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Three Frontiers editors resign in protest over Lewandowsky’s Recursive Fury retraction

And the PR stunts continue.

Once upon a time  “Editors Resigning!” sounded important. Today, not so much. There are apparently hundreds of editors of Frontiers. As far as I can tell, these are not resignations from paid jobs, but resignations from a somewhat self-appointed, voluntary chore. They’re also not about any scientific argument, and it’s not clear that any of these editors were actually involved in editing the paper in question.

The three editors are Ugo Bardi (energy and resources),  Björn Brembs (neurobiology of flies and snails), and allegedlyProfessor Colin Davis of the University of Bristol (who at least is an expert in Cognitive Science). Davis doesn’t appear to have made a public statement. The only record is Desmog. Bjorn Brembs intends to resign, but may not have actually done it.  Who knows? (More to the point, who cares?)

Ugo Bardi, Chief Specialty Editor of the Frontiers Journal is resigning over the debacle about Stephan Lewandowksy’s twice failed paper. Overall, it’s an excellent event, but he’s a year too late. If I were an Editor, I would have resigned on Feb 3 last year (because on Feb 2, the journal published a ethically dubious, one-sided paper with no scientific merit, little research, and which abused English). Though we can applaud Ugo anyway, given his judgement, his exit means Frontiers is probably a stronger journal.

After the recent events in the saga of the paper titled “Recursive Fury” by Lewandowsky et al., I am stating my disappointment by resigning from Chief Specialty Editor of the Frontiers journal

When a science paper is retracted the first and most important thing is whether it has scientific merit.

But not for Bardi:

It is not for me, here, to discuss the merits and demerits of this paper, nor the legal issues involved …

Having said he won’t discuss the science (which is hard to justify) he then tries to anyway. Note carefully the scientific merit Bardi attaches to this paper, and his evidence for reaching this conclusion. Remember this man is an Editor (or was) of a peer reviewed journal and he’s resigning, you’d think he would have looked very closely at this paper:

The paper reported the results of a survey that showed that the rejection of climate science was often accompanied by a similar mindset on other scientific areas.

But  Bardi seems to have resigned over the wrong paper. Recursive Fury doesn’t report the results of any survey. Instead it lists blog comments out of context, attaches derogatory labels to those comments (regardless of the truth or not of their comments). It analyzes them from the unscientific mindset of a religious adherent who thinks science is done by consensus rather than by observation.

Both friends and critics have pointed out this mistake to Bardi, but instead of simply fixing it, he’s dug in and flat out denied what is obvious to anyone who looks. Recursive Fury does not report a “survey”.

But Ugo knows the Lewandowsky paper has value — apparently because he personally has “seen it himself” on blogs. Golly!

So “Climate skeptics” were also found to reject the notion that AIDS is caused by the HIV virus and that smoking causes cancer. A result not at all surprising for those of us who follow the climate debate in detail.

Is there any more unscientific guide than conclusion-by-personal-prejudice? It’s not like he’s looked at the sample, or the statistics, nor even read the methods. We wonder if he has even read the paper.

We also note that Bardi is a member of The Club of Rome, and lectures about renewable energy, so it would be fair to ask whether he is an impartial editor in any publication about climate change.

To use Lewandosky’s own recursive lingo the persecuted victim (PV) feels the world is against them. Here’s Bardi:

It is becoming commonplace for scientists to receive personal attacks (including death threats) for having stated their position on the climate problem. This violent reaction often takes the shape of mailing campaigns directed to the institutions of the targeted scientists.

Where were those “common” death threats, or even one in this case? According to other editors of Frontiers, there were not even legal threats, let alone death threats. But it did receive  “well argued and cogent” complaints. How terrifying for the editors.

Who exactly are the bullies here?

Who is intimidating who? Is it the unpaid volunteers writing on blogs and pointing out scientific errors, or is it the professors backed by university teams of lawyers and PR agents with government funds who use their positions to publicly diagnose and allege the unpaid volunteers write words that are mentally deficient?

Let’s get it straight. Bardi supports the team that started the campaign of intimidation against scientists long ago by calling anyone with difficult questions a “denier”. I defy Bardi to define it in scientific terms, and to show it has any use other than as a form of character assassination.  Lewandowsky’s paper essentially took blog comments and reviews that he personally disagreed with and labeled those remarks (which even included an IPCC lead authors words) with psychopathological characteristics. What could be more intimidating, and unconducive to open science review than finding that even if you speak up about a real scientific flaw, you will be labeled publicly in a science journal as someone who “Espouses Conspiracy Theories”.  Who wants to be  “ideated”?

Respect? Yes, let’s try some

Bardi has an issue with respect for authors:

“However, my opinion is that, with their latest statement and their decision to retract the paper, Frontiers has shown no respect for authors nor for their own appointed referees and editors. But the main problem is that we have here another example of the climate of intimidation that is developing around the climate issue.

Now Bardi might be right that Frontiers showed little respect for Lewandowsky. Though it appears they tried to retract the paper in the kindest possible way, but perhaps did not explain their real reasons (it’s hard to say). But Lewandowsky showed no respect for Frontiers either. He and the other authors were happy for their reviewer to call the journal “spineless”. More importantly, and right from the outset, where was there any respect from the authors for the subjects of their research? (Just read any of Barry Woods comments on most of the links to this paper). Bardi is right that we need respect, but it begins with researchers who don’t mock, taunt, and name-call the people they are supposedly “experts” about.

Björn Brembs at least has read the paper, but isn’t aware of the background, probably has no idea that the previous paper (The Moon Landing Hoax) still surely ranks as one of the worst all-time papers ever published — an ad hom argument taken to its absurd extreme, rebadged as “science”. The title was based on only 10 anonymous internet responses garnered from sites which hate the supposed “target” group the paper is based on. The paper claimed 78,000 people may have seen the survey at a site where it was never hosted. It’s so bad, it’s hard to satirize. No wonder real scientists objected vociferously to the original paper. Lewandowsky’s response to their valid criticisms was to call their responses mentally deficient and publish it. This second paper “Recursive Fury” depended entirely on the value and strength of the first. It never stood a chance.

9.7 out of 10 based on 114 ratings

78 comments to Three Frontiers editors resign in protest over Lewandowsky’s Recursive Fury retraction

  • #

    What can I say – another first class piece by Joanne, using the forensic logic, insight and common sense that is completely absent from Lewandowsky’s (and friends’) pathetic offerings.

    Please keep up the good work.


  • #

    It’s time we called a halt to this rapidly growing totalitarianism. Climate Alchemy is a massive scam with no temperature predictive capability.

    Here’s why: conservation of energy applied to material and EM worlds gives qdot = – Div Fv; qdot the monochromatic rate of heat generation per unit volume of matter, Fv the monochromatic Radiation Flux density, the vector sum of the ‘Poynting Vectors’. Heat flux is the negative of RF change; most people forget this.

    Precision optical pyrometers for science and industry cool the sensor (bolometer, photo-resistor) and measure the difference of source and sensor ‘Radiation Fields’, the latter set by low temperature so effectively zero. Their output is temperature.

    Climate Alchemists use a pyrgeometer, an inferior ambient temperature sensor based on temperature difference set by radiative and (internal) convective fluxes. Its signal is converted to the nominal atmospheric RF W/m^2. The Alchemists then make the fundamental error of believing it’s a real heat flow which they lump with other heat flows as ‘Forcing’. In reality, it’s the potential energy flux the atmosphere would emit to a sink at absolute zero, NOT A REAL FLUX.

    The ‘Forcing’ idea works for SW because the Earth is very cool compared with the Sun. However, it cannot work for IR. The Earth’s 16 deg C (mean) surface reads 396 W/m^2 RF on a pyrgeometer but net surface IR flux is the difference of UP and DOWN RFs, 396 – 333 = 63 W/m^2, 1/6th of a ‘black body’.

    The ‘MODTRAN’ program predicts this and internally sets mean total surface flux to the 160 W/m^2 Solar SW thermalised at the surface. 63 W/m^2 net surface IR gives the 16 deg C surface consistent with SW energy IN = LW energy to Space.

    Because RFs interact as vectors, as CO2 concentration rises net surface IR falls. Surface temperature would rise to a new equilibrium with higher convection but other processes ensure real CO2 ‘Climate Sensitivity’ is probably <0.1 K.

    To purport ‘positive feedback Thermageddon’, the Alchemists triple surface to atmosphere energy flux, take off half by another Big Physics’ Error at ToA then quietly use double low level cloud albedo in hind-casting. They MUST stop this cheating and change teaching , textbooks and models; the present approach is a criminal waste of investment. However, carbon traders, the renewables’ Mafia and brainwashed Common Purpose politicians will probably try to keep it going.

    Since no professional engineer or scientist can accept these fundamental physics’ errors, the Marxists are going for broke by inventing fake psychological science. Nikolai Yezhof dreamt up the same in 1936 Moscow; define dissenters as insane and jail them. Where will Australia’s Lybyanka be situated? Got any unused Sydney insurance offices?


    • #

      Yeah, man. I think the Earth is real cool, too.
      Where else would a ‘cool dude’ want to live?


    • #

      TON you say:

      Here’s why: conservation of energy applied to material and EM worlds gives qdot = – Div Fv; qdot the monochromatic rate of heat generation per unit volume of matter, Fv the monochromatic Radiation Flux density, the vector sum of the ‘Poynting Vectors’. Heat flux is the negative of RF change; most people forget this.

      My understanding is that on Earth there is no monochromatic radiative equilibrium but there can be localised radiative equilibrium or LTE. There is an interesting discussion on this point here. If there is still monochromatic flux in a radiative equilibrium why is heat flux the negative of RF change and not the product of it?


      • #

        If you go to the Planck Dissipative Oscillator Model, the Radiation Field is an assembly of Poynting Vectors. LTE is for the material world part of the problem. Getting my head around this means going beyond where Planck finished in 1913 and into quantum field theory, which shows that a RF self assembles into the Planck Irradiation Function.

        However, as an engineer I know from experiment (helped develop the World’s first two-colour optical pyrometer) that the net IR energy flux at a plane is the vector difference of the opposing RFs but each wavelength oscillates about the mean by up to +/- 4x the individual amplitude from the random thermal noise. There can be no gas-phase thermalisation of the GHG-absorbed energy!


    • #
      Leo Morgan

      I’m sorry, TON, but so much of your use of language is so jargon-raddled that I cannot tell if you’re sensible or a crackpot.
      Whenever I encounter that situation, my rule of thumb is to conclude that the writer is indeed a crackpot.
      Perhaps I’m wrong. If you can restate your premises in simple declarative English statements, and explain the point you’re making to an intelligent layman such as myself, and I can conclude your claim does make sense, I’ll not only publically acknowledge I’m wrong, I’ll go to every blog and forum I can find and spread your plain English explanation.
      But TON, I doubt I’ll have to do that. I’m quite happy that many professional engineers and scientists DO accept these fundamental physics claims. Mostly because I’ve heard them defend the standard understanding, and I understand and accept it. I’m just not satisfied they have the feedbacks correct. I also doubt it just because I’ve read so much for so long in the climate debate that I am convinced I would have already heard that claim from others apart from yourself.
      To a certain extent, the credibility of Jo’s blog depends on the credibility of us commentators.
      If you’re right and I’m wrong, spell it out to me. Don’t bother about insulting my intelligence, just give me clear explanations.


      • #

        I have tried to simplify the argument further in a complex subject. Try this:

        No professional trained in standard physics can agree with the Trenberth ‘Energy Budget’ hence the IPCC ‘consensus’.

        It’s because you can’t claim a Thermal Radiation Field (aka ‘back radiation’) is a real energy flux. Instead it’s the potential flux of that emitter to a sink at absolute zero. This is radiative physics 101; if you think otherwise, you are unprofessional.

        It’s our version of Phlogiston and leads to imaginary ‘positive feedback’.


        • #
          Leo Morgan

          Thanks for the reply.
          I don’t claim to be a professional. In fact I’m profoundly ignorant. But not totally stupid; I’m willing to learn.
          I’ll be delighted if it turns out that ‘back-radiation’ is our version of Phlogiston and the ‘positive feedbacks’ turn out to be imaginary- World saved, after all!

          However, it seems to me that you are conflating the ideas of flux and net flux. (Is there some reason for us not to call it ‘flow’, as used in ordinary English?)
          To illustrate: The flow of energy from a candle is constant, regardless of the temperature of it’s surroundings. On one side I put my deep freezer, on the other my stove- it doesn’t matter, the candle sheds the same number of photons on each of them. That being the case, the flow is the same, whether it’s to a point at absolute zero or to one at say room temperature. Admittedly net flow will be affected, but that’s a separate issue, and not the point you appear to be making.


          • #
            vic g gallus

            I’ll have a go at keeping things simple (easy being a chemist).

            If you look at the the atmosphere as a layer of air at the surface and a layer of air at the top of the troposphere as two black bodies, then the net flow of heat energy (flow per unit area or flux) will be εσ(T1-T2)^4, a constant times the temperature difference to the power of four. The emissivity (ε)is close to 1 for wavelengths of LWIR that are absorbed by CO2 because they are absorbed almost completely over a few hundred metres.

            Loss of heat to outer space from the upper troposphere would just be εσT2^4. Increasing emissivity (adding more CO2) should increase both the rate of heat transfer from the surface to the upper troposphere and from the upper troposphere to outer space.

            Of course this is way to simplistic a description of the atmosphere but anything more complicated is still simplistic, and the simplifications can lead to a completely different conclusion from the above back-of-envelope treatment. This is what is being discussed (and getting a bit too technical for me also). Keep in mind that this is different to what happens near the surface.


            • #
              Leo Morgan

              Hi Vic,
              Thanks for the extra detail. I have some questions.
              Surely the value in the first paragraph “εσ(T1-T2)^4” should instead be εσT2^4 – εσT1^4 ?
              Otherwise, you’re claiming the flow from a 6 degree Kelvin to a 4 degree Kelvin object is the same as that from a 302K to a 300K object, something I understand to be not a correct description of nature.
              The middle paragraph seems to need some expansion of the ideas.
              I checked the definition of ’emissivity’. Wikipedia defines it for me as: “The emissivity of a material is the relative ability of its surface to emit energy by radiation. It is the ratio of energy radiated by a particular material to energy radiated by a black body at the same temperature. A true black body would have an ε = 1 while any real object would have ε < 1"
              Avoiding the quibble of whether atmosphere is an object, you seem to be saying that adding CO2 to the atmosphere will not just scatter photons of Infrared radiation, but actually increase the atmosphere's emissivity, that is, cause it to emit more of its own thermal energy as IR radiation. That's certainly a novel concept to me in the debate. Could you clarify that I am understanding you correctly, and that that is what you propose? Because my current understanding is that that's not what happens.
              My next query over that second paragraph is that I do not follow your argument that adding CO2 to the upper troposphere should increase the rate of heat transfer to outer space. As I understand it, adding radiation reflectors, specifically CO2 in this case, is like adding mist to a light beam. It scatters the photons and reduces the amount that goes through to space.
              I appreciate that convection means heat transfer at the planet's surface is different from that at the troposphere, but I don't know of any other difference. And as convection will be the same under low and high CO2 regimes it's a distinction that makes no difference. (As far as I know, it's roughly the same for the purposes of this discussion.)


          • #
            Andrew McRae

            Ignore Vic’s response. Emissivity of CO2 does not increase with the increased amount. Emissivity of CO2 at each wavelength at a given pressure is an inherent unchanging feature of the molecule. Effective emissivity of a gas cloud will increase with absolute pressure due to “pressure broadening” of the absorption lines but that’s only significant with changing altitude not significant in a concentration increase from 320 to 400ppm.

            You got it correct that TON is mischaracterising the greenhouse effect by assuming it says the backradiation is a net downwards “real energy transfer”, when the GHE only says (in his terminology) that the back-radiation is a source of a Radiation Field. The net flow of longwave is always upwards. If backradiation has any effect it is to return a portion of surface radiation to the surface and lower atmosphere, which lowers the cooling rate.
            In fact in Houghton’s original greenhouse explanation, the backradiation has stuff-all to do with the warming mechanism. The warming occurs by a reduction in cooling rate by reduction of the radiant intensity of the GHGs.
            When an incident photon strikes a bond between atoms it can increase the vibrational kinetic energy of the molecule. That extra vibration can be dissipated to other molecules in collisions (ie thermalized) and so the absorbed radiation increases temperature. At low altitude the molecular collisions happen quicker than radiative re-emission does, so there is plenty of opportunity for thermalization of radiation.
            A colder gas emits at a lower radiant intensity. If outgoing radiation is intercepted more often due to greater density of GHGs then the final hop in which it can escape to space without being intercepted again is on average higher altitude than before. If its emission altitude is higher then it is from a colder molecule (and there is less pressure broadening) so the intensity is less. Reduction of radiative cooling of the troposphere must translate to warmer equilibrium temperature of the troposphere.


            • #
              vic g gallus

              A real molecule does not behave like a black box either.


              • #
                vic g gallus

                sorry – black body.


              • #
                Andrew McRae

                Generally, at high pressures gases will emit continuum radiation (not just spectral lines) which do follow a blackbody curve, though the effect is very small at 1atm.

                Just because gases emit less radiation at colder temperatures does not imply they are behaving exactly the same as blackbodies, as the radiation is only at their key spectral lines.
                Indeed, the fact our atmopsheric gases do not behave like a blackbody is part of the reason that the greenhouse effect exists; The same gas parcel’s absorptivity of the insolation is much less than its absorptivity of terrestrial radiation.

                Nonetheless the intensity at the peak lines does vary with temperature the same way as blackbodies. It’s the principle of operation of the MSUs which produce temperature estimates that have been verified by weather balloons.


              • #
                vic g gallus

                I was suggesting that the proper way to look at it was a thin layer of atmosphere as a black body, its emissivity being dependent on the concentration of greenhouse gasses.

                I need to rush so quickly – the (T1-T2)^4 is close to constant with altitude according to the lapse rate, and so is the pressure. The concentration of CO2 per unit volume being approx proportional to pressure. The amount of LWIR of the absorbing wavelengths going through plus half of what is remitted is the upward flux, similar for down ward. It should add up that the greater concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere doesn’t make much difference because radiation downwards is less.

                Absorption of LWIR from the surface to the atmosphere near the surface is where greenhouse gasses is significant.


            • #
              Leo Morgan

              Andrew McRae, thanks for the additional information and clarification you provided. I’ve learnt a lot!

              Can I mention that you provided the clarity of exposition that I asked TON for? Lovely stuff.

              I’ve also learned that I have much more to learn. For example, I hadn’t even known what MSU’s were until I Googled your reference. But you’ve given me a great start. Sure I knew satellites had ‘thermometers’. It’s like knowing that a car engine makes a car move, and then having someone introduce me to engine construction; I start realise how vastly much ignorance I was concealing under that hand-waving ‘understanding’. I feel excited and dismayed.


              • #
                Andrew McRae

                Thanks for your kind words Leo, but I confess I am in very much the same boat as you, indeed we all are. There is so much we must take at face value in this field, since we do not all have our own spectrometers, satellites, ice cores, physics degrees, statistics degrees, and government grants to keep a roof over our head while we sit around all day reading science papers and toying with climate models.

                I’m wary of saying my intuitive response on any argument point without first looking into how it might or might not be real. Sometimes this amateur research yields an answer, but all too often it only ends in more unanswered questions. And yes, I’m not always right.

                With my first response to Vic above I did not even provide any hyperlinks to back up what I was saying, which is unusual for me. I encourage you to check what I and anyone else says. It is outsourcing our thinking to others that has been part of the cause of this whole mess. It’s a good strategy when the experts are keeping themselves honest, but I’m convinced this has not happened in climate science.

                As just one example, to this day the models relied upon by the IPCC in AR5 do not include the Svensmark effect of cosmic ray flux altering cloud cover, even though this cosmic ray effect has been known about since before AR4. (Though there is light at the end of the tunnel.) That’s the sort of gaping holes that exist in the Climate Consensus, yet billions of dollars, mainly of taxpayer money, is being spent on solutions to what is increasingly looking like a non-problem.

                See I just mentioned the Svensmark effect, now you’ll have to look that up too. The search never ends.


  • #
    the Griss

    Basically.. if these guys seriously think that Lewy’s paper should not have been dumped….

    …then they SHOULD resign. They have should have no part being editors of a scientific journal.


  • #
    the Griss

    “They have should have no part being editors of a scientific journal.”


    • #

      Frontiers has an editorial board of around 170. No member of such an editorial board gets paid. Only the editor-in-chief does, and then not very much.

      The three who have resigned, or are threatening to, will not be missed. Either by the journal, or by the rest of us.


  • #
    Mindert Eiting

    Psychological Science has an interesting problem with The Moon Landing Hoax. This paper is so bad that almost no additional information can justify its retraction. [Snip speculation] I have called it elsewhere Stapel-work in honour of a former Dutch Professor in the same field as Lew.


    • #

      It is true that Psychological Science published two articles by the infamous Diederik Stapel, both of which were subsequently found to rely on faked or doctored data.

      It doesn’t follow that the “Moon” article relies on data faked or changed after collection by the researchers.

      The “Moon” article does rely on a data set trimmed by removing answers to some survey questions, and removing data from a smaller sample of people at UWA, without explaining the reasons for excluding them.

      The article also makes false and misleading claims as to where some some of the retained data came from (not from a link at Skeptical Science, most obviously).

      These are among the many good reasons to retract it, but none of them are Stapel-grade reasons.

      Besides, some of the article’s faults, such as skimping on descriptive statistics and going straight for the Structural Equation Modeling, are shared with other articles that Psychological Science publishes. The researchers’ refusal to allow others to see their complete set of raw data is also far from unique (why else would the journal now be giving out merit badges for making raw data available, instead of requiring that this be done as a condition of submission?).

      Most importantly, the “Moon” article may be resoundingly bad, and a terrible embarrassment to Psychological Science, but no one wants to incur the political cost of retracting it.

      The parent organization, the Association for Psychological Science, has thrown its weight behind Lewandowsky, as can be seen from the already notorious APS Observer article coauthored with Michael Mann.

      The APS’s political arm, which publishes Psychological Science in the Public Interest, has not only published another article by Lewandowsky on a related topic but featured him as a speaker at one of its events.

      It wouldn’t be the first time that a group of psychologists has sought to enhance its political influence by running after a train that’s already left the station (CAGW, in this case). They can hardly afford to slow down long enough to plop the “Moon” article in the dumpster.


  • #
    Peter Miller

    I would love to be a fly on the wall in one of Lew’s lectures to his students.

    Are the students bored, bemused, bewildered or bowled over by Lew’s supposed brilliance? My guess is that there is a lot of sniggering – after all, their lecturer is being publicly sliced and diced on the internet for: I) making stuff up, and ii) shoddy and unscientific methodology.

    Being taught by someone notorious for doing the above must be a serious turnoff. After all, you are supposed to get guidance from your professors on how to conduct yourself in your future careers, In other words with integrity and honesty.

    As for the resigning of Lew’s peers, who gives a rat’s xxxxxx? They are doing nothing more than confirming their guilt by asociation.


    • #

      Bit like an old farm machinery saleman I knew! “Never bag the opposition companys machinery, just show why your machinery is so much better! And prove it!” 🙂


  • #

    ‘Dummy’ is right, as in fake. The confected outrage of these men is a cross between support for anything pro CAGW and a desire to attract attention to their own work by taking a noble stand over another’s slight. To them the principles are more important than the truth. Reading and understanding the issues behind the paper is a trivial detail.

    ‘Fury’ shines a very nasty light on science as a whole. The deafening silence from the upstanding sides of climate science and psychology is very telling. It says that for them, the end justifies the means. I think they may have hoped that keeping sceptics occupied with Lew’s paper might dull their attacks on the IPCC reports. It’s worked too well and the reports have sunk into obscurity.

    Well done science, you’ve managed to make a punch up about a rubbish survey and academically approved name calling more interesting than the end of the world as we know it (in your opinion).


  • #

    Typo alert: “Having said he won’t discuss the science (which is hard to justify) he then tries too to anyway.”

    Hope you’re well stocked up with chocolate!

    Thanks for the proof-reading – Jo


  • #
    A C Osborn

    Good Riddance.


  • #

    Can we come back to basics? Sceptics are free-thinkers who don’t accept any mass-produced pronouncements without researching intelligent possibilities and alternative views. That goes for any subject you may wish to name.

    Stuart Wilde calls them “Fringe Dwellers”

    Roll over Lewandosky


    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      Sceptics are free-thinkers who don’t accept any mass-produced pronouncements without researching intelligent possibilities and alternative views.

      I am sceptical about the generalisations implied by “free-thinking”. That sounds like a mass-produced pronouncement, to me. And besides, some people take the attitude that free-thinking is only worth what you pay for it. 😉


      • #


        “Free thinking?” After all the squillions that you and all of us evil deniers are paid for this?





    • #

      Just visited the site………Rosicrucians meets maharishi yogi.
      Interesting concept but as a free thinker I hate to have my intellect wrapped in boundaries man ,, whoa wo wo.


  • #

    was checking if anyone’s covering this & came across the following:

    9 April: ScienceBlogs: Greg Laden: Stephan Lewandowsky AMA on Reddit
    Posted by Greg Laden on April 9, 2014
    Stephan is a cognitive scientist who has done a lot of important work related to climate change. He’s doing a reddit “Ask Me Anything” on Monday, April 14th from 7:30AM EST onwards. Which, conveniently for him, is 7:30PM in Australia, if I have my time zones right.
    There are two topics he mentioned to me that he’d like to address, which I will describe to you by citing blog posts:
    The climate change uncertainty monster – more uncertainty means more urgency to tackle global warming
    In Who’s Hands is the Future?
    But this is an AMA so I suppose you can ask him anything.
    Thanks for the heads up, Greg. (I hope the reddit moderators have been briefed.)
    Brave man!
    The moderators will indeed have one hell of a job; but doubtlessly lots of material for the next incarnation of Recursive Fury will be generated!…
    Isn’t Lewandowsky in the UK at the moment?

    twitter: greg laden
    Tell #FrontiersInPsychology: stand up for academic freedom. Reinstate your paper on #climate change denial!
    Michael Bazemore Jr‏@MGBazemoreJr OK. Is the paper posted anywhere else online?

    laden links to:

    act.forecastthefacts: Defend Academic Freedom from Climate Change Deniers
    The following petition will be delivered to Axel Cleeremans, field chief editor of Frontiers in Psychology:
    Stand for academic freedom — reinstate “Recursive Fury,” your 2013 research on climate change deniers.
    Climate change deniers have successfully censored peer-reviewed academic research — but now we have an opportunity to fight back for free speech…
    If allowed to stand, the journal’s decision could create a slippery slope, yielding increasing attempts to suppress research on climate change — but now pressure is mounting on Frontiers to reverse course and re-publish the paper. This past week, three university professors resigned from editorial positions at Frontiers in protest of the decision, which one said “puts large sections of science at risk.” A strong show of public support now will help empower Frontiers to stand up to the climate change deniers and ensure the rights of the paper’s authors are upheld.
    Stand up for academic freedom — sign the petition calling on Frontiers to reinstate the censored paper.


    Thanks Pat! – Jo


    • #

      I can recommend everybody to support this “e-petition”, it is a brilliant own goal. It allows you to insert a message, which I did.
      I supported freedom of speech and concluded “all those who would seek to supress the right to give and receive opinion are intent on controlling the freedom of thought”. They then required you to forward their message to another before accepting your vote.
      I simply e-mailed myself.
      Hurry- they only want 1500 punters to respond – but if “Frontiers” were forced to retract their retraction by popular demand what, knowing who peer reviewed “recursive fury” – what will this say about peer review and , indeed, the “science” of psychology.


      • #
        Glen Michel

        Indeed! Just suggested said paper should remain in a bin.Extraordinary ignorance and one really despairs for modern science.


  • #
    Roy Hogue

    When I see someone like this, Björn Brembs (neurobiology of flies and snails), making noise about what happens in and about climate change I always wonder about how soundly we’re spending our money. I suppose there’s someone interested in the subject — there always is. But how does it occur to anyone, by any stretch of imagination, that what he does is important enough to anyone that his symbolic resignation is worth anything in protest. When cancer or Alzheimer’s Disease researchers are resigning in protest and it’s over something in the medical or medical research field, then I’ll be able to take the matter seriously.

    I guess academia has it’s own set of standards that don’t agree with reality in any useful way. The more’s the pity.


  • #
    Pat Frank

    Seems to me there’s a large opportunity here for a bit of tit for tat. Psychological Science has advertised itself as interested in papers concerning “conspiracist ideation.” Well, someone should give them another one.

    Are there any climate skeptical psychologists out there who would like to investigate the recent corpus of Lewandowski’s work, along with the work of Naomi Oreskes, Bill McKibben, Joe Romm, Naomi Klein, and all the rest of the green warriors who inexhaustibly tout the “denial machine” conspiracy that is systematically and deliberately frustrating action on “climate change”?

    The reality could not be more different than their claims. AGW skeptics are a spontaneously emergent group, united only by their very rational perception that science has been subverted by eco-activists, whose claims have been abetted by an unaccountable surrender of establishment scientific societies such as the CSIRO, the US APS, and all the rest.

    My own skepticism about AGW came only after I studied the science. I did the work. Anthony Watts did the work. Steve McIntyre, Ross McKitrick, David Evans, Bob Tisdale, Jeff ID, and all the rest; they all did the work, they all can demonstrate their knowledge. It’s very clear they know what they’re talking about.

    So, how about it. Any climate skeptical psychologists out there ready and able to do the study contrasting the lurid claims of the Oreskes crowd, with the reality of the studied qualifications of AGW skeptics and the spontaneously emergent social reality of their public efforts?

    It would be a “conspiracist ideation” study with an extremely rich lode of evidence; so rich and so factually unassailable as to truly nail the case.

    The case that would take Lewandowski’s fantasy and bring it into an inverted reality. No naming names. No judgments of conspiracist psychopathology; the inferences would be readily available in the data and its exposition.

    Psychological Science is waiting for it. We already know they’ll publish it, don’t we.


    • #
      David Smith


      Great idea. Perhaps it could be a kind of ‘crowd-sourced’ exercise in data gathering. It wouldn’t take long for sceptics such as ourselves to find links to the abundance of articles (and warmist comments) that accuse us of being wrapped up in some sort of ‘Big Oil Conspiracy’.

      All the links that we’ve found could be posted on a site we’ve created. It would then be a job for a team of us to somehow sort and categorise all the accusations contained in the links.

      For such a paper, my personal hypothesis would be this:
      Whilst the commenting minions who get shouty on blogs genuinely believe in a ‘Big Oil Conspiracy’, the blog owners and warmist writers ( Naomi Oreskes, Bill McKibben, Joe Romm, Naomi Klein, etc) know in reality that there is no such conspiracy. These ‘big hitters’ just use the Big Oil thing to try and silence sceptics without having to address our difficult questions.


  • #
    Mark D.

    Are there any climate skeptical psychologists out there who would like to investigate the recent corpus of Lewandowski’s work, along with the work of Naomi Oreskes, Bill McKibben, Joe Romm, Naomi Klein, and all the rest of the green warriors who inexhaustibly tout the “denial machine” conspiracy that is systematically and deliberately frustrating action on “climate change”?

    Great Idea there Pat.


    • #
      Roy Hogue

      Great Idea there Pat.

      Only if done with someone else’s money. 😉

      What I’m thinking is this, why waste even more money on something that doesn’t lead to where we want to go?


  • #

    I still don’t understand how it’s even remotely ethical science to write a paper about a group of people who have criticized your work. The conflict of interest (assuming you think science should be an objective study or reality) is simply stunning. Am I to believe that a man who is criticized harshly for the quality of his work can then step back with detachment and “study” those who criticized him with no ulterior motive? Really? The paper should have been rejected on those grounds alone, no matter what he said and no matter who the criticizers were.

    Imagine this scenario. A person is put on trial accused of a crime and the court calls a psychiatrist to testify about the criminal’s mental state. He says all sorts of things disparaging of the defendant’s mental condition. But what if it turns out that the one thing the psychiatrist didn’t tell the court was that he and the defendant are next door neighbors and they’ve been fighting the last 10 years over loud music, property lines, what the neighbor’s son is doing with the psychiatrist’s daughter, etc., etc. What would happen instantly to the testimony and the trial if that information came out?

    This paper as it was written should never have seen the light of day in a science journal.


    • #
      john robertson

      Perhaps because you are confusing what Lew and friends do with science?
      Otherwise good parable.


  • #

    Oh, and Bardi’s a [snip] for resigning over the wrong paper. A paper that wasn’t even published by the journal he resigned from.


  • #
    Uncle Gus

    I find the premise of the paper hard to swallow; that people who doubt Climate Change are the kind of people who go around doubting things. And even given that tautology he futzes it up!

    For the record I do entertain doubts about HIV/AIDS/ and Cancer/Smoking. That’s what being a sceptic is. It never ends. I just don’t entertain them in the best guest bedroom. More like in the shed behind the outhouse.

    As for the Moon landings, I like what Neil Armstrong said to the guy who turned up on his doorstep and challenged him to admit it was all a hoax. “Get the Heck off my land,” he said, “Or I’m calling the Sherriff.” Except I don’t think he said Heck.


  • #

    Boy what a downer. For a realistic perspective and we need it – just google ‘cbc news desert in southern manitoba disappearing’


    • #

      That’s a keeper, Alex.

      What happens as the planet comes out of an ice age and carbon dioxide rises?

      Why, things grow!

      Disappearing desert
      An ancient landscape in southern Manitoba is disappearing at an alarming rate, threatening a park and an ecosystem.

      The greenie is the only one speaking common sense!


      • #

        When it comes to the climate or ‘weather’ some people are very hard to please.All that lousy green stuff,perhaps flim flam could give some direction for future action to roll it back.


  • #

    “Three Frontiers editors …” It’s that old Mr Spock joke about how many ears he’s got, innit? A left ear, a right ear and a final front ear.



  • #
    michael hart

    Three Frontiers editors resign in protest over Lewandowsky’s Recursive Fury retraction, 9.7 out of 10 based on 30 ratings

    Oh noooo….it’s a (temporary) 97% again


  • #
    Peter Carabot

    I do not deny that smoking is bad for you, I also think that apart from the smoke itself other factors contribute to lung disease and the multitude of ilnesses (?) that tobacco is accused of causing. 2 studies come to mind, one a Japanese study with a relatively small sample and dating back to the ’80, the other a much larger one around the year 2000- 2001. Both studies found that diesel fumes particles lodge in the lungs and massively contribute to lung disease. Smokers cough clears these particles very efficently, non smokers tend to keep this particles in. Would this be the reason that “passive smoking”, supposedly, is as bad as smoking? Other recent studies are now finding that air pollution in cities everywere is a very large contributor to all sorts of ailments. Will we see a sharp increase in litigation by the “health fanatics” against health authorities for encouraging exercise in the middle of traffic? Cyclist, jogers and the like at the forefront….
    Another cynical comment of a skeptic in support of Lew’s paper, I suppose…..


    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Peter Carabot:
      I don’t know where you live but here in the Adelaide Hills we find cyclists need no encouragement to go and exercise in the middle of the traffic.

      There is one main road connecting a series of small towns (villages if you’re from the UK) and virtually every day hordes of MAMILs** ride up and down this road, partially impeding the traffic. For 6 km. there is a bike track running parallel to the road. Do the cyclists use it? Well, the other day I claimed to have seen 3 cyclists coming off it at one end and met with disbelief from the locals.

      Then there are the Community Events involving masses of cyclists (instead of small groups of 8 -20) which involve shutting roads off so the cyclists can have the middle of the road to themselves. Last Friday I was held up by a policeman (along with a dozen others) as a workman cleared the Community Event warning signs, at the usual pace of a Council Worker. Others heading for the same venue were stopped for 20 minutes in Hahndorf as 10 policemen shepherded 20 cyclists through the town. And where do they come from? From the city, mostly in SUV’s to hold their healthy vehicles.

      The third bicycle event in a fortnight (and another on the following Sunday). Fortunately they hibernate during the depths of winter.

      ** Middle Aged Men In Lycra.


    • #

      We haven’t seen anything yet. As you say Peter #20 there will be range of activists springing forth and mulitplying…..those winding up against alcohol has cranked into motion. Activist traction depends upon emotional engagement, more often or not driven by fear, anxiety or repulsion. Exactly like climageddon peddlers, or the epidemiologists in health, you keep telling people how bad everything is for them. Anything is justified. We’ve seen it with exploding children and outright data lies, with Inconvenient Truth and with the likes of Lew et al. They wind up preaching to an empty church.

      The end result is usually and rightly, selective deafness and disenfranchisement, with the possible exception of only the most wild eyed.

      Smoking exhibits a dose related response, something carefully avoided by the anti-smoking activists. At low levels, it becomes increasingly difficult, if not impossible to separate out the the effect of tobacco smoke from the broad range of environmental air pollutants, whether directly inhaled or inhaled as ‘second hand’ smoke. There is of course a level at which it becomes biologically irrelevant.

      JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst (2013) doi: 10.1093/jnci/djt365 First published online: December 6, 2013

      No Clear Link Between Passive Smoking and Lung Cancer

      A large prospective cohort study of more than 76,000 women confirmed a strong association between cigarette smoking and lung cancer but found no link between the disease and secondhand smoke.
      “The fact that passive smoking may not be strongly associated with lung cancer points to a need to find other risk factors for the disease [in nonsmokers],” said Ange Wang, the Stanford University medical student who presented the study at the June 2013 meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago.
      Investigators from Stanford and other research centers looked at data from the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study (WHI-OS). Among 93,676 women aged 50–79 years at enrollment, the study had complete smoking and covariate data (including passive smoking exposure in childhood, adult home, and work) for 76,304 participants. Of those, 901 developed lung cancer over 10.5 mean years of follow-up.
      The incidence of lung cancer was 13 times higher in current smokers and four times higher in former smokers than in never-smokers, and the relationship for both current and former smokers depended on level of exposure. However, among women who had never smoked, exposure to passive smoking overall, and to most categories of passive smoking, did not statistically significantly increase lung cancer risk. The only category of exposure that showed a trend toward increased risk was living in the same house with a smoker for 30 years or more.


      • #

        The horrible smell that comes from the tobacco people can be overwhelming. The smoke gives people headaches, similar to the ‘flu. The smell on the clothes is also obnoxious. Banning it in indoor places for these reasons is enough. The cancer problem is another matter.


    • #

      Peter Carabot: “I do not deny that smoking is bad for you . .”

      This old chestnut of a comparison between global warming and smoking is really a furphy methinks.

      It’s essentially attempting to compare experimental science with theoretical science as far as I can see.

      With the smoking example, one can take a large sample of people, undertake a survey and establish a plausible link.
      That’s not proof, of course; just a link. You could take that survey on the road and repeat it in 50 countries around the world . . and probably come up with similar results. That’s still not ‘proof’, no matter how many surveys you do, but the link between smoking and, say cancer, is more robust.
      The robustness of that link lies in the repeatability and the similarity of the results.

      When someone takes the Earth and it’s climate system and runs it in a lab 50 times with similar outcomes, that’d be interesting.


  • #

    the climate problem

    Thems is purdy words.

    The problem is there is no proof of a problem so they have a problem!


  • #
    Another Ian


    For quite a while I have had this idea on citation indices.

    The conventional approach is that the best quality papers result in the highest citation indices.

    But even higher indices might be attainable by producing the worst possible paper that you can get published.

    This (IMO) would not only get cited by those in the field, but would pick up the “me too’s” from other fields who cite it to show they have heard about it.

    Maybe there is a testing ground here with the “Lewscapades”?


  • #

    Three biased and alarmist editors who support a paper that lacks professional ethics resign from a peer-reviewed journal? Good job I’d say, there needs to be a few more.


  • #

    Drama queens.
    [No gender bias intended. Can be male, female, indeterminate.]


  • #

    Who cares? It’s PSYCHOLOGY!
    They have no science to counter the observed contradictions which have now become obvious.
    So they resort to PSYCHOLOGY…


  • #

    I don’t know if this has been mentioned before.
    ‘Shaping Tomorrow’s World’ (my God, pity the children).
    Lewandowsky thinks that 2012 was “one of the warmest years since the Age of the Dinosaurs”, seriously (item 9 of his ‘The Top (Climate) Events of 2012’).


  • #
    Keith L

    I seem to remember that Australian Climate Madness looked at some of the raw data and it showed that most of those claiming to believe the lunar landings were faked were warmists not (fake) sceptics.


  • #
    Greg Cavanagh

    These resignations can only help the paper in the long run.


  • #
    Paul in Sweden

    Ritual Seppuku切腹)by three editors of Frontiers cannot restore a marginally respected reputation which may never have existed for Frontiers. By publishing the Screaming Lewandowsky Fury paper the toothpaste was let loose from the tube and that cannot be reversed. Frontiers shame is etched in stone.


  • #

    The people who object to the retraction of the Lewandowsky paper live in a parallel universe where it is OK to mistreat “deniers”, because they are bad. The concept that everyone should be treated equally simply doesn’t occur to them. As the (ha ha, funny) 10:10 video shows, there is no limit to how bad their treatment of others would get, were they not constrained by law.

    Human life and dignity don’t matter to people who think they server a higher cause.


  • #


    Chinese firms turn to courts in CER rows with European buyers
    BEIJING/LONDON, Apr 11 (Reuters) – Chinese owners of clean energy projects say European firms have since 2011 defaulted on potentially hundreds of contracts to buy millions of United Nations carbon credits for fixed prices of up to $10 or $20 per unit…

    10 April: Reuters: Nuclear industry says weak carbon price justifies state funding
    FORATOM, which represents Europe’s nuclear industry, said new atomic power generation will need financial support as long as carbon prices are low and hit back at EU regulators’ criticism of funding for a plant to be built by EDF.
    The European Commission, the EU regulator, has launched an in-depth investigation into Britain’s plan to provide public funding for a 19 billion euro ($26.37 billion) nuclear plant to be built at Hinkley Point in Britain…
    It said nuclear energy, which requires very high upfront capital costs, would not be competitive until the European Union’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) rose “significantly”, although it did not specify a level…
    “The market must therefore provide, in the interim, the necessary support mechanisms to incentivise nuclear investments at an acceptable level of risk for investors,” FORATOM said.
    It says nuclear power provides 60 percent of the EU’s low-carbon electricity and argues it is essential if the 28-member bloc is to meet its climate goals and guarantee energy security – an issue that has shot to the top of the EU agenda because of uncertainty of the supply of Russian gas via Ukraine.
    After a political outcry about the impact on household and industry energy bills of subsidising renewable power, the Commission is seeking to phase out all energy subsidies.
    It issued new funding guidelines on Wednesday, which replace renewable subsidies with a market-based system of open tenders.
    The new rules omitted nuclear energy, meaning any plans to fund new nuclear generation will be assessed by the Commission on an individual basis.


  • #

    set aside how you feel about nuclear. nuclear was/is not part of the greens’ CAGW agenda, but it was always a major part of the IPCC agenda. note below solar/wind still included to keep the greens onboard.

    i wonder when the Greens will get it?

    12 April: UK Daily Mail: Jane Evans: The world must adopt nuclear power to beat global warming, scientists say in major UN report
    Governments need to ditch fossil fuels, like coal and oil, says UN report
    Instead, they must adopt nuclear energy sources to beat global warming
    Total investment in ‘large-scale changes’ will be around £300billion a year
    MPs warn spending on renewable energy could also raise living costs
    The world must switch from fossil fuels to nuclear power to beat global warming, a major United Nations report warns today.
    Scientists claim governments need to ditch traditional sources of energy, such as coal and oil, to avoid a climate change catastrophe.
    Instead, they must adopt nuclear power in a ‘large-scale’ move costing around £300billion a year…
    The report, by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), also highlights an urgent need for governments to switch to green energy sources, such as wind and solar power…
    As well as a switch to nuclear power, scientists have also recommended that Western diets should become more sustainable and enviromentally friendly.
    People in the richest countries should eat less food – and in particular, less meat, they said.


  • #

    no name put to this shameful BBC report which does not use the word “nuclear” at all:

    13 April: BBC: UN: ‘Massive shift’ needed on energy
    A UN report on climate change is expected to call for a trebling of the planet’s use of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power…
    Scientists will also cautiously endorse a shift to natural gas an alternative to carbon intensive sources.
    The report will be released on Sunday at a press conference in Berlin…
    Sunday’s report will focus on ***instructing governments and organisations on how to take action to avoid dangerous climatic change.
    ???However, some developing countries have argued that the costs associated with switching energy sources should be borne proportionately by all.
    The report will criticise the rising use of coal and other fossil fuels among developing countries…

    ???BBC, what does that para mean? in simple language, developing countries say they want the $100bn/year we promised to bribe them with to keep this scam going.

    13 April: Japan Times: Reuters: Shift to green energy would barely slow growth, U.N. report says
    Many governments had complained that an earlier draft was not clear in its estimate of the costs of low-carbon energy, which include solar, wind and nuclear power plus fossil fuels whose emissions of greenhouse gases are captured and buried underground…
    ***The earlier draft said consumption losses could be up to 12 percent by 2100 but omitted to clarify that the number is the cumulative result of a small brake every year over a century, rather than a hint of economic slump in 2100.
    The new draft also adds the context that losses are tiny compared to soaring wealth — consumption is set to rise by anywhere from 300 to 900 percent this century, it says.
    Several nations had said the losses of 12 percent cited in the earlier draft sounded alarming and wanted further clarification…
    ***The IPCC draft says trillion-dollar shifts in investments are needed to make low-carbon energies the dominant source of energy by 2050, up from 17 percent now.
    The WWF conservation group set up a mock casino outside the Berlin hotel where the IPCC is meeting, urging governments to stop subsidizing fossil fuels and to shift to renewables.
    “We can’t continue to gamble with the future of the world we depend on,” said Stefan Singer of the WWF.
    Environmental group Greenpeace said China’s rush to develop dirty coal seemed to be coming to an end in a shift that would avert annual greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of Australia and Poland combined by 2020…

    WWF/Greenpeace u are scamsters.


  • #

    PA totally dishonest. begins with “campaigners have demanded” before even bringing up the IPCC report PLUS there’s not a mention of nuclear:

    13 Aprl: MSN UK: Press Association: Call to move away from fossil fuels
    Campaigners have demanded the world moves away from using fossil fuels ahead of a major international report on preventing climate change.
    The latest report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will set out ways to curb rising temperatures by tackling greenhouse gas emissions…
    Without action, climate change would increasingly threaten security, health and food supplies, exacerbate poverty and damage species and habitats, the report into the impacts of global warming warned.
    Environmental campaigners said leaked drafts of the latest report showed the need to rapidly reduce greenhouse gases to limit global temperature rises, which involved leaving fossil fuels in the ground.
    Friends of the Earth’s executive director, Andy Atkins, said: “We can only avoid catastrophic climate change if we reduce our dependency on fossil fuels – we’re already on track for four degrees warming which will be impossible for human society to adapt to.
    “The developing countries that have done the least to cause climate change need financial support from richer nations for low carbon growth. Globally funded feed-in tariffs to boost the use of solar power would be a good start…
    European “divestment” co-ordinator for campaign group Tim Ratcliffe said: “Investors now have scientific evidence that if you put your money into fossil fuels you are complicit in wrecking our future.
    “We know that 80% of fossil fuels need to stay underground in order to avoid a climate catastrophe.


    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Natural gas (largely methane) in CCGT is the conventional method of electricity generation with the least emissions of CO2. Reliable supply so suitable for base load, low particulates etc.

      Coal seam gas, frakking etc. are attacked by warmists. What we need to do is large scale anaerobic digestion of bull “sheet” to produce methane. Apart from the necessary tanks we need a never ending supply of raw material for the digesters.

      Step forward Lew and Cook – you could be saviours of the planet, in fact they’re already in production.


  • #
    Greg Goodman

    Ugo Bardi, Chief Specialty Editor of the Frontiers Journal is resigning over the debacle about Stephan Lewandowksy’s twice failed paper.

    Well he didn’t actually resign either, despite his untruthful public statement. He sent a letter saying that he “intended to resign”.

    So we have two “intending to” and one with no public statement. Wow the pressure is building fast !

    What’s the odds that neither Ugo Bardi or Björn Brembs will actually resign ( they consider their own opinions far too highly to pass up the chance reviewing the work of others).

    Instead they will just leave it at a never actioned “intent to” and hope we all forget about their pathetic bluster and climate shit-fit.

    Perhaps we should start a counter of how many days it is since they “intended to” but haven’t.

    Clearly anyone who can not see why the paper was retracted and wants to make a scandal out of the retraction, should not be involved in any future peer-reviewing.

    It is important for Frontier’s “mission” to always improve, that these guys follow though and really do resign.

    A public counter of how long they have failed to commit to this very public “intent to” should help them out of the door.


  • #
    Alice Thermopolis

    Thanks Jo

    In case you missed it, Frontiers Editor-in-Chief posted another statement last Friday.

    It now says (emphatically) here were indeed ethical issues with Recursive Fury that were “missed” before publication, contrary to Professor Lewandowsky’s earlier claims.

    Titled the “Rights of Human Subjects in Scientific Papers”, it includes following extracts (my italics):

    “The retracted Recursive Fury paper has created quite a blogger and twitter storm. A sensational storm indeed, with hints to conspiracy theories, claims of legal threats and perceived contradictions. It has been fury – one of the strongest human emotions – that has (perhaps understandably at first sight) guided the discussion around this retraction. Not surprisingly though, the truth is not as sensational and much simpler. The studied subjects were explicitly identified in the paper without their consent. It is well acknowledged and accepted that in order to protect a subject’s rights and avoid a potentially defamatory outcome, one must obtain the subject’s consent if they can be identified in a scientific paper. The mistake was detected after publication, and the authors and Frontiers worked hard together for several months to try to find a solution. In the end, those efforts were not successful. The identity of the subjects could not be protected and the paper had to be retracted. Frontiers then worked closely with the authors on a mutually agreed and measured retraction statement to avoid the retraction itself being misused. From the storm this has created, it would seem we did not succeed.”

    “For Frontiers, publishing the identities of human subjects without consent cannot be justified in a scientific paper. Some have argued that the subjects and their statements were in the public domain and hence it was acceptable to identify them in a scientific paper, but accepting this will set a dangerous precedent. With so much information of each of us in the public domain, think of a situation where scientists use, for example, machine learning to cluster your public statements and attribute to you personality characteristics, and then name you on the cluster and publish it as a scientific fact in a reputable journal. While the subjects and their statements were public, they did not give their consent to a public psychological diagnosis in a scientific study. Science cannot be abused to specifically label and point out individuals in the public domain.”

    “Like all other journals, Frontiers seriously investigates any well-founded complaints or allegations, and retraction only happens in cases of absolute necessity and only after extensive analysis. For the paper in question, the issue was clear, the analysis was exhaustive, all efforts were made to work with the authors to find a solution and we even worked on the retraction statement with the authors. But there was no moral dilemma from the start – we do not support scientific publications where human subjects can be identified without their consent.”

    Game, set and match, UWA?



    • #

      In case you missed it, Frontiers Editor-in-Chief posted another statement last Friday.

      Yes, and Lewandowsky had to post again to cover that latest Frontiers statement.

      Clarifying a revisited retraction

      How may times is he going to revisit a revisitation . . .
      He must be ‘Furious’.


  • #
    J Martin

    Excellent news. The more, the merrier. or so the saying goes. If the co2 religious zealots choose to resign and thus remove themselves from being in a position to influence what is published, then so much the better.


  • #
    Andrew McRae

    Inspecting the referenced Deltoid thread, I think warmist commentator “BBD” posed a series of relevant questions in his comment #74 on 7 April, regarding the Snowball earth and PETM etc.
    I don’t know the answers yet but if it is deemed important to warmist folklore then it ought to be worth investigating the state of the evidence behind it.


  • #

    Three editors in a row resigning over a retracted paper.

    Sounds like recursive fury to me.


  • #
    G.S. Williams

    In passing, I’d say that Lewandowski’s paper is NOT science?!