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Wednesday
Aug062014

Quote of the day

This was an awful thing to do. It was damaging to innocent participants. It is unethical to do this to your participants. It is wildly unethical to invite people to participate in a study, and then do this to them. They are helping us. They are volunteering to participate in scientific research. They've take time out of their lives to help us out. And in return, we slander them? We tell the world that they believe things that they do not believe? What Lewandowsky and colleagues did here was despicable and fraudulent. Why would anyone participate in a social psychology study if this is what we do to them? Why would anyone participate in research if our goal is to marginalize them in public life, to lie about them, to say that they think the moon landing was a hoax, to say they don't think HIV causes AIDS, to say they don't believe smoking causes lung cancer – when none of those things are true. Do we hate our participants?

Social psychologist Jose Duarte considers Lewandowsky's Moon Hoax paper.

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Reader Comments (36)

"Do we hate our participants?"

Probably. But Lew (and Cook and Nuccitelli) are working for the Greater Good, which excuses everything; lying, hypocrisy, misrepresentation, even SS uniforms.

Aug 6, 2014 at 10:32 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Excellent appraisal. Well worth a read of the full article.

I don't know why Duarte held back, though. Why didn't he just tell it like it was?

Aug 6, 2014 at 10:49 AM | Unregistered Commentergraphicconception

Read Duarte's post in full. It is an excellent summary with good analysis of exactly where Lewandowsky went wrong (though in his mind, of course, he thought he was right).

jamesp
Of course Lewandowsky hated his participants. The object of the paper and the pseudo-research and the lies that preceded it, followed it, and were included in it were intended to prove, at least to the satisfaction of the climo-fanatic community, that anyone who questioned even the smallest part of the climate message was evil and/or mad and/or a conspiracy theorist.
It was a sort of mass ad hominem attack on anyone outside the bubble. Lewandowsky and Cook and Nuccitelli hate us because we disagree with them and if our views were ever to gain sufficient credence they would be reduced to sitting in a corner, crying their eyes out, and thumping their little fists on the floor while shouting "it's not fair" — which tells you everything you need to know about the level of their emotional development.

Aug 6, 2014 at 10:49 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Duarte's comments are not in any way ambiguous - unlike the Mann/Stein arguments, Duarte is crystal-clear in calling Lew and chums out as fraudsters and liars.

I wonder if they will react?

Aug 6, 2014 at 10:53 AM | Unregistered Commentersteveta_uk

It is a good post but the section quoted here seems to miss the point that participants weren't slandered, because virtually no sceptics took part in the survey.

Aug 6, 2014 at 10:57 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Since Lewandowsky is funded by the Royal Society there is also guilt by association.

Aug 6, 2014 at 11:00 AM | Unregistered Commenterturnedoutnice

A somewhat different opinion on what Bristol University think of their professor. Clearly he hates his participants.

"The School is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Stephan Lewandowsky.
29 April 2013

Steve is an internationally renowned cognitive scientist who has joined us from the University of Western Australia. His research has already revolutionised our understanding of human memory and cognition, and he now stands poised to build upon his impressive body of work with a project as ambitious as it is timely. In particular, Steve’s intention to improve our understanding of how people choose to acquire information, and to use this understanding to help create a more informed populace, is a unique and much needed undertaking.Thus, this research offers enormous benefits in the fields of experimental psychology, climate research and the wider public engagement with and understanding of scientific research.

Stephan receives Wolfson Research Merit Award"

Aug 6, 2014 at 11:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton

Is there anything a climate change supporting scientist can do that would qualify as fraud in the eyes of the world's science and media community?

Seriously, can you think of anything a 'team' member could do that would actually make the Guardian, Royal Society, NYT or BBC stand up and say, "NO! This is criminal. Look everybody in the world, this man is a crook?"

Aug 6, 2014 at 11:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

Steve’s intention to improve our understanding of how people choose to acquire information, and to use this understanding to help create a more informed populace, is a unique and much needed undertaking.
Much needed by whom?
Thus, this research offers enormous benefits in the fields of experimental psychology, climate research [Pinggg! Funding Jackpot!!] and the wider public engagement with and understanding of scientific research.
Remove the words 'climate research'. Does this substantially alter the thrust of Lewandowsky's research as described. Answer: No
Given Bristol's summary of the reasons for engaging Lewandowsky in the first place is there any valid reason for including any particular aspect of scientific research in this press statement? Answer: No.

Aug 6, 2014 at 11:52 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

I've always wondered how much money was paid by the University of Western Australia to arrange the transfer Bristol.
Probably more than his near namesake Robert Lewandowski was paid to move to Bayern Munich. But then again R. Lewandowski is worth every penny, to the Germans.
What value is the other at Bristol occupying the chair in cognitive psychology at the School of Experimental Psychology?

Maybe it's the very reading of his name brings the worst sort of 'conspiracist ideation' out in me.

Aug 6, 2014 at 11:54 AM | Unregistered Commentertom0mason

It is a good post but the section quoted here seems to miss the point that participants weren't slandered, because virtually no sceptics took part in the survey.

Aug 6, 2014 at 10:57 AM | Paul Matthews
=============================

Uh? "virtually no sceptics" is not the same as "no sceptics". He only needed one to be guilty of slander.

Aug 6, 2014 at 11:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

I do wonder why RS members are so passive. Are they are all treated like mushrooms?

Aug 6, 2014 at 12:25 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamesp

So, Lewandowsky, Cook, Oberauer, and Marriott (2013) wrote a follow-up hit piece that was all about their critics. They wrote a paper that was about the critics of the first paper, the one we've just debunked. It wasn't enough to lie about people and smear them as believing things they definitely do not believe. He needed to take another swipe. The journal, Frontiers in Psychology, wisely ended up retracting that paper, which is exactly what should happen to this fraud here.

The Royal Society has some hard questions to answer internally about how and why they chose this person as being worthy.

Maybe his sometime co-authors Cook, and Michael Mann, might be able to provide explanations at the University of Bristol in September.

Aug 6, 2014 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

More evidence that social science academics have completely lost touch with reality can be found
here.

How do these eejits like this get away with living off public money?

Aug 6, 2014 at 12:45 PM | Registered Commentersteve ta

Steveta
Wonderful!
One more reason why the jumped-up polytechnics like Westminster should be slapped down again.
As Mrs J has just reminded me the whole purpose of the Technical Colleges was to produce competent plumbers who could fix a burst pipe not people who could write dissertations on the theory of plumbing.
Nurses, social workers, and teachers have all gone down the same route to the detriment of their "professions" — or vocations as we used to call them.

Pitcher's "academic" (LOL) career says it all. Lancaster is the only half-decent establishment that would let him through its doors. Does a PhD from Brighton have any meaning in the real world, I wonder?

Aug 6, 2014 at 1:40 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

In the old (and apparently re-emerging) Soviet empire, dishonesty was a vital survival tool.
Lew and pals are merely anticipating the great changes ahead.

Aug 6, 2014 at 1:40 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Hmmmmm - Like others - I too wonder what apoplectic dummy spitting response will be the result of this excellent, accurate and long overdue analysis of a paper that is at best so badly planned and constructed as to be an acute embarrassment and at worst totally fraudulent.

Aug 6, 2014 at 1:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterDoug UK

It really shows you the pyschology of people like Cook, Lewandowsky, Oreskes, etc. They clearly have no grasp of the scientific issues but attack any heretic that they do not like. Zealots protecting their religion and willing dto do anything to fend off the unbeliever.

It is the level of hatred that these people bring to the debate that is so offensive to all intelligent & reasonable people.

Aug 6, 2014 at 2:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

What a small world! Ben Pitcher, whom Steveta quotes above, accusing Guardeners Question Time of racism, is author of a paper “Sex-Biased Sound Symbolism in English-Language First Names” which cites his fellow Westminster psychologist Viren Swami, who happens to be the most often cited author in Lewandowsky's “Moon Hoax” paper, as well as being peer-reviewer of Lewandowsky's follow up “Recursive Fury” paper.

Aug 6, 2014 at 3:35 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

Is Jose Duarte ready for excommunication?

Aug 6, 2014 at 3:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

When your 'saving the planet' the end justifies the means , think religion not science and you will start to understand how Lewandowsky acted like a scum bag but thinks he has done nothing wrong.

Aug 6, 2014 at 4:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

geoffchambers
Small world indeed. And all the proof you need that they are all up each others' backsides.
Not literally of course, though you never know.
The question is why do so many people listen to them? It's a form of collective madness. Must be.

Aug 6, 2014 at 4:19 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Lewandowsky has discovered the missing climate feedback loop!:

"Personal worldviews can therefore enter
into a positive feedback loop, in which
predispositions are reinforced by selective
exposure to misleading media sources."

This danger can be avoided by only choosing "correct thinking" sources:

" Of course, the same feedback cycle can emerge
among people with opposing worldviews,
who also preferentially select their media
sources, but these sources happen to be more
likely to report accurately on climate change."

"Deniers" are deliberately "choosing" to destroy the earth:

"Research has identified people’s
worldviews as the major determinant of
whether they accept the basics of climate
change. People who endorse unregulated free
markets tend to reject the fact that the globe
is warming. Their worldviews are more
threatened by a possible response to climate
change – which might involve taxation
or regulation – than climate change itself.
These people also choose to rely on media
sources that are more likely to misinform
about climate change than to disseminate
scientifically accurate information."

The solution apparently requires more unbalanced journalists:

"The problem is compounded by the
journalistic ethos to strive for ‘balance’."

All the above from a profile piece in the Spring 2014 Bristol Uni Alumni magazine, "Nonesuch" feature, "Climate of Opinion" http://www.bristol.ac.uk/university/publications/nonesuch/

Don't forget the Cabot Institute triple bill at Bristol in September starring, Mann, Lewandowsky and Oreskes!!!

Aug 6, 2014 at 6:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterBetapug

Jose Duarte

In case you didn't check out the background of this fine mexican Caballero, I
recommend that you return to his webpage and click on "about"
Iy is a really interesting read and reveals (in my opimion) a mischievous sense of
humour.
Well worth a read.

Aug 6, 2014 at 6:18 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

To me, Duarte's reaction is merely a sane one, and Lewandowsky et al. are insane-and they are insane because they don't see that they are engaging in propaganda (false propaganda at that), not science.

Aug 6, 2014 at 8:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Dale Huffman

I liked this passage:


If we wanted to identify the people disconnected from reality in this picture, it is the social psychologists, the reviewers, the journal editors who read passages like "Endorsement of free markets also predicted the rejection of other established scientific findings, such as the facts that HIV causes AIDS and that smoking causes lung cancer" and didn't stop and wonder at the plausibility of such a thing, who evidently thought lots of people reject the HIV-AIDS link, or lots of people reject the smoking-cancer link, and that these beliefs go with endorsing free markets. They read this title: "NASA faked the moon landing—therefore, (climate) science is a hoax: an anatomy of the motivated rejection of science", and presumably thought this was plausible, that a lot of people think the moon landing is a hoax, and that this was the springboard for climate skeptics (or hoaxists). If I wanted to talk about disconnect from reality, "denial" and the like, I wouldn't focus on the participants.

.. amongst others, because it's spot on.

Aug 6, 2014 at 8:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

@ stuck-record

"Is there anything a climate change supporting scientist can do that would qualify as fraud in the eyes of the world's science and media community?

Seriously, can you think of anything a 'team' member could do that would actually make the Guardian, Royal Society, NYT or BBC stand up and say, "NO! This is criminal. Look everybody in the world, this man is a crook?"

Why, yes, of course there is!

If a team member were to get up and say "I don't think CO2 is really going to cause all that much heating..." he would immediately be excoriated and reviled. Rather like Borg...

Aug 6, 2014 at 8:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

Mike Jackson on Aug 6, 2014 at 1:40 PM

"Pitcher's "academic" (LOL) career says it all. Lancaster is the only half-decent establishment that would let him through its doors."

Lancaster? Half-decent?

Wiki, Phil Jones (climatologist): Jones obtained a B.A. in Environmental Sciences (1973) from the University of Lancaster

Aug 6, 2014 at 10:04 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

A scientific Reformation is in the works. Be this man Martin Luther? Only if he publishes, like Tor did, not just blogs.

http://thoughtsonthingsandstuff.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/95-LDS-Theses.jpg

Aug 7, 2014 at 12:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterNikFromNYC

The question is asked: Can a climate scientist commit fraud?
Not if their hypothesis is non-falsifiable and their techniques immune from review.

Aug 7, 2014 at 9:53 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

"If your experiment needs social psycology, you ought to have done a better experiment."
Ernest Patagon

Aug 7, 2014 at 10:06 AM | Registered CommenterPatagon

I don’t know if Jose Duartes realizes but this by him:

That AGW is true has no inherent implications for policy. For one thing, severity or magnitude will matter. If the warming is only 1° C, that’s a very different scenario than a 6° C change. Global warming is not a dichotomous or binary thing – it’s a matter of degree, in every sense. You need to do some serious work to get from 1) AGW is true, to 2) Do something! We might value economic prosperity more than some increment of climate stasis. We’d also have to establish whether we owe the people of 2100 a very specific band of temperatures, and a very specific range of sea levels — that’s not obvious. We’d have to decide whether government should be an open-ended, unconstrained, intergenerational welfare-maximization engine, or a protector of individual rights on human lifespan timescales. There is a substantial body of evidence detailing the harms of giving government a coercive role in economic life — see public choice theory, rent-seeking, regulatory capture, the knowledge problem, general economics, Hayek, Buchanan, Easterly, Cowen, Mankiw, Caplan, Epstein, the history of the 20th century, etc. (and many economists disagree with them — I’m puzzled why economics isn’t more unified.) There will be deep philosophical and ethical differences on whether we have the right to coerce billions of people for an unclear likelihood of preventing a 2-4 C increase in global mean surface temperatures by 2100. None of this is self-evident — people will disagree. – See more at: http://www.joseduarte.com/#sthash.RQrDM6Cg.dpuf

is enough to get him labelled a climate denier, by the usual suspects. Additionally his position there is near identical to mine..

Aug 7, 2014 at 11:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

The Daily Mash has covered the racism issue is a way that I hope Ben Pitcher will find enlightening,
here

Aug 7, 2014 at 4:33 PM | Unregistered Commentersteveta_uk

Additionally his position there is near identical to mine..

Aug 7, 2014 at 11:03 AM Barry Woods

Mine too actually, I was quite happy with the proposition that increasing CO2 might present a problem that needed to be addressed - until I realise the extent to which the supporting science had been twisted corrupted & spun.

Jose has a way with words, hasn't he? I loved this -

We’d also have to establish whether we owe the people of 2100 a very specific band of temperatures, and a very specific range of sea levels….. and this We’d have to decide whether government should be an open-ended, unconstrained, intergenerational welfare-maximization engine, or a protector of individual rights on human lifespan timescales.

I'm interested in the Georgian period (since my house has a link to a scientist of that era) and I sometimes amuse myself by wondering how things would have turned out if the brightest scientific minds of, say, 1814 had decided to spend a large proportion of their society's resources on solving the problems our society might face in 2014. I find it helps put the climate farce into perspective.

Aug 7, 2014 at 6:25 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

pesadia, thanks for the direction to Jose's "about" page. He seems like a very cool dude - extremely bright and perceptive, and with a great sense of humour to boot. I also liked the fact that he has worked in all sorts of jobs, including day labouring, and that he comes from a far from privileged background. This guy is not some precious flower hothoused in wealth and academia, but a real person. I've bookmarked his blog.

Aug 7, 2014 at 10:18 PM | Registered Commenterjohanna

Cook and Lewandowsky began “the DEBUNKING Handbook“:-

It’s self-evident that democratic societies should base their decisions on accurate information. On many issues, however, misinformation can become entrenched in parts of the community, particularly when vested interests are involved. Reducing the influence of misinformation is a difficult and complex challenge.

Lewandowsky knows the consequences of what he is doing. He is an expert in the area.

Aug 8, 2014 at 2:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

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