Frontiers fires back again on the hype surrounding Lewandowsky’s retracted Recursive Fury paper

Readers may recall some ethics objections I raised in my complaint letter to UWA and Psychological Science, and also sent to Frontiers. It seems Frontiers agrees.

This statement was posted on their website today:
===========================================================

Rights of Human Subjects in Scientific Papers

The retracted Recursive Fury paper has created quite a blogger and twitter storm. A sensational storm indeed, with hints to conspiracy theories, claims of legal threats and perceived contradictions. It has been fury – one of the strongest human emotions – that has (perhaps understandably at first sight) guided the discussion around this retraction. Not surprisingly though, the truth is not as sensational and much simpler.

The studied subjects were explicitly identified in the paper without their consent. It is well acknowledged and accepted that in order to protect a subject’s rights and avoid a potentially defamatory outcome, one must obtain the subject’s consent if they can be identified in a scientific paper. The mistake was detected after publication, and the authors and Frontiers worked hard together for several months to try to find a solution. In the end, those efforts were not successful. The identity of the subjects could not be protected and the paper had to be retracted. Frontiers then worked closely with the authors on a mutually agreed and measured retraction statement to avoid the retraction itself being misused. From the storm this has created, it would seem we did not succeed.

For Frontiers, publishing the identities of human subjects without consent cannot be justified in a scientific paper. Some have argued that the subjects and their statements were in the public domain and hence it was acceptable to identify them in a scientific paper, but accepting this will set a dangerous precedent. With so much information of each of us in the public domain, think of a situation where scientists use, for example, machine learning to cluster your public statements and attribute to you personality characteristics, and then name you on the cluster and publish it as a scientific fact in a reputable journal. While the subjects and their statements were public, they did not give their consent to a public psychological diagnosis in a scientific study. Science cannot be abused to specifically label and point out individuals in the public domain.

It is most unfortunate that this particular incident was around climate change, because climate change is a very serious threat for human civilization. But the importance of the subject matter does not justify abandoning our principles.

Frontiers’ core mission is to improve peer review. One principle that we follow is that scientific publishing should sit in the hands of scientists. Frontiers implements this principle by supporting scientists to operate the peer-review process from the beginning to the end. Frontiers remains faithful to this mission, despite the risks that comes with it. We will stay the course because we fundamentally believe that authors should bear the full responsibility of submitting papers with the highest standards and that scientists should bear the full responsibility of deciding what science is published. After publication, the community is engaged and a post-publication review naturally follows. Post-publication review is facilitated by the Frontiers’ commenting and social networking platforms. This process may reveal fundamental errors or issues that go against principles of scholarly publishing. Like all other journals, Frontiers seriously investigates any well-founded complaints or allegations, and retraction only happens in cases of absolute necessity and only after extensive analysis. For the paper in question, the issue was clear, the analysis was exhaustive, all efforts were made to work with the authors to find a solution and we even worked on the retraction statement with the authors. But there was no moral dilemma from the start – we do not support scientific publications where human subjects can be identified without their consent.
Henry Markram
Editor-in-Chief, Frontiers

Source:

http://www.frontiersin.org/blog/Rights_of_Human_Subjects_in_Scientific_Papers/830

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130 Responses to Frontiers fires back again on the hype surrounding Lewandowsky’s retracted Recursive Fury paper

  1. Col Mosby says:

    So Frontiers claims to be a qualified authority on climate change and declares it to be a big danger. Perhaps if they knew that climate change is no longer around, they would have a different opinion. Probably not. They go where the grant money goes.

  2. ddpalmer says:

    I would like to congratulate Mr. Markam and ‘Frontiers’ for taking a well justified and ethical position, AND then standing behind that position. If more journals and scientists display such adherence to the truth and ethics (in all areas, not just climate science) the world would be a better place.

  3. geronimo says:

    So Lewandowsky knew why Frontiers retracted the paper but failed to tell his friends at SkS who then told the world they’d been withdrawn because of threats of legal action. Nice man, nice people.

  4. Generic Geologist says:

    Meh… they lost me at : “It is most unfortunate that this particular incident was around climate change, because climate change is a very serious threat for human civilization.”

    Whether the topic is climate change or the mating habits of the Slovenian Three-toed tree lemming is irrelevant. The larger issue was that Lewandowsky tried to ramrod a paper through that was poorly conceived and unethical.

  5. Taphonomic says:

    Frontiers writes: “…the importance of the subject matter does not justify abandoning our principles.”

    Lew, Dana, McKewon, Mann, et al. disagree.

    (On the other hand you have to have some principles before you can abandon them.)

  6. chris y says:

    “Science cannot be abused to specifically label and point out individuals in the public domain.”

    Fortunately, since catastrophic anthropogenic climate change is not science, it is in no danger of violating this position.
    :-)

  7. commieBob says:

    “But there was no moral dilemma from the start – we do not support scientific publications where human subjects can be identified without their consent.”

    Good point! I assume UWA has an ethics committee, how did this get past them?

  8. John says:

    Frontiers certainly got one of the primary issues right. And congrats to them, even if it is for simply following their ethical guidelines. That might not sound like much, but it seems that a lot of folks don’t follow their guidelines these days.

    But from Steve McIntyre and others have found, the actual research was both deceptive and wrong (they seem to have gotten lots of their conspiracy stuff from climate friendly websites). The original paper is still up at Western Australia U.

    How do we get a full investigation of the way the paper was done? With the paper still up, there are going to be plenty of people still thinking that people who don’t agree with the IPCC and our President might be wacko.

    Unless the paper is investigated in an open forum by reputable people, I don’t know how this will change. Perhaps only Australia can now do this?

  9. philincalifornia says:

    It would help if they would specify if they’re talking about actual climate change or bogus climate change for the reader to decide whether or not to take them seriously.

  10. Col Mosby says:

    Frontiers apparently had no problem with the fact that the paper was a survey conducted by
    a person clearly antagonistic towards his subjects and who clearly selected them in a fashion inconsistent with his announced intent.

  11. Greg says:

    Very clear and honest position. h/t to Frontiers for their integrity on this.

    It is clearly unacceptable to use the scientific literature to slag off your political opponents.

    None of this paper was about science , it was a pretence and a farce, whose primary aim was defamation.

    I’m sure that Frontiers will be quietly asking themselves why this did not get picked up and thrown out during review process.

    ” It is most unfortunate that this particular incident was around climate change, because climate change is a very serious threat for human civilization. ”

    Well they got that wrong but then they’re psychology journal not a physical science journal.

    The truth is , if it was not “around climate change” it would never have been written because the aim of this paper was everything about the politics of climate and nothing about psychology.

    Perhaps they will be more circumspect next time Lew tries to sneak gutter snipe into their journal.

  12. timg56 says:

    RE: Generic Geologist ‘s reference to Slovenian Three-toed tree lemmings.

    Ain’t no such creature. It is poor form to insinuate that non-existent creatures are part of Slovenia’s ecology. Now, had you referenced three-toed woodpecker’s, you would have been on sound scirntific ground.

  13. chris y says:

    “Frontiers’ core mission is to improve peer review.”

    Interesting. One of the reviewers of Lewandowsky’s paper was a journalism graduate student.

    Does the Journal consider this choice to be an improvement over peer review found in other journals?

    Or, does the Journal consider this choice to be an improvement in matching the expertise of the reviewing peer to the expertise of the researcher?

    :-)

  14. Scorp1us says:

    “With so much information of each of us in the public domain, think of a situation where scientists use, for example, machine learning to cluster your public statements and attribute to you personality characteristics, and then name you on the cluster and publish it as a scientific fact in a reputable journal.”

    This is what the NSA is doing with our meta data. Though, the “reputable journals” are all secret government lists.

  15. Speed says:

    It has been fury – one of the strongest human emotions …

    Fury is an emotion?

  16. Gary says:

    “Frontiers’ core mission is to improve peer review.”

    Huh? How are they doing this? This episode may have alerted the editors to be more scrupulous when publishing by making sure some ethical rules are followed, but how does this improve peer review? This statement is mere hand-waving. Improving peer review would involve developing a rigorous process to check data, references, analysis methods, and statistical tests of submitted papers. It would involve developing a stable of reviewers without ties to the author(s) or sympathies biased toward conclusions. It would involve review procedures that are open and transparent to third parties. It would involve guidelines for criticisms and suggesting improvements of submissions.

    If Frontiers is really means what it said, then let’s see the plan for doing these things.

  17. timg56 says:

    I am still having trouble understanding how either the Fury or Moon Hoax paper could possibly be considered as being of sufficient scientific quality to deserve publication in the first place, regardless of any ethical issues.

  18. Alan the Brit says:

    Well, I know there are risks & risks & all that, as a humble structural engineer I am well aware of risk. However, psychiatrists & psychologists who go around pronouncing this fruit loop or that nut job is fit to re-enter society, where they commit yet another rape, violent assault, murder, & some ordinary decent citizen is deprived of their liberty either temporarily, or worse, permanently, are a law unto themselves. IMHO, they frequently get it wrong more often than they get it right. My daughter’s boyfriend’s father suffered from mental problems for many years, they got worse after he divorced the mother. He suffered from long bouts of depression, & had attempted suicide twice. A few years ago, he became ill once again, this time being sectioned under the UK mental health act. His son & daughter both visited him regularly. On several occasions the father talked of knowing exactly how to behave like a perfect patient to enable him to gain his freedom, & thus kill himself at will. He never really improved, but the son & daughter reported these conversations to the psychiatrists every time it was mentioned by the father that he knew exactly how to behave. The “experts” just told the son & daughter that their father was responding well to treatment & counselling, totally ignoring the pleas from the two children, eventually informing them that they were considering releasing the father back into the community as he was no longer deemed at risk, by the “experts”. Despite being told by the two offspring repeatedly what the father said, they were so “expert” they totally disregarded them. The father was released in the following month after 9 weeks detention. He was dead within the week, the time, place, & means were all pre-planned whilst still detained as it turned out, the “experts” had no idea! The inquest almost a year later took a rather dim view of the experts! Just an observation, that’s all, & a rather costly one at that!

  19. Jimbo says:

    The mistake was detected after publication, and the authors and Frontiers worked hard together for several months to try to find a solution. In the end, those efforts were not successful. The identity of the subjects could not be protected and the paper had to be retracted.

    A solution could not be found because the authors WANTED the identities of the subjects to be known. It was a smear paper aimed at shutting down the debate and discouraging people from being sceptical. The problem is you would be smearing a large number of the population who are sick to death of the climate con job.

    Why can’t someone be sceptical about the projected high range of warming from the IPCC without being called names? 1.5C is as good as 4C, nobody has a damned idea what the temperature will be in 2100. If nobody knows then there is a debate and doubts are fair game. Just look at the failed projections of the previous IPCC reports, not good.

  20. Bloke down the pub says:

    Col Mosby says:
    April 11, 2014 at 8:32 am

    And

    Generic Geologist says:
    April 11, 2014 at 8:36 am
    Meh… they lost me at : “It is most unfortunate that this particular incident was around climate change, because climate change is a very serious threat for human civilization.”

    Well they did say it was a threat. I, for example, could make a threat to nuke Tehran, but seeing as I don’t possess a nuclear weapon the threat would be hollow. There is a threat of climate change, but on inspection that too turns out to have little validity.

  21. Ken Hall says:

    Nothing about the fact that the actual diagnosis was utterly false and created from a fraudulent process of pre-loading due to sending the questionnaire to alarmist blogs in order to create the pre-designed outcome and a refusal of the researchers to share that data then?

    It was shoddy anti-scientific work from start to finish and this “ethical” get out, although true, is being used as a “get out of jail” card for the publishers, so that they can avoid the real issue of corrupt and fraudulent “science” being used to wrongly attack the mental state climate realists and to lie and mislead.

  22. Jimbo says:

    For Frontiers, publishing the identities of human subjects without consent cannot be justified in a scientific paper.

    Do they do peer review? You published this crap so why were you asleep on the job?

    Science cannot be abused to specifically label and point out individuals in the public domain.

    That’s what Lew did and that’s what he wanted.

    It is most unfortunate that this particular incident was around climate change, because climate change is a very serious threat for human civilization.

    They take this claim as given, yet they wanted us to take the Lew paper as given since they published the crap. Scepticism worked on Lew. Think about that.

  23. rogerknights says:

    There’s a saying, “What’s shocking about DC isn’t what goes on that’s illegal, but what goes on that’s legal.” “Fury” is “illegal,” but what’s shocking is that “Moon Hoax” is legal.

  24. philjourdan says:

    Another nail in Looney Lewey’s coffin. I suspect he is going to have to hire his own shrink before this plays completely out.

    He (and nuts like Nuccy) are displaying classic symptoms of conspiracy ideation and paranoid delusion.

  25. Mike Ozanne says:

    “e do not support scientific publications where human subjects can be identified without their consent.
    Henry Markram
    Editor-in-Chief, Frontiers”

    Kudos

  26. Keith W. says:

    rogerknights

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/11/frontiers-fires-back-again-on-the-hype-surrounding-lewandowskys-retracted-recursive-fury-paper/#comment-1610787

    Moon Hoax was not published in Frontiers, so the editors of Frontiers have no basis to address it. That is up to the editors at Psychological Science.

  27. pokerguy says:

    “It is most unfortunate that this particular incident was around climate change, because climate change is a very serious threat for human civilization.”

    I still don’t see this as much of a victory. It’s clear enough they’re standing behind the paper’s conclusions. In effect they’re saying, yes indeed, these people are indeed nut jobs. The mistake we made was in allowing them to be named.

  28. schitzree says:

    Some will undoubtedly object to frontiers statement about global warming. I do not, becouse regardless of their belief they were not willing to sacrifice their morals for the ‘Cause’. If only the real climate scientists were so honest.

  29. RickA says:

    I respect the editor-in-chief of Frontiers (Henry Markram) for standing by the retraction of this terrible paper.

    The grounds now appear to be both on the legal front (defamation) and the ethical front (diagnosing an individuals condition in a journal paper without their consent) or perhaps even a mix of both.

    We have yet to hear about any academic grounds – which they assert they investigated.

    It sounds like a lot of people want to learn what the results of their academic review were (I know I do).

    Aside from the ethical and legal problems this paper had – I think it was terrible from an academic perspective.

    Their sample was messed up, they treated some sites differently than others, they may have allowed fake responses and duplicate responses, and their categorization was biased. I hope that all of the people trying to get the metadata keep trying – because I am anxiously awaiting an analysis of the methodology behind what looks to be a piece of crap paper.

    It seems to me that the paper should have been retracted on all three grounds – ethical issues, legal issues and academic issues.

    I am sure more will come out on the academic issues over time and I am looking forward to reading about it.

  30. Harry Passfield says:

    “Frontiers’ core mission is to improve peer review.”

    How? Do they consider Emily McKeown is a means to this end? Sheesh.

  31. Generic Geologist says:

    schitzree says:

    Some will undoubtedly object to frontiers statement about global warming. I do not, becouse regardless of their belief they were not willing to sacrifice their morals for the ‘Cause’. If only the real climate scientists were so honest.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Valid point, but there was no need to reference the issue at all. The AGW mention is a back handed hat-tip acknowledgement that although LEW’s data, methods and ethics were a shambles and unacceptable, his “heart” was in the right place. Utter garbage.

  32. Old Hoya says:

    These kinds of problems will not occur during Obama’s third term because officially insane people like Anthony Watts will no longer have standing to complain about the diagnosis and start this kind of trouble.

    REPLY: You forgot the /sarc tag though it goes without saying- Anthony

  33. John West says:

    If the “cosensus” is so well established why would such “tricks” be necessary and why do so many condone their usage?

  34. Mark Bofill says:

    Don’t be too hard on Lew. It’s probably difficult for him to think of deniers as human subjects, this was the sort of mistake one would expect him to make.
    /sarc.

  35. Richard martin MD says:

    The important point is that the Frontiers people stuck to proper ethical and proceduralprinciples of scientific investigation. The grown up response is to respect them for that.

    Rick

  36. Brent Hargreaves says:

    If only he’d written “the Global Warming hoax is a very serious threat to Western civilization”.

  37. Praise to Frontiers, yes, but they fall into the same trap with their climate change assertion that a person does when declaring, “we need to do something about the proliferation of ghosts”. Both are based on a false premise out of the gate.

    Skeptic scientists questioned AGW, so an industry of ‘Skeptic-Trashing Environmental Sociologists’ (enslaved to a false accusation, I should add http://gelbspanfiles.com/?p=1237 ) popped up to stop the skeptics by any means possible. Ironic that Lew et. al would put out such material as scientific studies considering how anti-science their position is on marginalizing one entire side of the climate science assessments.

  38. RokShox says:

    I note that the desire to use ridicule against political opponents is so strong with the academic Left (see Alinsky, Rule 5), that Lew and crew were unwilling to concede the issue. Likely because it would have set a dangerous precedent obstructing a key tool they use to expand their power and control.

  39. CEH says:

    Looks like UWA is not going to take down this paper, instead they say: “The article is now hosted on a website of the University of Western Australia, which has come to a different assessment of the risk posed by this article and reaffirms its commitment to academic freedom. Further details about the history of this article and continued attempts to supress inconvenient science con be found at sks.to/rf.”

    Link to the paper below.

    http://www.psychology.uwa.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/2523540/LskyetalRecursiveFury4UWA.pdf

    This is noting but disgusting.

  40. son of mulder says:

    Did the chappie who resigned from Frontiers resign because they were following ethical standards?

  41. brians356 says:

    Echoes of “Rathergate” (“Fake, but accurate.”). They were so eager to publish a pro-AGW piece they giddily chucked any standards they may have possessed. But there could be a silver lining – if other ancillary journals and journalists now take a closer look at the slimy yellow underbelly of the warmist’s “scientific method.”

  42. Louis says:

    “But the importance of the subject matter does not justify abandoning our principles.”

    However, it is also clear that the pressure to do so is building. It will be interesting to see how far the alarmists will go to force Frontiers to abandon their principles. They have already succeeded in getting the BBC, the Guardian, the LA Times, and many other media outlets to abandon the principle of fairly reporting opposing viewpoints when reporting on climate change. How long can Frontiers resist the pressure to also make an exception for climate change?

    In the category of things caused by global warming, perhaps the line “Causes otherwise reputable science magazines and media outlets to abandon long-held publishing principles” should be added to the list. When the end justifies any and all means, there is no longer any room for principles.

  43. Rob Dawg says:

    Bravo to Frontiers for seeing the issue and taking a stand on ethics. We are often defined by such difficult decisions. I see two consequences. First, the sloppy research demonstrated by Lew, et al will be harder to pass of as science. Second, the quality of data collected under these conditions will be much higher. Win.

  44. Aphan says:

    Harry

    I think you meant Elaine McKewon…..?

  45. Toto says:

    Frontiers’ core mission is to improve peer review. One principle that we follow is that scientific publishing should sit in the hands of scientists. Frontiers implements this principle by supporting scientists to operate the peer-review process from the beginning to the end.

    That is Quote of the Day material, in the Spin Factory category. Gold Star, kiddies.

    They do make one serious mistake — they think the “end” of peer-review is publication. That is actually just the beginning of the real peer-review. They have a lot to learn.

  46. timothy sorenson says:

    @Col A flat earthier could, possibly ,write and excellent article on gravitation, or a pharmaceutical researcher could write a paper about the wonders of a drug: it is the conflict of interest statement that should address this. It is not morally right to gag them.

    Looking at it from all sides, weighting the benefits and the damages, Frontiers has made skeptics position better.

  47. Chuck L says:

    Looking forward to the responses of Lew and his cronies, I suspect that they will dig the hole they are in even deeper

  48. dp says:

    Dangerous climate change is definitely a threat to all living things and the future of the yet to be born. Fortunately that kind of climate change is not something we’re facing today or in the immediate future. The natural variability of the Holocene we witness today is simply what it is and all existing species have adapted to the inter-glacial climate we were plunged into at the end of the Pleistocene. Well done, all, for a successful transition and best wishes to those who are left to deal with the end of the current inter-glacial period of the Holocene. Hopefully that end won’t come because of uninformed climate manipulation by noble cause driven empty headed green alarmists.

  49. CEH says:

    Sorry for the typos “con” should be “can” and “noting” should be “nothing”, brain and finger connection……

  50. Jeff Id says:

    I don’t think they get points for ethics on this. Before, they had left open the possibility that they recognized their own unethical behavior in allowing the publication through. Now they have removed that aspect.

  51. Aphan says:

    Toto,

    They specifically say that the review process continues after publication and that review process is what caused them to retract the paper.

    I don’t like it when people make definitive statements about what someone else “thinks” without providing evidence that the person/group in question actually does think that. I hold that same standard for everyone no matter what side of the debate they fall on.

  52. Barry Woods says:

    Who want to tell the University of Western Australia that they are hosting a paper that a Psychology journal deemed unethical

    Who wants to tell Bristol University, that their new Chair of Cognitive Psychology, doesn’t understand human research ethics?

    Who want to tell the Royal Society, that the medal winner, does not understand research ethics of human participants

    not me, Easter holidays and kids are off school!

  53. Dodgy Geezer says:

    Dear me. It sounds as if Frontiers is exhibiting recursive fury and has become a conspiring denier publication.

  54. Barry Woods says:

    I spoke to Federick Fenter – Frontiers in Zurich yesterday, and followed up with an email,
    (which I have posted in full under the new Frontiers statement.)

    http://www.frontiersin.org/blog/Rights_of_Human_Subjects_in_Scientific_Papers/830

    extract:

    This week I was concerned that the authors of Recursive Fury were attacking the conduct of the complainants and of Frontiers in the media, representing both parties in a very negative light, with accusations of threats, intimidation and bullying made about the complainants. (I sent this email – with minor edits for public consumption)

    One of the points we discussed was

    1) Frontiers were apparently unaware of author[s] directly engaging (in a hostile manner) with the complainants who were named human participants in the paper (the amended ethics approval said – OBSERVE, and No direct participation)

    Here are two examples Geoff Chambers, Barry Woods (myself) I will append more examples
    (please click on the date time, to hyperlink to the comments at Professor Lewandowsky own blog (Shaping Tomorrows World)

    Watching the Deniers (co-author Michael Marriott) at 13:26 PM on 11 September, 2012

    http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/news.php?p=2&t=153&&n=160#724

    Marriott:
    “….Hope,I don’t test the patience of readers and the moderator, I feel as though the “sceptics” are struggling to absorb or even address the issue.”

    “…..But – I’ve asked Ben, Barry and others to comment on the conspiracy theories outlined by Evans and Monckton. I have very politely, and respectively, requested a simple yes/no answer: do you (Barry, Ben, Les) accept the arguments put forward, or reject them as too belonging to the fringe.
    Or, if you reject such strong epistemological dichotomies, explain your views.
    Otherwise if very much looks like you can’t, or refuse. One may imply a form of denial from such refusal to discuss evidence.” – (watchingthedeniers) author Michael Marriott

    AND:

    Watching the Deniers (co-author Michael Marriott at 16:01 PM on 11 September, 2012

    http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/news.php?p=2&t=153&&n=160#748

    Marriott:
    “Geoff, care to comment on the Evans/Monckton statements?
    I’ve not called you any of the above. It is a polite request, or will you refuse to review the evidence? – (watchingthedeniers- Michael Mariott)

    2) And that, Frontiers were apparently unaware that Professor Lewandowsky had a team collecting responses and data for this paper, over 2 weeks prior to obtaining ethics approval. The UWA policy is quite clear, no ethics approval should be given in these circumstances.

    Do Not Start Your Research Without Ethics Approval
    “…..Retrospective ethics approval for a research project cannot be granted. That is, ethics approval will not be granted for a project where recruitment of participants has already been undertaken, research data have already been collected, or where any other substantial research activity has already occurred. (Preliminary planning of the research project does not constitute commencement of the research project itself.)

    It is the researcher’s responsibility to ensure that ethics approval has been obtained before commencing the research. Prudent researchers will allow sufficient time, and engage in appropriate planning, to ensure that the ethics review and approval process synchronises with other research funding and approval requirements. ”

    http://www.research.uwa.edu.au/staff/human-research/facts

    The ethics approval for ‘Recursive Fury’ was an amendment Professor Lewandowsky’s previous paper (LOG12), which was itself an amendment of an ethics approval in December 2009 for a paper entitled – Understanding Statistical Trends RA 4/1/4007, this research interviewed the public on the streets of Perth showing thee participants time series data.

    An Australian blogger obtained this information under FOI laws and discussed the ethics approval for the three papers here:

    http://australianclimatemadness.com/2012/10/12/lewandowsky-foi-substantial-last-minute-changes-to-project-waved-through-by-uwa-ethics-committee/

    With respect to the ethics approval for the Recursive Fury paper, Professor Lewandowsky advised the DVC [R] Robyn Owyns on the 5th September 2012 that his team had already been collecting data for his next paper, collecting comment about LOG12. Professor Lewandowsky only approached the ethics officer on the 11th September 2012 asking whether he needed approval, thinking he did not.
    This has been discussed here:

    http://nigguraths.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/3758/

    The ethics office wrote back referring him to appropriate UWA website pages, which included risk criteria checklists and the appropriate forms for a new application or an amended application. As the proposed paper was observing the public direct criticisms of Professor Lewandowsky own work, it is hard to fathom that a psychological researcher with Prof Lewandowsky’s experience could not see risks involved with this paper.

    The risk assessment checklist on the UWA website included the following questions

    http://www.uwa.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/1863081/risk-Assesment-Checklist.pdf

    Active concealment of information from participants and/or planned deception of participants

    Will participants be quoted or be identifiable, either directly or indirectly, in reporting of the research?

    Will data that can identify an individual (or be used to re-identify an individual) be obtained from databanks, databases, tissue banks or other similar data sources?

    Might the research procedures cause participants psychological or emotional distress?

    Does the research involve covert observation?

    The answer is a ‘Yes’ to many of these questions. ‘Participants’ declared to be conspiratorial by Lewandowsky are directly identified by name in the paper………..

    ———————–
    full email, with minor edits here:

    http://www.frontiersin.org/blog/Rights_of_Human_Subjects_in_Scientific_Papers/830

  55. Rob Ricket says:

    Don’t be alarmed by what you see gentlemen. This is obviously the work of an immature, unbalanced mind.”
    James T. Kirk

    The anonymity stipulation in human subject studies is drummed into the head of every grad student engaged in research requiring human observation or respondents. Obviously, a Ph.D in Psychology at a university is not only aware of these stipulations, but is sworn to uphold these standards through the modeling of behavior worthy of emulation. Clearly, Dr. Lew is exhibiting self-destructive behavior in willfully violating these standards. As if that weren’t enough, the fact that this paper passed through several committees designed to protect human subjects, is indicative of group-think mentality where a lack of diversity is a prelude to a dangerous abuse of public trust.

    Step one: The Human Subjects Committee: Even if Dr. Lew chaired this committee, he should have recused himself from the proceedings for obvious reasons. Did Dr. Lew deceive the committee vis-à-vis his intent to disclose names, or did he later decide to breach this most serious violation of ethical boundaries? What we do know is Dr. Lew deliberately disguised his association with the study from the onset and that he deliberately devised a questionnaire designed to trick readers into responding in desired ways. Consequentially, this Dr. of Psychology (a man sworn to do no harm) used the information from the studies and his disguised association with the study to taunt individuals opposed to his layman’s belief in a theory he is wholly unqualified to study.

    Step two: Peer review: As with step one, not all facts are known. We do know one identity (she chose to self-identify when lodging a complaint against the retraction) who happens to be a Ph.D Journalism candidate at the same university as Dr. Lew. This same individual has written a series of articles which on balance, express a deep concern for the environment. Of course, this in no way qualifies the woman to judge the merits of a “Psychological study”. Most alarmingly, we have to wonder if the identities of the remaining reviewers are just as incestuous in association with Dr. Lew and UWA?

    Step three: Publication in Frontiers. It would seem the Dr. Lew “Toilet Paper” found a sympathetic pen in the hands of the editors of Frontiers as evidenced by this statement from Henry Markram: “It is most unfortunate that this particular incident was around climate change, because climate change is a very serious threat for human civilization. But the importance of the subject matter does not justify abandoning our principles.” In fact this fellow and his team bent over backwards to protect the not so good Dr’s reputation through a carefully crafted retraction notice. Of course, no good deed goes unpunished and Frontiers’ efforts were rewarded by Dr. Lew embarking on a “woe is me” tour throughout the blogosphere. A campaign which no doubt pressured Frontiers into issuing not one, but two post-retraction explanatory letters. Is this the self-destructive behavior of a man in denial of his own deceptive practices, or is he simply a Psychopath lacking in scruples?

    Step four: The aftermath. Where does UWA stand on this matter and has Dr. Lew been punished for this serious breach of ethical standards? Since the victims of this violation are public figures, are they not entitled to a public apology from Dr. Lew and the UWA? Furthermore, if Dr. Lew has a clinical license (not sure if he does) should it not be revoked?

  56. rogerknights says:

    Keith W. says:
    April 11, 2014 at 9:19 am

    rogerknights

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/11/frontiers-fires-back-again-on-the-hype-surrounding-lewandowskys-retracted-recursive-fury-paper/#comment-1610787

    rogerknights says:
    April 11, 2014 at 9:09 am
    There’s a saying, “What’s shocking about DC isn’t what goes on that’s illegal, but what goes on that’s legal.” “Fury” is “illegal,” but what’s shocking is that “Moon Hoax” is legal.

    Moon Hoax was not published in Frontiers, so the editors of Frontiers have no basis to address it. That is up to the editors at Psychological Science.

    I wasn’t sure. But both Frontiers and Psychological Science are ^in DC^–part of right-thinking (left-thinking) PC psychology and mainstream publishing. That “Moon Hoax” is acceptable there is a bad reflection on them and their fake objectivity.

  57. Outrageous Ampersand says:

    Old Hoya:

    These kinds of problems will not occur during Obama’s third term because officially insane people like Anthony Watts will no longer have standing to complain about the diagnosis and start this kind of trouble.

    I’m not sure that was meant as sarcasm.

  58. Peter Miller says:

    I am sorry, but I disagree with most comments here.

    Frontiers’ response was utterly pompous and disingenuous, they knew Lew’s paper was total crap and were probably worried that Lew might sue them if they even hinted at this self-evident truth.

    My BSometer went off scale, when I read this: “Frontiers then worked closely with the authors on a mutually agreed and measured retraction statement to avoid the retraction itself being misused.”

    Lew’s pals are circling the wagons, I guess we all remember the response of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Western Australia to polite queries from Steve McIntyre to be allowed to examine the data used in ‘Recursive Fury’. The Vice Chancellor, like Frontiers, obviously reviewed (or had someone review) the material used to generate Lew’s paper’s conclusion and said, “We can never allow any of this stuff to see the light of day, or we shall look like complete idiots.”

    “Dear Mr McIntyre,

    I refer to your series of emails to University officers including Professor Maybery and myself (which you have copied to other recipients including the Australian Research Council) in which you request access to Professor Lewandowsky’s data.

    I am aware that you have made inflammatory statements on your weblog “Climate Audit” under the heading “Lewandowsky Ghost-wrote Conclusions of UWA Ethics Investigation into “Hoax”” including attacks on the character and professionalism of University staff. It is apparent that your antagonism towards Professor Lewandowsky’s research is so unbalanced that there is no useful purpose to be served in corresponding with you further. I regard your continued correspondence to be vexatious and there will be no further response to your requests for data.

    Yours faithfully,
    Professor Paul Johnson,
    Vice-Chancellor”

  59. mpaul says:

    The paper still needs to be defeated on technical grounds, and this actually makes it difficult to do that. How do you critique a paper that has been withdrawn? How do you submit a comment to a journal regarding a paper that has been withdrawn? Why should a University provide raw data for a reanalysis of a paper that has been withdrawn.

    This allows the Alramistas to claim that the paper was scientifically correct but that Frontiers caved due to an ‘ethical technicality’, all while stonewalling attempts to detail the technical failings of the paper by its legion of critics.

    Regarding the ethics issues, Frontiers, no doubt, will also be reminded that the paper relates to Climate Science and therefore the code of ethics that should be applied is the Schneider Code of Professional Ethics, which states:

    [W]e have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This ‘double ethical bind’ we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.

    So UWA will feel perfectly justified in continuing to host the paper when looked at using the “correct” ethic standard.

    /cynicism

  60. Cold in Wisconsin says:

    University is Western Australia is hosting the study because their lawyers said they wouldn’t be successfully sued, not because the lawyers said it was an ethical study. We all know that lawyers would not be acceptable reviewers when it comes to ethics.

  61. timspence10 says:

    Strange episode, credit to Fronitiers for standing by their ethics but I can’t believe they don’t know that Lewandowsky has what can only be described as an ‘alarm bell’ reputation, form for tweaking data and that all his research proceeds from and leads to a preconceived conclusion, frankly they’re not fooling anyone. If they were really into ethics they’d have told him to take a running jump from the outset,

    Perhaps it’s the cross they have to bear, or they were under some pressure to accomodate Lewandowsky.

  62. Harry Passfield says:

    Thanks Aphan….Elaine. (Brain-fade gets to you after a while…..)

  63. Toto says:

    Aphan says:

    They specifically say that the review process continues after publication and that review process is what caused them to retract the paper.

    True, they say the review process continues after publication, in this case at least. I interpret that to mean that the journal had a private in-house post-pub peer-review. That is not in my mind true peer review.

    Frontiers is obviously new and naive at this game and can easily be manipulated by players such as Lew. Therefore I am going to spell it out clearly for their benefit. The peer review that a journal does before publication is to protect the reputation of the journal. It is not to establish the validity of the science; it is CYA, and Frontiers failed miserably. This does not exclude the existence of noble publishers and reviewers, nor noble-cause ones for that matter.

  64. Goes to show how entrenched are the warmunists: they don’t want to give an inch, even with so demonstrably dodgy a character as Lewandowsky.

    “It is well acknowledged and accepted that in order to protect a subject’s rights and avoid a potentially defamatory outcome, one must obtain the subject’s consent…”

    Like they give a fig. The EPA don’t even tell the victims of their human testing of their potential peril.

    What matters to EPA and their sort is the furtherance of their agenda – not truth, not human rights, not even human life.

    I know it is not good form to invoke Nazi comparisons, but Dr Mengele sure springs to mind.

  65. brians356 says:

    “We stand by our non-denial denial.”

    (With a hat tip to Ben Bradlee RIP.)

  66. Raven says:

    I think we have to give Frontiers credit where it is due even if they got the “very serious threat for human civilization” bit wrong.

    I wonder if they don’t warrant a nice note acknowledging their statement and at the same time garner some support to dislodge UWA’s position of hosting a retracted paper.

    But another thing is:
    “One principle that we follow is that scientific publishing should sit in the hands of scientists. Frontiers implements this principle by supporting scientists to operate the peer-review process from the beginning to the end.”

    Isn’t this a problem in itself?
    The authors get to choose the reviewers?
    We end up with a Frontiers editor (conflict of interest) and a tame journalism graduate student (inappropriate field of expertise).

    On the up-side though:

    “Three university professors are resigning as editors at a scientific publisher in protest at its decision to retract research linking climate change scepticism to conspiratorial thinking.”

    http://desmogblog.com/2014/04/09/professors-resign-journal-over-retraction-paper-upset-climate-science-deniers

  67. mpaul says:

    Cold in Wisconsin says:
    April 11, 2014 at 11:19 am

    University [of] Western Australia is hosting the study because their lawyers said they wouldn’t be successfully sued, not because the lawyers said it was an ethical study.

    More precisely , what the lawyer said was this:

    …and I’d be quite comfortable processing such a phony legal action as an insurance matter.”

    The lawyer doesn’t think a suit would have merit and was happy to turn it over to insurance if it did.

    Its hard to imagine how a lawyer can support this position now that the study has been deemed to run afoul of ethics rules related to human subjects. I personally think that the University, through its reckless conduct and acceptance of bad advice, has subjected itself to a substantial class action lawsuit. And, (again, solely in my opinion) there is ample evidence of actual malice, both from the author and from the University staff. Its not an adequate defense to say, “my lawyer told me that insurance would cover it”. In fact, in my opinion, it helps in proving negligence. It seems to me that anyone who is an active member of the skeptical sites targeted would be a member of the class, although the named individuals are the people who have been most grievously injured.

  68. “One principle that we follow is that scientific publishing should sit in the hands of scientists.” If you would have followed that rule to begin with, this whole episode wouldn’t have happened.

    Lesson 2 is that failure of the journal to require data, methods, and code for independent replication is NEVER going to work in the Journal’s favor. After repeated requests from McIntyre didn’t prove persuasive, the journal should have retracted the paper right then. Again, if there is no data, it doesn’t belong in a scientific journal. If it can’t be replicated, it isn’t science, not even the pseudo-science psychology. If it is offered up front, you will have to do a better peer review, because you know we’re going to be looking at it in detail. Not even Lewandowski would have released this into the wild if he knew that he couldn’t hide the data, no one in their right mind would do that.

    The only way these propagandists can operate is in the dark. Science operates only in sunshine.

    “It is most unfortunate that this particular incident was around climate change, because climate change is a very serious threat for human civilization”. It seems that climate change (and possibly medicine) is the locus of the worst science possible. We’re never going to know how much of a threat it might or might not be if someone doesn’t start enforcing the rules of science.

    Your journal could shoot to the top if it starts publishing replicable science. It is getting rare, and it WOULD be noticed.

  69. mpaul says:

    BTW, if I were an executive at the University, I would bring in outside Counsel at this point to assess the facts of the case and advise me as to the potential liability of leaving the paper up on the website. On the surface it seems (IMO) that their inside lawyer was too caught up in the tribal blood lust associated with destroying the reputations of the University’s critics to be an objective adviser. It doesn’t seem like he had any interest in gathering facts. Lew’s paper trail on public blogs is damning wrt to malice (in my opinion). But I get the sense that the inside lawyer didn’t even bother to look and simply accepted Lew’s emails at face value.

  70. JEM says:

    If a journal wishes to ‘improve peer review’ then it needs not to select or approve reviewers like McKewon.

  71. harkin says:

    “Science cannot be abused……”

    Actually it can and is abused daily. But thanks for declining to be party in this instance, or leastways attempting to clean up the mess.

    As to the “climate change”/”threat to civilization part”, it’s almost laughable that someone felt the need to toss in that bit of ridiculousness. Groupthink wins again.

  72. John Whitman says:

    There are two importantly different kinds of ‘consent’ that are misused / lacking in research involving Lewandowsky as a lead academic. One kind of ‘consent’ is an issue with Lewandowsky’s ‘Moon Hoax’ paper (2012 in ‘Psychological Science’). There is a different kind of ‘consent’ at issue in Lewandowsky’s now retracted ‘Recursive Fury’ paper (2013 in ”Frontiers in Psychology’).

    In lead academic role of ‘Recursive Fury’ we see Lewandowsky has violated rules requiring he get prior consent from individuals whom he diagnoses in his published research. Lewandowsky’s paper was retracted by ”Frontiers in Psychology’ on those grounds.

    In his lead academic role of ‘Moon Hoax’ we see Lewandowsky has violated a basic academic integrity principle involving failure to get prior consent from survey takers that the author of the survey [Lewandowsky] can remain anonymous to the survey taker. To date there has been no public disclosure of any investigation by UWA, or the Australian gov’t or the journal ‘Psychological Science’ into why there was a lack of prior consent by survey takers to accept surveyor anonymity.

    Conclusion:
    UWA, the Australian gov’t and the journal ‘Psychological Science’ have been professionally derelict in efforts to reveal and / or to pursue investigation of Lewandowsky et al about consent in their research for ‘Moon Hoax’.

    NOTE: In addition, there are several other aspects of their ‘Moon Hoax’ paper which require info from longstanding FOI requests to UWA. The UWA opposes transparency and openness in the matters at hand.

    John

  73. Ron C. says:

    It is evident that Lew and his crew are practicing what psychologists call “projection” (different from the IPCC kind). In psychological projection you see things like:

    Claiming to be a victim of bullies, while at the same bullying others to get what you want;

    Claiming that others have conspiracy theories, while firmly believing in a vast right-wing denial effort financed by Big oil and the Koch brothers;

    Claiming that others are denying settled science, while agreeing with people who have trashed basic meteorology and atmospheric physics, not to mention biased statistics;

    Claiming that others are unethical, while subverting the ethical procedures of your own profession;

    And so on.

  74. Jordan says:

    mpaul: “This allows the Alramistas to claim that the paper was scientifically correct..”

    That would be Recursive Futility.

  75. M Simon says:

    Richard martin MD says:
    April 11, 2014 at 9:48 am

    The important point is that the Frontiers people stuck to proper ethical and proceduralprinciples of scientific investigation. The grown up response is to respect them for that.

    Rick

    Uh. ‘Scuse me. How did this “ethical” journal publish the paper in the first place?

  76. J Calvert N(UK) says:

    There is a new post in Retraction Watch about this. One commenter has stated (in all seriousness as far as I can tell) “I would like to congratulate the authors with this excellent piece of work. Excellent introduction and discussion and excellent field work. The paper is easy readable for non-psychologists as well. Highly recommended for any student of psychology who wants to become a good scientist.”
    I really despair for science in the 21st century.

  77. JunkPsychology says:

    The peer review that a journal does before publication is to protect the reputation of the journal.

    You got that right!

  78. John Whitman says:

    Recursive Non-Consent by Lewandowsky

    John

  79. Rob Ricket says:

    Pokerguy Says:
    “I still don’t see this as much of a victory. It’s clear enough they’re standing behind the paper’s conclusions. In effect they’re saying, yes indeed, these people are indeed nut jobs. The mistake we made was in allowing them to be named.”

    You’re way of the mark on that one dude. Frontier’s has no business in determining the validity of a claimed outcomes of a paper. Had they done so, Lew would have a cause for grievance. It is up to the relevant professional/academic communities to argue the merits of findings.

    From where I’m standing Dr. Lew is a vindictive whack job who needs to have his head examined. Pity, you see it otherwise, but please refrain from projecting your own thoughts onto the those responsible for the retraction.

  80. Jordan says:

    John Whitman …

    Recursive Farce

  81. John Whitman says:

    Jordan on April 11, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    @John Whitman …

    Recursive Farce

    – – – – – – –

    Jordan,

    Recursive Retraction Déjà Vu for Lewandowsky by Frontiers

    (Apologies to Yogi Berra)

    : )

    John

  82. J Calvert, responded to the animal researcher you quoted with:

    Klaas, you may be attacked by the animals you study as part of an objective, impartial study. But even for a study of animals it is unethical behaviour to vigorously attack the animals while you study them and then publish their reactions as psychological (animal) disorders…

  83. manicbeancounter says:

    The Frontiers Journal is quite right “not support scientific publications where human subjects can be identified without their consent”. However, Lewandowsky gets to keep intact his belief in conspiracy theorists. The “Fury” abstract begins

    Conspiracist ideation has been repeatedly implicated in the rejection of scientific propositions, although empirical evidence to date has been sparse. A recent study involving visitors to climate blogs found that conspiracist ideation was associated with the rejection of climate science and the rejection of other scientific propositions such as the link between lung cancer and smoking, and between HIV and AIDS

    The Fury paper purported to show conspiracist ideation in the reactions to the Hoax paper. A follow-up US study also claimed to find that “conspiracist ideation …… is associated with the rejection of all scientific propositions tested.
    This seems a quite plausible hypothesis, but the Hoax paper had few who believed in conspiracy theories (e.g. 10/1145 believed in the Moon Hoax), so it was not properly tested. In contrast the follow-up US study had lots of believers in conspiracy theories. Analysis of the data reveals something quite different to what is claimed. Strong opinions with regard to conspiracy theories, whether for or against, suggest strong support for strongly-supported scientific hypotheses, and strong, but divided, opinions on climate science. The conclusion is almost a truism. If people have strong opinions is one area, they are very likely to have strong opinions in other areas.
    Based on my preliminary results, it is possible to ask “Is Conspiracist Ideation Falsified?”. However, my initial results need to undergo a full battery of statistical tests.

  84. temp says:

    I must agree with some of the people arguing that Frontiers is basically standing behind this paper as completely valid EXPECT for that whole name of names part.

    I think at the very least that needs to be done is that part of a future statement state that UWA failed in its ethics review of this paper. It would be a very smart more on frontiers to make sure that place blame for the issue because at the moment since they published the paper one could argue in court that they failed to review it properly under the standards for which they publish. This opens them up to be included.

    They also have the problem of this whole “one year of investigating”. In no way possible should it have taken a full year to see the issue of people being named in the paper. This is supported by the fact that 1. It takes far less then a year to read the paper, 2. that complaints were very clear in naming that issue and were filed very very quickly.

    This begs the question of what they spent that year doing? Most likely it was consulting with lawyers to see if they could publish even with this issue AND working on a way to announce said retraction with as little damage done to the paper as possible. IE the paper WOULD BE completely valid if not for this minor ethic issue of naming names.

  85. Duke C. says:

    The sad fact is that Steve Mc, Lucia, Jo Nova and the others who were named in Fury HAVE BEEN DEFAMED. I would argue that Lew will come out smelling like a rose when the dust settles, and that his Fury findings (that skeptical bloggers are conspiracy nutters) will be used by pro-AGWers for quite some time to come, The same as they use Big Oil funding against Anthony Watts.

  86. Alan Robertson says:

    Rob Ricket says:
    April 11, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    “Frontier’s has no business in determining the validity of a claimed outcomes of a paper. Had they done so, Lew would have a cause for grievance. It is up to the relevant professional/academic communities to argue the merits of findings.”
    _____________________
    Where is inquiry into the papers relevant to this controversy” Whether they like it or not, their silence speaks volumes about Lewandowsky’s community of peers.
    Refusal to release data and methodologies? Personal attacks against subjects? Really, they’re professionally/scientifically OK with this?

  87. rogerknights says:

    mpaul says:

    Its hard to imagine how a lawyer can support this position now that the study has been deemed to run afoul of ethics rules related to human subjects. I personally think that the University, through its reckless conduct and acceptance of bad advice, has subjected itself to a substantial class action lawsuit. And, (again, solely in my opinion) there is ample evidence of actual malice, both from the author and from the University staff.
    ………………

    mpaul says:
    April 11, 2014 at 12:17 pm
    BTW, if I were an executive at the University, I would bring in outside Counsel at this point to assess the facts of the case and advise me as to the potential liability of leaving the paper up on the website. On the surface it seems (IMO) that their inside lawyer was too caught up in the tribal blood lust associated with destroying the reputations of the University’s critics to be an objective adviser. It doesn’t seem like he had any interest in gathering facts. Lew’s paper trail on public blogs is damning wrt to malice (in my opinion). But I get the sense that the inside lawyer didn’t even bother to look and simply accepted Lew’s emails at face value.

    Astute observations. (IF class action suits are OK in Oz.)

  88. Rob Ricket says:

    “Where is inquiry into the papers relevant to this controversy” Whether they like it or not, their silence speaks volumes about Lewandowsky’s community of peers.
    Refusal to release data and methodologies? Personal attacks against subjects? Really, they’re professionally/scientifically OK with this?”

    It’s relevant because Pokerguy essentially is saying that the the publisher’s failure to weed through the data implies a tacit agreement with the outcomes. It most certainly does not. Furthermore, if the methodology is flawed, the outcome must necessarily be suspect as well. This especially true in the case of recursive fury, as the respondents were falsely portrayed as denying knowledge of an email that was never transmitted by Dr. Lew. So, in this case, a false premise leads to a false outcome. .

  89. Txomin says:

    Frontiers is being shaken. This is what’s falling off.

  90. DanMet'al says:

    Maybe this has pointed out previously, but the statement/excuse by Frontier that . . . “For Frontiers, publishing the identities of human subjects without consent cannot be justified in a scientific paper.” is very creative. They are not invalidating the paper or denigrating the authors. . . they’re simply stating that the paper violated the privacy of the “human subjects”.

    Well violating privacy is certainly a bad thing. . . but with the way they seem to have twisted this, they seem to be shielding the survey participants, who likely are plants supporting pre-defined survey results. So Frontier is minimizing damages while deflecting attention from the authors and so-called participants. . .

    Yes, I’m paranoid or a conspiracy theorist . . . or not . . . tell me. I need to know!

    Dan

  91. George says:

    When scientists publish papers that clearly contain information which is known to be false, in order to support some pre-conceived position, and from which future scientific researchers will innocently accept the findings in that paper as fact, then they are performing nothing less than a disgraceful criminal act. Their behaviour therefore is such that the perpetrators should never be allowed to practice again in the field of science which they have chosen to abuse, and most certainly banned from ever having a paper published again

  92. Paul Westhaver says:

    There is such a thing called the Nuremberg Code of Ethics, which it seems Lewandowsky has never read.

    Please read it here:

    http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/archive/nurcode.html

    This code was adopted by virtually all research institutions planet-wide. Only the ignorant, incompetent, or malicious do not abide by it’s principles.

    The code was adopted post WWII as a consequence of the abuse of science by the Nazi regime in Germany to advance Aryan eugenics, other pseudo-science and other diabolical race extermination directives.

    The code was explicitly written to prevent the likes of Josef Mengele and Lewandowsky from perverting science to justify dehumanizing of the subject of the study.

    How soon we forget.

  93. brians356 says:

    It may be fortuitous that Frontiers is a not a climate or physical science journal. Even though they mouthed the knee-jerk party line about the planet being in peril, they don’t have skin in the game, in that their livelihoods don’t depend directly on keeping the AGW hoax alive. Being psychology oriented, I would think they might just want to look a little deeper into the other camp in this debate – i.e. into the minds of the warmistas. After all, wouldn’t their behavior in this episode be of interest to an inquisitive head shrinker?

  94. Eric Worrall says:

    Generic Geologist
    Meh… they lost me at : “It is most unfortunate that this particular incident was around climate change, because climate change is a very serious threat for human civilization.”

    Climate Change is a very serious threat for human civilisation. At some point in the next few thousand years, it could happen tomorrow, the Holocene Interglacial will end, and we shall have fight back the ice sheets. And the change, when it occurs, could be very abrupt – some studies have concluded the Younger Dryas, the last big drop in global temperature, struck in as short a time as a few months – certainly no more than a decade or so.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Younger_Dryas

    In the words of one researcher “It would be like taking Ireland today and moving it up to Svalbard”.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20427344.800-mini-ice-age-took-hold-of-europe-in-months.html

  95. JBirks says:

    “Frontiers’ core mission is to improve peer review.”

    Bang up job so far guys. What peers reviewed the paper in question?

  96. terryc says:

    If I was one of the people defamed in “Recursive Fury”, I would be seriously considering a complaint to the Australian Psychological Society. It is highly likely that Lewandowsky is a member, and they have what seems to be a convenient method of complaint on their website.
    Since the early 1970’s, because of scandals arising from unethical studies (Milgram and Zimbardo being the most notorious perpetrators), psychology has been very keen to protect its experimental participants. If the APA takes the reputation of the discipline at all seriously, it is likely that they will take a very dim view of this episode.

  97. Oracle says:

    I still fail to understand how any web survey designed to smear those who disagree with the beliefs of its authors, can in any way be considered science, let alone peer reviewed science.

    Scientific journal standards have woefully seriously fallen when blatant propaganda is encouraged, protected and painted as something credible.

    A pig with lipstick is still just a pig, and the lipstick makes it look disturbingly perverse.

    https://bitly.com/SkepticalScience is here at http://wattsupwiththat.com :)

  98. james says:

    There respect for ethics is only for cover ,.they could care less.

  99. M Seward says:

    The statement by Frontiers goes right to the core of the Lewandowsky approach to addressing climate change and those who argue a more skeptical interpretation of the evidence. He apparently accepts the C/AGW thesis, something that is not in his field of expertise, on the basis of the authority of the apparent statistical distribution of scientific opinion. He then abuses his position as a professor of psychology ( NB he is not a clinical psycholgist as I understand it) to attribute highly prejudicial psychological conditions to any who dare express a contrary opinion on the subject.

    A clinical psychologist, like a psychiatrist or doctor, must actually engage with a client/patient personally and to an appropriate level of examination and testing before they can assign some condition to that person. To assign some condition without such proper examination is an ethical breach of the first order and nothing but pure, unadulterated quackery.

    IMO that about sums La Lewny up, he is a complete quack and the recursive fury is all taking place inside his narcissistic head.

  100. Christopher Hanley says:

    Pigheadedness.
    Odds-on the paper will quietly disappear from the UWA website when the fuss has blown over and everyone has forgotten about it.

  101. John Trigge says:

    This is another of their policies they may wish to address:

    Data Sharing

    Frontiers supports the policy of data sharing, and authors are advised to make freely available any materials and information described in their article, and any data relevant to the article (while not compromising confidentiality in the context of human-subject research) that may be reasonably requested by others for the purpose of academic and non-commercial research. In regards to deposition of data and data sharing through databases, Frontiers urges authors to comply with the current best practices within their discipline.

  102. gnomish says:

    “Frontiers then worked closely with the authors on a mutually agreed and measured retraction statement to avoid the retraction itself being misused.”
    Translated:
    “Frontiers, in an effort to curry favor with the psychotics to whom we toady, presented a false narrative (spin) to shield them from any consequences after it became apparent that our own reputation was being defined our participation in a political smear campaign. When we found that it was impossible to evade our own responsibility, Frontiers was confronted with a salvage operation and now strives to regain some veneer of respectability – without offending anybody but the damn deniers. Are we still bff, lewie?”

    was gleick the ethics consultant?

  103. TimTheToolMan says:

    That was a cleverly written statement that focussed on the reason for retraction as being because of the identification of the participants and mentioned nothing about the quality of the science in the paper.

    On the “science”, does anyone really believe that a person’s true behavioural characteristics can be assessed from a paragraph or two in a public forum where people are known to take on alternative personalities as a kind of game to provoke reaction?

  104. Toto says:

    I expect Lew and friends believe it.

    Only somewhat tangent, we are talking about Lew after all, put this into your search engine:
    “can you spot a psychopath criminal”. There is a Psychopathy Checklist for assessing documents, although it cautions against using interviews since psychopaths are superb liars.
    Glib, superficially charming, callous, without empathy, grandiose ego, impulsive, etc.

  105. u.k.(us) says:

    “But the importance of the subject matter does not justify abandoning our principles.”
    ===============
    OK, but can you let us know, when it is justified ?
    After all, it is only principles.

  106. james says:

    [they] will hang you with your principles stick to the fact but make fun of [their] [ridiculous] [claim] and you will win

  107. A. Scott says:

    Sadly, Frontiers statement [does] little to address the real issues. I appreciate their taking a stand, however, I just don’t see their statements as completely truthful. The Journal says the paper’s identification of subjects is wrong and that when this came up as a result of social media pressure post publication they addressed it. Yet others here have noted the violation of both the UWA and the Journal’s pretty clear existing rules.

    This serious violation – a violation serious enough to cause a retraction – existed from the start. We know there were serious issues with the peer review process during and post-publication, serious enough that a qualified reviewer withdrew and asked his name be removed.

    The investigation should be why the peer reviewer and the Editorial process failed to identify this core issue and violation. To that, Frontiers has said nothing.

    And to me, that failure to say anything … seems to say everything.

    What I would really like to see is true transparency from the Journal – and a REAL, independent review of the papers merits and failures.

  108. bushbunny says:

    Oh, I know that newspapers have heaps of lawyers backing up any legal suits. Or they retract a previously published article or news item. I think this magazine should have said something to explain why they retracted it? But universities tend to circle the wagons anyway, and academics are encouraged to publish, even if what they publish is rubbish.

  109. kcom1 says:

    Does any of this sound vaguely familiar?

    Excerpts from Wikipedia

    During the leadership of General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, psychiatry was used as a tool to eliminate political opponents (“dissidents”) who openly expressed beliefs that contradicted official dogma. The term “philosophical intoxication” was widely used to diagnose mental disorders in cases where people disagreed with leaders….
    – – –
    …the system of diagnosing mental illness, developed by academician Andrei Snezhnevsky, created the very preconditions under which non-standard beliefs could easily be transformed into a criminal case, and it, in its turn, into a psychiatric diagnosis.
    – – –
    According to the Global Initiative on Psychiatry chief executive Robert van Voren, the political abuse of psychiatry in the USSR arose from the conception that people who opposed the Soviet regime were mentally sick since there was no other logical rationale why one would oppose the sociopolitical system considered the best in the world [try substituting the hypothesis of global warming here instead].

    Should we code “philosophical intoxication” as PI? And add that to Lew’s list of cute disorder codes?

  110. pottereaton says:

    I’m going to defend them. They are a business. They’ve probably been publishing politicized crap with methodologies similar to Lew’s for years because their readership loves that kind of stuff. You gotta keep the customer satisfied, etc. But when those named pointed out to them the ethical violations they saw the light, made the right decision and held fast, even though Lew was no doubt threatening them with a lawsuit, which is ironic when you think about it because that’s what he accused those he defamed of doing. Lew didn’t hire a lawyer to play pattycake with Frontiers.

    They ended up doing the right thing and they should be congratulated for it.

  111. bushbunny says:

    kcom, of course genocide has never happened before. LOL. Now it is to be rude and libelous against your objectors to validate what? Defending ones ideology and beliefs that threaten your power and credibility over the masses.

  112. notwise says:

    I’m with timg56. To us lay folk, this unfolding of the climate change story has really shown the belly of the beast. It’s shocking! To those of us who’ve always questioned the value we get from much of the research done today, this whole story adds quite a bit of fuel to the fire. Sad really.

  113. james says:

    you are the best freedom has to offer keep it up. they can’t beet your facts so the will try to shut you up

  114. Lewis P Buckingham says:

    RickA says:
    April 11, 2014 at 9:31 am

    ‘Their sample was messed up, they treated some sites differently than others, they may have allowed fake responses and duplicate responses, and their categorization was biased. I hope that all of the people trying to get the metadata keep trying’

    The fact that the paper is retracted and publishing it or parts of it could mean persons are identified and labelled as challenged, should put the matter of release of metadata to rest.
    As long as everyone agrees with the journal’s decision, a gag is put on the release of such data.
    The journal’s decision reflects poorly on its peer review, but better that, than have the basis of the statistical findings examined and shown to be wrong.
    After all it was not the editors fault that peer review did not spot the error.
    Or it would seem that way.
    Just to clarify things the data could be disguised and the paper published on line, with full access to the metadata.
    That would mean that justice be done to the science of psychology, as well as seen to be done.

  115. james says:

    good night everyone .love you all and keep up the fight for the truth..

  116. u.k.(us) says:

    james says:

    April 11, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    [they] will hang you with your principles stick to the fact but make fun of [their] [ridiculous] [claim] and you will win
    =============
    Who [..] is trying to change the original comment ?
    You’ve got your work cut out for you, attempting to read the mind of “James” ?

  117. JB Goode says:

    @timg56 says:
    April 11, 2014 at 8:52 am
    “I am still having trouble understanding how either the Fury or Moon Hoax paper could possibly be considered as being of sufficient scientific quality to deserve publication in the first place, regardless of any ethical issues.
    Exactly.Just look at the titles!
    NASA faked the moon landing|Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax:
    An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science
    Recursive fury: Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in
    response to research on conspiracist ideation
    They then use a muppett to make sure,quote”reviews significantly redefine the assignments for both authors and editors in order to guarantee the most accurate, efficient and impartial reviews in academic publishing”
    It is a mistake to give these clowns credit for any type of editorial integrity,they deserve nothing but derision and contempt along with the rest of the ‘science communicators’

  118. Tsk Tsk says:

    “It is most unfortunate that this particular incident was around climate change, because climate change is a very serious threat for human civilization. But the importance of the subject matter does not justify abandoning our principles.”
    =======================================================================
    So the ends don’t justify the means. Mostly. Yet. We think.

  119. Eyal Porat says:

    What a useful ladder they have found themselves.
    Instead of tackling the REAL issues with this piece of “work”, they used the technicality ladder to climb down.
    Sad but oh, so predictable.

  120. asybot says:

    I think after reading most posts, the article and some of previous Frontier Magazine’s publications. I have a conclusion, they need to look at one “fix” still occasionally used within their profession.
    Frontier needs to step forward and give themselves a front(ier)al lobotomy.

  121. Jaakko Kateenkorva says:

    The whole episode has become regrettable to everyone concerned, judging from the repeated public excuses, also to Frontier in Psychology’s Editor-in-Chief Henry Markram. Perhaps Markram’s vague creed to climate change suffices to avoid the fate of Dr Richard Tol, Patrick Moore and others.

    On the other hand, this cloud has a silver lining. At least Markram is now aware of the traps anthropogenic apocalypse forecasters are setting to editors. Who knows maybe even the editors of frontiers in theology, astronomy, homeopathy, telepathy etc became wary.

  122. pat says:

    trust Laden to be in the mix:

    9 April: ScienceBlogs: Greg Laden: Stephan Lewandowsky AMA on Reddit
    Posted by Greg Laden on April 9, 2014
    (STRANGE PHOTO OF LEWANDOWSKY COVERED IN TEXT: I DON’T USUALLY SEND PEOPLE TO REDDIT….BUT WHEN I DO IT IS FOR AN AMA WITH STEPHAN LEWANDOWSKY)
    Stephan is a cognitive scientist who has done a lot of important work related to climate change. He’s doing a reddit “Ask Me Anything” on Monday, April 14th from 7:30AM EST onwards. Which, conveniently for him, is 7:30PM in Australia, if I have my time zones right.
    There are two topics he mentioned to me that he’d like to address, which I will describe to you by citing blog posts:
    The climate change uncertainty monster – more uncertainty means more urgency to tackle global warming
    -and-
    In Who’s Hands is the Future?
    But this is an AMA so I suppose you can ask him anything.
    (3 COMMENTS)
    sou:
    Thanks for the heads up, Greg. (I hope the reddit moderators have been briefed.
    bill:
    Brave man!
    The moderators will indeed have one hell of a job; but doubtlessly lots of material for the next incarnation of Recursive Fury will be generated!…
    marco:
    Isn’t Lewandowsky in the UK at the moment?

    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2014/04/09/stephan-lewandowsky-ama-on-reddit/

    twitter: greg laden
    Tell #FrontiersInPsychology: stand up for academic freedom. Reinstate your paper on #climate change denial! http://d.shpg.org/38211954t
    Michael Bazemore Jr‏@MGBazemoreJr OK. Is the paper posted anywhere else online?

    twitter link goes to:

    act.forecastthefacts: Defend Academic Freedom from Climate Change Deniers
    The following petition will be delivered to Axel Cleeremans, field chief editor of Frontiers in Psychology:
    Stand for academic freedom — reinstate “Recursive Fury,” your 2013 research on climate change deniers.
    Climate change deniers have successfully censored peer-reviewed academic research — but now we have an opportunity to fight back for free speech…
    If allowed to stand, the journal’s decision could create a slippery slope, yielding increasing attempts to suppress research on climate change — but now pressure is mounting on Frontiers to reverse course and re-publish the paper. This past week, three university professors resigned from editorial positions at Frontiers in protest of the decision, which one said “puts large sections of science at risk.” A strong show of public support now will help empower Frontiers to stand up to the climate change deniers and ensure the rights of the paper’s authors are upheld.
    Stand up for academic freedom — sign the petition calling on Frontiers to reinstate the censored paper.
    (CLAIMS 170 HAVE SIGNED UP – GOAL IS 1,500)

  123. Claude Harvey says:

    Had this “standard of consent” been universally applied to climate reports over the years, lots of personal pain and humiliation could have been avoided. Imagine the ridicule those “sweltering penguins” must has suffered at the hands of their shivering fellows only a few years back. Then consider the laughing stock that was made of “Lonesome Polar Bear” when he became the climate change poster boy while riding a stray chunk of Arctic ice:

    “Mr.Bear, we’d like your consent to present you as an example of climate-warming-induced starvation and extinction.”

    “What? Look at me! I weigh 1,900 pounds and haven’t seen my own feet in a decade, not to mention ‘the family jewels’!”

    CH

  124. tz2026 says:

    If subjects can become objects, perhaps subjectivism can become objectivism.

  125. David JOnes says:

    I have long-ago learned to be very, very cautious of people/organisations that claim to be “ethical” or otherwise brag about their ethics!

  126. David Jones says:

    terryc says:
    April 11, 2014 at 4:17 pm
    “If I was one of the people defamed in “Recursive Fury”, I would be seriously considering a complaint to the Australian Psychological Society. It is highly likely that Lewandowsky is a member, and they have what seems to be a convenient method of complaint on their website.
    Since the early 1970′s, because of scandals arising from unethical studies (Milgram and Zimbardo being the most notorious perpetrators), psychology has been very keen to protect its experimental participants. If the APA takes the reputation of the discipline at all seriously, it is likely that they will take a very dim view of this episode.”

    That strikes me as being a perfect definition of an optimist!

  127. Jonas N says:

    If you can stomach it:

    Lewandowsky in a Q & A at Reddit

    He paints himself as an ‘expert’ on, well, ‘climate science and in particularly ‘the less we know, the more urgent is (climate) action’, and on ‘climate deniars’ of course!

    790 comments as of now, and many Q & A by Lew himself …

  128. asybot says:

    Jonas, I am glad that was only 2 minutes. I had to listen under the motto that you have to listen to them no matter how much it hurts. This one hurt a lot . If he had to look to have any credibility he would have had at least had a background showing a book case of some sort, (even a comic book would have helped). They have these blank backgrounds as they are being filmed , reminds me of an other era.( WEE whill make you talk). Pathetic.

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