found 6 of them (which I posted ) as they were in public domain. (Unity turned up a bit later)
    I could NOT find Skeptical Science’s, and I wrote back to Professor Lewandowsky to inform him I could not find it.

    He advised me that he had had the url, but he could not find it, he then suggested that Skeptical Science (cook) may have deleted it.

    I wrote back, ~1st August 2012, to ask for the raw kwiksurvey data, as this should include referring domain information, this should show whether SkS had held the survey, and my concern at the time, that perhaps 2 or 3 blogs had dominated the survey responses. 5 of the blogs being quite obscure and low traffic, compared to Tamino, Deltoid (& SkS). [my bold-SM]

    Professor Lewandowsky did not reply to my request for the survey data with this information, this was a month PRIOR to all the fuss following the 28th August 2012 press release.

    I had never heard of Professor Lewandowsky prior to July 2012, when I read an article about the NASA Hoax paper in the Guardian(the paper was sent to Dr Adam Corner) over 1 month prior to the press release (28th Aug 2012) that drew a lot more attention and I wrote to him in good faith.

    I believed him when he said Cook may have deleted the survey post. I thought this possible, as comments under the other blog articles were quite derogatory about the survey, and thought perhaps John Cook may have done that to spare Prof Lewandowsky’s blushes, Prof Lewandowsky, being a contributor to SkS, and co-author of the SkS debunking handbook.

    The non-publishing of the SkS survey became a more substantial issue, when the paper was finally published in Psychological science 7 months later, and key claims of the paper depended on SkS’s involvement. I am still requestingthe same data so that I may submit a comment to Psychological Science for peer review.

    Steve: the whole SKS episode is really quite bizarre. While Lewandowsky’s original misrepresentation may have been in error, he could easily have corrected the misrepresentation when he published the SI much later. But instead, as Barry is aware, Lewandowsky ratcheted up the misrepresentation with a lengthy analysis of SKS traffic as supposed evidence for the presence of skeptics in the survey. Even Tom Curtis of SKS (who, like Geoff Chambers, was prepared to chalk up the original misrepresentation as a mere error) was appalled by Lewandowsky’s insolent ramping up of the misrepresentation.

    • Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 1:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Just checked my emails. (professor Lewandowsky responded to me on the 1st August, I wrote back on the 31st July2012. Steve Mcintyre first blog post about the ‘NASA Moon’ paper was in September 2012)

      In my reply I was asking whether the referring domain information was available, and reporting that I could not find the Skeptical Science version of the survey. I had never heard of Professor Lewandowsky prior to July 2012.

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

      Hi Stephan

      sorry to approach you one more time.

      I cannot find the link to Skeptical Science survey, this is probably the most high profile blog with the most media/public recognition (i.e. won awards) of the ‘pro-science’ vs. the “Skeptical” blogs

      (I’m guessing Climate Audit, WUWT, Bishop Hill & maybe The Air Vent (ie Condon) and Jo Nova Winking smile)

      I’ve found six of the links to the opinion surveys, and the range of comments on the blogs are quite interesting as well, did you consider this feedback in the research?

      but, I would expect that Skeptical Science would have the most comments and opinions and probably the largest readership.

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

      And was the survey able to capture the referring blog, as this might also give indicators of relative popularity of the blog,

      does the survey break down by referring blog and are these figures available?

      Best Regards

      Barry

      rather than lots of questions, if you have the supporting data, etc in an easily accessible package (without too much trouble for yourself) could you send that as well.

      If not quickly to hand, that’s fine please don’t waste any time, as I’m mainly just curious on the couple of point above.

      there were the links I found:

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

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

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

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

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

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

      I’m missing this blog survey link as well.

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

      -end email—

      the trinity survey was found a few weeks later.

    • Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 7:48 AM | Permalink | Reply

      I have rechecked my correspondence, I wrote back on the 31st July 2012,it was Prof. lewandowsky who replied (again) on the 1st August 2012

  14. coalsoffire
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 10:58 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve,

    Watch the pea. The attack on you is a mere distraction and excuse for not doing the right thing and giving you the data. It’s not about you or your blog. It’s about Lew and his data. Someone above Prof Johnson, who cares, needs to have this storyline given to them.

    I used to practice criminal defence law. Almost always the client guilty of the crime would justify himself by reference to how he was treated. The police were rude. The evidence was obtained unfairly. Stuff like that. Most of them convinced themselves that the perceived wrongs justified or erased the original crime. Johnson is in that category. He thinks because you dared to criticize his bungling bureaucracy that he is justified in denying your request. Certainly some good psychologist could write an interesting paper about the psychology of such self delusion.

    Keep digging. Illegitimi non carborundum. You have my unbridled admiration. Johnson, not so much.

    Steve: I’ve had lots of experience with obstructing climate scientists who purported to justify their own data obstruction by saying that I didn’t ask quite politely enough. But my usual request style is polite. Not that asking “politely” made any difference. On one occasion, I even asked “pretty please with sugar on it” but that didn’t work either.

    • JEM
      Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 11:10 AM | Permalink | Reply


      VC Johnson, like members of the aforementioned groups (like any of us, really) doesn’t like being informed he (or his school) has erred. Rather than the professional response he’s chosen the emotional (or guilty) reaction.

    • coalsoffire
      Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 11:13 AM | Permalink | Reply

      I guess we need to understand that the very act of asking for data is rude, no matter how sweetly the request is framed. Or the allegation of impoliteness could be just a distraction to try to hide the decline.

      • jdonthespree
        Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 3:21 PM | Permalink | Reply

        This fiasco just gets more and more astonishing…

        Prof Johnson claims to be:

        aware that you have made inflammatory statements on your weblog “Climate Audit” under the heading “Lewandowsky Ghost-wrote Conclusions of UWA Ethics Investigation into “Hoax””

        However, it would appear that he was not sufficiently “aware” to have actually read the post right through, given the delectable teaser at the end of:

        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.

        I can hardly wait to see just how much more “unwise” Johnson’s dismissive intervention is about to become…

  15. Geoff
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 11:04 AM | Permalink | Reply

    This will not stand.

    • Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 5:36 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Yes it will. Why shouldn’t it?
      I draw attention to a serious falsehood uttered by Dr McIntyre when he says:
      “Phil Jones famously said ‘Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.’ This attitude has never been acceptable to the wider public that pays the salaries of Jones and other climate scientists”.
      In fact there are two falsehoods here. First: there is nothing famous about Phil Jones’s remark, in that 99% (or perhaps 97%) of British taxpayers are completely unaware of it, and secondly: it is evidently acceptable to the wider public, in that scientists continue to be the most trusted group of establishment spokesmen, as measured by the annual IPSOS “trust” poll.
      We’re not there yet.

  16. zootcadillac
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 11:08 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I suppose that the next step would be to ask an Australian citizen to submit a request for data as a taxpayer and under FOIA rules who might then be happy to pass it on. Perhaps Jo Nova would be inclined to help?

    I’m in the UK so doubt any polite request for data from myself, not working in any related field, would have any different outcome to Steve’s,

    • janama
      Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 9:56 AM | Permalink | Reply

      well Jo Nova actually lives in Perth, WA so she could make the request personally.

  17. coalsoffire
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 11:21 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Is there an graduate of the UWA with scientific credentials and some standing in that community who would be able and willing to write Prof Johnson and politely ask him to get over his hurt feelings and do his job and release the data? The letter could go privately and if refused then be published somewhere, say the student newspaper and beyond.

    Steve: I’m trying to make arrangements for a data request by a research psychologist. A lot of reader requests are unlikely to be helpful and may be counterproductive. Care has to be taken in the exact wording since I want metadata not included in the grey version.

    • Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 11:40 AM | Permalink | Reply

      For your information, the former employee of the University of Western Australia, who has thus far withheld the data, also criticized me in articles, published insulting commentary on a blog then sponsored by the University and purported to diagnose that I have psychological disorders in an article now retracted by a journal but defiantly re-published on a UWA website.

      Yet “care has to be taken in the exact wording” (and I fully agree with that).

      A tightrope over Niagara Falls may have been an easier place to spend one’s spare time.

    • Steven Mosher
      Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 10:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Steve
      My concern is that multiple requests will play into the vexatious claim.
      It almost seems as if Johnson is hoping for that..

  18. Bob K.
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 11:29 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The overhead monies that they bring in on research grants are paying the salaries of these functionaries (but of course the Australian taxpayers ultimately are paying the bill).

    – editorializing snipped

  19. Bob Denton
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 12:16 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Is there anyone in good academic standing who could ask Prof Johnson whether or not this response precludes the provision of data to other persons? If, in principle, not; to what categories of person would the data be provided?

    I’d only like to clarify that the university continues to subscribe to the conventions of peer-review, and this refusal is exceptional.

    • Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 12:38 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Presumably any such recipient wouldn’t be permitted to pass on the data to anyone who had been rude about UWA. (This argument of course would never work to limit responses to UK FoI, for we are renowned for never being rude about our government.)

  20. KNR
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 12:22 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Feelings have nothing to do with it , even the VP is REQUIRED to follow the universities regulations , while NO ONE at the university as the right to ignore the law of the land.

    Some one needs to remind him of this , and in the end the current Australia government is unlikely to find such games as being acceptable and may even consider this an ‘opportunity’ to take action.

    • Geoff Sherrington
      Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 12:21 AM | Permalink | Reply

      This is a long shot without much cogitation behind it, but the matter is one that must be treated in satisfaction of such laws, regulations and agreements as apply and are enforceable.
      It might be ultra vires for the Vice Chancellor to respond in this ‘personal hurt’ way if there is a requirement for another style of reply.
      And the really long shot is that currently in Australia there are TV advertisements informing citizens of their rights in relation to the quality of goods supplied and their ability to be returned for a refund.

  21. milodonharlani
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 12:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Is Australian PM Tony Abbott aware of this violation of sound academic practice?

    • JEM
      Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 1:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

      a) Negotiate with the obstruction, appeal to reason, appeal to rule.

      b) Recruit an insider to engage in such discussions.

      c) Recruit an outsider with sufficient authority to compel the desired result.

      d) Pray for a mole.

      Steve’s still working (a), (b) appears unlikely at UWA, engaging Abbott as (c) is probably a leap too far but at some point I’d think concerned Australians contacting their representatives about publicly-funded research being hidden from public scrutiny might make sense.

    • GrantB
      Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 9:32 PM | Permalink | Reply

      The PM is probably not aware of this at the moment however he might be next week via Dr Dennis Jensen. Dr Jensen BAppSc MSc PhD is the liberal member for Tangney, a Perth, Western Australia electorate. He was formally a Physicist/ Material Scientist at the CSIRO and is sceptical of CAGW.

      I have written a formal letter to him linking this and previous CA posts quoting and emphasising in particular Professor Johnson’s response cited above. It’s up to him of course, but as a suitably credentialed scientist he might even be interested in obtaining the data himself. Would a request for data from a scientist and parliamentarian elicit such a snotty response from the good professor?

  22. Used to be amused
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 1:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Two points. One is that it is about time that scientists began to hit back at the mischief making of McIntre and his interference in things that are beyond his ken.

    Second is wrt his hubris. “In order to make a thorough analysis.” When and where did this notoriety seeker acquire the expertise or credentials to “anakyse” the wok of scientists?

    • JCM
      Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 1:26 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Do you deem Lewandowsky a ‘scientist’ ?
      If you take public money you are accountable to the public.

      • tomdesabla
        Posted Mar 31, 2014 at 12:57 AM | Permalink | Reply

        I have “anakysed” Steve’s “wok” and I find that he makes a mean stir fry. My audit reveals trace amounts of beef, chicken and climate scientist/activist. Yum.

        I’m looking forward to his next creation.

    • Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 1:30 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Began to hit back? Forsooth, I thought they began to hit back the first time he asked Dr Mann, very nicely, for his code and data in 2002. His ‘notoriety’ is a by-product of the refusal by others to be true scientists. Don’t shoot the messenger – deal with the gaping hole in good practice he’s revealed.

    • Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 1:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

      You would propose “scientist hitting back”
      At Steve McIntyre is something brand new?
      Catastrophist howling is never a lack
      Complaints? They have plenty. Show data? Can’t do.

      For any observer of good climate science
      The climate cabal’s long exposed its true fears
      “You’ll find something wrong with it!” Data reliance
      Is not to be found. This has gone on ten years.

      And as to credentials? Perhaps you don’t know
      Our host here is quite highly skilled in statistics
      Numerical processes don’t really show
      Catastrophe coming. The gang’s full of mystics

      That gang is less skilled at the math and the science
      Of processing data to get (or hide!) truth
      While Steve and other others here work, their defiance
      Does not hide the cabal’s math.

      Shoddy.

      Uncouth.

      ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  23. Used to be amused
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 1:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

    McIntyre is a poseur and gives no evidence of being particularly skiiled in these matters. He dined out for years on finding _with McKittrick, an inconsequential and tiny error inj the paper of a great scientist.

    During Climategate, his expertise was such that neither he nor McKittrick understoof the significance of a 0 in the code.

    Why should he have acces to any data? He is not int he field and not close to the field of climate science. He has no more claim to being provided with the data than has any poster here.

    I do recall another instance wher he made a “fuss” about being denied data that was already in the public domain.

    I think he should get back to his own business and letscientists attend to theirs without harrassment from him.

    He is a despicable and dangerous man.

    • Bill
      Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 4:43 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Used to Be: I guess you are right. That is why the Climate Gate e-mails showed many climate scientists agreeing with McIntyre and saying Mann’s work was crap, privately of course. They did not have the guts to agree publicly. They also seemed to think Mann was a vindictive asshole and I imagine they feared he would give them unfavorable reviews of their papers and grants and so were afraid to break ranks. Even Robert Way of SKS privately admitted that Mann’s work was crap and that McIntyre was correct. Now he is scared that Mann will do something to harm his career it seems.

      Scientists are supposed to make their data available and not just to other scientists in their field or the ones who agree with them. This is how science has always worked. The early scientists were all citizen scientists and science is about the free give and take of ideas and of trying to poke holes in others arguments. Not sure what you are talking about but it is not science.

    • Paul
      Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 8:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Surprised to see you visiting here, Prof. Mann. Who else would dribble out the “great scientist” tripe?

    • NikFromNYC
      Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 8:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Auditors are indeed despicably dangerous men to a certain class of actors. It’s gratifying that you are no longer amused by this threat.

    • JCM
      Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 9:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Get off your high horse and learn the requirements laid out in FOI legislation. None of your business why any person asks for material assembled with public money.

      • Dr C
        Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 11:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

        OK folks, this one is so outlandishly stupid that it has GOT to be Brad Keyes playing the part of the over-the-top Warmist. Brad you almost had me. Major +1, dude.

    • Mickey Reno
      Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 8:32 AM | Permalink | Reply

      “Used to be amused” I’d love to believe that you’re a climate realist who’s using such over-the-top rhetoric to tweak the readers of CA with positions that no sensible person could possibly hold. Unfortunately, I’ve read too many DeSmog, SkS, ThinkProgress, NPR, RealClimate, HuffPo, and Greg Laden comment blocks to casually dismiss you as this type of troll. If Michael Mann is a great scientist, then I’m the King of Sweden.

      The scientific method requires replication. Replication requires exact data and methods, including software and code. Without replication, there is no science, only opinion. Peer review will NEVER be a substitute for replication.

      Steve, keep up the great work and your dogged investigations of the work of Lewandowsky, Mann, Gergis, et.al. One of the facts exposed by the Vice Chancellor’s shameful reply is that you know they’re reading Climate Audit, even if they hate it.

  24. MrPete
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 2:57 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: Used to be amused (Mar 28 13:49),
    Your statements reveal far more about your own lack of understanding than any valid insight into the proprietor of this blog.

    Perhaps in your own mind it’s immaterial that Steve has tremendous professional experience with data analysis and the statistical tools that accompany such work.

    If you spent any time here, you’d recognize that a number of statisticians who comment here are of a slightly different opinion. You’d also recognize that just about everyone agrees that Steve knows paleoclimate data easily as well as the scientists whose work he reviews.

    You want to attempt to match Steve’s ability to guess the paleo data sets that made up the various proxy studies over the years? Go for it. :-D

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 3:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

      While I appreciate the sentiment, no need for readers to defend my honor as it merely hijacks the thread.

  25. per
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 3:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

    this site offers some useful resources:

    http://www.legalservices.uwa.edu.au/foi

    http://www.legalservices.uwa.edu.au/foi/process

    – snip

    Steve: per, nice to hear from you. I would prefer that readers not initiate FOI requests on their own. Too many requests runs the risk of being “vexatious” under the FOI Act and giving the UWA an out. “Vexatious” is a term of art in legal pleadings and means something different than merely annoying the administration.

  26. Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 3:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The unfair use of the word “inflammatory” reminds me of the moderation on Lewandowsky’s blog after the “Hoax”, where tons of comments were deleted because they were supposed to be “inflammatory”. To my recollection, many were not.

    Maybe just a coincidence, or one could be tempted to do some conspiracy ideation :)

  27. Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 4:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I’m an Australian resident in Australia Steve – please contact me if I can help.

    You should have my email from your blog records.

    Regards,
    Eric Worrall

  28. Lady in Red
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 4:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Something that amazes me are the defenders of the likes of Lewandowsky and Mann. It’s as though these other university types actually *like* them, invite them to dinner, respect their work. I find that strange, makes me wonder, even more.

    When I first watched (and I’ve now seen them several times) the mini-Lewandowsky YouTube lectures about deniers, I get creepy goosebumps. Who would get into a car with this man?

    My feelings were similar watching the nervous but arrogant — and idiotically self-centered and self-serving — Michael Mann TED talks lecture.

    I can imagine a university disdain on the order of “He brings in bucks, so I just stay away from him, but….” Does UWA think their reputation is enhanced by Lewandowsky, or by their support of him, his work? Better, I would think, to throw him under the bus, sooner rather than later.

    Mentally, right now, I am unable to parse it. ….Lady in Red

  29. mpaul
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 4:26 PM | Permalink | Reply

    What’s astonishing is just how tone deaf the University is. I’m sure there is a very small population of folks (University Professors and on-line Climate Warriors) who will find the response to be “cheering news”; but the average person will read Johnson’s reply and think he has the temperament of a child. I suspect that a neutral person, brought up in a free speech society, would conclude that the University must have something to hide.

    I don’t know what the Australian appeals process is like, but if they have the equivalent of an ICO, then Johnson’s letter will hardly hold up well.

    Its also amusing that when you send a data request that gets ignored and then follow up with a second request noting that there was no response to the first request, they label it vexatious! So the logic diagram is: (1) Receive data request, is it valid? If yes, ignore it. If no, ignore it. (2) Did the requester follow up? If yes, note that it is a repeated request and, as such, is vexatious, end of process. If no, end of process.

  30. timothy sorenson
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 4:43 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Being insulted by those that know far less than you should be just ‘rain on your shoulder’.
    Don’t let it get to you! I would rather have vexatious friends like yourself than, I suspect,
    ANY UWA administrator!

    Keep pluggin’

  31. HAS
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 5:02 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The VC reports to the Senate (membership available on UWA web site – VC is memeber) and the Chancellor is Dr Michael Chaney AO CitWA.

    His bio from that site reads:

    “Dr Chaney graduated with Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees from The University of Western Australia in 1972 and 1980 respectively.

    “He completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 1992 and has also been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from The University of Western Australia.

    “After obtaining his science degree, Dr Chaney worked for eight years as a petroleum geologist in Australia and the United States. He joined the Australian Industry Development Corporation in 1980 as a corporate finance executive and became Manager for Western Australia in 1981. He joined Wesfarmers in 1983 as Company Secretary and Administration Manager, became Finance Director in 1984 and was appointed Managing Director in July 1992. He retired from that position in July 2005.

    “Dr Chaney is Chairman of the National Australia Bank Limited, Woodside Petroleum Limited and Gresham Partners Holdings Limited. He is a member of the JPMorgan International Council and a Director of the Centre for Independent Studies.”

    The CIS is an interesting link for those that know it.

  32. Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 5:02 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “..Lewandowsky had removed numerous responses for various reasons, including … implausible consensus or age responses.”
    Lewandowsky removed all those who gave an age 95. This alone makes the survey unique in the annals of social science, in that it was apparently ready to accept respondents aged six or ninety-four.
    He also eliminated sixty-odd respondents from his own university, on the grounds that they didn’t constitute a sufficiently numerous subsample. Logically, he should therefore have eliminated respondents from any of the seven (or eight, according to Lewandowsky, Oberauer and Gignac) blogs which linked to his survey. But how many responses came from each link? We don’t know. Does Lewandowsky know, given that the company which conducted the survey was hacked, lost a lot of information, and went bust?
    So many questions. So few responses.

    • Jan
      Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 7:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: geoffchambers (Mar 28 17:02),

      There seem to be a lot of hungry dogs roaming ivory tower halls these days.

      I honestly don’t get it. When I do a financial analysis, I want others (especially those with a critical eye) to look at what I’ve prepared. I enthusiastically give them access to everything. I welcome the review as I know I’m not infallible. If I’ve made a mistake, so be it. I’ll admit it, fix it and move on but generally, in the process, I’ve learned something valuable.

      It’s sad. I really thought that institutions of higher learning were less petty and more professional than this.

      • Jim S
        Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 9:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

        So true Jan. In my profession (architecture/engineering) clients will sometimes pay other architectural firms to review documents for errors. I don’t take offense of this. I welcome it. It helps lower my risk.

  33. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 5:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve, you should direct correspondence to Chancellor Dr. Michael Chaney. He was a petroleum geologist for 8 years and therefore must have extensive ties to Big Oil, lol.

  34. Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 5:15 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve McIntyre: “While I appreciate the sentiment, no need for readers to defend my honor as it merely hijacks the thread.”

    This is one of the best comments by a blog host that I have seen and I have been around since before the internet existed. This shows a well balanced and confident man with no need for others to validate himself. If only more people were like this.

    Steve, your stock went up in my eyes yet again.

    — Mark

    • DEEBEE
      Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 11:16 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Are you sure that was not a temperature chart just labelled as stock price ;-)

  35. curious
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 5:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

    For Stephan. And Paul.

  36. Nicholas
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 5:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Mr. McIntyre,

    I appreciate the hard work you do holding scientists to account. I also understand the intellectual curiosity that leads you to follow these issues so tenaciously. But I can’t help but feeling that pursuing Lewandowsky is a waste of your time. Yes, he’s a trouble maker and doesn’t seem to care about the truth but he’s distracting you from the actual science of paleoclimate reconstructions, temperature data and the other important stuff that you would normally be looking at instead. I think you’re better off putting your time and effort into looking at real science and not psychological rabble rousing.

    Please don’t take this as a criticism, isn’t just a suggestion.

    • mike_la_jolla
      Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 7:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

      “But I can’t help but feeling that pursuing Lewandowsky is a waste of your time.”

      I agree. But to Mr. McIntyre this is a hobby. He is welcome to spend his own time in any way he chooses. Those of us that are skeptics have no ’cause’. This isn’t our religion. Most of us are just looking for valid science and find it lacking.

      “Recursive Fury” might have gotten a D+ in an undergraduate psychology class. It is indefensible and never should have been published. But it was. And it insulted individuals that have proven to have enormous skill at eviscerating the underlying ‘science’.

      What a sorry, pathetic response to an FOI request. Had this been the university I graduated from, I would have literally driven to the campus and confronted Vice Chancellor Johnson personally. I’m embarrassed for anybody associated with UWA.

      This is one of the most entertaining soap operas in climate science. Keep at it Steve.

      • JEM
        Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 8:02 PM | Permalink | Reply

        The problem is that there are several of these – Naomi Oreskes being probably the most visible, absent Lewandowsky’s pot-banging.

        They are not scientists in any serious meaning of the word, and they have absolutely no expertise or eminence in physical sciences or statistics, but they have secured tenure in positions that give them leave to engage in all kinds of mischief.

        They continue to produce work that’s … well, let’s just call it unsupported by anything that’d withstand third-party analysis. And they continue to get press for this … well, let’s just call it refuse.

    • Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 7:13 PM | Permalink | Reply

      What passes for “real science” now
      Is rousing media rabble
      It’s not a waste to show just how
      Their science is just babble

      Psychology is just one more
      Of science-turned-corruption
      It’s sad the truth should cause uproar
      And data, such eruption

      Each voice like Lewandowsky speaks
      In catastrophic union
      Our host here gives that choir tweaks
      And busts up their communion

      ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

    • observa
      Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 10:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

      “But I can’t help but feeling that pursuing Lewandowsky is a waste of your time.”

      On the contrary, as it has brought kicking and screaming into the bright sunlight the whole issue of these pseudo scientists and their caravan of lickspittles and lackeys that continually refuse to openly divulge their raw data and complete methodology. When Lewandowsky went public with his ‘science’ he knew exactly what he was doing and would inevitably face the blowtorch of scientific scrutiny.

      Now not only he has to put up or shutup but he’s roped in a complete tertiary institution to put up or shutup and that’s for every real scientific enquirer within the UWA to decide on which side of the argument they stand now. They either demand their colleague deliver up the complete data and methodology or cower behind the petulant bureaucrat and non-science. We shall see who stands up to be counted now.

      • tomdesabla
        Posted Mar 31, 2014 at 1:08 AM | Permalink | Reply

        “he’s roped in a complete tertiary institution to put up or shutup and that’s for every real scientific enquirer within the UWA to decide on which side of the argument they stand now.”

        Observa, this is a really great point. The fact that the UWA has lined up behind Lewandowsky this way really ups the ante, raises the profile, and will end up increasing the odds that a greater number of people will see what a fraud the man is. By extension, it may also make many people reexamine mainstream climate science in general.

    • Geoff
      Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 10:32 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Nicholas,

      Yes and no. You are correct that getting to the bottom of this silly study will not increase our understanding of any truth about climate or man’s influence on it. It’s based on a ludicrous premise, carried out with ridiculous methods, and reaches baffling and unwarranted conclusions.

      However, getting to the bottom of the issues is an important matter for civilization. We have in place a societal structure where science is accorded respect, based on the scientific method. Part of that scientific method is making data available for replication, and in following agreed procedures. Lewandowsky, the DVC (Research) and now the VC are violating the scientific method and their own procedures. If this passes by unheeded, it will not only damage the standing of UWA, but it will undermine the scientific approach.

      Steve (and others) being slimed by this fanatical professor is uncomfortable for them I’m sure, and each one who has been insulted will deal with it in their own way. Personally I’m a great believe in free speech and there should not be a legal penalty for spreading such slime It is however, absolutely correct to make a moral condemnation of Lewandowsky’s ravings.

      My point is that the violation of the scientific method, and the cover-up being attempted by the DVC (Research) and now the VC are corrupting of the moral standards of civilization and the professional standards of science.

      I’m sure Steve will make his own judgments and take whatever actions he deems appropriate. For my part, I will observe how it plays out and commit myself to action if the outcome is unsatisfactory.

      • HAS
        Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 11:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

        I think saving civilization is a bridge too far, but getting a bit of accountability for meeting the standards of research is well worth the effort.

        And it isn’t the effect on Lewandowsky (he’s made a lifestyle choice to become a member of the commentariat that is no doubt working for him and will continue regardless of what happens here).

        It’s the knock on effect on the institutions (publications and universities) that is important.

        And that’s why it is important that the debate becomes a public issue.

        Not about academic freedom, but about the standards of research.

        • HAS
          Posted Apr 4, 2014 at 12:21 AM | Permalink

          Just a little footnote on the above.

          I see the flattering reviewer of “Recursive Fury”, Elaine McKewon, is a journalism student, which suggests the paper was reviewed, at least by her, in terms of L.’s performance as a member of the commentariat.

          And no doubt L. recommended her because he recognised that was the nature of the work.

  37. Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 5:42 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Does anybody know of any good piece of research that ever came out of UWA ?

  38. ianl8888
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 6:21 PM | Permalink | Reply

    From SMc:


    I even asked “pretty please with sugar on it” but that didn’t work either

    Hmm … from my first-ever girlfriend, aeons ago :)

  39. Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 7:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Mr. Johnson’s response to Steve is of course a complete fiction and everyone here understands that fact. The point is that the target audience for Mr Johnson’s fiction is not Steve M. but everyone outside of Climate Audit. Steve should recognize that Mr. Johnson’s reply was not a letter to Steve, but a press release for release at Climate Audit. That’s the perverse irony here, Steve gets to do Johnson’s dirty work for him.

    In Mr.Johnson’s view Steve is completely irrelevant and can be treated with impunity because he can cause Johnson no real harm – so long as Steve is denied the relevant data that is. Mr. Johnson is conducting a massive operation of CyA by creating a pretext with which to stonewall Steve in front of the only people he really cares about, the persons in echelons above him and to a lesser extent the less informed public. Mr. Johnson is operating under the assumption, probably correct, that he and his University will never be made to suffer any consequences for his actions so long as he can continue to effectively stonewall his critics – and he has just manufactured his own plausible deniability. Pretty clever actually, just evil.

    So here we are once again, held hostage by a bureaucrat. Unfortunately for Steve and the rest of us there doesn’t seem to be anyone in Oz willing or able to compel Mr. Johnson or the UWA to fulfill Steve’s request, that leaves the rest of us to wait upon a ‘miracle’, Santa Clause, or the tooth fairy to provide the relevant data to us. Of course there is always unexpected possibility of the defenestration of last resort to the disenfranchised.

    W^3

  40. Peter West
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 7:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve,

    I suggest that you write to the Minister responsible for the Australian Research Council, the Hon. Christopher Pyne, MP.

    http://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Parliamentarian?MPID=9V5

    I’m sure his office will take a dim view of the shenanigans of the UWA. He is also the Federal Minister for Education. The Federal Government in Australia contributes significant funding to the Universities.

    The Minister for Education, Aboriginal Affairs and Electoral Affairs in the State Government of Western Australia is the Hon Peter Collier MLC,

    http://www.premier.wa.gov.au/Ministers/Peter-Collier/Pages/Contact-The-Minister.aspx

    He may also be interested in what is going on at the UWA.

    • Bob Denton
      Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 9:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

      The state Governor is the University Visitor. He’s also a QC. If push comes to shove,it could be worth seeking to invoke his jurisdiction.

    • GrantB
      Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 10:38 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Peter – I would suggest it’s Australians that do that rather than Steve. As an Australian I have written to a federal MP for a Perth Western Australian electorate, Dr Dennis Jensen MP BAppSc MSc PhD FAIP*. See my post above. The federal government controls university funds.

      It would be counter productive for the UWA to be swamped with a bunch of angry correspondence from all over the globe. It would only confirm their theory of conspiracy ideation (whatever TF that means). There are many different ways that this can be progressed in a logical and sensible manner. Read Sun Tsu (-;)

      * I left out FAIP (Fellow of the Australian Institute of Physics) in my post above.

    • GrantB
      Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 4:05 AM | Permalink | Reply

      I have a comment in moderation

  41. hunter
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 8:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Caught with their hands in the candy jar, they hope they can distract everyone with a temper tantrum.

  42. john robertson
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 8:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks again Steve, magnificent effort.
    Your polite and relentless mining for the truth, continues to expose the truly worthless civil servants at too many public institutions.
    I am always amused by their instinctive tendencies to defend the indefensible.
    Rather than do the job for which they collect a handsome salary, there are far too many who snap into CYA mode, when faced with the most basic inquiries.
    Perhaps this Mr Johnson should reread his job description and then those strange documents the University advertises.
    I forget what the academia speak is for those policy statements, brags about ethics and exceptional scholastic practises…
    Where they try to convince students and government that the institution is better than the competition.

  43. DocMartyn
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 9:07 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The Honourable Colin J Barnett MEc MLA is Premier of Western Australia; Minister for State Development; Science

    e-Mail: wa-government@dpc.wa.gov.au

    His biography states

    He began studying geology at the University of Western Australia, but switched to an economics course from which he graduated with an honours degree and later a masters degree. In 1973, he became a cadet research officer for the Australian Bureau of Statistics in Canberra, being promoted to senior research officer before returning to Perth in 1975 to become a lecturer in Economics at the Western Australian Institute of Technology.

    So the Premier of Western Australia is a statistician with and interest in geology. You have so much in common.

  44. Salamano
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 9:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “In my review, I didn’t see any language that can fairly be described as “inflammatory” – if readers disagree, please tell me”

    I believe the concept at work here is that any insinuation that a publication and/or research project contains anything objectionable (methodology, conclusions, etc.) that in any way implies an advocation for retraction or an un-useful contribution to “The Literature” is intrinsically ‘inflammatory’. I know more therefore depends on the reaction than the instigation, but one still lead to the other nonetheless.

    Now, with regards to the ‘thin skin’– it should be obvious to anyone, even mainline climate scientists that this category of “inflammatory” is quite more rife against the less fashionable viewpoints in the field. In fact, whereas skeptics might declare objects of their ire as “wrong”, mainline scientists further desire a full silencing of their opponents.

    That said… “Over the past 15 months, I’ve made repeated requests to the University of Western Australia for a complete copy of Lewandowsky’s Hoax data in order to analyse it for fraudulent and/or scammed responses.” does remind me a little of the “why should I provide you my data if all you’re going to do is find something wrong with it”.

  45. Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 9:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    UWA Vice-Chanecllor Paul Johnson is responsible for the most egregious mischaracteriztion of Steve McIntyre that I have ever seen. To suggest that Steve is in the habit of making “inflmmatory statements” and that his critique of Lewandowsky’s work arises form “unbalanced” “anatagonism” is so far off the mark that it boggles the mind.
    There can be no one in the community of sceptics that is more level headed, balanced and meticulously competent. We can only hope that we have not heard the last of this story and that some way can be found to persuade Johnson that he offers no good reasons for denying acces to all of Lewandowsky’s data.

  46. pottereaton
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 9:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Apparently when VC Paul Johnson is not stone-walling requests for data and writing inflammatory letters in response to them, he’s giving sleep-inducing speeches on subjects that are obsessed upon at most universities. Here is a recent speech given by VC Johnson on International Women’s Day. The subject is gender equity and sexual bean counting:

    The speech begins at 5:45 in the video.

    • TomRude
      Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 10:43 PM | Permalink | Reply

      And to compound on VC Johnson’s presentation, 0% of women occupied the screen for the 100% of the duration of his 25 minutes presentation.

    • Anto
      Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 8:44 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Left-leaning middle-aged white men in positions of power must continually apologise for being middle-aged white men in positions of power, due to an overwhelming sense of confected guilt which arises because they are….well, you get the point.

  47. scf
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 9:22 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Apparently the truth hurts. In fact, the thread that runs throughout the behaviour of Lewandowsky, Johnson, and the others involved is that there is no interest in the truth. There is no interest in the truthfulness of the studies, nor of the ethics reviews, nor of the data in the studies.

    This is a rather unfortunate development at an institution of education.

  48. John Norris
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 9:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Having watched Steve for over 7 years, I am sure he would be very good with getting the data in a sincere fashion from someone who was interested in getting a paper that came out of their institution corrected. I expect that he would quietly provide them the results of his analysis and allow them plenty of time to review that analysis and make any corrections. If they respected his analysis with corrections and appropriate attribution, he would just move on to the next thing that piqued his interest.

  49. Craig Loehle
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 9:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Here is the proper way for an organization to respond to someone pointing out an error: when our school district was planning a new high school they had a big meeting for citizens to see all the financials and made a big presentation for the bond issue. At the end of the meeting, I raised my hand and said they had a $4,000,000 underestimate and said why. The director was shocked and said “impossible” so I thought typical reaction. But the next week, the very first thing, he asked me to stand up and be recognized for finding the mistake and he thanked me. That is the value of audits (and I’m not a financial person, just good with numbers).

  50. TGSG
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 9:56 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “I am aware that you have made inflammatory statements”
    Read, someone told me….

    “It is apparent that your antagonism towards Professor Lewandowsky’s research is so unbalanced that there is no useful purpose to be served in corresponding with you further”
    Wonder who suggested that particular wording…

    Could Lew have had a hand (again) in the writing of a document under someone else’s name?

    • pottereaton
      Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 10:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

      That last quote suggests to me that Johnson has not read Lewandowsky’s paper.

      The response is so disrespectful, it may mean he’s not fully conversant on the actual issues.

      It’s been alleged that Lew’s paper is defamatory. Is Johnson aware of this? It’s hard to believe he isn’t. He must have run his response by the attorney who also was needlessly inflammatory in his statement as quoted by Lew.

      Regardless, all this arrogance is not going to serve them well if it ever does come to litigation.

  51. evanmjones
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 9:56 PM | Permalink | Reply

    What’s the problem? The University is merely conforming with scientific method which clearly states that all data must be open to review unless we don’t like you.

    It’s as sacred a principle as freedom of speech, provided we agree with you.

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

    Possibly Johnson’s opinion of Steve was formed by consulting with UWA personnel who are reciting what they’ve read about him on alarmist websites, like Used to Be Amused.

  53. pottereaton
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 10:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

    So let’s tally them up. We have four petulant statements from officials at or employees UWA:

    1.Kate Kirk in approving Lew’s request to conceal his involvement: “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.” (h/t to mpaul over at WUWT.)

    2. Lew himself in any number of inflammatory statements defending his ridiculous paper. Take your pick.

    3. The University’s attorney as quoted by Lew:“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.”

    4. And now the Vice-Chancellor gets into the act with his over-heated and apparently uninformed response to Steve’s simple request for data.

    I ask you: is this anyway for a university to act?

  54. Ian H
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 10:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The Vice Chancellor’s main objective is always going to be to minimise damage to his University’s reputation. He seems to have decided that releasing the requested data is going to be more damaging to that reputation than violating his own univiersity’s data policies and responding publicly in a most unreasonable fashion to an entirely reasonable request. I doubt you will budge him on this now that he has committed himself to this course of action. But his response is a pretty good indication that data reflects very poorly on UWA.

  55. Keith L
    Posted Mar 28, 2014 at 11:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

    For what little it is worth I have sent a paper letter to this little princess to remind him that as an Australian tax payer I am unimpressed at how my bucks are being spent and will follow up with one to my local MP.

  56. PaddikJ
    Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 12:53 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Well at least you finally got a response, however I don’t see that

    “. . . your antagonism towards Professor Lewandowsky’s research is so unbalanced . . .” is

    necessarily an assertion that you have become generally unbalanced, as you seem to suggest, i.e., “. . . I do not accept Johnson’s accusations that the blogpost demonstrated that I had become ‘unbalanced’. . . ”.

    But then I’m not sure that Prof. Johnson really asserts, or says, anything – can antagonism be unbalanced (or balanced, for that matter)? (or did Lew ghost-write this one too?) Maybe he was befuddled from having his feelings unintentionally hurt.

  57. Will J. Richardson
    Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 1:07 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I wonder if the Vice Chancellor ever read this UWA Webpage:

    UWA Data Managment Policies and Practices

  58. Andrew
    Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 2:52 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Steve,

    My Dad might be able to help. He’s a bachelor and masters graduate of UWA, doctorate from a prestigious US university, and a retired professor. He’s been published, peer-reviewed, past recipient of very large grants. Please email me if you’d like me to ask him if he can help you by making the FOI request.

    He follows the climate debate almost as closely as I do.

    Thanks for all your efforts by the way. It’s such an essential task the skeptic bloggers do, in attempting to bring the truth out into the open.

    Andrew.

  59. johanna
    Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 3:05 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Somebody should tell Johnson what happened when Joelle Gergis rudely gave Steve the two-fingered salute.

    University administrators sure ain’t what they used to be. Only a few decades ago, Steve might have had his request knocked back, but it would have been done in elegant and perhaps delicately barbed prose. This barely literate rant would never have been produced by the top dog at any university, let alone one with a venerable tradition like UWA.

  60. Pethefin
    Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 3:30 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve,

    you might find the current Australian “National Statement on Ethical
    Conduct in Human Research”

    http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/guidelines/publications/e72

    interesting for several reasons. Among other things, it contains quite detailed guidelines for limited disclosure/deception (2.3.1. and 2.3.2.) including the following:

    “e) whenever possible and appropriate, after their participation has ended, participants will be:
    (i) provided with information about the aims of the research and an explanation of why the omission
    or alteration was necessary
    (ii) offered the opportunity to withdraw any data or tissue provided by them.”

    • Pethefin
      Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 4:28 AM | Permalink | Reply

      One complicated problem in the ethics of the Lew projects concerns the applicability of ethical norms in other countries and the potential need for ethics approval from the targeted countries. Conducting his research through the internet, Lew and his team opened a door into complicated legal and ethical problems that are addressed by the guidelines of the Australian National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research section 4.8.

  61. David Brewer
    Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 5:18 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Some other sections of the University’s Code of Conduct for the Responsible Practice of Research [http://www.governance.uwa.edu.au/procedures/policies/policies-and-procedures?method=document&id=UP12/25]:

    2.1 It is a basic assumption of the University that academic and research staff, and postgraduate research students, are committed to high standards of professional conduct.

    2.2 Researchers have a duty to ensure that their work enhances the good name of the University and the profession to which they belong.

    2.3 Researchers must only participate in work which conforms to accepted ethical standards and which they are competent to perform.

    2.4 Debate on, and criticism of, research work are essential parts of the research process.

    1.2 All queries regarding the observance of this policy must be directed to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research).

  62. thingadonta
    Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 8:34 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I’m reminded of the excellent scene and quote at the end of Planet of the Apes, when Charlton Heston’s character rides off into the distance and was told (referring to searching for what is true). ‘You might not like what you find’.

    Digging into university politics and research produces this kind of thing.

    The fact that Western Australia is a strong mining and energy state might produce a somewhat more naïve and radicalised university culture as a side effect (with more naïve and radical research proposals and procedures), but that is just a hunch.

    The fact that the Vice Chancellor is now illegally refusing requests for data, based on hurt feelings, shows not only just how unaware of proper procedures and how naïve they are, but also that they have something to hide.

    ‘Why should we release data when your sole purpose is to find something wrong with it?’

    • Geoff Sherrington
      Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 3:02 AM | Permalink | Reply

      thingadonta
      I’m unaware of a link between a mining culture and culture at UWA.
      UWA is probably better funded because of its location in a mining state.
      The several mines whose discovery and/or development in WA was by my company had no help from UWA. We did not seek it.
      (I’m not up to speed post-2000.)

      • thingadonta
        Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 8:06 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Geoff, thanks for the comment,
        what I meant was some kind of polarising effect; resource rich states tend to be more right wing, which can create polarising effects in local universities, which in a right wing state may be left alone for most of the time and therefore somewhat naiive in their following of procedures, and a touch more radical perhaps. It’s just a hunch.

  63. John Peter
    Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 8:55 AM | Permalink | Reply

    What about approaching The Royal Society.
    “The Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of science, has announced the appointment of 27 new Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award holders.”
    One of them is
    “Professor Stephan Lewandowsky – University of Bristol
    The (mis)information revolution: Information seeking and knowledge transmission”
    Perhaps their President, Sir Paul Nurse could be persuaded to pressurise Lewandowsky into releasing his metadata? Or what about an approach to the University of Bristol? How can they employ Lewandowsky as professor if he will not release his data to allow duplication? Worth a try.

    • observa
      Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 7:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

      “How can they employ Lewandowsky as professor if he will not release his data to allow duplication?”

      It’s obvious to many scientific minds now that the University of Bristol like Lewandowsky’s unverifiable political pseudoscience just as UWA did and still do.

  64. David L. Hagen
    Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 9:47 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve McIntyre
    I endorse your upholding the scientific method. PS In the context of contrasting examples, I suggest clarifying: “One notable exception to access problems is Nature”.

  65. ajstrata
    Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 9:58 AM | Permalink | Reply

    If only the Chancellor would apply his rules on civil tone to his professor! Clearly he has a pathetically obvious double standard, calling Stephen inflammatory while Lewd’s Hoax crap is posed as ‘science’.

    Crock all around

  66. Steven Mosher
    Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 10:08 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Anybody want to lay odds that lewandowsky had a hand
    In the rejection letter. I bet he taught the VC the word vexatious.

    Maybe dr loo is writing still another paper and this is all just
    Part of the experimental design

    Hehe.

    • TAG
      Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 10:17 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Why does this discussion have to fall to the level of personal insults and juvenile toilet humour?

      • Chuck L
        Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 4:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Well, let’s start with the Chancellor’s hurt feelings and go on from there.

      • Steven Mosher
        Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 8:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

        hey I used a english term, loo. Thats some HIGH CLASS right proper toilet humor buddy.

        • Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 8:24 PM | Permalink

          Oh Mosh, the buddy let you down, old chap.

        • kim
          Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 10:33 AM | Permalink

          Rich in nutrients,
          Attracting swarms of glad life;
          Honeybucket’sfull.
          ============

    • Streetcred
      Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 12:57 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Sometimes, you make me laugh !

    • geronimo
      Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 4:18 AM | Permalink | Reply

      You’re probably right, it does have a look of Lew about it. It’s the equivalent of a defence attorney telling the jury that his client shouldn’t be in the dock because the police questioning was “vexatious”.

  67. Jeff Norman
    Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 10:39 AM | Permalink | Reply

    “It is apparent that your antagonism towards Professor Lewandowsky’s research is so unbalanced that there is no useful purpose to be served in corresponding with you further.”

    I find it disturbing that a psychological professional could make this kind of a statement based upon such superficial evidence. It just reinforces my perceptions.

    • pottereaton
      Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 11:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Actually, Jeff, he’s an economist and if you can endure watching the speech he gave that I’ve linked above, you will be able to confirm that. In the speech he talks about being a data hound of sorts and the speech confirms that with lots of statistics.

      Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear he’s looked at all the data (or evidence) in this case.

      • Jeff Norman
        Posted Apr 2, 2014 at 9:51 AM | Permalink | Reply

        So Steve’s “antagonism” is “unbalanced” like say a budget release from a government in that the pluses and minuses don’t add up to naught? Steve’s analysis just adds up to naughty.

        • pottereaton
          Posted Apr 2, 2014 at 11:02 AM | Permalink

          The use of the term “unbalanced” suggests that Professor Johnson accepts as valid Lewandowsky’s work and its characterization of Steve as having psychological disorders.
          The posting of the paper on the university website confirms this.

          He should not have used that term for a variety of reasons. I believe the response was conceived in haste.

  68. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 10:53 AM | Permalink | Reply

    That would appear to be an unacceptable and emotional outburst by an administrator – and no matter how he personally viewed your blogging on the matter. He should be accountable for executing the rules and bylaws of the university regardless of his personal feelings. A reaction of the university to this matter now would appear imperative if for no other reason than attempting to safeguard their reputation as an institute of learning. At the moment it appears that, at least, this administrator is using a very weak excuse for not providing the data requested and about which a reasonable people can make their own assumptions.

  69. Gary Pearse
    Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 11:10 AM | Permalink | Reply

    “3.8 Research data related to publications must be available for discussion with other researchers.”

    Cleaving to ethical requirements is also a discipline on the rigour of the research work. It is precisely the negligent application of these rules by almost all scientific (and I suppose other) institutions and journals that encourages the junk science that comes out of all institutions and which is published in almost all journals. If these clauses were framed on the wall of researchers, the quality of their work would instantly improve. They would no longer say what they want to say but what they have to say concerning the data.

  70. Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 12:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Clearly you are in denial about a great many things Steve. It is a common condition among normal people that reality influences your decision making. The enlightened have methods to avoid such considerations and deference to their decisions must be paid.

  71. Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 1:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Two points:

    3.8 Research data related to publications must be available for discussion with other researchers.

    The paper is not published. Having been retracted by the journal for perceived legal issues it has the status of a pre-print or a working paper, can be re-written, data can be added, etc. and it can be sent to another journal for publication. Thus, the data falls into the FOIA act exceptions.

    a true gentleman never hurts someone’s feelings unintentionally.

    How true. as Vice Chancellor Johnson said. . Faithfully yours .

    Steve: as so often, facts are not Halpern’s strong suit.

    • RomanM
      Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 1:16 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Er…, the data being requested is not the “(non)data” used in the retracted paper. Being accurate with the facts doesn’t seem to be one of your stronger capabilities, does it, Eli? ;)

      • bernie1815
        Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 1:43 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Roman:
        Nice catch.
        It is interesting that the FOIA now determines what is the right thing to do for some. It is as if only that which is required by the law, need be undertaken. I guess cooperation among scientists is now an issue of legalities rather than collegiality and a shared pursuit of knowledge.

        Steve: that was a pretty easy catch. Advocate scientist Jones had no problem sharing data with Mann. The issue is sharing data with critics as well as pals.

        • Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 6:34 PM | Permalink

          When I requested unpublished (at the time) data for ‘Moon Hoax’ Prof Lewandowsky replied promptly, sending me the list of 8 ‘pro-science blogs (July 2012). So, he did send me some data on request of it.

          It was not the urls to the surveys, just the names of the blogs.

          When I could not find the Skeptical Science survey, he advised me that he had had the url for it, but he could not find it. And suggested that John Cook may have deleted it. When I asked for the raw survey data (metadata) which would include referring urls, etc)which would show where the responses came from. I heard no more from Prof Lewandowsky directly

    • Sven
      Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 2:32 PM | Permalink | Reply

      And without any acceptance of being mistaken, Eli, again, makes a silent exit

  72. Martin A
    Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 1:38 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Me too.

  73. Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 4:45 PM | Permalink | Reply

    This is starting to feel like the summer of 2009 all over.

    http://climateaudit.org/2009/07/24/cru-refuses-data-once-again/

    And we all* know how that story ended.

    *VC Johnson, if you’re reading this and the reference escapes you, here’s a bit of background. I am referring to this:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/19/breaking-news-story-hadley-cru-has-apparently-been-hacked-hundreds-of-files-released/

    You might not have heard of the event now commonly known as “Climategate.” It occurred on the “Internet” (the system that connects computers around the world) few years ago. It got some press in the UK and might have made the New York Times at one point, but I’m not sure if it was covered in the Australian press. It largely centered on the unexpected disclosure of a large set of private e-mails of some climate scientists, who at the time were refusing to share their research data (oddly enough, also with Mr McIntyre). Based on the contents of the emails a number of observers drew unflattering inferences about the scientific practices of some prominent climate experts. However, it all blew over pretty quickly so I wouldn’t worry that your adamant stonewalling of data requests, even on the basis of excuses that ordinarily would be seen as rather thin, might expose your university to any adverse risk of reputational damage. In fact I personally would recommend that you get even more aggressive and intransigent. Others in your position have earned great sympathy from their colleagues by saying they would rather “delete the data” than share it with outsiders. You should put this announcement out as well. It might just put the kibosh on all this vexatious nonsense about asking for research data.

  74. Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 6:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I received an email from a Paul Johnson on the 28th March, in response to my requests to Prof Maybery for ‘NASA Moon’ paper data

    (Prof Maybery had not responded to me, one email, one reminder 2 weeks later, and one contact to an assistant, to check he was not on holiday/sabbatical/travelling,etc)

    As I have not I believe, ever contacted Paul Johnson before, and did not initially connect it with my emails to Prof Maybery, I did not spot it straight away amongst a tonne of regular/spam email. It was only after reading this post, that the name Paul Johnson attracted my attention in my emails, as I went to check if I had had any responses from UWA, given that Steve had received a reply.

    (The email from Prof Johnson was short and perfectly civil, copying Prof Maybery, however I was a little concerned that he copied UWA’s legal counsel)

    I wrote to Professor Mayberry a couple of weeks before Steve Mcintyre – Lewandowsky’s Fury and the ‘ghost’ – posts, it is possible that my reply from Paul Johnson was mixed up with UWA’s ‘reaction’ to that post. My original request for the same data to Prof Lewandowsky dates back to July 28th 2012 – a month before the press release that drew so much attention, ~6 weeks before Steve McIntyre’s first blog post (8th September 2012) on the ‘NASA Moon’ paper.

    I can’t quite understand why Prof Paul Johnson put in writing what he exactly said, in his email to me. So I will ask him to reconsider UWA’s refusal to supply data to me, which I requested so that I may submit a commentary (for peer review) to Psychological Science in response to ‘Moon Hoax’.

    That the emails to myself and Steve Mcintyre appear to have been sent out by Prof Johnson so close together, it seems possible that my request has been responded to negatively, because of something that Steve wrote! So I will ask UWA to reconsider.

    I have advised Psychological Science (and COPE) that UWA has refused my request for data, and I still hope that Psychological Science will take some action now that UWA has refused data, and the lead author has referred all inquiries (by me) to

    • Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 6:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

      ……. and the lead author has referred all inquiries (by me) to the University of Western Australia

      (I missed out the last 4 words, in the above)

  75. Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 7:38 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The raw survey data with responses broken up by blog is essential.

    A couple of days back, Brian Angliss at Scholars and Rogues wrote an article supporting Lewandowsky. He claims the Scholars and Rogues website hosted a link to the Moon Hoax survey. I searched but could find no posted link on Scholars and Rogues or Angliss’ personal site. Tom Curtis likes pointing out data from skeptics could have come from Junkscience.com. But Junkscience is not listed as a source by the Hoax supplementary information.

  76. Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 9:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Steve,

    Sou from Hotwhopper has said some interesting things about you in response to this post.

    http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2014/03/unbalanced-antagonism-uwa-vice.html

    “Steve McIntyre is a Canadian blogger who is or used to be involved in mining companies. He spends a lot of time trying to prove all the scientists are wrong. His main tools are rhetoric, hyperbole, MS Excel, R and a perpetual sense of aggrievement that few outside of the denier blogosphere will give him the time of day. He has no scientific expertise in climate or any relevant qualifications – and it shows. His personal qualities of obsessive compulsiveness, innate paranoia, general ungraciousness, tendency to deceive when it suits him, a reputation for shifting from request to harassment, and generally unlikeable cyber-personality fit him well for the role he’s chosen at this late stage in his life.”

    I’ve taken a screenshot in case Sou realises his mistake.

  77. James in Perth
    Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 9:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

    This is beyond ridiculous behaviour. The University of Western Australia is subject to the state Freedom of Information Act 1992 (WA). See their own website for confirmation of this: . You should start in motion the legal steps to challenge this by making an FOI application (although it appears you already have) and then appealing to the Information Commissioner.

  78. Nick
    Posted Mar 29, 2014 at 11:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Hello Steve, another development over at Jo Novas site.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2013/02/lewandowsky-dismisses-bloggers-but-they-are-his-research-team-who-is-mike-hubble-marriott/

    Apparantly the Loo Paper co-author Marriott, maintained one of the web sites linked in the paper but failed to disclose that it was his site.

    Steve: that post is from last year and old news.

  79. Ed Barbar
    Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 12:00 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I for one think AGW is probably a great magnet for the conspiratorially minded. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if those kinds of folks are attracted to it on both sides. Dr. Judith Curry commented as follows on her blog:

    JC comment: it will be very interesting to see how Silver and RP Jr navigate all this, especially through the conspir*cy the*rists on the al*rmist side that see threats everywhere.

    Yes, off-topic for this particular post. Did Lew show causation, or association? I suspect the later. The offensive part of it is he didn’t run the data the other way, are CAGWers more likely to be conspiracy theorists, and in my impression made it seem causal in his presentation.

    Couple of comments to Steve:

    these statements could be viewed as intending to cause offense:

    Perhaps Johnson will now like the post.

    On one occasion, I even asked “pretty please with sugar on it” but that didn’t work either.

    Perhaps the later is tongue in cheek, but that too could cause offense.

    Note, I don’t think these comments are out of bounds at all compared to the actions of people as you’ve described them, but to some it will seem like rubbing salt in the wound, and to others like juvenile rantings, though a deeper and fairer understanding would show them to be quite minor.

  80. Jim
    Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 2:08 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The uwa is a state govt organization.

    The university has to follow it’s own stated policies.

    If not, a formal complaint can be made to the office
    Of the ombudsman for wa. This office exists to ensure
    That state government public service including unis
    Follow there own stated policies.

    The office of the ombudsman must make a report
    To parliament.

  81. Lazlo
    Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Reply

    An avenue for pursuing this is via the State of WA Ombudsman:

    http://www.ombudsman.wa.gov.au/About_Us/Role.htm

    The Ombudsman’s office looks into whether a State institution (and its remit specifically includes universities) has properly followed its own procedures.

    I know this because I had to handle an Ombudsman’s enquiry while I was DVC of a university in another state.

    A VC cannot blithely wriggle out of it. While it does not have punitive powers, it can name individuals in Parliament – not a good look for a VC who clearly has a high opinion of himself.

  82. Lazlo
    Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 8:04 AM | Permalink | Reply

    H/T to Jim. I didn’t see his post before I posted…

  83. hunter
    Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 8:31 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Keep up the pressure on these insular reactionaries posing as academics.

  84. EdeF
    Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 11:39 AM | Permalink | Reply

    It is important to have all of the data and the metadata. From that you could try to
    construct some basic statistcal results and answer some basic questions: 1) Are there
    enough samples to give the study a reasonable error margin, 2) From the meta-data can
    it be determined that one or more individuals are acting as crazy-denier-conspirators,
    fudging the responses; 3) what is the correlation between so-called deniers and
    other conspiracies, and more important, what is the correlation between AGW proponents
    and other conspiracies. If the data is available, anyone with rudimentary statistical
    skills can answer those questions. They can be debated on various web sites, in journals, etc. If someone like Steve M. does that analysis and someone has a problem
    with his results, then get on this site and document where you think he is wrong.
    That is how science and engineering is done. I recently wrote up a paper on a
    problem my department was involved with and passed it around to several co-workers.
    Someone spotted that some variable had been double-counted in the equations. We
    eventually came up with a better product by having multiple eyes on the problem.
    UWA needs to make this data available to the public so we can have an open evaluation
    of the data. Then defend or criticize the results in a professional way.

6 Trackbacks

  1. By The Climate Change Debate Thread - Page 3828 on Mar 28, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    […] […]

  2. […] Read it all here: http://climateaudit.org/2014/03/28/uwa-vice-chancellor-refuses-lewandowsky-data/ […]

  3. […] Steve McIntyre writes: […]

  4. […] http://climateaudit.org/2014/03/28/uwa-vice-chancellor-refuses-lewandowsky-data/#more-19056 […]

  5. […] this issue was covered previously on Climate Audit, I thought this needed the exposure that WUWT could […]

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

    […] results could be checked, indeed they may be the best argument for his conclusions. He has been asked for them. They were not made available. The University of Western Australia has also been asked for them. […]

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