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« Nurse raises eyebrows | Main | Lewandowsky teeters on the brink »

The plot thickens

The pressure is ramping up on Stephan Lewandowsky at quite a rate of knots. The illusion that his paper was a bona fide contribution to the academic literature has faded away with the news that his headline - linking denial of the US moon landing and AGW scepticism - was not even supported by his data. The first allegations of academic fraud have been made.

To make things worse for Lewandowsky, Simon at Australian Climate Madness has submitted an FOI request for his correspondence related to the paper. Lewandowsky has admitted that no sceptic blogs carried his survey, but I think it's fair to say that nobody actually believes his convenient claim that his approaches to sceptics were spurned. If nothing is turned up by the FOI request it seems likely that the allegations will be widened to include a clear and deliberate intention to commit academic fraud.

Lewandowsky has published a rebuttal (of sorts), notable more for what it doesn't discuss than what it does. I think it's fair to say that this is not the last we are going to hear of the Lewandowsky affair.

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Reader Comments (60)

On his site Lewandowsky is poking at Steve Mc with a stick.

He should ask Mikey Mann how that works out.

Sep 4, 2012 at 9:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterPolitical Junkie

That's interesting. Steve McIntyre has posted a further enquiry on the latest Lewanowsky thread asking why the survey he was sent turns out to be different to the ones sent to the "pro-science" blogs (I love using scare quotes too ;) ).

The survey link in the mail Steve shows in his comment

Sep 4, 2012 at 1:25 AM | Steve McIntyre

Is the same one as the one shown on this JunkScience archive page back in Sept 2010

The survey almost certainly is different to one in the latest Lewanowsky paper since this wayback archive shows it has different questions.

Also I notice the A Few Things Ill Considered link has different key num - HKMKNG_ee191483 - to all the others but no archive seems to be available.

I'm beginning to think the whole study consisted of just sending different surveys to targeted people and then harvesting the best results that best fit a pre-required conclusion. I don't know if this fits some normal practice but I wouldn't consider that anything but hack work myself.

Sep 4, 2012 at 11:08 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Thanks for the link to the discussion over at Lewandowsky's. I have posted about the methodology in the light of Steve M.'s chronology. In summary, it's an F in any first year course on how to conduct an opinion survey.

Sep 5, 2012 at 12:04 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohanna

Very relevant to this topic so worth dragging up again. I (David/DaveA) posted previously regarding another Lewandowsky survey in the "Treehut" thread. You'll need to read the initial topic to get an idea of the context, though it might not be so necessary - can just read the single post and get the drift.

See post "Apr 2, 2012 at 7:05 AM | David".

Sep 5, 2012 at 5:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterDaveA

thank you DaveA.

I have to apologise to all and especially John the time, I made the assumption that Lewandowsky's scientific skills had been badly influenced by Cookie's ignorance. It appears the exact opposite has been happening.

Is there any research by Lew that hasn't dealt with some sort of fabricated data, one wonders.

Sep 5, 2012 at 7:55 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

DaveA/David, thank you, one time more, for your extended genuine and open research. That is nearly the only thing that helps the science on the whole.

Just one thought: It could be that for a lot of people (approximately up to 99 percent) one main problem is the realisation that "our" obviously difficult situation seems to stem neither from a "left"/"right" nor from an "up"/"down" issue any more but from an "inside"/"outside" one, couldn't it?

[Is it worth to reflect upon the fact that, for instance, Hank Albarelli, who was a member of the Jimmy Carter administration, thinks that the illegal performed former psychological human research program "Project MKUltra" (more or less "project 'mind control'"; research on clueless guinea pigs that was commissioned by MI6 and CIA (see for example William Sargant (Watch, for instance, ZDF/PHOENIX: "MK-ULTRA - Dressierte Killer" at 7:04 min f.))), is still performed (watch ibid at 19:43 min f)?]

Sep 5, 2012 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterSeptember 2011

Steve McIntyre;
Fascinating; my responses mirrored yours almost exactly, right down to the '99's . You must be brilliant!

Sep 10, 2012 at 7:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrian H

Slave to temptation that I am, I couldn't help turning my brief comment (Sep 4, 2012 at 5:36 PM) within this blog here into a much longer guest post at WUWT:

"The OTHER problem with the Lewandowsky paper and similar ‘skeptic’ motivation analysis: Core premise off the rails about fossil fuel industry corruption accusation"

Sep 11, 2012 at 9:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterRussell C

Russell C
Thanks that's a valuable post you have written on WUWT. The constant refrain of the alarmists that skepticism is all driven by fossil fuels industry funding is so ludicrous and yet it pops up all over. Your excellent work in debunking this garbage is much needed.

Sep 11, 2012 at 9:39 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

Skiphil, thanks for the kind words. How I wish I could turn what I've found over to an open-minded news outlet. I'm neither a science person nor a journalist, and an admittedly shallow-sounding note I could add is that I have better things to do than this. But having run accidentally into this skeptic smear situation approaching 3 years ago and discovering more problems ever since then, I feel duty-bound to pursue this until bigger voices than mine can take it over.

I have near-misses. James Delingpole, for example, noted my work in his blog post here (3th paragraph) about my jousting with Dr Myles Allen, but alas, took it no farther than that, as far as I know. So, what looks like self-promotion on my part is really just effort to find genuine journalists to take the lead on this, so that I can get back to the point where I was so rudely interrupted back in late 2009…..

Sep 12, 2012 at 6:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterRussell C

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