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« Wheels coming off | Main | All the talents »

Lew fan gong

Reality sometimes has the extraordinary ability to outdo even the most ludicrous works of fiction and the award of this year's Maddox Prize is certainly a case in point. The prize is awarded by Sense About Science for 'courage in promoting science and evidence on a matter of public interest' and this year the judges have picked an Oxford academic and Guardian columnist called David Grimes. Here is an example of his heroic work:

A series of investigations published last year by Prof Stephan Lewandowsky and his colleagues – including one with the fantastic title, Nasa Faked the Moon Landing – Therefore, (Climate) Science Is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science – found that while subjects subscribing to conspiracist thought tended to reject all scientific propositions they encountered, those with strong traits of conservatism or pronounced free-market world views only tended to reject scientific findings with regulatory implications.

Yessiree, a man who can make statistical inferences from a sample size of zero and makes claims that are patently not supported by his own data, writes a paper that describes the head of climate impacts at the Met Office as a conspiracy theorist. This is lauded by an Oxford academic and Guardian columnist who is promptly awarded a prize by Sense About Science.

Words fail me.

Incidentally, the judging panel included Martin Rees and Philip Campbell, the editor of Nature. Go figure.

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Reader Comments (28)

The Green Zombies are very good at awarding their fellow Greenies with medals, prizes and money.

Oct 27, 2014 at 11:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

Now, now, I won’t hear another bad word about Dr Lew or any of his fans. The man’s a genius. He managed to diagnose a condition I suffer from by selecting just a few words. I wrote that his work was so bad he must be in the pay of Big Oil to make warmists look bad. From that, Dr Lew recognised I suffer from conspiracy ideation, when I naively thought I was just taking the wee wee. He’s incomparable and David Grimes just wants us all to know it.

Oct 27, 2014 at 11:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2


Stephan Lewandowsky is certainly incomparable.
Other adjectives that might be useful are paranoid, delusional, incompetent, innumerate, and aggravating. And embarrassing if you're from the USA.

Oct 27, 2014 at 11:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterGraeme No.3

A piece on Grimes from earlier this year, from me.

Oct 27, 2014 at 11:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

Well - if you strike the last sentence, he is on the money....
Dr David Robert Grimes, University of Oxford:
“The paradox of our time is that while access to information on every topic imaginable has never been easier, this same freedom allows complete falsehoods to perpetuate further and faster than ever before. In everything from politics to healthcare, evidence is too frequently jettisoned, distorted or ignored to suit ideological biases, and misconceptions surrounding issues of science and evidence are incredibly detrimental to finding pragmatic solutions to the problems we face as a society; challenging these misunderstandings and confronting misinformation may often feel like a Sisyphean task, but it is vital. I am deeply humbled and honoured my contributions to public discussion on evidence-based policy have been recognised by such pioneers.”

Oct 27, 2014 at 11:38 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

This is bad. Very bad. Not because the greenies have infiltrated another institution. That's what they do. But because Sense about Science have gone bad from the inside. I met Tracey Brown, the woman behind SaS, about 10 years ago, and she was very impressive. Not intellectually impressive, but I could tell from her energy and dynamism that she would makes waves in the science PR world, which she did (although, thankfully, not to the degree I thought she might).

It's very disappointing that she would champion a man whose arguments against AGW skeptics are entirely psychological. ("Such people have deep-rooted psychological resistance to what important fellow left-wing scientists at London science events tell me over drinks, therefore they are dangerous"). That Paul Nurse is quoted tells you all you need to know. The fact is that Tracey Brown depends for her livelihood on bringing money in, as we all know there's no money (outside of greeny fantasies) in being a climate skeptic.

Oct 27, 2014 at 11:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterCal

Wow. That David Grimes article is quite a piece. A piece f sht, that is. Unfkngblvabl.

I've not read anything quite like it since, well, Dave Spart in Private Eye. Thanks, Bish, I almost don't resent giving the Grauniad a click for it.

Oct 27, 2014 at 11:56 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Who created the 'denier' word, the oil industry.

Opposing Views on Global Warming: The Corporate Climate Coup by Prof. David F. Noble - York University, Toronto, Canada

The second -“positive”- campaign, which emerged a decade later, in the wake of Kyoto and at the height of the anti-globalization movement, sought to get out ahead of the environmental issue by affirming it only to hijack it and turn it to corporate advantage. Modelled on a century of corporate liberal cooptation of popular reform movements and regulatory regimes, it aimed to appropriate the issue in order to moderate its political implications, thereby rendering it compatible with corporate economic, geopolitical, and ideological interests. The corporate climate campaign thus emphasized the primacy of “market-based” solutions while insisting upon uniformity and predictability in mandated rules and regulations.

At the same time it hyped the global climate issue into an obsession, a totalistic preoccupation with which to divert attention from the radical challenges of the global-justice movement. In the wake of this campaign, any and all opponents of the “deniers” have been identified – and, most importantly, have wittingly or unwittingly identified themselves – with the corporate climate crusaders. (Google scholar doc file)

Oct 28, 2014 at 2:20 AM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

I wrote a little bit on Sense about Science here

Oct 28, 2014 at 2:57 AM | Registered Commentershub

One of the things that are so sad is how much these weasels treasure their puffed and pompous awards for each other.

Harking back to the climategate emails are the trade-off promises for nominating each other for positions and awards.

'Manniacal of the year' and other ignominies.

Oct 28, 2014 at 5:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterATheoK

Maybe he should just get a Stalinesque 'Hero Of Labor' medal and certificate.

Oct 28, 2014 at 6:19 AM | Unregistered Commentertom0mason

Ironic: the ad on this page is for Tilburg University in the Netherlands, the university, specialised in social sciences, that awarded a doctor HC to Al Gore.

Oct 28, 2014 at 7:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterHans Erren

The Gov's ban on using drones in built-up areas should be extended to cover using them in publications.

Oct 28, 2014 at 7:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve C

Classic movementarianism.

Oct 28, 2014 at 7:57 AM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

John Maddox, former Nature editor, after whom the prize is named, was quite sceptical about climate change.

Oct 28, 2014 at 8:34 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Sir Maddox, the great editor of Nature who built the credibility and value of that magazine would be outraged at what the climate kooks have done to science in general and cliamte science in particular.

Oct 28, 2014 at 8:44 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

There are now two meanings of the word "science". One, and the one we sceptics use, hence "sceptic science" is the application of the scientific method, the null hypothesis and Scepticism.

The other is a title used to sex up some academic subject or even some academic and suggest it/they have the rigour and therefore kudos and certainty of sceptic science when they clearly do not. I like to call this "consensus science" as the only proof they seem to need is a consensus amongst their academic colleagues.

Clearly the second isn't real science, but unfortunately, when you have people like the head of the Royal Society [of science] & Oxford academics pushing climate consensus as "science", then the Oxford dictionary definition of "science" will be what these Oxford academics want it to be and not us.

Hence the need to distinguish the far higher standard we believe should be applied from the garbage like Lewandowsky.

Oct 28, 2014 at 9:11 AM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

On the introduction of Psychology to try and understand why we don't believe them, check out

"We Are Thinking The Wrong Thoughts"

"Those of us who have long been in denial about the realities of global warming and the credibility of the IPCC, can now feel relieved, there may be hope for us yet. The diagnosis has been made; we have a psychological problem, which so far has failed to respond to the millions upon millions of dollars spent in “communicating” climate change to the masses."

The link to "Communicating climate change to mass public audiences Working Document, September 2010, is now here: The working document became a report to government.

Check out also:

"We are not thinking the Wrong Thoughts, We just Don’t Know How To Think The Right Thoughts"

"IPCC Lead Author ..Professor Andy Pitman, from the University of New South Wales, ..has joined forces with psychologist Ben Newell from the School of Psychology, also at the University of New South Wales, in producing a paper which suggests that “Insights from the psychology of judgment and decision making might help the climate community communicate global warming science to an often skeptical public.”

Professor Pitman:

“Oh, my personal view is that climate scientists are losing the fight with the sceptics. That the sceptics are so well funded, so well organised, have nothing else to do. They kind of don’t have day jobs. They can put all of their efforts into mis-informing and mis-communicating climate science to the general public whereas the climate scientists have day jobs and this actually isn’t one of them.

All of the efforts you do in an IPCC report is done out of hours, voluntarily for no funding and no pay whereas the sceptics are being funded to put out full-scale misinformation campaigns and are doing a damn good job I think.”

Oct 28, 2014 at 9:55 AM | Registered Commenterdennisa

"You got me there !" what David Grimes said to me at Skeptics in the Pub in Birmingham at the British Festival of Science. After I challenged him for evidence of 97%.
- Yes this guy who I clearly debunked at a public meeting has won the Sense About Science prize for 'courage in promoting science and evidence on a matter of public interest' Holy Bishops !
- I accidentally found myself at his lecture called "Lies, damned lies and statistics - How we get science coverage wrong". Well that was the title of the event ..when I spoke to him before it was apparent he had never heard of "The fallacy of the argument from authority" and despite his qualifications, he was like a child in his reasoning skills. Then the lecture started, he made statements about how journalists should get their stats right, quote their references etc. but then the poor guy revealed that he was a completely brainwashed alarmist as he went off on a complete tangent. 70% of his lecture was an angry rant against skeptics "Apparently I'm an alarmist ..these skeptics they are damm persistent blah blah" it was like speaking to Nutelli, Cook or Lew himself. The atmosphere he created in the room was toxic against skeptics.
- He made it clear that by "Climate Change" he meant only the catastrophic kind. Then he made this statement "..People say that an opinion poll said 97% of Climate Scientists .. No it's not 97%! .. it's ONE HUNDRED PERCENT..." well that was an open goal
So at the end one of my questions was "You said journalists should quote their references, what is your reference for the 97% ? do you know the sample size ?"
- Extraordinarily he wasn't expecting anyone to ask him this he mumbled shuffled his papers "em err I've got it somewhere" did another angry rant against skeptics in general" I persisted "I think the sample size was something like 84 wasn't it ?" .. he replied ."em I'll have to look later."
- At the very end another question said "30s on Google shows the sample size was 12,000 papers" .. I did try to tackle that guy afterwards but he just shouted me down with "you people !".
- It then became apparent that Lew's dirty trick of fudging a result of another 97% had done it's job..and that this guy & Grimes had confused the 2 surveys ..and given time Graves would have given me Lew's discredited survey as his source for his 97% opinion poll.
(this is the short version, he made other errors, I asked other questions, the meeting was videoed)

Oct 28, 2014 at 11:50 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Non-sense about non-science.

Oct 28, 2014 at 12:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin B

Stew Green

Lewandowsky has NEVER produced a survey of climate scientists and the consensus

facts please

you are thinking of the Skeptical Science gang, John Cook, Dana Nucittelli and the other 7 sks co-authors)

Oct 28, 2014 at 1:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

What Lysenko Spawned.

Oct 28, 2014 at 2:32 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

Yes Barry I said Lew ..when I meant his pal Cook thanks for the correction

it should read
- It then became apparent that Cooks's dirty trick of fudging a result of another 97% had done it's job..and that this guy & Grimes had confused the 2 surveys ..and given time Graves would have given me Cook's discredited survey as his source for his 97% opinion poll.
(this is the short version, he made other errors, I asked other questions, the meeting was videoed)

Oct 28, 2014 at 3:51 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

I heard Lew submitted a comment on the IPCC AR4 report so I think that makes him a Nobel Laureate as well.

Oct 28, 2014 at 5:09 PM | Unregistered Commentermcraig

I don't think that "fantastic" means what he thinks it means.

But what can we expect from an Oxford academic who writes for the Grauniad?

Oct 28, 2014 at 6:32 PM | Registered Commenterjohanna

First the Nobel Peace Prize, then the Maddox. By their own bootstraps, they have managed to launch themselves into dustbins. I have decided to accept neither if offered. Indeed I would be profoundly offended to be offered either.

Oct 28, 2014 at 11:23 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

'Philip Campbell, the editor of Nature. Go figure. '
A true believer who has made it clear that he will support 'the cause ' blindly on the grounds of 'think of the children ' so nothing to figure .

Oct 29, 2014 at 9:34 AM | Unregistered Commenterknr

Such awards are like a case of hemmorhoids.

Sooner or later, every a**shole gets one.

Oct 30, 2014 at 3:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterTyphoon

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