Irony Hypocrisy on steroids–UVa plugs new “Open Science Center” while simultaneously keeping Michael Mann’s science notes away from the public

Readers may recall that UVa has spent north of a half million dollars to fight Freedom of Information requests surrounding Dr. Mann and his infamous hockey stick science. – Anthony

News Release
University Communications/Media Relations

New Center for Open Science Designed to Increase Research Transparency, Provide Free Technologies for Scientists

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., March 5, 2013 — Scientific research aims to create knowledge about how the world works. Knowledge accumulates when scientists conduct studies and share their findings with others. Sharing allows other scientists to identify flaws or to extend the findings to get more knowledge.

However, a large portion of scientific research is never shared at all, said Brian Nosek, an associate professor of psychology in the University of Virginia’s College of Arts & Sciences, who is co-founder of the new Center for Open Science, which opens today in Charlottesville.

Funded by a $5.25 million grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the aim of the center is to improve how science in all fields is conducted and communicated, and is the first of its kind.

Center members will build tools to improve the scientific process and promote accurate, transparent findings in scientific research. It also will provide scientists with incentives to conduct original research and to replicate previous studies to verify their accuracy.
“Learning new things is hard, and a single study is not enough to establish new knowledge,” Nosek said. “Important new findings are challenged, replicated and reinterpreted by many independent scientists to confirm their validity. Without openness, science simply cannot operate.”

Nosek founded the center with Jeffrey Spies, a U.Va. graduate student, who said, “The Center for Open Science will encourage openness, accessibility and reproducibility across all phases of the research work flow.”

Leading researchers who study scientific practices are recognizing the center’s importance. John Ioannidis, a professor of medicine in the Stanford University School of Medicine, said, “Improving scientific openness and reproducibility is one of the most pressing issues of this generation of science. I applaud this new initiative and hope that all my colleagues will do their part to make science more accurate and transparent.”

The center’s signature project is the Open Science Framework website. The website allows scientists to easily store and manage research materials, collaborate with others and publicly share their hypotheses and findings. Scientists can register their research designs ahead of conducting a study to improve confidence in the final result.
“When there is a strong hypothesis for a study, registration provides accountability to truth and reduces opportunities to flexibly analyze data in order to produce the result we want rather than the result that we got,” Nosek said.

He said that the Open Science Framework website makes it easier to practice science in an open and transparent manner. “It supports a novel publishing model in which study designs are peer-reviewed before data collection, rather than afterward. Designs are evaluated on the quality of the methods and the importance of the question, rather than the nature of the results.”

The journal Perspectives on Psychological Science, a premier journal of the Association of Psychological Science, has announced adoption of this publishing format for a new type of article reporting simultaneous replications of a single study by multiple research teams.
Perspectives editor Barbara A. Spellman, a U.Va. psychology professor, said, “Some ideas are so important that we should publish high-quality tests of them regardless of the outcome. When multiple labs coordinate with original study designers to do multiple replications, we can learn about the robustness, generalizability and effect sizes of noteworthy research.”

The center already is leading initiatives, such as the Reproducibility Project, to investigate replicability of published results. This open, crowd-sourced study involving more than 100 scientists is conducting replications of studies published in the 2008 issues of three major psychology journals.

Rebecca Saxe, associate professor of cognitive neuroscience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and one of the contributors to the project, said, “This project embodies what I love about science. Scientists seek truth by being persistently self-critical. It is exciting when our findings survive our efforts to poke holes in them. And, when they don’t survive, we learn something new. Knowledge wins either way!”

Stuart Buck, director of research at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, said, “We decided to support the center’s operating costs for an initial four-year period because we believe so strongly in the mission of improving the integrity of scientific scholarship.”
The center’s operations and activities are growing rapidly. Scientists and publishers of academic journals are eligible to receive Center for Open Science grants for replication studies designed to verify the results of important research. Those interested in applying for grants should email the center at contact@centerforopenscience.org.

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The supreme irony would be if Dr. Mann becomes the director of this new center.  In today’s wacky world of climate science, anything is possible, so I don’t discount it.

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35 thoughts on “Irony Hypocrisy on steroids–UVa plugs new “Open Science Center” while simultaneously keeping Michael Mann’s science notes away from the public

  1. Looks like a shot across the bow for their climate science department. Good for them.

    John Ioannidis, a professor of medicine in the Stanford University School of Medicine, said, “Improving scientific openness and reproducibility is one of the most pressing issues of this generation of science. I applaud this new initiative and hope that all my colleagues will do their part to make science more accurate and transparent.”

  2. I got $50.00 that says it isn’t going to work the way it is expected to work with the climate science crew. Right now I have more faith in government transparency, and that’s currently at a negative number on a scale of 1 to 10.

    “Sharing allows other scientists to identify flaws or to extend the findings to get more knowledge.”

  3. Welcome to Animal Farm’s Open Science Center where their “scientists” (yes, scare quotes) are more equal than ours.

    Again, read Jonathan Zittrain’s The Future of the Internet – And How to Stop It, truly open source at http://futureoftheinternet.org/static/ZittrainTheFutureoftheInternet.pdf (~350 pages) predicting the death of the generative web – like at the “Open Science Center” that ain’t. When it’s free on-line, you’re not the customer, you are the product.

  4. “It supports a novel publishing model in which study designs are peer-reviewed before data collection, rather than afterward. Designs are evaluated on the quality of the methods and the importance of the question, rather than the nature of the results.”

    Presumably when a question is very very important scientific method is thrown out the window. Isn’t this the essence of post normal “science”?

  5. Barbara A. Spellman, a U.Va. psychology professor, said,

    “Some ideas are so important that we should publish high-quality tests of them regardless of the outcome. When multiple labs coordinate with original study designers to do multiple replications, we can learn about the robustness, generalizability and effect sizes of noteworthy research.”

    So send half a dozen groups the same climsci model code, have them all run it, and find identical results? How noteworthy would that be?

    Sounds like concensus science at its finest! Methinks UVa is losing it’s grip.

  6. “It supports a novel publishing model in which study designs are peer-reviewed before data collection, rather than afterward….”

    A skeptic might think this could be used to prevent findings contradicting the desired results.

  7. I apologize. The poet in me is making me do this. I did a short rhyme about James Hansen a few weeks ago and have ever since have been beating myself up for writing something so trite about such an “epic” figure. I feel compelled to replace it — with a more epic grade of trite. It is off topic and i will understand if you delete it.

    Old Death Train Hansen –
    Always Good For A Laugh

    More holy-than-thou
    He warns us of Venus
    The only thing now
    That hardens his penis

    He rants at the crowds
    A coot with the hypers
    His mind in the clouds
    A load in his diapers

    He quotes from the Greens
    We work for the many
    Diversity means
    The colors of money

    He quotes from the Reds
    Consensus is dictum
    Good socialist heads
    Are all up one rectum

    His ego is vast
    He’s all global swarming
    His moment won’t last
    There’s no global warming

    Eugene WR Gallun

  8. I believe we shouldn’t dismiss it as a political manoeuvre because UVa is not a single person and is probably not a unanimous cohort. I have seen intra- as well as inter-departmental wars take place at universities like UVa. It would certainly be fun if the same people that were involved in the Mann scandal were doing this; not knowing for sure, I am inclined to judge this project on its merits.

    The replicability of published results is a nasty problem, and it is good to see people try to do something about it. It used to be the norm; now nobody gets funded to replicate somebody else’s results. Peer review and editors’ discretion have made such precautions “unnecessary”.

  9. “There, comrades, is the answer to all our problems. It is summed up in a single word– Mann.” but wait! “Open science center or no open science center, he said, life would go on as it had always gone on–that is, badly.”

  10. Since this will be the Center for Open Science, I’m assuming it means real science. Therefore it cannot include “Climate Science” because we all know “Climate Science” as practiced by Michael Mann and friends is not real science.

  11. Is it just me or does anyone else have a problem with “psychology” being mixed with “science”

    “The center already is leading initiatives, such as the Reproducibility Project, to investigate replicability of published results. This open, crowd-sourced study involving more than 100 scientists is conducting replications of studies published in the 2008 issues of three major psychology journals.”

    Are these guys/gals just trying to cover their “False Positive Study” problems.

    http://www.science20.com/cool-links/fixing_psychology_studies_and_problem_false_positives-84549

    Speaking of UVa and FOI requests, did you see Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II got a ruling on EPA watershed.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/4/epa-will-not-appeal-virginia-stormwater-ruling/

  12. Knowledge accumulates when scientists conduct studies and share their findings with others. Sharing allows other scientists to identify flaws or to extend the findings to get more knowledge.

    Let me fix that for ya.

    Lack of knowledge accumulates when denrochronologists misconduct studies and don’t share their data with others. Not sharing doesn’t allow other scientists to identify flaws or to extend the findings to get more knowledge.

  13. It is also ironic that the Laura and John Arnold foundation funded much of the Center. John was one of the top traders at scandal ridden Enron… if not THE top. He went on to makes billions of dollars (for which I have no problem at all… he was good at what he did) by making MASSIVE speculative trades in the ENERGY MARKETS. So… this Center is already indelibly tainted by grubby “big oil” money.

  14. How odd. Anyone familiar with the parameters of the funding entity and anything else it funded?

    I wonder what they would conclude about my study design of cold fusion based on tree ring research?

  15. “When there is a strong hypothesis for a study, registration provides accountability to truth and reduces opportunities to flexibly analyze data in order to produce the result we want rather than the result that we got,” Nosek said.

    Isn’t the “flexibly to analyze data in order to produce the result we want rather than the result that we got” one of the founding principles of climate science?

  16. I sent them an email, viz:

    Dear friends;

    Your call for transparency in science, coming from the University that has spent millions of dollars hiding Michael Mann’s emails from the people who paid for his “science”, the University that kept a child molester protected in secret for decades, is enough to turn an honest scientist’s stomach. Have you no shame?

    I hate to tell you, but a center with that name will be pointed at and laughed at for decades … you guys really, really need to get your act together before you try to fool people into believing that you represent “Open Science” at Penn State, home of some of the most closed, secretive, non-transparent scientists and administrators on the planet.

    My father was a graduate of Penn State, and I am overjoyed that he did not live to see the cesspit that you have turned it into. He would likely have either turned in his diploma immediately, or just started puking right there on the spot.

    Are you guys really serious about a so-called “Open Science” centre at the heart of Penn State, the acknowledged centre and heart of Closed Science and Closed Administration?

    Really?

    Perhaps so … and if so, I’ll believe it when you take a strong stand for transparency in the Mann case and call for the publication of his emails.

    However, if you don’t, if you play the good little German and don’t say a word … well, I won’t be surprised a bit. People expect that kind of closed ranks and hypocrisy and lack of transparency from you charming Penn State folks, that’s why all those people outside your window are pointing at you and laughing, that’s why your president and university counsel and coach are in disgrace and your favorite employee is in prison and Michael Mann has escaped prosecution but not ignominy … obviously that’s occurred because you Penn State folks are all so heavily into Open Science and open administration and transparency and the like …

    w.

    I was gonna tell them how I really felt, but I held back …

    w.

  17. I’ll believe it when I see it.

    Sounds a bit like:

    If we say CO2 is evil, it is evil.
    If we say Mann is a scientist, he is a scientist.
    If we say our work is transparent, it is transparent.

    “Uh, but don’t look too closely, this is for show only.”

    This is more spin – more lies – unless they tip Mann upside down, shake those emails out of him and HAND THEM OVER.

  18. Willis Eschenbach says:
    March 5, 2013 at 10:49 am

    I sent them an email, viz:

    Dear friends…

    [etc.]

    …I was gonna tell them how I really felt, but I held back …

    *

    Well done, Willis! (Whew, I’m so relieved you held back. /sarc.)

    My guess is, like so much in climate science, this “transparency” is a mask. They know it, you know it, we all know it, but if they say it long enough and often enough, the next generation along might actually believe them.

    The climate science motto ought to be “In Tornadoes We Trust”. You know, Spin, spin and spin again.

    I’d like to be wrong, but they’ll have to hand over those emails to make it so.

  19. “A skeptic might think this could be used to prevent findings contradicting the desired results”

    Exactly what I was thinking. “That’s the wrong question to ask. Don’t bother doing the study…. Oh, you are going to do it anyway? We’ll brand you as not being ‘Open’ and stain your credibility.”
    .

  20. Willis Eschenbach @ 10.49am
    Not wishing to cause an upset, your Email aims at Penn State, whilst this new centre appears to be at UVa – are the two institutions connected in some way us overseas types are not aware of?

    Apart, of course, from Mann’s ‘scientific ghost’ haunting their reputations 8-)

  21. Had a fascinating debate with someone who claimed to be a JPL climate seantist who thought scientific reproducibility did not require production of computer software.

    Given how hard the hockey team fought to hide attrocities like Harry Read Me http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/25/climategate-hide-the-decline-codified/ , be fascinating to see what view the new centre takes on this issue.

    We’ve all seen how much time it takes McIntyre to reproduce the botched science of alarmists – since the computer software is not available, McIntyre not only has to reproduce the experiment from sketchy details to see whether they got it right, he then has to try to work out what mistake they made – a process which would be much easier if the original software was available.

    Even Phil Jones admitted that code and data should probably be shared, but that it isn’t current practice. But hey, if its bad technique, no reason to change it in the climate seance community.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18599-climategate-scientist-questioned-in-parliament.html

  22. Willis Eschenbach says:
    March 5, 2013 at 10:49 am

    “I sent them an email, viz:

    Dear friends;…”
    ______________________
    My my! Our thoughts and words are so closely matched, they would surely think that our emails were the product of the same mind, except I sent mine to the Alpaca Growers Association, instead.
    /

  23. “registration provides accountability to truth”

    There’s a fun phrase: I wonder what it means.

  24. “…when scientists conduct studies and share their findings with others.”

    This should read “when scientists conduct studies and share their findings,data and methods with others.

  25. Anybody got a problem using “science” and “psychology” in the same sentence ?

    Yeah, I got a HUGE problem with these psy-ops science posers pretended solution to anything and i’m not alone. Consider this legislation by Senator Duncan Scott, passed by both houses of the New Mexico legislature, only to be vetoed by the governor at the request of the trial lawyers association.

    “Proclaimed that when a psycholgist or psychiatrist testifies during a defendants competency hearing, the psychologist or psychiatrist shall wear a cone shaped hat not less than two feet tall. The surface of the hat shall be imprinted with stars and lightning bolts. He shall don a white beard no less than eighteen inches in length and shall punctuate critical elements of his testimony by stabbing the air with a wand and the bailiff shall dim the courtroom lights and administer two strikes of a Chinese gong.”

    This law should be extended to cover the Clima-clownologist. Court whores and government grant whores have much in common.

  26. mikemUK says:
    March 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Willis Eschenbach @ 10.49am
    Not wishing to cause an upset, your Email aims at Penn State, whilst this new centre appears to be at UVa – are the two institutions connected in some way us overseas types are not aware of?

    Apart, of course, from Mann’s ‘scientific ghost’ haunting their reputations 8-)

    Egad, my bad, you are 100% right and I was 100% wrong. I get the villains mixed up sometimes, hard to tell the players apart without jersey numbers …

    w.

  27. They sort of had me thinking this might be a worthwhile exercise until I got to the bit about the editor of Perspectives on Psychological Science (!).

    There ain’t so such animal as “psychological science.”

    Still, the very reputable John Ioannidis, who has written extensively about junk science in the medical research field, is taking an interest. Let’s hope he keeps their feet to the fire.

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