Lewandowsky’s big ‘conspiracy theory’ seems to be more about his own actions

Steve McIntyre writes:
Lewandowsky Ghost-wrote Conclusions of UWA Ethics Investigation into “Hoax”

Following the retraction of Lewandowsky’s Fury, the validity of University of Western Australia ethics “investigations” is again in the news. At present, we have negligible information on the University’s investigation into Fury, but we do have considerable (previously unanalysed) information on their earlier and illusory “investigation” into prior complaints about the ethics application for Moon Landing Hoax (“Hoax”).

This earlier “investigation” (recently cited at desmog here and Hot Whopper here) supposedly found that the issues that I had raised in October 2012 were “baseless” and that the research in Hoax was “conducted in compliance with all applicable ethical guidelines”.

However, these conclusions were not written by a university investigation or university official but by Lewandowsky himself and simply transferred to university letterhead by UWA Deputy Vice Chancellor Robyn Owens within minutes after Lewandowsky had sent her language that was acceptable to him.

In today’s post, I’ll set out a detailed chronology of these remarkable events.

The Ethics Application for Hoax
Simon Turnill originally discovered and reported the machinations of Lewandowsky’s ethics application for Lewandowsky’s Hoax (noted up at CA here).

Hoax was published under the supposed authority of the University’s ethics permit RA/4/1/4007, a permit which had been originally issued for an entirely unrelated project under which pedestrians in Perth were interviewed about their “understanding of statistical trends in time series data”. The original ethics application included an ethics checklist, which, according to Australian policy, included the following question whether the research involved any deception or concealment: “Does the research involve active concealment of information from participants and/or planned deception of participants”. To which Lewandowsky answered “NO”.

By August 2010, Lewandowsky had become bored with the time series project and instead wanted to show that skeptics were conspiracy theorists. Instead of interviewing pedestrians in downtown Perth about trends, Lewandowsky wanted to do an internet survey about conspiracy theories.

Lewandowsky’s new project was so different from the existing approval that many important sections of the existing application ceased to apply (even the purpose of the study as stated in the original application no longer applied.) But instead of filing a new ethics approval for the entirely different project, Lewandowsky chose instead to pass off the new project as merely an amendment to his existing project, falsely assuring the ethics administrator in an amendment request that the survey would only be “modified slightly”:

read more: http://climateaudit.org/2014/03/24/lewandowsky-ghost-wrote-conclusions-of-uwa-ethics-investigation-into-hoax/

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60 Responses to Lewandowsky’s big ‘conspiracy theory’ seems to be more about his own actions

  1. Stephen Richards says:

    The greenie beenies would do well to remember the old sayings when it comes to Steve Mc. You know, like “let sleeping dogs lie, Don’t poke the bear, light the blue touch paper and run for cover”. You have to admire SteveMc. There is no-one like him on the blogs or in academia.

  2. KNR says:

    Hands up anyone that is surprised?
    Makes you wonder how settled , ‘settled science’ has to come before such smoke ,mirrors and BS are not needed.

  3. Colorado Wellington says:

    I just finished reading the remainder at Climate Audit. Disgusting but not surprising. What can anyone add?

    Maybe what Reagan said—after provoking “audible gasps” of assembled Washington press corps by accurately describing the Soviet Union’s Marxist-Leninist approach to morality. At the end of his 1981 press conference he asked Richard Allen, his National Security Advisor:

    “But Dick, the Soviets do lie and steal and cheat, don’t they?”

    “Yes sir, they do,” Allen replied. Reagan smiled and said, “I thought so.”

  4. rogerknights says:

    Pal review at work. Wackademia at work. A view into a sewer from a glass-bottomed boat.

  5. philjourdan says:

    I guess they will get away with it in the short term, just as Mann has. But in the long run, how many people seek to emulate Lysenko?

    Scratch that. Apparently many do – in climate science and University ethics apparently (the new oxymoron – University Ethics).

  6. David Jones says:

    I wonder if anyone at Bristol University is reading this!

  7. Colorado Wellington says:

    rogerknights says:
    March 24, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    A view into a sewer from a glass-bottomed boat.

    Heh. A theme for a Josh cartoon? Skipper Steve McIntyre in a HazMat suit navigating his boat through the stench-filled University of Western Australia?

  8. Swiss Bob says:

    It does of course make complete sense in the modern world.

    An ethics department that knows nothing about ethics.

  9. evanmjones says:

    Too funny. No wonder these guys think we-all are conspiring against them. Projection much? #B^)

    Yet it must be nice to have a tame ethics committee at your disposal. In these litigious times, you never know when you may need one. Anyone know where I can pick one up? Ebay, maybe?

  10. Justthinkin says:

    Morals…the set of principles in me that tells me it is not all right to have an affair with my son’s wife.
    Ethics….the set of man-made principles that say it is not all right to have an affair with my son’s wife if there is a chance of getting caught.

  11. Doug UK says:

    Bristol University must be wondering what the hell it has done……………………..

  12. Johna Till Johnson says:

    As I noted over at CA…. To paraphrase the late, great, Leona Helmsley… “Ethics are for the little people”. Perhaps UWA needs a new motto….

  13. Colorado Wellington says:

    Justthinkin says:
    March 24, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Ethics….the set of man-made principles that say it is not all right to have an affair with my son’s wife if there is a chance of getting caught.

    From reading the UWA paper trail it’s more like it is not all right to have an affair with my son’s wife if I can ghost-write a letter for my son to sign stating that he’s fine with me having an affair with her because he previously agreed that I can take her and the kids to an amusement park and this is all well within the scope of the original approval.

    Or something like that. Not being a real UWA ethicist I’m just making it up as I go.

  14. 03alwi says:

    What makes Lewandowsky’s approach any different than his friends in silk jackets? Moral decay is the killer of ethics.

  15. Col Mosby says:

    Lew’s silly effort reeks of ad hominem, irregardless of everything else.

  16. pokerguy says:

    “Too funny. No wonder these guys think we-all are conspiring against them. Projection much?”
    ****
    Comment of the day. Too funny indeed.

  17. Colorado Wellington says:

    … oh, and keeping in mind the university’s broader interdependencies I will also work with my son to make sure that his boyfriend’s mother doesn’t find out about any of this and stop financially supporting our family’s drug use.

  18. KNR says:

    Doug UK s Bristol University must be wondering what the hell it has done…
    yes but can you imagine how easy a life his students have , the rubbish they must get away with in their work in their attempts to keep up with his ‘standards ‘

  19. Theo Goodwin says:

    “However, these conclusions were not written by a university investigation or university official but by Lewandowsky himself and simply transferred to university letterhead by UWA Deputy Vice Chancellor Robyn Owens within minutes after Lewandowsky had sent her language that was acceptable to him.”

    So, Owens lied on behalf of Lewandowsky or he lied to her and the result appeared on a formal document issued by the university. Strikes me as a pretty serious matter.

  20. Nigel S says:

    A Marxist conspiracy

    “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.”
    Groucho Marx

  21. Ursus Augustus says:

    Now we see the true nature of the Lewny’s ethics, his honestry, his obsession. He is not just a garden variety fraud IMO but can bow be classified under the recently devolved species of fundamentalist nut job, an “ecoli-er” which seems to be to academia what golden staph is to hospitals.

  22. Oldseadog says:

    Seems as if Loo ( sorry, Lew) is on a bit of a paper roll at the moment.
    (Sorry Josh.)

  23. charles nelson says:

    I have several friends who are academics and have given me vivid accounts of the sycophancy, treachery, bullying, gossiping and backstabbing that characterise the social setting of most university departments.
    Although he’s not the sharpest tool in the box, deep down Lew knows that everyone in his academic circle is feasting on the detail in Steve’s pieces. They’re reading about the poor quality of the work, his little tricks and deceptions….discussing it amongst themselves smiling benignly and saying nothing when they meet Lew’s gaze.
    Imagine being Lew.
    I’m betting that right now he wishes that he’d never met Cookie.

  24. ROM says:

    rogerknights says:
    March 24, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    “A view into a [ an ivory towered, academic ] sewer from a glass-bottomed boat”.
    ____________________
    What a very apt metaphor for what is increasingly being seen by the public who are forced to pay for the contents of the academic sewer as now being the norm for much of ivory towered academia and climate science today.
    My complete contempt for what was once one of the most respected institutions of our world of the past, those great University centres of learning and knowledge is rapidly being reinforced by an increasing number of revelations of quite marked academic corruption and power wielding by the new emerging phenomena of a powerful, increasingly corrupt and manipulative academic Mafiosa, secure in their carefully protected havens of the ivory towered universities.

    Those newly emerged academic Mafiosa have all the traits of the real world mafiosa with their control of so much of the science of the universities, the ruthless elimination and neutering of any alternatives or opposition at any level to their agendas, the quite deliberate manipulation of the political system, the quite marked and arrogantly open grasping of as much of the tax payer’s wealth as they can achieve, the endless pursuit for ever more power and influence and the total contempt for the little people out there on the streets and factories and farms who they have come to believe are merely there to do their bidding and to endlessly pay for the ivory tower protected academic Mafiosa’s agenda’s and salubrious life styles.

  25. Truth Disciple says:

    Justthinkin you are a perv. What’s she look like?

  26. Gary Hladik says:

    Colorado Wellington says (March 24, 2014 at 1:46 pm): “Or something like that. Not being a real UWA ethicist I’m just making it up as I go.”

    Um, how is that different from a “real” UWA ethicist? :-)

  27. “take a look at how arstechnica is spinning the papers retraction: http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/03/journal-pulls-paper-due-to-legal-context-created-by-climate-contrarians/

    Boy they are in high dudgeon over there. As best I can determine:

    – All climate skeptics are nuts.
    – It is *impossible* to do poor science when your work is alarmist.
    – Rational thinking is verboten. See the first two statements above.
    – Any insult of a skeptic is OK, since they are ALL agents of big oil, big phama, Monsanto, et al.
    – And ANY response to an insult-such-as-Lew-paper verifies the nuttiness of the skeptic.

    Completely absent from the ArsTechnica paper and discussion is the fact that the research is wholly bogus. But never let science and facts get in the way of religion …. for the CAUSE. I guess I’d be an alarmist also if someone could convince me that there is one whiff of ‘science’ behind the alarm. Until that time, I’ll get my marching orders from Steve McIntyre and WUWT. I, of course, can’t think for myself. Because I’m nuts. Or so Lew says …

  28. DCA says:

    Top post @ sks.
    “Climate Science Legal Defense Fund Needs Your Help!”

    The boys are running in fear.

  29. more soylent green! says:

    Post Normal Ethics?

  30. clipe says:

    Today’s note pertains only to the ethics approval of Hoax. The circumstances surrounding the ethics application for Fury are much worse and will be discussed separately.

    This is better than Cornation Street

  31. Streetcred says:

    March 24, 2014 at 2:12 pm |Theo Goodwin says:

    So, Owens lied on behalf of Lewandowsky or he lied to her and the result appeared on a formal document issued by the university. Strikes me as a pretty serious matter.

    Looks like the resignation of Owens is in order.

  32. Colorado Wellington says:

    Gary Hladik says:
    March 24, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Colorado Wellington says (March 24, 2014 at 1:46 pm): “Or something like that. Not being a real UWA ethicist I’m just making it up as I go.”

    Um, how is that different from a “real” UWA ethicist? :-)

    They get paid for the rot.

  33. George Daddis says:

    The Mann principle:
    If it brings in more $ and publicity to the University, it is beyond criticism.

  34. Skiphil says:

    Please, don’t anyone dare call Stephan Lewandowsky “the Jerry Sandusky of climate psychology”

    … and don’t call any of UWA’s miscreant officials “the Graham Spanier of university administration”

    Most definitely do not come up with any “State Pen” type demeaning jokes about the esteemed, distinguished “University of Western Australia” …. perhaps “University for Weak-minded Australians” (no offense intended for Australians with healthy ethical standards)

  35. Theo Goodwin says:

    ROM says:
    March 24, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Very well said. The Mafia just might offer the organizational blueprint for the future. It would differ from the Mafia because it would control thought in addition to behavior.

  36. RoyFOMR says:

    Repost from a comment I made at BishopHill:
    Just checked Dana 97% Guardian blog thread where he,and his good buddies are pushing the line that Dr Lew was ethically sound, factually perfect but let down by cowardly journalists.
    There’s two posts (PythMontagne -23rd March 23:51and UnripeWatermelon -21:51) pointing out the SMc post.
    What’s the bet that these posts will fall foul of Community rules?
    For posterity:PythMontagne
    24 Mar 2014 23:51

    1
    2
    Guardian Pick
    McIntyre just dropped another bomb on Lewandowsky and it’s a beaut:

    http://climateaudit.org/2014/03/24/lewandowsky-ghost-wrote-conclusions-of-uwa-ethics-investigation-into-hoax/

    Report

    UnripeWatermelon
    24 Mar 2014 21:51

    4
    5
    Guardian Pick
    Here’s an update – Lewandowsky Ghost-wrote Conclusions of UWA Ethics Investigation into “Hoax”.

    You’re never going to convince the general pulic by lying and fudging the data all the time. It’s no wonder why scepticism is constantly increasing and “global warming” is considered a non-issue

    ==========
    Place your bets now, Ladies and Gentlemen.
    Here’s the link for WUWT readers. Select Newest Replies first:
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/mar/21/contrarians-bully-climate-change-journal-retraction#comments

  37. Skiphil says:

    Ethics????

    Integrity????

    Peter Gleick, Michael Mann, Stephan Lewandowsky, Phil Jones, Lord Oxburgh, Muir Russell, John Cook, Graham Spanier, et al.

    etc. etc. etc.

    Can there be any descent into shameless self-aggrandizing ***deceit*** which will shock the consciences of their fellow Alarmists??

    Is there anything out of bounds for such people???

    When will their fervent allies begin to realize that such charlatans are indeed bad for “The Cause”???

  38. Skiphil says:

    Perhaps Bristol University can raise funds to create the Peter Gleick Distinguished Chair in Climate Ethics.

    Lewandowsky can be the first to hold this position.

    Ironically, Bristol leads its website with this statement:

    “The University is internationally renowned, ranked in the top 30 universities globally (QS World University Rankings), due to its outstanding teaching and research, its superb facilities and highly talented students and staff.”

    Tip-top research university, but they forgot to mention ethics and integrity, so all is well.

  39. jones says:

    Nigel S

    You made me splutter my tea over the keyboard…..

    Ta….

  40. John Whitman says:

    Ahhh, Lew’sky, Lew’sky, Lew’sky . . . .

    . . . pretty soon the only place you will be welcomed is at the AGU . . .

    John

  41. hunter says:

    Peter Gleick did at least as much sleazy stuff, admitted to it and got promoted for his sleaziness, since it was in the cause of AGW hype.
    This latest bit low class Lew’s behavior may get him an endowed seat at some school seeking to make it clear that they are on the side of the most extreme positions on AGW currently available.

  42. RobRoy says:

    more soylent green! says:
    March 24, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    “Post Normal Ethics?”

    Yes indeed.
    In a well “diversified” organization, Each “diverse” individual comes with his own, relative version of ethics.
    In “post-modern” (post-normal) times groups need only be diverse.
    If not diverse, the group is immoral and unethical. Their product is tainted already.
    Any groups’ behavior and output are justified and qualified by diversity alone.
    Ethics are an anachronism,
    There’s no longer a place for these relativistic ideas in a post-modern, diverse world. (loony farm)

  43. Clay Marley says:

    It appears no one at the university have any morals with any basis, so just what is the point of having an ethics policy? If the policy reflected the truth it would simply state “The end justifies the means.”

    There is also a moral value that leftists lack, which says policy documents, and constitutions for that matter, have meaning and value. In reality they are seen as fiat documents. Like fiat currency, they have only whatever value they think they have at that moment.

  44. KenB says:

    I am profoundly ashamed of the Australian officials that have involved themselves in this deception and travesty. I wish to publically disassociate myself due the lowest of low ethical standards connived under the name of the University of Western Australia.

    Shame, shame, and my earnest hope that those involved will be called to account, otherwise ethics and this University becomes just another convenient casualty in a path of lies and deceit that is bringing down the good name of Science and the scientific method.

  45. rogerknights says:

    Lewdoscience

  46. rogerknights says:

    This whitewash’s dirty laundry reveals, to a social psychologist, a knee-jerk us-vs-them mindset, plus a slipshod and overweening arrogance. This mindset seems to be general throughout academia and “mainstream” climatology (e.g., see the stonewalling by a college in Albany, NY in defense of one of its employees who apparently fudged UHI data). In light of this revelation, it is easier to discount the “findings” of other whitewashes, such as those of the Team and Mann in Britain and the US, as similar instances of naughty-haughtiness.

  47. Cold in Wisconsin says:

    The only ethics that they need follow, indeed that they recognize as valid is “the end justifies the means.” That is always the way with true crusaders. The pity is that it is so entrenched in every discipline from sports to business to government, and of course even religion, that the public rarely objects.

  48. William McClenney says:

    We Tarzan! Lew CHEATah!

  49. NikFromNYC says:

    More and more legal ammo is being now freely handed to skeptics as the debate starts to play out in real courts of law and real official inquires by governments that include 50% opposition to contemporary corrupt leftism. Mark Steyn just hired a team of new lawyers now that he has rejected the pacifism of The New Republic magazine:
    http://www.steynonline.com/6201/what-kind-of-fool-am-i

    A pattern of bumbling deception that has been defended instead of rooted out by mainstream climate “science” is a great gift to the upcoming skeptical legal argument, though the American Physical society may pull the plug on the whole mess first. Such Peter Gleick and Marcott 2013 moments are exactly why they are feeling the heat.

  50. Goldie says:

    Yes, I went to the blog with the thought that perhaps he was able to understand that his paper was, without the appropriate qualifications, insulting to a number of serious scientists who have reasonable doubts in regards to the overall human induced global warming meme. I got to the front page with all that insulting cr*p about “denialists” and then the mind numbingly stupid thing about the number of hiroshima bombs and I very quickly realised that it was actually his full intent to insult and slander anybody who didn’t agree with him and his non-scientific view of global warming – after all he is not a scientist in any way shape or form so how would he know whether what he promulgates in such a smug self serving manner is any more fact than a Walt Disney film – come to think of it that’s probably where he got most of his information.

    The man is an utter disgrace and with that in mind, I would warn all free thinking people away from his blog. Don’t give him credence and certainly don’t give him numbers. His is a particularly vile form of thought fascism that would quench any view apart from his.

    Unfortunately whoever was/is holding his leash at UWA seems to be incapable of understanding how badly he has misused their processes and thereby brought the University into disrepute. This is a shame because UWA produces some damn good graduates who appear to be encouraged to think critically and carefully about the issues in front of them. Having people on the campus who promulgate an approach like Lewandowsky’s can only do damage to that high standard.

  51. Owen in GA says:

    @NikFromNYC:
    Steyn wrote for the National Review, which is a very different magazine than the New Republic – diametrically opposite even. Were you perhaps making a funny about their cowardice in the trial perhaps?

  52. pottereaton says:

    Steve McIntyre has posted a request at ClimateAudit:

    In earlier incidents, readers of various blogs piled onto early criticism of Lewandowsky and submitted a number of complaints that generally were too angry and poorly focused. These were easily dismissed by the University and built up resistance, diminishing the effectiveness of my own complaint.

    Unless readers feel that they are in a position to file documents that are at least as good as mine, I would prefer that they not contact the University. This would be worth conveying to WUWT readers as well.

    http://climateaudit.org/2014/03/24/lewandowsky-ghost-wrote-conclusions-of-uwa-ethics-investigation-into-hoax/#comment-523113

  53. Dodgy Geezer says:

    …What a very apt metaphor for what is increasingly being seen by the public who are forced to pay for the contents of the academic sewer as now being the norm for much of ivory towered academia and climate science today…

    I won’t have you knocking sewers! They are vital to today’s modern city living, and primarily responsible for the huge increase in life expectancy and improvement in disease management we experience today. Designed and operated by real and heroic engineers, they are a fundamental service we rely on every hour of the day.

    Climate science, on the other hand, is rather like dumping in your own drinking water….

  54. kim says:

    Ars Technica showed their Naked Arse.
    ===========

  55. dbstealey says:

    Stephen Richards says:

    “You have to admire SteveMc. There is no-one like him on the blogs or in academia.”

    True dat. Steve always has his ducks in a row.

    From the article:

    …these conclusions were not written by a university investigation or university official but by Lewandowsky himself and simply transferred to university letterhead by UWA Deputy Vice Chancellor Robyn Owens within minutes after Lewandowsky had sent her language that was acceptable to him.

    I am truly astonished — and it takes a lot to astonish me these days, being so jaded by the rampant dishonesty always emanating from universities and the media.

    The cure is to simply have a polite but adversarial setting, where both sides are heard.

    But that is the very LAST thing any of these dishonest reprobates would ever allow. Because giving people a chance to think for themselves with all the facts presented would truly be a stake in the heart of that immense propaganda machine; a propaganda machine unwillingly supported and paid for by you and me.

  56. 3x2 says:

    However, these conclusions were not written by a university investigation or university official but by Lewandowsky himself and simply transferred to university letterhead by UWA Deputy Vice Chancellor Robyn Owens within minutes after Lewandowsky had sent her language that was acceptable to him.

    Shocked. Shocked I tell you. Another whitewashed ‘investigation’ (does this even qualify as whitewash when the ‘defendant’ plainly gets to write his own not guilty verdict?) by a Uni more concerned with cash inflow than the quality of work outflow.

    The problem I see here is the same one many recognised during the Climategate ‘investigations’. Uni of Easy Access setting up its own ‘investigations’ and finding itself ‘not guilty’. Yup – I’m convinced.

    In the middle of the two ended burning candle, I do wonder what actual climate investigators do when another ‘Lew’ joins the cause and gets him/her self some ‘publicity’. Pants on fire Gleick, Bob Ward, several Poison Dwarfs and dozens of other miscellaneous dross. Do actual ‘climate investigators’ smash their heads into the monitor as they read another ‘Lewpaper’?

    No surprise that an increasing number of people are ‘sceptical’ of the ’cause/movement’. The problem for genuine scientists is surely that they are linked with an increasing pile of ‘Lewpaper’ and nobody believes them any more simply because they are linked with ‘LewPaper’.

    A shame for those that have spent their career dealing with ‘climate facts’ that they are now ‘branded’, by association, with ‘soft science’. People who believe that ‘Diana was killed by blah blah …” has something to do with ‘climate’. And worse, believe that their ‘peer reviewed paper’ helps the cause.

    With yet another exposure of the ‘academic world’ and the real nonsense of ‘peer review’ for what they are, we believe even less in ‘science’ than we did yesterday.

    Well done Lew. I’m sure that real Scientists (investigating Climate) everywhere are creating monuments to you already.

    For those not familiar with this individual… ‘independent scientist’

    Well, I rest my case.

  57. 3x2 says:

    …. Creepy, isn’t he?

  58. Hot under the collar says:

    “Lewandowsky Ghost-wrote Conclusions of UWA Ethics Investigation into “Hoax””

    Is ‘Skippy’ the chair of their ethics committee?

  59. DirkH says:

    It’s funny. Every time I hear of an ethicist he turns out to be a lying totalitarian scumbag.

    Wikipedia says this
    “An ethicist is one whose judgment on ethics and ethical codes has come to be trusted by a specific community, and (importantly) is expressed in some way that makes it possible for others to mimic or approximate that judgement. Following the advice of ethicists is one means of acquiring knowledge (see argument , argument from authority).”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethicist

    That’s a funny way to put it.

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