UWA Vice Chancellor Johnson Refuses Data Again Again

Barry Woods has been trying to get Lewandowsky’s data, inclusive of any metadata on referring blogs, since August 2012 (before anyone had even heard of Lewandowsky). Woods has made multiple requests, many of which have not even been acknowledged. Woods has expressed concern about Hoax to Eric Eich, editor of Psychological Science, who suggested that Woods submit a comment.

The UWA’s Code of Conduct for the Responsible Practice of Research states clearly:

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

The Australian Code of Conduct for the Responsible Practice of Research (to which the University of Western Australia claims to adhere) states:

2.5.2 Research data should be made available for use by other researchers unless this is prevented by ethical, privacy or confidentiality matters.

Nonetheless, Vice Chancellor Johnson flatly and unequivocally denied data to Woods for the purpose of submitting a comment to the journal, stating that “it is not the University’s practice to accede to such requests”.

From: Paul Johnson
Sent: Friday, March 28, 2014 8:08 AM
To: Barry Woods
Cc: Murray Maybery ; Kimberley Heitman
Subject: request for access to data

Mr B. Woods

Dear Mr Woods,

I refer to your emails of the 11th and 25th March directed to Professor Maybery, which repeat a request you made by email dated the 5th September 2013 to Professor Lewandowsky (copied to numerous recipients) in which you request access to Professor Lewandowsky’s data for the purpose of submitting a comment to the Journal of Psychological Science.

It is not the University’s practice to accede to such requests.

Yours faithfully,
Professor Paul Johnson,
Vice-Chancellor

It seems highly doubtful to me that it is indeed the “University’s practice” to refuse access to data to other researchers. Such a practice, if generally applied, would be a flagrant violation of the Australian Code of Conduct and would surely have come to light before now. But whether the refusal of data to other researchers is the general “practice” of the University or merely applied opportunistically in this particular case, it is a violation of the Australian Code of Conduct for Responsible Research and the “practice” should cease.


72 Comments

  1. NikFromNYC
    Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 11:56 AM | Permalink

    “There are people of intelligence who can learn as many facts of science as they like, but from their conversation, and especially from the hypotheses they put forward, you can tell that they lack the spirit of science: they have not that instinctive mistrust of devious thinking which, as a consequence of long practice, has put its roots down in the soul of every scientific man. For them it is enough to have discovered any hypothesis at all concerning a matter, then they are at once on fire for it and believe the whole thing is accomplished. To possess an opinion is to them the same thing as to become a fanatical adherent of it and henceforth to lay it to their heart as a conviction. When something is in need of explanation they grow impassioned for the first idea to enter their head that looks in any way like an explanation of it: a procedure productive of the evilest consequences, especially in the domain of politics. – It is for this reason that everyone now should have acquired a thorough knowledge of at least one science.” – Frederich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human, 1878)

    “The lecture chair is the grave of philosophy, the death of any living thought….” – E. M. Corian (The Trouble with Being Born, 1873)

    “I have forsaken the house of scholars, and I have slammed the door behind me. Too long hath my soul sat hungry at their tables; not as they do can I address myself to the knowledge as to the cracking of nuts. Freedom I love, and the fresh airs of earth. And rather would I repose upon oxhides than upon their honours and respectibilities. I am too hot, I am scorched by mine own thoughts; often they rob me of breath. Then I must go into the open air, away from dusty rooms. But they sit in cool shades: they love in all things to be spectators and take heed lest they sit where the sun burneth on the steps. Like such as stand in the street and gaze at passing folk – thus tarry they and gaze on thoughts thought by others.” – Friedrich Nietzsche (Thus Spake Zarathrusta, 1891)

    “It is what Zola calls “triomphe de la médiocrité.” Snobs, nobodies, take the place of workers, thinkers, artists; and it isn’t even noticed. The public, yes, one part of it is dissatisfied, but material grandeur also finds applause; however, do not forget that this is merely a straw fire, and that those who applaud generally do so only because it has become the fashion. But on the day after the banquet, there will be a void – a silence and indifference after all that noise.” – Vincent van Gogh (letter to Theo van Gogh, 1882)

    • rogerknights
      Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 2:20 PM | Permalink

      Make that “E. M. Cioran (The Trouble with Being Born, 1973)”

  2. Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 12:27 PM | Permalink

    I wrote the following in 1992 about something entirely different (plutonium):

    “The environmentalists keep repeating their distorted story, and eventually it becomes the accepted view. The media never check anything for accuracy…..they just go with the popular belief and repeat the fashionable view.”

    Nothing changes.

    Ian M

  3. James Nickell
    Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 12:32 PM | Permalink

    Scientific research without full disclosure of methodology and data is not science at all, it’s propaganda.

    Having said that, I’m still not sure that the poorly conceived undergraduate level research Lewandowsky produces is worth all the fuss, but for the mainstream media’s uncritical acceptance of his absurd conclusions.

  4. Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

    Hi Steve,
    I originally requested supporting (unpublished at the time) data from Professor Lewandowsky in July 2012 (end of)

    Which he promptly provided, giving the domain names, but not direct survey url links to the 8 blogs surveyed
    I discussed these on Dr Adam Corner’s Talking Climate blog. (following Adam Corners July 2012 Guardian article about the paper)

    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, 31 July 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).

    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. and several weeks before the first Climate Audit article about this paper.

    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.


    I contacted the journal reporting this apparent error and my concerns, and I was referred to the authors and UWA.

    I wrote formally to Prof Lewandowsky and his co-author last year, reporting the issues, a factual error and consequences on the methodology claims, and requesting the same data As of July 2012. I had no reply, and sent a polite reminder 2 weeks later, following no reply to my reminder, I asked Bristol University to confirm whether my email had been received, this brought a response from Bristol University, that Prof Lewandowsky was referring all requests to UWA..

    I then wrote to the Head of Department at UWA, reporting the error, and requesting the data (this data COULD prove me wrong! or right)
    I stated I wanted it so that I may formally submit it in a comment to Psychological Science. After 2 weeks and no acknowledgement, I sent a polite reminder email. I did not want to assume Prof Mayberry had received it (ie I had no wish to claim I had ‘contacted’ him, without some acknowledgement)

    I received no response or acknowledgment to this email either. I contacted an admin assistant to check that my email had been received, or perhaps the professor was on holiday or sabbatical.

    I read Steve McIntyres post, and then went to check my email to see if I had any response from Prof Maybery. I then found an email from Paul Johnson (who I had not contacted before)

    And his reply is in the article above. I will UWA next week, to reconsider.

    so, I don’t think that is ‘repeated’ in a negative context

    • Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 4:03 PM | Permalink

      ‘multiply requests’ may be a bit of an over emphasis.
      .
      I have made 4 directly, one to Prof Lewandowsky, in July 2012, then to Psychological Science (last year, 2013), then one to the All authors, copying dept heads(last year, 2013), then one to the head of the School of Psychology(this year,2014) – plus an equal number of reminders, and have you seen my previous email messages were sent.

      • Don
        Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 7:36 PM | Permalink

        Part B of the “Australian Code of Conduct for the Responsible Practice of Research” deals with breaches of the code.

        It states: “Allegations of deviations from this Code and of misconduct in research will be made from time to time. A prompt and effective response is required in each case. All affected parties must be treated fairly and the situation remedied, and appropriate steps taken to maintain public confidence in the research endeavour.”

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 8:35 PM | Permalink

          codes with no inforcement mechanism and no consequences are not codes

        • Posted Mar 31, 2014 at 4:14 AM | Permalink

          I don’t understand your problem Don?

          As far as I can see, the degree to which the university has adhered to the code so far allows people to – very accurately – adopt an *appropriate* level of “public confidence in the research endeavour” as far as UWA is concerned.

          And the degree of rigor and disinterest with which the ethical policy is being applied is consistent with the rigorous and disinterested nature of the original papers. Bravo!

        • Posted Apr 8, 2014 at 12:18 PM | Permalink

          Mosher:

          “codes with no [e]nforcement mechanism and no consequences are not codes”

          Kind of like the pirate’s code. Not really a code; more like “guidelines.” :)

      • mpainter
        Posted Mar 31, 2014 at 10:20 AM | Permalink

        Why not ask Paul Johnson why he has ignored the”code”.

    • Will J. Richardson
      Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 9:12 PM | Permalink

      Barry Woods,

      It would be interesting to find out, given that the Vice Chancellor ignored UWA’s Data Sharing policy, whether UWA would ignore its UWA Complaint Resolution Policy.

      • Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 9:23 PM | Permalink

        Re: Will J. Richardson (Mar 30 21:12),

        They don’t seem to be keeping that Complaint Resolution Police up to date. From the sidebar at link you noted.

        Policy No. UP09/2
        Function
        Community Relations
        Authoring Organisational Unit
        Governance Services – Registrar’s Office
        Date Approved
        05/02/2009
        Next Review Date
        05/02/2010
        Approving Body
        Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor

        And it looks like they never filled in the information at the bottom about to whom a complaint about a complaint should be filed.

  5. Brian H
    Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

    Nik;
    Nietzsche’s phrase “instinctive mistrust of devious thinking” is a fine description of true skepticism. Thanks for the quotation.

    Steve;
    Indeed, the university’s “practice” needs to be revised, demolished, with as much retrospective reach as necessary.

  6. Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

    What were the dates of your recent request for data plus metadata and the Paul Johnson response, Steve, discussed in the previous thread? I take it the reply to Barry was soon afterwards and that we have no clear idea why the VC suddenly got involved in the Woods case, except that your request being copied to him may have led him to discover this other unfinished business wrt Lewandowsky? It wouldn’t make the opportunism any better but it would be interesting to know.

  7. Duke C.
    Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

    Lewandowsky is traveling today, en route to Perth, will arrive tomorrow. Interesting coincidence.

  8. mark
    Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 4:01 PM | Permalink

    Let Lewandowsky’s work stand for itself and release the data, if the work is of a high standard releasing the data will only further bolster his work and conclusions. The only reason you would fight hard not to release it is if you knew it was garbage, and thats the message it sends to all who see this refusal.

    • Steven Mosher
      Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 4:30 PM | Permalink

      The other reason to fight the release is to get people wasting their time and energy focusing on tangential issues. So you fight the release, people think you have something to hide, the outrage grows, speculation builds, and then you release the data which shows nothing to hide.

      Bottom line: you cannot conclude anything from a refusal to release data.

      its uncertain, like everything

      Steve: I think that one can conclude that the university officials are being jerks and that they believe that they can ignore the policy with impunity. We know that there were fraudulent responses in the Hoax survey. It’s definitely worth examining the metadata. Nor do I think that the University can safely proclaim that the metadata shows nothing unless they’ve examined it carefully themselves from a critical perspective (which I entirely doubt.) It’s also possible that Lewandowsky deleted the metadata from the version that he left with the university. In a way that would be the worst outcome for the university since it wouldn’t settle the question and it would be a failure of governance on the part of the university in respect to a dataset that was known to be controversial as early as Sept 2012.

      • Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 4:47 PM | Permalink

        This is always present in my mind. The time wasting has been immense throughout Steve’s involvement in the climate debate. How much one admires them for this.

      • Gerald Machnee
        Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 4:51 PM | Permalink

        Mosher: Bottom line: you cannot conclude anything from a refusal to release data.

        The only thing you cannot conclude “definitely” is that there is something wrong as you have no evidence.
        However, you can conclude they are not following policy and “are they afraid of anything?”

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 6:35 PM | Permalink

          Yes,

          as steve mentions above there are many reasons for refusal ( NONE GOOD)
          I’m just suggesting that people not jump to conclusions about the refusal.

          As a betting man.. I’m betting the metadata will unravel the claims.
          I’d also bet that Dr. L can’t produce the metadata.

        • Posted Mar 31, 2014 at 5:15 AM | Permalink

          As a betting man.. I’m betting the metadata will unravel the claims.

          It would be remarkable if this wasn’t true.

      • Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 7:06 PM | Permalink

        Mosher:
        An attitude and practice to: “to fight the release is to get people wasting their time and energy focusing on tangential issues,” is itself probably a violation of the Australian Code of Conduct – or one would at least hope. If the officers or faculty of a major university are gaming their conduct in such a way they should be shown the door, or the window, which ever is more expeditious.

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 8:33 PM | Permalink

          yes.. wait and see how it plays out.

          vexatious was an interesting choice of words.

          Steve: many academics misunderstand the word “vexatious” which (as you know) has a technical legal meaning. The academics tend to think that something is vexatious in law merely because it annoys them.

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 11:29 PM | Permalink

          yes steve.

          Knowing the kind of games Dr. L likes to play (hide and go seek with mails)
          he may have lost the metadata and rather than just say “i dont have it” he will
          force a confrontation. Claim the demands were vexatious, and then in the end say
          we didnt send it because we didnt have it.

          All the more reason for readers to sit on their hands and not start some random letter writing approach.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Mar 31, 2014 at 7:16 AM | Permalink

          All the more reason for readers to sit on their hands and not start some random letter writing approach.

          I request that readers pay attention to this observation. A seemingly coordinated letter-writing campaign can result in all the letters being considered “vexatious” in a way that may stand up legally. (That’s the legal meaning of “vexatious”.) If readers wish to write to their MPs, fine, but please stay away from the university for now. I obviously intend to follow up and will report on results to readers. Until these avenues are exhausted, I request that readers not write the UWA.

        • Jim Arndt
          Posted Mar 31, 2014 at 1:13 AM | Permalink

          So a person of high academic standing did not simply copy the data from one folder ( or computer) to a new folder and simply deleted it by accident. Please this is programing 101 you never use the actual data file but use a copy to do anything. I find it difficult to believe that someone of that standing does not know this. I don’t know about you but you never use the actual data until you know for certian that the program works. Just my two cents.

        • DaveS
          Posted Mar 31, 2014 at 6:54 AM | Permalink

          @Jim Arndt

          We’ve previously glimpsed the level of IT competence of certain academics of similar standing at UEA, so perhaps not so difficult to believe :-)

      • Posted Mar 31, 2014 at 7:01 AM | Permalink

        “The answer to life the universe and everything is 42.” Brilliant, but I’d still like to see the working out, if you don’t mind.

        Pointman

  9. AndyL
    Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 4:40 PM | Permalink

    Speculating, but could the response “It is not the University’s practice to accede to such requests.” be justified because they see it as the author’s responsibility to provide data?

    Steve: no. The university has policies requiring data to be archived with and retained by the university (in case the author moves on, as has happened here.

    • Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 5:13 PM | Permalink

      I had advised them that the lead author – Professor Lewandowsky, referred my request to UWA (because he said,he no longer worked there)

  10. tktom
    Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 5:27 PM | Permalink

    The cited codes of conduct state that research data must be made available for discussion and use by “other researchers”. Can they legally justify refusing to release data if they claim that the requester is not a “researcher” working in the same field (psychology in this case), despite the reviewers potential competence to validate or invalidate results of the study?

    Steve: we’ve seen this story before with CRU. I don'[t think that it’s available under the Australian code. But it didn’t work for CRU because academics accredited to universities immediately added their requests. UWA has to think ahead to what their position will be when an academic psychologist with unblemished credentials requests the metadata, as will undoubtedly happen here as well. :)

    • kim
      Posted Mar 31, 2014 at 4:40 AM | Permalink

      Umbrage eruption,
      Then regret for being upset.
      Tarnishing credence.
      ==========

  11. Theodore
    Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 6:23 PM | Permalink

    “The Australian Code of Conduct for the Responsible Practice of Research (to which the University of Western Australia claims to adhere) states:

    2.5.2 Research data should be made available for use by other researchers unless this is prevented by ethical, privacy or confidentiality matters.”

    Steve, couple of problems with this though. I don’t think you can expect Lewandowsky to be covered by a Code of Conduct for the Responsible Practice of Research when there is no evidence that he intended to practice responsible research.

    Secondly, releasing the data and exposing unethical behavior is certainly an “ethical matter” and one they apparently would like to prevent to maintain the private and confidential knowledge of such unethical behavior.

    • HAS
      Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 7:05 PM | Permalink

      I know this was largely said in jest but:
      “Preparation of this paper was facilitated by a Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award from the Australian Research Council to the first author. This project was funded by the School of Psychology at the University of Western Australia under the auspices of an Adjunct Professorship awarded to the third author.”

      It goes beyond what UWA think it into what the ARC thinks about it all.

      • observa
        Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 8:12 PM | Permalink

        “It goes beyond what UWA think it into what the ARC thinks about it all.”
        These unintelligent quislings never get it despite all the glaring historical examples to teach them, that their obfuscation and cover-up becomes the much greater crime than the initial misdemeanour they’re trying to hide. When will they ever learn?

      • Pethefin
        Posted Mar 31, 2014 at 1:38 AM | Permalink

        A very good point. Since ACR has provided part of the funding (although indirectly) the ACR policy concerning research integrity seems to apply:

        http://www.arc.gov.au/general/research_integrity.htm

        “The Australian Research Council is committed to fostering the highest ethical standards in research. Projects approved for funding by the ARC may not begin without appropriate ethical clearances from the relevant committees and/or authorities.

        ARC-funded research should comply with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (the Code).

        Research involving humans or animals must comply with the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) codes.

        See also National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007).

        The ARC has processes in place for handling research misconduct allegations associated with ARC funding. Further information is available from the ARC’s website.”

        As I have pointed out in the previous post by Steve, the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (originally from 2007) creates a number complicated problems for the Lew-team and the UWA.

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

        particularly guidelines 2.3.1 and 2.3.2 (dealing with deception and the participants’ right to information and withdrawal of consent) as well as 4.8. (people from other countries) present difficult ethical problems for the Lew-team and the UWA that they seem to be unaware of.

  12. pottereaton
    Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 8:58 PM | Permalink

    Maybe it’s time for a letter to university counsel inquiring as to what legal grounds they are citing to refuse releasing the data. So far, the reasoning seems to be, “We don’t like you.”

    Steve has been studiously non-political throughout this controversy, but it could be he’s being drawn into an ideological war between the true believers at UWA and those who are trying to verify what looks like abuse of psychological methods to ridicule and defame people who are not believers. There is obviously a cabal of people at UWA who think like Lewandowsky. They may be so far gone that they may be relishing a battle with the heretics. It’s clear they have no respect for scientific principles and the sharing of knowledge so that science and learning might progress. If everything is ideological, then there are no rules.

    What I find most astonishing is that the Vice-Chancellor of a University has given his imprimatur to what is clearly the degradation of intellectual discourse. Earlier I said that he may not be fully informed as to what has been going on, but this second refusal seems to discount that.

    • pottereaton
      Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 9:16 PM | Permalink

      Correction: “. . . those who are trying to verify what . . . ”

      should read

      “. . . those who are trying to defend what . . .”

      • pottereaton
        Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 9:48 PM | Permalink

        Ignore the correction: it’s my birthday and I’m in the middle of a 2008 Clos Pegase Merlot.

  13. Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 9:22 PM | Permalink

    Shall we file this now under – things which did not end well – or shall we wait until it actually happens.

    I’m certain from the early reanalysis that the data won’t stand up to even minimal additional fact checking. I wonder if Paul Johnson is personally aware of the obvious problems, and he wants to cover up the mess to protect the status quo.

    It is completely dishonorable for an organization to publicly critique people by name in a Journal and then hide the data claiming that the people who were critiqued are somehow unbalanced. It’s like a dystopian psych ward movie. I don’t think Paulie get’s to determine whether anyone is “unbalanced”.

    • j ferguson
      Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 10:17 PM | Permalink

      I doubt that many here can remember Captain Video, a sci-fi tv series from the early fifties, which starred among others, the “evil Dr. Paulie.”

      That Dr. Paulie was pretty sharp on physics.

    • kim
      Posted Mar 31, 2014 at 4:44 AM | Permalink

      Well will it end well;
      Nemesis, metadata,
      May not be at all.
      ==========

  14. hunter
    Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 9:50 PM | Permalink

    In my industry, such behavior would be cause for a thorough audit, as well as sanctions for refusal to cooperate.
    Frankly they act as if they have something to hide.
    Australia seems to be rapidly getting tired of pretense and privilege posing as academia. “Academic freedom” does not mean “free to do what one feels like”.
    Keep on pushing. They are circling to protect something besides their ability to be uncooperative.

    • Geoff Sherrington
      Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 10:51 PM | Permalink

      hunter,
      If tones and attitudes of past bloggers on CA are a guide, it is reasonable to assume that most here do not see this matter purely in terms of the papers or of the players.
      It is about some principles of quality and professionalism. It is much bigger than the small bits of who said what to whom and why.
      The search for assurance about scientific quality involves reputation as well as demonstrated performance.
      The reputation of UWA is a large part of this discussion. If persons there are willing to play fast and loose with it, then attention needs to be drawn to them.
      …………….
      I’m an Australian scientist who fits your “…. getting tired of pretense and privilege posing as academia.”
      While I still hold our universities in high regard, I can too easily see the poor quality of both the science and the professionalism, highlighted by Steve, will inevitably have a degrading effect. How much remains to be seen.
      I have a similar, unreported incident in train at another university, so I can write with feeling.

      One can suggest that this reputational-damaging conduct is happening disproportionately in climate science areas. If people within those areas decline to listen to hints from outside, as they appeared to dismiss for example the statistics note of the Wegman report, then I have little hope of good coming from that departure from customary scientific conduct.

      • hunter
        Posted Mar 31, 2014 at 7:31 AM | Permalink

        snip – blog policies discourage commenters from venting and over-editorializing e.g. against university culture. This goes far beyond the present post. Feel free to vent at other blogs, but not here. Venting quickly makes threads unreadable. My enforcement of this editorial policy is inconsistent, but it is nonetheless a blog policy. I’ve deleted several responding comments.

        • hunter
          Posted Mar 31, 2014 at 4:37 PM | Permalink

          Steve,
          Understood.
          Respectfully,
          hunter

      • hunter
        Posted Apr 2, 2014 at 5:14 AM | Permalink

        Geoff,
        The climate science industry has always been strange about verification and documentation. This blog site exists because of that problem. This post is evidence that even studies about peripheral issues regarding climate acquire this same problem. It is as if the AGW dysfunction can metastasize across fields of study, leaving the infected areas of study less capable of good work.

  15. Don
    Posted Mar 30, 2014 at 11:40 PM | Permalink

    Well, to be charitable, apparently the requested data is not a product of the responsible practice of research and so the FOI doesn’t qualify under the Australian code of conduct for doing responsible research. So I infer that basically Chancellor Johnson is admitting that Lewandowsky’s product is crap. Apparently this is their routine standard operating procedure (sop) for handling requests for crap, which does leave open questions about the amount of crap routinely produced by his institution or if this is just an isolated instance of crap. Perhaps the Chancellor would be happy to respond to and FOI regarding the amount of routine crap produced, assuming they keep track of their crap?

  16. samD
    Posted Mar 31, 2014 at 1:13 AM | Permalink

    Unless the survey links included a unique id for each blog, I don’t think the survey software captures referrer metadata – from what I can see, it’s not a standard field with individual records for kwiksurveys, or for surveymonkey.

    • Barry Woods
      Posted Mar 31, 2014 at 4:20 AM | Permalink

      It may not, I was seeking evidence to prove me wrong.

      If it showed referring domain information from Skeptical Science for participants throughout the research period, then that would be evidence that the survey was held there.

      If the authors are unable to prove the survey was held at Sceptical Science, then claims based on this (audience figure, prevalence of sceptics, % of sceptics, content analysis _ which were used for the whole survey reponses) will need to be scrapped, and the paper corrected accordingly. OR, new content analysis, prevalence of sceptics and traffic figures, collected for the 7 websites that did participate.

      I believe that the authors did remove identical responses from identical IP addresses, so it would appear that the survey collected at least that meta data. If it did not collect referring domain information per participant, why not simply tell me so (or tell Steve who also requested it)

      It would be a very poor bit of survey software not to collect this relevant information.
      ie how to know one or 2 blogs did not dominate responses (Tamino, Deltoid had much higher traffic than the other 5)

      • MikeN
        Posted Mar 31, 2014 at 8:00 AM | Permalink

        Barry Woods, can you separate responses for a survey that was blogged at Skeptical Science, from ones that came from a link in the forum?

        Steve: the survey was never “blogged” at Skeptical Science. Lewandowsky’s claim to have linked from Skeptical Science is untrue. That’s been discussed over and over.

        • Posted Mar 31, 2014 at 8:56 AM | Permalink

          Is that a hypothetical question?
          I just want to see how many responses came from Skeptical Science, there appears to be no blog post, and no forum link either from SkS
          As far as I know Cook just tweeted it. (is there a link in an Sks forum, Tom Curtis could find no trace of a blog post)

        • MikeN
          Posted Mar 31, 2014 at 11:03 AM | Permalink

          I’m aware of the discussion. Perhaps I am misunderstanding Barry Woods’s proposed research. I thought he wanted to analyze the metadata to confirm that there was no blog posting. However, if it was in the forum, in the blog, or tweeted by Cook, how could he tell the difference?

          Steve: There are various reasons for examining the metadata. One reason is to obtain information the referring blogs. The SKS blog posting issue pertains to that but is a very minor issue at this point, since we already know that no link was posted at SKS and that Lewandowsky’s statements on this point are untrue.

      • MikeN
        Posted Mar 31, 2014 at 12:14 PM | Permalink

        >I wrote back, 31 July 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).

        So if Barry says the data could prove him wrong, then in what way?

        Steve: at the time of Barry’s original request, Barry took Lewandowsky’s assertion that it had been posted at SKS at face value. Subsequently, it’s been proven beyond reasonable doubt that it wasn’t posted at SKS (confirmed by Tom Curtis, an SKS editor). Metadata on referring blogs would confirm this point.

        My interests (and Mosher’s, to some extent) are different than Barry’s. I’m interested in fraudulent responses and whether metadata can be of assistance in identifying fraudulent responses. Lewandowsky already used IP information to exclude several hundred responses. There are some responses that are fraudulent on their face, but tying them back to their metadata may show other fraudulent responses.

        • MikeN
          Posted Apr 1, 2014 at 10:11 AM | Permalink

          If some number of ‘Skeptics’ responded based on a link provided in a tweet by Cook, then how could Barry achieve what he wanted. He would be ‘shown’ to be wrong, even while he is correct.

  17. thingadonta
    Posted Mar 31, 2014 at 1:22 AM | Permalink

    Refusing to release data to other researchers, against stated policy.

    Hmm what could possibly go wrong with that?

    – snip for clarity

  18. thingadonta
    Posted Mar 31, 2014 at 1:58 AM | Permalink

    At the end of Planet of the Apes (1960s version), when Charlton Heston in the year 3978 was about to discover the humanity had destroyed itself in nuclear war, all the palaeo-evidence pertaining to the human past was ordered to be destroyed by the bigwig academics of the day. That way they saved themselves from the humiliation that humans were once smarter than apes. Not a bad 60s film if you like nostalgia. Think of it, academics getting rid of data? Impossible!

    (Actually what they were actually arguing about in the film was not all that dissimilar to the hockeystick fiasco, from memory they didn’t like the idea that there was ‘high’ intelligence in the distant past, similar to the present day-worth a look anyway).

    Maybe the UWA has just ‘lost’ the data (i.e. got rid of it), and so there is nothing now to access? Interesting to see what happens anyway.

  19. Stephen Richards
    Posted Mar 31, 2014 at 3:34 AM | Permalink

    CONGRATS ON WEB BLOG AWARD, STEVE MC !!!!!

    Less than you deserve. -snip

  20. Don Keiller
    Posted Mar 31, 2014 at 3:46 AM | Permalink

    Here is some free advice to Professor Johnson.
    “When you’re in a hole, you should stop digging”.

  21. kim
    Posted Mar 31, 2014 at 4:52 AM | Permalink

    Amicus separ,
    The seeker from the science:
    Crystalline divorce.
    ============

  22. kim
    Posted Mar 31, 2014 at 5:05 AM | Permalink

    I’m struck by the brittleness of the grimaces of these actors; it’s not risus sardonicus, nor even tetanus. Could these be spasms of terror torqued, frozen in smack jawed rigidity? And who wrote their lines, eh?

    Alfred Hitchcock could direct this. Not in the school, not even in the church, only in the car, a ’60 Matador tudorwagen.
    ==========

  23. Posted Mar 31, 2014 at 7:19 AM | Permalink

    Looking at both the “Vision” and “Mission” statement for UWA – Vice Chancellor Johnson has set himself a seemingly high bar (and a dedication to “transmit” knowledge:

    MISSION: To advance, transmit and sustain knowledge and understanding through the conduct of teaching, research and scholarship at the highest international standards for the benefit of the Western Australian, Australian and international communities

    How do UWAs standards compare to the “highest international standards” of research at peer Universities and research organisations?

    http://www.uwa.edu.au/university/governance/uwa-in-brief-2013#new_div_2396113

  24. Posted Apr 2, 2014 at 4:07 AM | Permalink

    I sent a response to Paul Johnson’s unsolicited email ( I had written to Prof Maybery). He has nor responded to my question why he has refused my request for the data.

    ————————————————————————–

    From: barry woods
    Sent: Monday, March 31, 2014 12:48 PM
    To: Paul Johnson
    Cc: Murray Maybery ; Kimberley Heitman
    Subject: Re: request for access to data

    Dear Professor Johnson

    Thank you for your acknowledgment of the request for data (so that I may submit a commentary to Psychological Science) that I made to Professor Maybery.

    I was a little surprised to receive a response from yourself (instead of Professor Maybery) as I do not believe that we have corresponded before, and it is possible you may not be completely briefed on all of the issues.

    I believe that I have established an error in the methodology of the paper – NASA faked the moon Landings [therefore] climate science is a Hoax – Psychological Science, which impacts on a key claim of the paper.

    I have contacted both the journal and lead author informing them of the potential error, which I believe are the proper channels in the first instance.

    I have requested this data to be able to see if there is any evidence in the data that I am wrong.

    At the journals suggestion, I approached Professor Lewandowsky (lead author), reporting my concerns and requested this data. I believe I copied relevant (not numerous) academic parties, the co-authors, and relevant Head of Departments and academics at the universities concerned, including Professor Maybery.

    Professor Lewandowsky responded to me via a Bristol University representative, stating that he did this work at the University of Western Australia and that any concerns should be raised with the University of Western Australia.

    I subsequently wrote to Professor Mayberry for this academic request, so that I may formerly submit a commentary to be reviewed by the journal Psychological Science. Thus, I merely ‘repeated’ my request to Professor Maybery because the lead author of the paper had referred me to the University of Western Australia.

    Thus, I am a little surprised to receive a response from yourself and a little surprised and concerned to find that you have copied the University of Western Australia’s General Counsel on this email.

    May I ask why this was necessary for a purely academic request, as it might be perceived as a little intimidating.

    I have now advised the journal of Psychological Science that my request for this data has been refused.

    Please may I ask you the reasons why University of Western Australia refused my request, and to also ask if University of Western Australia will reconsider this stance.

    Best Regards

    Barry Woods

    ———————————————————————

    From: Paul Johnson
    Sent: Friday, March 28, 2014 8:08 AM
    To: barry woods
    Cc: Murray Maybery ; Kimberley Heitman
    Subject: request for access to data

    Mr B. Woods

    Via email barry.woods

    Dear Mr Woods,

    I refer to your emails of the 11th and 25th March directed to Professor Maybery, which repeat a request you made by email dated the 5th September 2013 to Professor Lewandowsky (copied to numerous recipients) in which you request access to Professor Lewandowsky’s data for the purpose of submitting a comment to the Journal of Psychological Science.

    It is not the University’s practice to accede to such requests.

    Yours faithfully,

    Professor Paul Johnson,

    Vice-Chancellor

    ______________________________________________________________________________________
    Paul Johnson l Vice-Chancellor
    Vice-Chancellery I l The University of Western Australia

    • knr
      Posted Apr 4, 2014 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

      “It is not the University’s practice to accede to such requests.”

      now let us see if that is true or have they indeed “accede to such requests ” in the past

      Why Johnson has rushed in to save Lewandowskys’ face is a interesting question .

    • AntonyIndia
      Posted Apr 8, 2014 at 12:41 AM | Permalink

      Murray Maybery was and is an official collaborator to Lewandowsky’s http://www.cogsciwa.com project. http://www.cogsciwa.com/

  25. Posted Apr 2, 2014 at 4:47 AM | Permalink

    The 2 emails I sent to Prof Maybery
    (the cc’d Head of School address – is also Prof Maybery)

    ———————————————————–

    From: barry woods
    Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 1:54 PM
    To: murray maybery
    Cc: headschool-psy
    Subject: Data Request – to allow a comment to be submitted to the journal Psychological Science

    Dear Professor Maybery

    I am writing to you, (in your role as Head of the School of Psychology) to request the raw data for an academic paper undertaken at UWA and to bring to your attention a major factual error in the same paper. I am requesting this data so that I may better submit a comment to the journal of Psychological Science.

    It was my expectation that, as it was a purely factual error in the methodology, that the author and the journal would verify the factual error reported to them and then reanalyse and correct the paper accordingly. However, the authors and journal have not done this and I have been referred by both the chief editor of the journal and the lead author to contact the University of Western Australia.

    The paper in question is:

    NASA faked the Moon Landing, there for [climate] science is a Hoax – An Anatomy of the motivated rejection of Science
    by Stephan Lewandowsky, Klaus Oberauer, Gilles Gignac – Psychological Science [LOG12]

    I identified a purely factual error in the paper over 1 year ago now, (pre-publication press release circulation) this error impacts on a number of key claims of the paper.

    Following the eventual publication of the paper in Psychological Science, (several months after the press release) I was able to more formally bring the errors and implications of it, to the attention of the journal in question and to the authors of the paper.

    The Chief Editor of Psychological Science (Prof Eric Erich) has suggested that I should submit a comment to Psychological Science.
    I formally reported the error to the lead author (and co-authors) in September 2013 and also requested the raw data for the paper and survey from the lead author at the same time (and had previously in July 2012).

    The lead author has referred me to the University of Western Australia (as he is now at Bristol University) with respect to the error and any data requests.

    The factual error is:

    The LOG12 methodology states that the survey was posted at the SkepticalScience website, when in fact the survey was not posted at the Skeptical Science website.

    This has the following implications for LOG12, which will require corrections to the paper:
    The methodology of LOG12 states that the survey was posted on the website http://www.SkepticalScience.com (1 of 8 websites) This claim appears to be falsified.

    The methodology also states that the survey was potential visible to 390,000 visits from readers, including 78,000 sceptical visits at the http://www.SkepticalScience.com website. This is a key claim of the paper that the survey was potential viewed by a large, broad audience, (with a 20% sceptical audience) representative of the wider general public. As the survey never appeared at the http://www.SkepticalScience.com website this claim is falsified

    Additionally, the content analysis of http://www.SkepticalScience.com is used to assert that there was a diverse representative audience across the other 7 blogs that linked to the survey. As the survey was never show at http://www.SkepticalScience.com the claim of diverse and wide readership for the whole survey, based on a content analysis of http://www.SkepticalScience is now unsupported by the evidence in the supplementary material. New content analysis will be required for the other 7 blogs, including readership traffic volumes as well
    So that I may submit my invited comment to the journal of Psychological Science, may I request from the School of Psychology:

    1 The raw Kwik Survey data for the LOG12 survey

    2 Evidence that the survey was held at the Skeptical Science website –
    (please note the Wayback machine archive, shows that it is impossible for a survey to have been held at Skeptical Science, to match the LOG12 paper claimed content analysis. Also a Skeptical Science contributor/author and moderator at the time, Mr Tom Curtis has stated publically that the survey was not held at Skeptical Science. Mr Tom Curtis has also publically stated that he contacted the authors prior to the paper publication in the journal to inform them of this error.)

    3 The exact Start date/time and End date/time for the Content Analysis performed on the comments at Skeptical Science.

    4 The rating criteria used by John Cook (founder of Sceptical Science) to classify the comments as sceptical or (this is not provided in the Supplementary Material for LOG12.

    In the first instance:

    Items 1 and 2 should quickly establish, (item 1 and 2 being archived data for the paper) the error of fact, beyond any doubt.
    The raw Kwik survey data would have presumably captured, the referring domain url of each participant in the survey.
    (the website address of where each participant saw the survey to take part and clicked on a link from, for example the websites, Deltoid, Tamino, Hot Topic, etc)

    In my email correspondence with the lead author (appended), you will see that I noticed the missing Skeptical Science survey and requested items 1 & 2 from him, in July 2012.

    In the second instance:

    Items 3 and 4 will allow me to perform the same content analysis on the 7 blogs that were actually surveyed, and to submit my comment using the same methodology used in LOG12. Where I can discuss the impacts on the paper due to the non inclusion of Skeptical Science in the survey and present a new content analysis based on the actual surveyed blogs.

    I am sorry to have to contact you unannounced like this, my expectation has always been that the authors and journal would simply verify factual error in the methodology, and take it on themselves to correct the paper accordingly.

    Best Regards

    Barry Woods

    I have appended my email reporting the error to the authors below:

    Since I reported the error to the authors, Mr Tom Curtis, has written in an additional article, that the LOG12 survey was not held at Skeptical Science

    http://bybrisbanewaters.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/skeptical-science-and-lewandowsky-survey.html

    I have also attached the paper and supplementary material that is available, for your convenience

    ——————————————————————–

    From: barry woods
    Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 12:09 PM
    To: murray maybery
    Cc: headschool-psy
    Subject: Re: Data Request – to allow a comment to be submitted to the journal Psychological Science

    Dear Professor Maybery

    I wrote to you about 2 weeks ago and have not yet received an acknowledgement that my email (attached) has been received.

    I appreciate you may have been away from your office, or perhaps the email ended up up in your email spam filter.

    Would it be possible for you to confirm that you have received my email and to advise me what action you will be taking.

    Best Regards

    Barry Woods

    Barry Woods

  26. MikeS
    Posted Apr 4, 2014 at 9:30 AM | Permalink

    Perhaps someone should point UWA towards this as an example of how they could choose to handle the matter. UQ of course is reacting to an internal whistle-blowing – one hopes they would have reacted the same way to a query being raised from outside of the walls?

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-04/uq-research-retraction-barwood-murdoch/5368800

  27. Skiphil
    Posted Apr 5, 2014 at 12:06 AM | Permalink

    an aside but quite interesting…. UWA is still supporting Lewandowsky’s research enough to flog his new papers in this notice:

    http://phys.org/news/2014-04-scientists-unmask-climate-uncertainty-monster.html

    [see bottom where it says the info was supplied by UWA, even though Lewandowsky is identified by his position at the University of Bristol]

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] has email response has also been discussed at Climate Audit and Watts Up With […]

  2. By Adults in the room? « the Air Vent on Apr 6, 2014 at 7:40 PM

    […] UWA Vice Chancellor Johnson Refuses Data Again Again […]

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