Lewandowsky et al 2013: surveying Peter to report on Paul

Guest analysis by Shub Niggurath

In 2012, Stephan Lewandowsky and co-authors submitted a paper to the journal Psychological Science, generating widespread publicity. Here, I address a simple issue/question that has hovered around the paper from the time it made its appearance. The issue is at the heart of Lewandowsky’s first ‘Moon Hoax’ paper and the now in limbo  second paper in Frontiers in Psychology.

The ‘Moon Hoax’ paper (a.k.a LOG12, LOG13 etc) draws a number of conclusions about climate skeptics (called ‘deniers’). A major portion of the data and analysis is devoted to ‘rejection of climate science’. The paper’s title advertises its findings about ‘deniers’.

So the question is: how did Lewandowsky and co-authors actually study climate skeptics?

The answer may surprise you.

The paper draft (pdf) stated simply that authors ‘approached’ 5 skeptic blogs to post a survey, but ‘none did’. This lead to a hunt to find who exactly these bloggers were (Lewandowsky wouldn’t tell). Lewandowsky spread significant amounts of distraction and smoke on the matter, raising hue and cry that he did email skeptical bloggers:

First out of the gate was the accusation that I might not have contacted the 5 “skeptic” bloggers, none of whom posted links to my survey. Astute readers might wonder why I would mention this in the Method section, if I hadn’t contacted anyone.

What matters however, is not whether or not Lewandowsky contacted skeptics but what came of such contact. The whole point of contacting the bloggers was to get surveys posted on their websites to ensure skeptic participation. This never took place. Through the noise, the question of non-sampling of skeptics remained unresolved‡.

As a way of providing answer, the paper itself appeared in final form about a month back. When examined, the authors appear to have settled on a remarkable method of addressing the defect. In the supplementary information, Lewandowsky et al (LOG13) make a startling claim. They state the blogs that did carry their survey have a broad readership ‘as evidenced by the comment streams’:

All of the blogs that carried the link to the survey broadly endorsed the scientific consensus on climate change. As evidenced by the comment streams, however, their readership was broad and encompassed a wide range of view on climate change.

The authors claim to have analysed reader comments at one venue to determine this. They state:

To illustrate, a content analysis of 1067 comments from unique visitors to www.skepticalscience.com, conducted by the proprietor of the blog, revealed that around 20% (N = 222) held clearly “skeptical” views, with the remainder (N = 845) endorsing the scientific consensus.

Extrapolating, the authors infer further that close to eighty-thousand skeptics saw Lewandowsky’s survey on Skepticalscience alone (see below). Owing to such broad readership, enough skeptics are said to have been exposed to the survey.

Readers of climate blogs will at once see several things that are off. However, these are the assertions forming the basis on which Lewandowsky et al 2013 rests.


To start, the authors’ premises are accepted. It is deemed that comment streams can be analysed to determine whether a blog has a broad readership, or a more polarized one.

Comments on six blogs where Lewandowsky et al’s survey was posted were analysed. Commenter names and comment counts were obtained from web pages using R scripts. Following the authors’ method, this was carried out for the entire month the survey was posted. For each blog, duplicates were removed.

Commenters were classified as (a) skeptic, (b) ‘warmist’ (c) ‘non-skeptic’ (d) lukewarmer, (e) neutral, or (e) indeterminate. Regulars whose orientations are familiar (e.g., dana1981 – ‘warmist’) were tagged first. Those with insufficient information to classify, and infrequent posters with singleton comments were tagged ‘indeterminate’†.

The results are presented below. A total of 614 commenters contributed 4976 comments to six blogs in the month the survey was posted (range: 2 – 2387 comments/blog). An estimated 111 commenters posted across blogs, with 504 unique commenter aliases from all blogs.

The results show a skewed commenter profile. As a whole, there are 59 skeptical commenters, amounting to about 9.5% of total. Individually, skeptics range from 5-11% of commenters between blogs, with one venue (Hot Topic) showing 19% skeptics. Closer examination shows this to be made up by just 10 commenters. Non-skeptics are close to 80%, i.e., 480 of 614. Neutral posters are 9%, and indeterminate 3%. Of the 59, more than half are from comments posted at one blog (Deltoid).


The same pattern can been seen to repeat by blog:


The marked difference in comment number between the blogs obscures underlying similarities. When commenter proportions are made equal, these become plain:



From the data above it is evident these blogs are not places where readership is “broad” or encompasses a wide range of views on climate. To the contrary, these are highly polarized, partisan blogs serving their cliques. One half of the blogs hosted comments from all of 6 skeptical commenters in total (Scott Mandia, A Few Things Ill Considered, and Bickmore’s Climate Asylum).

The non-surveyed Skepticalscience.com

What about Skepticalscience’s comment stream? Lewandowsky et al state that John Cook at his website analyzed 1067 comments to identify 222 skeptics and use this to buttress claims of broad readership in survey blogs. One wonders how Cook got the fantastic figures! When commenters for Sept 2010 are analysed, there are 36 skeptical voices of a total 286. Cook’s estimates are inflated six times over. In reality skeptics form 12.58% of commenters for that month, and a mere 0.03 fraction of John Cook’s 1067 unique commenters.  These results verify with independent analysis performed by A.Scott.

Furthermore, close to 90% of commenting viewers are not skeptics. Contrary to Lewandowsky et al, Skepticalscience is not a place where readership is “broad and encompasses a wide range of view on climate”. In fact Skepticalscience exactly matches Deltoid, a virulently anti-skeptic website, in commenter profile.


Importantly however, John Cook never posted the survey at Skepticalscience (see here and here). In the face of this false claim, the authors’ post-hoc exercise of computing skeptic exposure becomes counterfeit.

How would the picture have been had Lewandowsky et al actually obtained survey exposure with a skeptical audience? As a comparative exercise, I pulled comment counts from widely read skeptical blogs, Wattsupwiththat (WUWT), Bishop Hill, Joanne Nova and Climate Audit for the same period. Traffic figures provided by Anthony Watts indicate close to 3 million views in August 2010. The results ought to be eye-opening:



A number of things can now be confirmed. The authors of Lewandowsky et al 2013 did not survey skeptical blogs. The websites that carried the survey have neither a broad readership, nor represented skeptical readers and commenters. The authors did not survey any readers at the website Skepticalscience, but represent their data and findings as though they did. Lastly, the authors’ calculations in assessing survey exposure, which they base on the same Skepticalscience, are shown to be wrong.

With the above, conclusions drawn about skeptics by Lewandowsky et al by sampling a population of readers and commenters who are not skeptic can be termed invalid. At best the study’s skeptic-related analysis is meaningless, arising from non-representative sampling. At worst the possibility of false conclusions owing to flawed survey exposure arises. The above data combined with Lewandowsky et al 2013 survey results, in fact, show one possible outcome of displaying loaded questions relating to climate skeptics to a non-skeptical audience. Conclusions about non-skeptical ‘pro-science’ commenters and their psychology are probably more appropriate.


‡ The list of surveyed blogs (from Lewandowsky et al 2013 SI):

Skepticalscience – http://www.skepticalscience.com

Tamino – Open Mind http://tamino.wordpress.com

Climate Asylum – http://bbickmore.wordpress.com

Climate change task force – http://www.trunity.net/uuuno/blogs/

A few things ill considered – http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/

Global Warming: Man or Myth? – http://profmandia.wordpress.com/

Deltoid – http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/

Hot Topic – http://hot-topic.co.nz/

Note that (a) there is no record of Skepticalscience having posted the survey, and (b) the Climate Change Task Force entry is available on the Waybackmachine (for e.g., here)

† Batch Google searches (e.g., http://google.siliconglobe.co.uk/) and keyword searches on scraped HTML blog posts were used to search for commenter output. Multiple entries were frequently required for each commenter to be satisfactorily classified. Wherever possible (which was so in almost all instances), results during August and Sept 2010 were employed. Comments supportive of consensus, critical of ‘deniers’ and ‘skeptics’ and/or unequivocally appreciative of article (e.g., “great post, now I can use this in my arguments with deniers”) were classified as coming from ‘warmists’. Comments approving of main thrust of a ‘warmist’ blog post, but with no further information available were classified as ‘ns’ – not skeptic. Commenters questioning basic premises of blog post, being addressed to by ‘denier’, ‘denial’ etc, whose stance could be verified by similar mode of behaviour in other threads, were classified as ‘skeptics’. In most instances they were easily recognized. Those, in whom no determination could be made, owing to various factors, were classified as ‘indeterminate’. Commenters explicitly professing acceptance of consensus but posing relatively minor question, etc – classified as lukewamers. Entries required reading at least two different comments for almost every commenter, except in instances commenter orientation was known from prior experience. Certainly there will be errors to a degree, and subjectivity is involved. It is unavoidable that infrequent (and singleton) commenters, and those with non-unique names (‘tom’, ‘john’) are resistant to classification. Validation of method was available when blogger A.Scott arrived at similar results working independently on portions of the data.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
May 5, 2013 7:47 am

The uninformed will always proffer an uninformed opinion, regardless of the subject. No wonder the CAGW meme continues unabated.

May 5, 2013 7:49 am

Shub, Your analysis clearly needs to be forwarded to any editors of Journals considering any Lewandowsky article that is built of this foundation of sand.

May 5, 2013 7:55 am

You may want to mail a copy of the article to the Royal Society that so generously supplements Lewandowsky’s salary for his move to the UK. While I doubt that they’ll make a face-saving turnabout it should not be said that they have not been warned about the quality of his work and the extent of his scientific misconduct.

May 5, 2013 8:06 am

It really is quite alarming this whole pattern of deceit coming from the “consensus”. Mind you the attempts to homogenise a whole section of society into a close set of parameters would be considered racist if applied to an ethnic group or elitist if applied to a social strata.
Nasty piece of work this Lewandowsky fellow.

May 5, 2013 8:09 am

Well, duh. Lew is a psychologist, not a scientist. Of course he uses tons of data that fits his agenda rather than actually doing research. This is not scientific work, it’s statistic work. You can’t even nail him for scientific misconduct because science and statistics are not synonymous. Psychology is not a science. It doesn’t deal with tangible evidence, but rather exclusively with railroaded interpretation of extremely limited data.
This is only one thing: “social sciences”
Social science is neither social nor science. In fact, when used by the political Left it is profoundly antisocial. It is for marginalizing, dividing, and conquering all opposition to progressive… oops, “progressive” ends. “Ha-ha, AGW deniers are ignorant and stupid. Here’s proof!”
Science and statistics are not synonymous.
Discovery of a numerical discrepancy is not science. Accounting for that discrepancy in a reproducible manner is science.

tobias smit
May 5, 2013 8:13 am

It’s no wonder I’m a skeptical bloke!

May 5, 2013 8:19 am

Surely this is fraud?, why are we not hearing that criminal investigations are taking place into the fraudulent spending of taxpayer money?

David Ball
May 5, 2013 8:28 am

It all seems so childish. Infantile.

May 5, 2013 8:33 am

Someone needs to conduct a study….a real one, no con-tricks…investigating the level of correlation between CAGW belief and belief in conspiracy theories that 9/11 was an inside-Bush and Cheney Did It production. i would expect virtually every “Troofer” that draws air believes fervently in CAGW. Its this intensity of correlation on that side of the equation that would be interesting, not how many CAGW believers as a whole are “Troofers”.
It still wont be science…correlation is not evidence of anything by itself in any case.
But thats not the point.

May 5, 2013 8:41 am

So now the skeptics are being adjusted to fit a preconceived notion of who they think we are..
If they had courage to post a survey on any reputable skeptic site and if the skeptic would even bother to participate knowing what they know about the warmists.. It would not have given them their preconceived notion..
A impossible task that would have to be adjusted / smoothed to fit their intended message..
I wonder if they would allow skeptic surveys on warmists sites..
Wild eyed climate alarmism is mainly due to..
A) Strong eye muscles.
B) Community theater training.
C) Father / Mother issues.
D) Inability to get a real job.
E) All of the above.
This is fun, and I can guarantee the results!!!

May 5, 2013 8:43 am

Edohigmuma…get a sensible name will you:
“Psychology is not a science. It doesn’t deal with tangible evidence, but rather exclusively with railroaded interpretation of extremely limited data.~”
Well thats just dumb ignorant crap. I guess you think Sigmund Freud represents what psychology is.
Psychology can be every bit as real a science as any other. The transmision speed of a nerve signal or the re-potentiation frequency of a synapse are every bit as much real data as anything.
The problem wirth Lew-another silly name -guy is that he has obtained credibility through psychology and is now exploiting his position through abuse of that status to promote pure shite of the most highly refined first order. He has a post as cognitive psychologist but this shite he retails is social sychology…not only not his province or what hes being paid to do but….here I would agree, not in the least a proper scientific undertaking.
And yes, he IS bound professionally by very stringent codes of ethics (I know from experience, Ive had to jump the hurdles posed by ethical reviews) …and he I~S in breach of those codes of ethics…and it MAY be possible for dilligent folk to pursue this.
You can call Lew-guy an idiot, an arse-wipe or any other simple statement of fact, but bellowing “psychology aint no science boy” is only going to count against yourcase, hamper his critics and help him immensely.

David Ball
May 5, 2013 8:56 am

And Cook is surprised to find skeptics unwilling to participate in a rigged survey.

May 5, 2013 9:02 am

When the entire foundation of your opinion is based on skewed and cherry-picked data, finding more support for your bias must necessarily entail more of the same.
Did he really not think that someone would attempt to verify his data? Thank you Shub.

May 5, 2013 9:06 am

Psychology is not a science. It doesn’t deal with tangible evidence, but rather exclusively with railroaded interpretation of extremely limited data.
In which case, I suppose it’s perfectly OK for Stephan Lewandowsky to conduct this kind of study, to report it in the manner he did—even for him to publish it in a journal called…. Psychological Science.
We psychologists don’t have the answers to all of the questions in our field. We don’t even have answers to most of them.
But we have learned a few things over the years about how to conduct and analyze empirical research with human subjects.
Lewandowsky may have learned some of these things, once upon a time, but since he got on the CAGW bandwagon he’s acted in complete disregard of them.
Shub’s analysis is further evidence of how just poorly Lewandowsky designed his study, recruited his participants, and collected his data—then gave the results a misleading presentation.
All of which ought to matter. But to someone who’s decided in advance that psychology isn’t a science, none of it will.

May 5, 2013 9:11 am
May 5, 2013 9:18 am

No one can be this incompetent. The only value that any “data”, analysis, or conclusions these people have produced can have is in potential criminal proceedings.
Bit the overall numbers provided in the post are very interesting. They confirm what has recently been becoming a concrete reality to me: in the world of Believers, there is no-one there.
In the above graph for comments in August 2010, proper sites: junk is 5.95:1. And this was in August 2010! When this still had the momentum of hysteria behind it! Six to one!
It would be really really interesting, for those who know how to twiddle the dials, to do an up-to-date survey across all known sites. Even if just in gross comments, without attempting to break them down into distinct commentators or positions. I’d put money on it being more like ten to one now. And a hell of a lot of those junk site comments will be from people pulling money out of this.
What this really means, is that after having labored under the burden of being a beleaguered minority of dissenters, which at all times has been a manufactured deceit in any case, people can start dealing with this in the full knowledge that the Believers, no matter how much noise they make, and how much money they can splash, and how many people in positions of influence have been suborned, are virtually non-existent.
As soon as this dawns on the average adherent, they will back off and start to explain any embarrassing social exchanges away. This is the heartland of the social conformist. They would rather die than be seen as part of a dwindling and in particular, increasingly uninfluential minority.
This is 5 minutes away from being reduced to the core beings jerking around in their evaporating pond.

May 5, 2013 9:20 am

On a link from another web site, I actually went out and looked at the paper.
I couldn’t believe it. My first reaction was that it wasn’t intended as a real scientific paper. I thought it was a paper designed to trigger a reaction on the Internet (pro and con) and the real goal of the study was to investigate how stories, rumors, and theories spread on the Internet.

May 5, 2013 9:25 am

Excellent analysis.
Please send it to Erich Eich, the editor in chief at Psychological Science.

May 5, 2013 9:26 am

Sorry, *Eric* Eich.

May 5, 2013 9:31 am

It appears that John Cook’s numbers for commenters at Skeptical Science (included in the supplemental materials to LOG13) are completely fantastical.
One way to see this is that Cook claimed to be able to classify every commenter at his site as warmist or skeptic.
As Shub has noted, some commenters say so little, or are so cryptic in what they do say, that they will have to be classified as “indeterminate.”

May 5, 2013 9:39 am

as we know the 8 blogs were described by Lewandowsky et al as having a ‘diverse audience’
Interestingly, in another paper (also in press, concurrently with ‘moon papaer, at the time)) Lewandowsky/Cook recognise that blogs can become ‘cyber-ghettoes’ of likeminded (unrepresentative) people that become increasingly polarised in readership.
Misinformation and Its Correction: Continued Influence and Successful Debiasing
Lewandowsky, Ecker, Cook et al (in press Psychological Science in the Public Interest)
“Blog readers employ selective exposure to source information from blogs that support their existing views. More than half of blog users seek out blogs that support their views,
whereas only 22% seek out opposing blogs, leading to the creation of “cyber-ghettos” (T.J.Johnson, Bichard, & Zang, 2009).
These cyber-ghettos, in turn, have been identified as one reason for the increasing polarisation of political discourse (McCright, 2011; Stroud,2010)”
Yet Lewandowsky et al surveys of 8 ‘anti-sceptic’ blogs were the very worst sort of these ‘cyber-ghettoes’ (censorious, abusive,etc)
which gives a lie to the papers claim that blogs with a diverse readership were surveyed, they know this to be false.

May 5, 2013 9:43 am

I asked for Prof Stephan Lewandowsky for the Skeptical Science URL(early August 2012), he had only provided domain names to me, when I requested them, he replied he told me it had been posted, he had made a note of it.
“I worked with John Cook directly at the time and he posted it (and I made a note of it), but I don’t have the actual URL to the survey dating back to the time when he posted it” – Stephan Lewandowsky – August 01, 2012
I to had never heard of Prof Lewandowsky as far as I recall at the time, I had merely read Dr Adam Corners article in the Guardian and sought to ask the lead author for the identity of the 8 ‘pro-science’ blogs and 5 ‘sceptic blog) blogs. Prof Lewandowsky had sent me the domains names, but not urls’ to the surveys. I had quickly located 6 of them, but could not find 2, I thought that the most high traffic website Skeptical Science was important, especially to see th ecomments! so that I might discuss this with Dr Adam Corner at his blog, where he had reproduced the Guardian article in full (less comments to wade through, 1300+, vs 42)
This email exchange is below (all emails between us here:)
Also, as you can see, I did not doubt that he ha contacted ‘sceptic’ blogs.
From: barry.woods
Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 5:00 AM
To: Stephan Lewandowsky
Subject: Links to surverys – Skeptical Science – Guardian Article about you recent paper.
Hi Stephan
sorry to approach you one more time.
I cannot find the link to Skeptical Science survey, this is probably the most high profile blog with the most media/public recognition (i.e. won awards) of the ‘pro-science’ vs. the “Skeptical” blogs
(I’m guessing Climate Audit, WUWT, Bishop Hill & maybe The Air Vent (ie Condon) and Jo Nova )
I’ve found six of the links to the opinion surveys, and the range of comments on the blogs are quite interesting as well, did you consider this feedback in the research?
but, I would expect that Skeptical Science would have the most comments and opinions and probably the largest readership.
Can you send me the link to the Skeptical Science blog article/comments?
And was the survey able to capture the referring blog, as this might also give indicators of relative popularity of the blog,
does the survey break down by referring blog and are these figures available?
Best Regards
rather than lots of questions, if you have the supporting data, etc in an easily accessible package (without too much trouble for yourself) could you send that as well.
If not quickly to hand, that’s fine please don’t waste any time, as I’m mainly just curious on the couple of point above.
there were the links I found:
I’m missing this blog survey link as well.
From: Stephan Lewandowsky
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2012 11:00 AM
To: barry.woods
Subject: RE: Links to surverys – Skeptical Science – Guardian Article about you recent paper.
Hi Barry, the survey was done about 2 years ago, and I don’t have the link to SkS: I worked with John Cook directly at the time and he posted it (and I made a note of it), but I don’t have the actual URL to the survey dating back to the time when he posted it. I suspect he removed it when the survey was closed because then the link would have been dead.
Regards Steve
Prof Lewandowsky, based on the above, clearly lied about, the existence of the survey at Skeptical Science, to me personally, and then I find myself named in the ‘Fury’ paper……..
Punitive Psychology?

May 5, 2013 9:47 am

John Cook (Sceptical Science – & Fury paper, co author, with Prof Lewandowsky) seems to have lied to Geoff Chambers as well.. Geoff ALSO ended up, I the data of the Recursive Fury paper….
JC: Hi Geoff, you can email me via this email address if you have any direct questions, although there’s not much more that I can add other than what I’ve mentioned in the comment threads.
GC: Thanks John
My interest comes from the fact that, of the eight “pro-science” blogs contacted by Lewandowsky, SkS is by far the most important. One might therefore expect that the majority of respondents to the survey came from SkS (depending on the coverage you gave it, and the date at which you posted it, etc.)
At two of the six (Tamino’s and Deltoid) there was significant discussion of the survey, with people criticising and taking up positions. This, too, is interesting when it comes to interpreting the survey. So here are my questions:
– The date the survey was posted
– The date the post was deleted
– Were there comments to the post? If so, how many, and are they still available, or were they deleted along with the original post?
JC: Hi Geoff, sorry for the delay in replying, very behind in my email correspondence at the moment plus for this email, had to fire up the old machine that I was using back in 2010 to find any email correspondence back then. All I can find is an email from Steve on 28 August 2010 asking for me to link to his survey.
GC: Hi John
Thanks for the reply. So did you in fact link to his survey? It looks to me that you just forgot and didn’t post the link. So Stephan just assumed you had posted, and put in his paper the reference to eight blogs he’d contacted, including yours and the dormant NZ one. A silly mistake easily corrected. All he has to do is correct the “eight blogs” in his paper to six. Can you confirm that his survey was not in fact linked from Skeptical Science?
JC: I did provide a link to the survey.
GC: Hi John
Any chance of telling us when you put up the link? Sorry to keep pestering you but you are being a bit coy.
JC: I’ve given you everything I’ve got – I have no records in the blog archives (I searched the database for kwiksurvey, came up empty) so I must’ve either deleted the text link or deleted the blog post once the survey had closed. The only forensic evidence I could find was the email from Stephan asking for me to post a link and my reply that I posted it on the same day.
Lewandowsky was ridiculing sceptics for not keeping 2year old unsolicited emails from somebody unknown to them (his assistant Hanich, not even a co-author), yet he can’t even prove the claim in his paper that Skeptical Science hosted this survey.
In fact this is clearly a lie….
Takes only a moment to webcite a url, yet of course you can’t if it does not exist

Kevin Kilty
May 5, 2013 9:49 am

Edohiguma says:
May 5, 2013 at 8:09 am
Well, duh. Lew is a psychologist, not a scientist….

There are some darned fine psychologists that do very credible scientific work. On the other hand, it is quite easy to get away with shoddy work in the social sciences. Imagine the trouble with trying to vet a study of this sort. Doing so explains why editors of journals, reviewers, and colleagues rarely recognize lame efforts like this, especially when the results, sort-of, conform to one’s preconceptions. In every respect this present work is the equivalent of Jost’s attempt to “prove” Republicans as being authoritarian personalities through surveys and analyses that were every bit this bad.
The problem with all of this is lack of skepticism–Lew tries to give skepticism a bad reputation, the succesful end effect of which is to amplify group-think and wreck science.

May 5, 2013 9:52 am

Cook and Lewandowsky correspondence, reproduced here:

May 5, 2013 9:54 am

It would be a lot easier to be a warmist believer if the CO2-caused-all-global-warming paradigm actually worked. But it isn’t working.
In Science (real Science of the Scientific Method variety) theories and hypotheses make predictions, which are tested against observations.
The persistent failures of the AGW assumptions and theorizing mean that the underlying paradigm needs to be thoroughly re-examined and reworked.
What is keeping it going must be politics, because the science support for AGW is collapsing.

John Bell
May 5, 2013 9:54 am

What the heck do warmists expect the world to do, just drop the use of carbon as an energy source? It will not happen. Society is wising up fast, and turning a deaf ear to their shrill cries. BTW I love WUWT!!

May 5, 2013 10:01 am

A Serious Thought.
A – or the – major problem as everyone (sane) knows, is the difficulty in getting the MSM to even countenance the possibility of including any reality in their coverage. That is obviously changing now, but is still at this moment true.
Non- government media are, obviously, dependent on readers/viewers. Print media – but also TV to a degree – is right on the edge of a live or die transformation because of the internet. They all know that, and are mostly in fear of it. What they do, how they perceived, over the next 3 – 5 years will seal their fate. That is, within the time-frame the businesses pay attention to in attempting to plan. This is no “tomorrow” issue.
On AGW they maintain the line they have for years because they all occupy the same cocoon, and all the Influential People (that is: popular entertainers) believe and promote it.
If they are given clear, undeniable evidence that to support AGW is a minority position, and one that is trending to irrelevance in their viewers/readers, then outside the Specialist Instruction Manuals like The Guardian – and even there – they will change their tune.
So if a survey of comments/visits to real/junk sites was done, perhaps, for example, for each April going back to Peak Hysteria in 2007, and this shows (which it will) the overwhelming difference in interest, and shows a clear downward trend for Alarmism (which it will – Google searches for Climate Change indicate that) and this was sent to the MSM, they will be very strongly inclined to change their tune.
I don’t mean sending it to “journalists” although this could be done. I mean sending it to individual members of boards, media analysts in the financial sector, and possibly editors and sub-editors.
Anyone who has good reason to be interested and concerned about the business viability of a publication or network.
If a business seeks to cover the middle ground, they are not going to hold to a line that suits only one in ten people, and is on the way out.

May 5, 2013 10:13 am

Thanks, Shub. Good post!
If figures; fake studies support fake science.

May 5, 2013 10:15 am

The fact that this is happening on the INTERNET where all print media will soon have to live – and they know it – will be compelling. WUWT is the successful model on the internet; these junk sites are failures. Who is going to align themselves with that?

May 5, 2013 10:17 am

Failing to get a link posted of any of the skeptical blogs that his assistant approached meant that Lewandowsky didn’t have a study.
We can narrow this a little farther now. Judging from Shub’s chart of comments submitted to climate blogs in August 2010, failing to get a link posted at WUWT meant that Lewandowsky didn’t have a study.

May 5, 2013 10:25 am

So the question is: how did Lewandowsky and co-authors actually study climate skeptics?
The answer may surprise you.

No, not really. It’s foreseeable.

Rud Istvan
May 5, 2013 10:28 am

The analysis appears convincing, and appears to have been partly replicated. That means it proved strong evidence of academic misconduct. Lewandowsky has left UWA for Bristol?, but it would still be encumbent on UWA to see that the article is retracted. Else, those of you in Australia should go after UWA directly for countenancing academic misconduct. Those of you in the UK should seek to get him dismissed from his position at Bristol on the same grounds, with the same consequences otherwise. The authors of the analysis should send it to the journal with a request for retraction. Put some bite into the bark, for gosh sakes. That is the only effective way to root this sort of nonsense out of science.

Roger Knights
May 5, 2013 10:35 am

Psychological Science should skip to the loo with this paper.

Roger Knights
May 5, 2013 10:37 am

(PS: For clarity, I should have appended “of Lewandowski’s.”)

May 5, 2013 10:38 am

I have done…
I have just been fobbed off, case investigated, case closed, and told they will not correspond any further, and no other procedures are open to us.
My complaint to UWA listed below..
BJ Woods Complaint –
Breach of National Research Statement – Identifiable human participant in a pyschological research databank – Hostile/conflicted researchers – No consent sort out, nor given – Hostile researchers – ‘Fury’ and LOG12 Lewandowsky et al
The Purpose
The purpose of this National Statement is to promote ethically good human research. Fulfilment of this purpose requires that participants be accorded the respect and protection that is due to them. It also involves the fostering of research that is of benefit to the community.
This complaint is to the authors (and their accredited employers) of the ‘Fury’ paper and ‘Moon’ paper and to the University of Western Australia and it demonstrates I believe multiple breaches of the ethical requirements for research on human participants, as such the papers should be withdrawn and any identifiable data (including unattributed comments, as these can be googled) of all unwilling participant destroyed. I will list the reasons below:
1) The authors of the paper have been shown to active protagonists in the climate debate – championing the work of LOG 12 and attacking its critics, throughout the research timeframe at the publically funded blog Shaping Tomorrows World (Lewandowsky) – Watching the Deniers – (Marriott) – Skeptical Science (John Cook – & Lewandowsky is regular author there and co-author of the SKS debunking handbook)
2) Conduct: One of more of the authors is openly hostile towards me on his blog Watching The Deniers (M Marriott) (A Watts and others), publically labelling me DENIER, DISINFORMATION, DUNNING-KRUGER, bullshit and “Verified Bullshit” (his caps). This I feel alone is grounds for the ‘Fury’ paper to be withdrawn on ethical grounds lone (tainted, by the authors behaviour on his private blog) and all named individual data collected for this research to be made known to ( Ihave provided detail directly to the authors on their blogs (and to the journal already, but I will collate – referenced to this complaint, to follow as background material to my complaint.)
3) Respect: One or of authors have failed to show respect or behave professional to the people named in the paper or the ‘sceptical’ community. Prof Lewadowsky’s blog posts as one example (more to follow) taunting the 5 sceptical blog owner he had ‘contacted’ on his blog and giving interviews about it – at places like Desmogblog (a website, that has a number of those sceptic blog owners photographed, named and shamed tagged denier, misinformed, disinformation, denial industry, amongst other derogatory labels, in it’s Denier Disinformation Database online –
How is it possible that Prof Lewandowsky did not see that this was totally inappropriate. A professional, would have JUST emailed the 5 blog owners straight away and said it was you, here is copy of the email my assistant Hanich sent you. THIS behaviour alone, I think demonstrates the hostility of Prof Lewandowsky to his research subject matter (so called ‘sceptics’ or just members of the public that resent being labelled) and should preclude him (in my opinion) from this research and any research in this area.
4) Conflict/Vested Interests: Lewandowsky and Cook are the authors of a number of Skeptical Science (SkS) accredited books, these books are a credited with UWA and Queensland Logos (is this official?) Lewandowsky is a regular author at the Skeptical Science website. What is Prof Lewandowsky role at SkS, is it purely a private interest (but why the University accreditation, and the debunking handbook, is promoted on the UWA – Shaping Tomorrows World blog. Skeptical Science would be considered in direct antagonistic opposition to Watts Up With That, Climate Audit and all the other sceptic blogs.
5) Conflict/Vested Interest: Skeptical Science and its authors have a vested interest (it looks like commercial relationship) providing material for Al Gore’s – Climate Reality Project – Reality Drop. As such they have a direct interest in opposing and countering sceptical blog material.
One example, my
Watts Up With That article entitled – What Else did the 97% of scientists say,
which author Marriott, claims to have debunked labelled, stamped Verified Bullshit, over an adulterated WUWT graphic, .
this was then endorsed by Skeptical Science
For example, see a recent article debunked by the blog Watching the Deniers, where somebody had cherry-picked skeptical quotes from a few scientists who responded to the Doran and Zimmerman study (Eos, January 20, 2009). This only reveals that some people confuse consensus with unanimity. – Skeptical Science (SkS)
6) Harm:Respect: Further concerns are the authors and UWA have caused me harm, have failed to treat me with respect, not sort or obtained my consent and have not been able to show any justification for deceiving in my questions Prof Lewandowsky about LOG12 and by concealing from there research and following this particular named human participant whose comments (what else) have been collected
7) Complaint: In light of the summary above, My complaint is that the authors and UWA and any other associations of the authors, have failed to comply to the National Statement of Ethical Conduct in the Field of Human Research
The Purpose
The purpose of this National Statement is to promote ethically good human research. Fulfilment of this purpose requires that participants be accorded the respect and protection that is due to them. It also involves the fostering of research that is of benefit to the community.
The National statement is a actually further 111 pages long, but this is merely, I believe, the technical detail for those that perhaps do not realise that all that follows automatically from the 3 sentences above. The onus I believe is on UWA to demonstrate that they complied to the National Statement for this research, (‘Fury’ & ‘Moon’) not for the unwitting/unwilling participants to show where they UWA failed to comply to the National Statement.
Please demonstrate that the authors Lewandowsky, Cook and Marriott in particular and the further co-authors of ‘Fury’ and ‘Moon’ authors are fit, unconflicted and appropriate persons to study human participants. The paper is littered with activist rhetoric like ‘climate denials’ and references to the Exxon/fossil fuel denial industry funding sceptics, conspiracy theory. How on earth did the peer reviewers not pick this up! and not say that it was inappropriate for psychologists of all people to talk this way.
8) RESPECT: Please demonstrate the research justification for the LOG12 and Recursive Fury papers is beneficial and cause no harm.
Because harm has been done, I was initially amused to find myself named in the data alongside Richard Betts, where the researchers of sceptics were so unaware of the debate and the people they research, that this was in fact Professor Richard Betts of the UK Met Office,Head Of Climate Impacts and IPCC lead author, he asked if he was a conspiracy theorist and was met with a response from the an author. I asked the author, I was ignored, I asked another author (Watching the deniers) I was ignored. I asked all the authors by posting my concerns and asking for a response on the Skeptical Science blog, and Shaping Tomorrows World blog I was ignored. I asked the UWA to contact the authors and respond to me, I have received no response from any of the authors.
Both Richard and I were named in the data for Fury and when we enquired why, we were we not treated equally.
My expectation of the journals and University and the whole field of psychology, that as an unwilling/unwitting participant in psychology research that finds my name in a paper, that my questions would be acknowledged and answered as a courtesy at the horror I felt of the ethical conduct, when I realised how many breaches of the Ethical Conduct had been brought to UWA and the journals attention
I expected that as soon as the authors public hostility towards me, and named others in the paper was shown, that the paper would be retracted, apologies given and an ethics and misconduct investigation would be undertaken. Sadly not
I approached UWA and th ejournals as concerned member of the public, not a label like a denier concerned that without my consent identifiable data about me had been collected, in Marriotts words that well know sceptics were tracked – WHY, WHAT FOR, what possible justification, have I committed a crime, please explain yourself here., labelled a disinformer, or Marriotts ever so eloquent Bullshit or Verified Bullshit, I was shocked to find that he had labelled me – Dunning-Kruger (and I should not have to explain to anybody, least of all a psychologist why) I was rather less surprised to find John Cook endorsed it
I now feel unable to express myself freely publically, whilst I have a thick skin and can explain to my young children rude abusive people on the internet are to be ignored, I do not want to risk them finding me labelled by psychologist in any way shape or form for official research. So I can NOT I feel express myself feely under my name anymore. The fact that I was perceived as of specific concern to be followed by psychology researcher, and perhaps my words twisted quoted out of context, as I have described in the ’Fury’ case (my comment cherry picked, partially quoted)
perhaps just an anecdote to take into account: When Lewandosky was championing Peter Gleick as a hero (despite behaving unethical (and criminally?) to ’sceptics’ – Heartland incident) , I was writing to Marc Morano and Heartland to ask them to tone it down, not to publish Peter’ Gleick’s email address because I was concerned about whether his professional tragedy (Revkin – NYT) might turn into a personal tragedy.this was private correspondence but Prof Richard Betts, Dr Tamsin Edwards and I believe Dr Katie Hayhoe was copied ) can verify, my Good Faith not that I feel my conduct has in anyway demonstrated that I have ever communicated with anybody without behaving like a civil adult. I have also worked hard to try to depolarise a hostile debate, and tried to engage with the supposed ‘other side’ (including M MArriot) and persuade everybody to behave as adults.
I was not exactly a fan of Peter Gleick see why here:
11) My Request of UWA (given the circumstancces of demonstrably hostile / conflicted researchers)
I ask UWA identify any comments or data collated about me and held in any databank, or in other form, and present it to me.
I ask UWA to destroy any information collected in breach of the National Statement
I ask UWA as a courtesy to me, to provide, the grant funding, the research justification and ethical clearance for this research
I ask as a courtesy that UWA shows the benefit that this research project will bring to the community
I expect that UWA undertake (or any of the authors) seek to obtain my consent to perform further research on me, and that any any research justified as being allowed to deceive the participants fully complies with the National Statement.
The whole area of the ‘blogospheres’ surrounding climate change blog wars is no doubt a fascinating subject and I would think benefit from research to understand not least how psychologists and other climate scientists started using the language and rhetoric of political activists, and seemingly believe in an exxon/fossil fueled climate change denier industry? My only gain in the last 3 years would have been getting paid expenses to visit the Met Office to appear in a video with Prof Richard Betts, for their My Climate and Me project, so my only linkage to anything would be ‘big climate’ itself
Best Regards
Barry Woods

Bill H
May 5, 2013 10:42 am

More paper for the lew… I think this needs a solid flush…
What passes for science and what some of the so called respected journals will print is just a huge turd! this one was still unpolished..
What is one to do but just shake you head at the pure unadulterated foolishness…

May 5, 2013 11:10 am

Maybe Cook deletes nearly all the comments he receives. One imagines that well-informed sceptical comments must drive him to distraction 😉

May 5, 2013 11:11 am

‘Cook’s estimates are inflated six times over.’ so it looks like he must have been ill that day and not up to his ‘usual standards ‘ or it would have been ten times .
But is it a real surprise to find BS manufactures having nothing to sell but BS ?

May 5, 2013 11:13 am

Out of the Barbie, into the Bristle.

May 5, 2013 11:13 am

As I recall, WUWT was not even among the blogs contacted by Lewandowsky’s assistant with a request to post a link, which calls into question how much they really wanted to survey skeptic opinions.

Schrodinger's Cat
May 5, 2013 11:53 am

Perhaps those with references to the excellent posts on this subject, such as this one and others posted by AW, Jo Nova, etc, could send a summary with links to the various academic organisations that have been imprudent enough to have contact with this man, even with the proverbial bargepole.

May 5, 2013 11:53 am

As a whole, there are 59 skeptical commenters, amounting to about 9.5% of total.

Non-skeptics are close to 80%, i.e., 480 of 614. Neutral posters are 9%, and indeterminate 3%.

In analyzing the survey, I classified the 1145 responses according to the answers to the 4 climate questions into Rejectors 10.9%, Moderates 14.5% and Acceptors 74.6%.
The somewhat higher response rate in an uncontrolled internet survey might be due to the scam responses.
That said there are two further issues.
The first is obvious. A survey looking at “skeptic” beliefs ended up with three-quarters of responses from non-skeptics. Lewandowsky chose not to mention this in his responses.
The second is less obvious. People who are members of a group where that form a minority (and vilified by the majority) often have different attitudes to when they are part of a large majority. As the vast majority of skeptics rarely visit these blogs, the respondents views(even when not scam responses)may not be representative of the wider skeptic population.
Either of these two factors alone should have totally undermined the credibility of the survey. But Lewandowsky failed to deal with either.

Lars P.
May 5, 2013 11:56 am

Yes, it all seems so childish, infantile, but it is still a paper submitted to a journal that pretends to be of science and it is cited by some media outlets.
This is the scandal, as such kindergarten smearing is promoted and accepted by parts of the society who should know better. A shame.
Statistics with made up numbers to support their pet theory. How was it? Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics. This is a very good example how those kind of statistics are made by these anti-science guys. How else could people be called who do not use the scientific method but try to fake their work to make it look like science?
The damage done to science by such people is huge.
Great to have this analysis so clearly showing it Shub!

May 5, 2013 11:58 am

As Mark Twain said, “There are three degrees or classes of lies; there are lies, damned lies and statistics.”
It looks like Lewandowsky is adverting for the book, “How to Lie With Statistics”

May 5, 2013 12:13 pm

Shub, send your analysis to Lewandowsky’s new university in the UK called Bristol University. They might be interested in reading about the kind of tactics

May 5, 2013 12:14 pm

I received this reply from UWA. I do not accept that it is private or confidential, as it is in the public interest, the person that sent me the email, has never contacted me before, and especially as it finishes with no further correspondence allowed… ie not ‘allowed to reply’
and the fact that it adressed zero of my concerns, see above, it just appears to be a template blanket response and the tone ( I think) is rather surly
(I will remove the name, as a courtesy, my issue is with UWA and the authors and journals)
Dear Mr Woods,
I write with reference to the complaint you lodged in relation to published works of Professor Stephen Lewandowsky. The issues have been considered in accordance with the University’s policy on Managing Alleged Breaches of the Code of Conduct for Research Misconduct. The University has determined that there has been no breach of the code, and as a result, there is no case of research misconduct.
As you may be aware, the University received a number of complaints regarding the paper entitled Recursive Fury: Conspiracist Ideation in the Blogosphere in Response to Research on Conspiracist Ideation. Some complaint matters also referred to an earlier publication entitled NASA Faked the Moon Landing – Therefore, (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science. The University was also advised of other complaint matters by the editors of the two journals and by Prof Lewandowsky. The University was therefore in a position to consider a wide range of concerns raised in regards to the two publications,
The preliminary investigation undertaken by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) considered all the issues identified and determined that there has been no breach of the code, and therefore no case of research misconduct has been identified. However, one issue raised was of a perceived conflict of interest in relation to the identity of proprietors and significant contributors to blogs. A recommendation has been made to Prof Lewandowsky to identify these individuals with a footnote at the start of each research publication. Several other criticisms have been made in relation to the methodology used in the study and these have been referred back to the journals for peer assessment and are not part of the University investigation into responsible research practice.
The policy and procedure required to consider the issues has been appropriately followed and there are no further internal processes available. The University will not engage further with you in regards to these matters and this correspondence is now closed.
Yours sincerely,
Prof [redacted, by me]

May 5, 2013 12:17 pm

As long as we have people in political power who love ideology more than truth, we will continue to see fraudulent studies from the likes of Stephan Lewandowsky and Diederik Stapel (who recently admitted to fraud by inventing over 50 “scientific” studies). When you reward fraud, you get more of it. Today’s politicians not only encourage fraud that supports their preconceived notions, but they continue to protect and lionize fraudsters after they are caught red-handed. Honest scientists should be horrified by this disdain for real science. But where are they? Very few are willing to speak out against their dishonest brothers. We should be appreciative of those who do, including this author.

May 5, 2013 12:37 pm

Wamron says:
May 5, 2013 at 8:43 am
“Psychology can be every bit as real a science as any other. The transmision speed of a nerve signal or the re-potentiation frequency of a synapse are every bit as much real data as anything.”
Do you mean physiology, which is science?

May 5, 2013 12:44 pm

As my main concerns about the ethics and hostile to me researchers, was not addressed by UWA, I responded: despite being told the would not engae with me ‘further’..
(engage is 2 way surely, had never been contacted before by this person, prior to this I had only ever corresponded with someone else, who was passing my concerns on)
Dear Prof [redacted by me, for avoidance of doubt, NOT Prof Lewandowsky]
My complaint was in reference to the National Statement of ethics for Australian research, it appears that UWA have not addressed any of my concerns in this area, nor answered any of my questions, nor undertaken my request to remove my data from the paper.
Also, as an unwitting/unwilling participant in this research, who has given no consent, I asked for the information I was entitled to know, and I have received no response.
UWA have also not addressed any of my concerns with the behaviour of co-author Mike Marriot, deeply antagonistic behaviour to me.
Nor have UWA addressed the ethic of deception in this research, where three of the author are known to me and I have engaged with them in the climate debate, whilst unknowingly they were ‘researching me’
Nor have UWA have undertaken my reasonable request to remove my comment (which is cherry picked, not quoted in full), from the data of the ‘Fury’ Paper, given that at least one of the key researchers are openly publically hostile towards me.
As this paper does not seem to depend on my comment in anyway, I do think this is a reasonable request in the circumstances.
I am also surprised you say perceived conflict of interest, when the conflict of interest is absolute. With both John Cook and Prof Lewandowsky and their involvement in the Skeptical Science website, which provides material for Al Gore’s Climate Reality project, which makes this conflict a potentially damaging very political conflict of interest.
I also do not accept that your email is either in confidence or private, as it is very much I feel in the public interest
As Prof Lewandowsky et al felt no problem seeking press attention for these papers, I see no reason for not seeking press attention for my concerns about these papers, should I decide to.
In particular, the fundamental flaws/lies in both papers.
1) Log 12 – The lie that the survey was held at the Sceptical Science blog, based on which the content analysis used to claim a diverse audience across all blogs
This is known to be totally false and that both Cook and Lewandowsky have lied about it. (Lewandowsky doing so personally to me)
2) Fury paper – the claim that LOG 12 only received press attention from August 28 2012, and that the conspiracy ideations were traced back to sceptic blogs on this date.
This is false, and the researchers knowingly deceive the public/peers with this claim, as the LOG12 paper received extensive publicity in July (Huffington Post, Guardian in both in July), and was being widely discussed on many blogs throughout early August.
Thus making the paper worthless, as all that occurred is that the ‘alleged’ sources of ideation, were in fact just covering a story known for over a month publically, and people were just repeating the converstions at these high profile blogs.
Both of these matters will be made known in formal responses to the appropriate journals.
I remain very surprised that UWA can not see that even a ‘perceived’ conflict of interest with Prof Lewandowsky’s very public activism
and antagonistic behaviour to the very people that he is researching, is hugely problematic and potentially damaging for the field of psychology.
Please review your decision with respect to the National Statement of Research ethics for human participants.
Please request that the authors remove my name, my comment and url from the data of the Recursive Fury paper. The researchers are openly publically hostile towards me, and thus this compromises its inclusion in any psychology paper.
Barry Woods

slow to follow
May 5, 2013 12:47 pm

Barry Woods says:
May 5, 2013 at 12:14 pm
Barry – you are too polite. The Prof. is writing in a formal capacity and, if his signature was on the letter, it was there due to his choice and, presumably, it was there with the necessary authority from the University as part of his job description.

John M
May 5, 2013 12:51 pm

Barry Woods:
May 5, 2013 at 12:14 pm
Well well. Another “thorough” internal investigation.
What a shocking conclusion.

May 5, 2013 1:17 pm

Psychology is one of the soft sciences. On the Mohs Scale of Hardness I would give it a Laffy Taffy.

May 5, 2013 1:31 pm

What is keeping it going must be politics, because the science support for AGW is collapsing.
More like the 7 deadly sins.. Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Anger, Greed and Sloth all coming together to pick your pocket while they pretend to save the world.. Strange that people who dont believe in the book are able to emulate it so closely..

May 5, 2013 1:37 pm

What you are talking about is not psychology, it is neuro physiology. And yes, the latter is science, the former is not.

May 5, 2013 1:41 pm

Marvelous work, beautifully executed. Laughing my socks off.

May 5, 2013 1:48 pm

Dear Shub,
Excellent analysis. We, in the Netherlands, had our own scandal: professor Stapel.
He conceived the conclusion of his paper, and started gathering data by filling forms which he designed. And yes: Meat eaters are Bullies!
In fact he was so successful with this type of fraud, that several of his co authors went down with him.
As a consequence, we have a new verb in our dutch language: Stapelen: inventing data to show one’s predisposed ideas.
i think this is appropriate to mention here.

Robert of Ottawa
May 5, 2013 2:22 pm

LOL Watts numbers alone demonstrate what complete BS this is. Nice analysis; thankyou.

R. Shearer
May 5, 2013 2:22 pm

I smell Nobel Prize.

May 5, 2013 2:38 pm

Wamron says ” i would expect virtually every “Troofer” that draws air believes fervently in CAGW”.
Interesting idea… So a skeptic of the establishment’s (MSM etc) position on your list of conspiracies is assumed to accept MSM’s position of AGW? Would one not expect that skepticism is an approach to life and that any statement without data would be suspect?
At some point one chooses to believe some data set, whether supposedly accurate thermometer readings or supposedly accurate statements from “experts”. If one sees that experts may make mis-statements, or that data may be “corrected” then it becomes quite hard to know who or what is true.
Where that leads one… I suspect some become “Troofers” by choosing one source of data, some choose to believe everything they hear from the MSM and become ??? , and the rest are somewhere in between.

May 5, 2013 2:39 pm

The mere mention of the SKS web site as one of the sources of “evidence” totally destroys any credibility for this paper.
Everyone with even half a brain knows that you are blacklisted from SKS the minute you post even a half logical sceptical post just in case the unthinking worshippers might start to actually think.
There is no expression of scepticism allowed at SKS – posts are always either edited to leave meaningless fragments or when the argument cannot be overturned in this manner or any – gasp – facts contrary to the allowed meme are presented posts are simply deleted.
If you complain about being defamed – because deleting parts of your posts to leave the impression you are a simpleton is actually defamation – you are summarily banned by blocking your IP address.
Happened to me and I now thank them for it – I can get worshipping opinions at many sites as well as a good discussion – you cannot get a good discussion at SKS.

May 5, 2013 2:42 pm

I agree that there are major lessons to be learned from the massive data manipulation and data faking that Diederik Stapel got away with for 15 years.
The Levelt report on Stapel mentions several other bad practices that fall short of Stapel’s own, but should not be encouraged by psychologists or considered acceptable by journals. Yet they are apparently widespread, and some have had the gall to come out and defend them.
For instance, planning to give your survey to a sample of a certain size, then deliberately quitting before you get to that number, because you have obtained statistically significant results in the predicted direction—which you fear may disappear when more participants are included.
And to be completely clear here, Lewandowsky has not been charged with making up data.
He appears to have conducted a study in a grossly incompetent, biased fashion, which ended up encouraging some participants at warmist sites to indulge in fake survey responses (in which they pretended to be skeptics and conspiracy nuts).
But faking by participants is always a source of concern in survey research.
In addition, Lewandowsky has made some false statements about the way he recruited participants. I suspect this was partly motivated by the desire to avoid embarrassment, but no link to his survey was ever posted at Skeptical Science and surely he knew that none had been. When his dishonesty led to public complaints about his recruitment and data collection that he then chalked up to “conspiracist ideation,” he compounded the offense.

May 5, 2013 2:44 pm

The policy and procedure required to consider the issues has been appropriately followed and there are no further internal processes available. The University will not engage further with you in regards to these matters and this correspondence is now closed.
Bureaucratic arrogance in its purest form.

May 5, 2013 2:46 pm

jc: another cogent comment We are indeed 5 minutes away from the “tipping point” when the fraud and scams of the agw promoters are revealed for what they are. I have been all over the world wide web posting on skeptic sites. The END is coming for the warmists. They know it; we know it. It can’t happen soon enough. My point was simple: We are winning, keep up the fight. I go further, let’s punish them while we are at it. Does anyone think they would have any hesitation in pummeling us if we were down. Let’s go after them!

May 5, 2013 2:58 pm

“Harry says:
May 5, 2013 at 1:37 pm
What you are talking about is not psychology, it is neuro physiology. And yes, the latter is science, the former is not.
I thought some “bright spark” would come out with that one…unfortunately for you, if you take a BSc in Psychology you DO have to study those things and a great deal more of a similar nature besides.. And if you thought physics was a challenge try memorising the sequence of events in a Hebbiaen synapse.
No, its psychology. And its a science. Patently you know nothing about it.

May 5, 2013 3:04 pm

~Matin Fisher, Ive no idea what you are blathering about and passed it over once I realised you hadnt understood a statement which I had made with a degree of clarity I think you would do well to emulate.
The principle I was proposing was, maybe in your language: ” Whats fair play for the goose is fair play for the gander.”
Are you a 9/11 conspiracy nutter?

May 5, 2013 3:08 pm

tchannon says:.
Same predictable response as that other guy I just rebutted.
You can try re-labelling it but its integral to the second year of BSc psychology degree.
Again, you obviously know nothing about psychology.

May 5, 2013 4:21 pm

This thread is about the misbehaviour of Lewandowsky.
Please layoff Wamron and his profession. You risk driving a valued contributor to WUWT threads from the blog. And your attacks are not relevant to the thread.

May 5, 2013 4:33 pm

The Lewandowsky effect on British education is is similar to the Gore effect on weather. It’s doomed.
The University of Bristol may as well go full hog and introduce a Bsc in Data Manipulation? If they worked directly with the University of East Anglia it would be a real success.
Anyone in the UK who has near university aged children should now seriously consider looking East for their child’s education.

May 5, 2013 5:00 pm

I think it might be helpful to review what the survey was about. I was initially fascinated by this survey. I first became aware of this survey from the WUWT post here:
You can still view the entire survey and WUWT was going to post results (as most of the survey takers labeled themselves as “skeptics”)
I think the only change in the replication was to use a 1 to 5 ranking vs. Lewandowsky’s 1 to 4, which several people with experience have noted should have improved the overall responses.
I don’t believe WUWT ever posted the results of the replicated survey. The results would have shown what real “skeptics’” answers were. Correct me if I am wrong about WUWT posting the results.

Sam the First
May 5, 2013 5:08 pm

To think that this fraudulent clown is being offered a position in the department of the late great Richard Gregory, Prof of Neuropsychology at my alma mater, Bristol University. He would weep. I had the pleasure of working closely with him on a book in the 1990s, in his chosen specialisation of perception. I can’t imagine this appointment happening under his watch.
@ Barry Woods: Can I please beg you sir, to find a proof-reader before you approach a university complaints department in any future case, however justified your grounds for complaint? Not only are your missives very repetitive, hard to follow, and overly long, but they’re littered with such no-nos as grammatical and spelling mistakes, missing words, mistaken words (eg: sort for sought) etc. Academics react very negatively to such basic errors. I very much doubt your missives got further than the first reader, who sent out a form letter in response, probably without reading yours right through.

May 5, 2013 5:09 pm

This “bright spark” as you refer to me, did not do a BSc, but finished his PhD. So, no matter how much you want to ridicule me, as far as I am concerned, you are the one that is ridiculed.
I rest my case.

Sam the First
May 5, 2013 5:13 pm

I meant to add, that it’s surely nonsensical to include in any such survey as Lewandowsky’s, any website or blog which routinely censors and deletes dissenting posts, and bans dissenters from its prevailing stance.
That such blogs were included, on its own renders the survey worthless

May 5, 2013 6:03 pm

Sam the First,
It is indeed sad to contemplate Stephan Lewandowsky taking up residence in what was Richard Gregory’s department.
Whatever editorial infelicities there might be in Barry Woods’ letter of complaint, the reply he received from UWA strongly suggests that several other complaints have been handled in exactly the same way.

more soylent green
May 5, 2013 6:10 pm

This is a great example of why the modern tenure system should be discarded. This so-called study is nothing more than a thinly-veiled attempt to discredit climate skeptics by marginalizing them. In the old Soviet Union, dissidents were often discredited by proclaiming they suffered from mental illness. Instead of prison, they were locked away in mental institutions and drugged into submission.

more soylent green
May 5, 2013 6:18 pm

Wamron says:
May 5, 2013 at 8:33 am
Someone needs to conduct a study….a real one, no con-tricks…investigating the level of correlation between CAGW belief and belief in conspiracy theories that 9/11 was an inside-Bush and Cheney Did It production. i would expect virtually every “Troofer” that draws air believes fervently in CAGW. Its this intensity of correlation on that side of the equation that would be interesting, not how many CAGW believers as a whole are “Troofers”.
It still wont be science…correlation is not evidence of anything by itself in any case.
But thats not the point.

Do you propose that the “truthers” are primarily left-wingers? Neo-Marxists, 99%-ers, “Occupiers” or related far-left malcontents?

May 5, 2013 6:25 pm

I don’t doubt psychology is a science. Unfortunately too few people know enough about it to form valid judgments on whether a report “based on psychology” is legitimate or fabrication. The rise of “pop psychology” has not helped this. Like anyone who thinks they know more about a topic than others, psychologists can descend into “code” speak, where a few important sounding words can confuse a listener and make them think the speaker knows what they’re talking about.
I’ve also occasionally done the same when required to convince a potential client that I know what I’m doing when it comes to I.T. or programming in general. I hate doing it…
Some of Lew’s methodologies and conclusions are way across the line, going from bafflegab to pure fabrication. This is one of those. As others have commented above, including SkS in any form completely invalidates any possible conclusion. I’ve never before seen any forum site on any topic do as much underhanded fiddling of comments left by people. Even in car related forums, which can get VERY confrontational and argumentative, usually the worst thing done to a dissenting poster is to delete them and their posts. Altering posts to change their meaning or make the poster look like an idiot is dishonest at best, and probably should be unlawful.
But I guess if it promotes your fervent belief, almost anything appears justified. This IS how wars start, and IS how people blow others up. The warmist cult might be among the most insidious religions ever formed.

May 5, 2013 6:28 pm

Charlatan is the word that springs to mind!

May 5, 2013 6:40 pm

Sam the First says:
May 5, 2013 at 5:08 pm
“Academics react very negatively to such basic errors.”
The reason why they do that is to avoid the issues and to run the logical fallicy of ad hom as a way to ignore the issue. Also his general points got across just fine and he wasn’t the only ones filing against this paper. Its pretty clear cut they want to bury the isue because they know they will lose.
@Barry please keep us updated on that mess. If possibe can you file with your own ethics department or maybe even have someone file an eithics complaint against you to force your ethics department to look into the issue?

May 5, 2013 6:59 pm

I hope I’m not repeating something that has already been said above….but I am always amazed that Lew can persist with this nonsense about ‘deniers’ who believe that NASA faked the moon landings,when a man who WALKED on the moon, as well as scientists/technicians who helped him get there and back -have declared themselves ‘skeptics’.
Surely this simple fact debunks all Lew’s conspiracy garbage in one fell stroke?

Chad Wozniak
May 5, 2013 8:37 pm

Great jobs, Shub and Barry W. KUTGW.
I guess now all we have to do is direct Loo-and-poo-sky to WUWT, Climate Depot, JoNova, JunkScience.com, CFACT, Bishop Hill, the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Climatism!.com, Jennifer Marohasy and see how few skeptic commenters he still thinks there are.

May 5, 2013 9:50 pm

I used to try to put criticisms on warmist web sites, and I was kicked off and called a troll for not agreeing with them. What could they be sampling besides useful idiots. My views are here: http://www.nov79.com

Shub Niggurath
May 5, 2013 10:55 pm

Tom Curtis (carrying the water for John Cook, anyone know why?), raises questions. As usual, Tom is good for the most base level of factual accuracy, but from there on, all bets are off.
First he says that 80% of commenters are ‘warmists’, which is the same as Cook’s estimate. This misses key points, that commenter JunkPsychology notes above. First, Cook does not state where he got his 1067 commenters from to classify. What is this population? We don’t know. Second, classifying commenters is not an easy task – many offer the bare minimum information to categorically place them in one or the other group. The fact that Cook took a thousand commenters and shoehorned them into neat and easy bins of skeptic and warmist, only shows that he blithely overestimated skeptics in his own audience. A more accurate estimate shows skeptics to be ~10% of the total, a figure which repeats across blogs (Skepticalscience, Deltoid) and between observers. What matters is whether the survey was posted at a venue where skeptics are active, engaged and likely to respond positively to blog owners’ requests. Tom has no answer for this fundamental requirement for survey sampling not being fulfilled.
Then, Tom claims that Junkscience.com posted the survey. The paper itself does not recognize survey participants from Junkscience.com. The paper also claims significant participation from Skepticalscience readers when there are actually none.
The next bit is ironic. Tom writes:
“I should add, Shub also demonstrates the much larger readership at the “skeptical blogs” than at the pro-science blogs. It follows that had the owners of those “skeptical” blogs posted links to the survey, the proportion of “skeptics” to pro-consensus respondents to the survey would have been reversed. The lack of “skeptical” respondents to the survey was not by design of Lewandowsky and his co-authors.”
Everything stated above is correct. Without getting down into the Freudian slips, the lack of skeptical respondents is not from bad study design, though there are enough indications to suggest this, but from a complete failure of translating design into practice. Lewandowsky’s intention in contacting skeptical blogs was to sample skeptical opinion. He and his co-authors never translated this.
The final is funny:
“Rather it is the direct consequence of “skeptics” not wanting their views of their supporters to be known”
Really? Skeptical bloggers conspired to not post Lewandowsky’s survey? Everyone contacted had to go rummaging in their spam folders to pull out emails from Lewandowsky and his associate. This brings things to rock-bottom with Curtis’ arguments.

May 5, 2013 11:41 pm

I’m somewhat surprised that someone hasn’t proceeded with legal action re libel regarding the Recursive Fury paper,or are attempts on defamation allowed now?

May 6, 2013 12:07 am

Sam the first, when i wrote my complaint, i was on holiday, working on a tablet.
I had previously just asked for some information, given the circumstances from the authors, and had been completely ignored. I am just a member of the public, my expectation from the journal, uwa wascdor them tovreact in horror ar whar lewandowsky et alnwere doing, thank me very much, snd just deal with it and to withdraw both papers.
Because of such blatant activism, and researchers that were so very conflicted, being atagonistic and publically hostile to their research subjects. I don’t have the time nor energy for this, if the field of psychology is not offended by all this, and refuses to take action. What more can I do and why should i care for psychologies reputation.
I yhought psychology was supposed to protect the public from this sort of politicised behaviour!

May 6, 2013 12:16 am

Still on a tablet and i don’ t care about typos, still on holiday.
When i get back, now that I’ve been given the brush off, am inclined to publish all correspondence and be done with it.
Why are not psychologist offended by The actions of activist hostile to research subjects, psychologists

Gareth Phillips
May 6, 2013 12:26 am

I think that some of the problems related to this paper is the definition of a Skeptic. In the eyes of most commentators Skeptical Science is not remotely sceptical of any climate issue, but they feel they are and are good example of how a genuine skeptic thinks and feels. Much of their thinking is based on that idea, so in their eyes someone who believes that AGW is only 99% correct is a skeptic, and anyone who questions the fundamentals of the science is beyond the pale.If their classification of attitudes is seen in this light it is more understandable, though it still remains a pretty rotten piece of research.

May 6, 2013 12:44 am

more soylent green [May 5, 2013 at 6:18 pm] says:
“Do you propose that the “truthers” are primarily left-wingers? Neo-Marxists, 99%-ers, “Occupiers” or related far-left malcontents?”

Yes that is correct. The crackpots are overwhelmingly leftists. And those that appear as “right-wing” are likely to be false flaggers.
This Scientologist, Lewandowsky, merely thought he was being clever pointing the finger elsewhere, rather than right back at himself and his fellow travelers. This thesis, that “truthers” are on the right and are anti-science and climate den!ers is itself a prime example of leftist crackpotism, a so-called conspiracy theory. Connect the dots, secret societies of big oil barons paying anti-science bloggers, a huge coordinated effort to destroy them. It’s all there, only the subject matter is changes from theory to theory. Lewandowsky is exactly what he is writing about. A crackpot.

Latimer Alder
May 6, 2013 2:25 am

@barry woods
Sure. Publish it. UWA is a public body. I don’t see any reason why their correspondence with a member of the public should be confidential. Go for it!
PS – sorry to say that I agree with Sam. A proof reader/editor would improve your stuff a lot. On a blog minor errors don’t matter a lot, but in formal correspondence they do. ‘Being on holiday’ doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t present your case as clearly, concisely and crisply as you can.
Remember the aphorism attributed to Churchill
‘I am sorry to send you such a long letter. I do not have time to write a short one’.
Wise words.

May 6, 2013 2:52 am

Here is what I encountered over at SkS . .
“keitho at 01:13 AM on 6 May, 2013
I do hope that the same chicanery that happened with the last attempt at profiling doesn’t happen again. Shub Niggurath has done some analysis on that paper and it doesn’t look good . .
Tom Curtis at 07:46 AM on 6 May, 2013
keitho @22, its odd that you should refer to Shub Niggurath’s piece as proof of chicanery in LOG13 (moon landing paper). What he demonstrates after detailed (and likely biased) analysis is that slightly less than 80% of commenters on the pro-science sites that posted LOG13 survey support the consensus on climate change; ie, approximately the same percentage as in the survey itself. Beyond that the analysis seems entirely based on misinterpreting “broad readership” as meaning “readership equally divided between those opposing and those accepting the consensus”.
Curiously, despite his detailed analysis, he fails to mention that a link to the survey was posted on at least one “skeptical” blog, ie, Junk Science. Admitedly Junk Science was not one of the blogs contacted by Lewandowsky, but that is hardly relevant. The fact that the link was posted on a “skeptical blog” undermines the entire basis of Shub’s analysis.”
Not sure about Tom Curtis’ role over there is but he obviously misses Shub’s points completely.

May 6, 2013 3:02 am

Latimer. I originaly tried:
“The researchers are conflicted, hostile bloggers against the people they research, please ask the authors to remove my name, data and urls from the paper – Recursive Fury”
THAT sentence alone, SHOULD have been enough for both papers to have been pulled, by the journalsand UWA. It is psychology after all. !! Hostile researchers, fighting sceptics on their own blogs!
MUCH better submissions than mine, have recieved the EXACT same response, from UWA
I just thought I just had to put something forward, even if it ruined my holiday, my wife was upset with time wasted on this. I just didn’t want my chidren to come across this in the future, nor their friends.
mine was purely my personal opinion, trying to get my name out of a paper, where I get labelled a conspiracy theorist, where both reseaechers, doing the work, Cook And Marriott are hostilevtowards me, and have been shown to have a stong vested interest, in disparging anything I write at WUWT.
In particular, my WUWT article, What else did 97% of scientists say.
My first sentence to the journals above, shoukd have been enough, (along with links evidence i provided)
If my actions are not good enough for armchair sceptic commentatirs. Why don’t you all take the time to do the work, “properly”, what’s stopping everybody. I have a family, 3 small children, day job, elderly unwell parents, a grandmother who spent Easter holidays, whilst complaints were happening, suffering multiple falls etc. I am done with this.
Let psychology reputation fester, I don’t care, OTHER psychologists should be offended and complaining.
Not me, I really can’t be bothered being a sceptic any more, at the moment, if ‘Science’ doesn’t care about this sort of activism, why should i care about science any more
Curently at a chess tournament, with my son

Latimer Alder
May 6, 2013 4:21 am

@barry woods
Whoa…hold on there, tiger!
You’re not the sort to give up just like that.
Sceptics come in all sorts of shapes and sizes…that’s one of the characteristics – uniform they ain’t. Some are great at forensics (McSteve), some at narrative (the Bish), some at ridcule, some at deep diving the ‘science’.
You are especially good at persistence…if we didn’t already have a ‘Tiger’, you’d be him. But ‘Terrier’ Woods will do.
Take a break, go for a walk, have a drink or relax in whatever way floats your boat. Forget about it all for a few days. Then reconsider.
I’m confident that you’ll return even more determined to adhere to your motto
Nil illegitimi carborundum.
which – as all Latin scholars will know – translates as

‘Don’t let the bastards grind you down’


Shub Niggurath
May 6, 2013 4:31 am

The psychology game is played differently. If you read the literature, there are several instances of psychology post-graduates and majors researching small communities and vulnerable groups via deception (there was no other way to win their trust). This won the approval of several members of their profession. Psychology researchers anticipate backlash from deceived subjects and take that as a sign that their research conclusions must have hit the mark. I believe Lewandowsky says as much in one of his passages. As a response, the psychology community walled off studying ‘vulnerable groups; (as did all medical research) without strong ethics review procedures and protections in place. Online skeptics are by no stretch members of a vulnerable group, but, if you transport petty insults dressed up as pop psychology into the peer-reviewed domain, you create a situation where your former fellow debater cannot respond.
If your evidence is enough, it has not been presented to those who would take an equanimous look at it. You make the case until someone who’s supposed to get it, gets it. If you don’t have the time, someone else will, and there are other times. Lewandowsky and Cook have behaved in an exploitative manner, utilizing public commentary offered in good faith to a group they belong (at least Cook and Hubble Marriott do) for personal gain.

May 6, 2013 4:54 am

in response
Wamron says:
May 5, 2013 at 8:33 am
Someone needs to conduct a study….a real one, no con-tricks…investigating the level of correlation between CAGW belief and belief in conspiracy theories that 9/11 was an inside-Bush and Cheney Did It production. i would expect virtually every “Troofer” that draws air believes fervently in CAGW. Its this intensity of correlation on that side of the equation that would be interesting, not how many CAGW believers as a whole are “Troofers”.
It still wont be science…correlation is not evidence of anything by itself in any case.
But thats not the point.
actually most of us “troofers” as you so snarkily call us, gee a denier type slam?
actually ARE informed well read and DO NOT believe in AGW
its a scam like majority govvy led media money and psyops events:-)
GW is about control just as Agenda 21 millenium hype is planning using AGW warmist crud to scare the gullible into compliance
same as the falseflags are to scare the public into handing over right and freedoms.
the Gullible Nonsceptics who believe the govt led agitprop over warming and terrorism are the ones to worry about.
and FYI since Aussies handed legal guns over to our govt..we now have MORE guncrimes and killings as well as glassing stabbing etc than ever we had before
a defenceless public is a criminals delight!

May 6, 2013 5:16 am

I have made it very very clear to the editors of Psychological Science and Frontiers and UWA
The editor of Psycholoigical Science has not even acknowledged my existance, the editor of Frontiers treated it as some sort of academic issue. Only by phoning frontiers and spelling it out very robustly, did the Fury paper get, temporarily removed, subject to complaint.
I expectedboth editors to say, omg, we don’t want this activist (conflicted hostile researchers) rubbish in our journal, thank you for bringing it to our attention! and to withdraw it instantly.
Prof Lewandowsky also lied to me personally from my very first enquiry, trying to find the URL for the Skeptical Science survey. It did not exist, yet the paper hangs on it, and he lied to me about having had it, and had lost it!
Yet Lewandowsky, know i kniw, they know, i know (and others) that this is a total lie, yet stillnthey felt able to publish.
I had never heard of Lewandiwsky, i had just read Dr Adam Corners gushing review of it in the Guardian and wrote to the authors asking some questions. And he lied.
In my 20 yr plus career, anybody shown to have lied, once would have been out!
If the editors are happy to publish, there is nothing more i can do, but to hold them in contempt and to get on with my life

May 6, 2013 5:17 am

Junkpsych, you say Lew didnt have a survey because he failed to get wuwt involved.
It is worse than that. He did not even try to get Wuwt. His 5 so-called skeptic blogs included Pielke jr (not a skeptic) and Morano (not really a blog).

May 6, 2013 5:23 am

If the editors of psychology journals, nor those responsible for ethics in uwa don’t get it, nobody will.

May 6, 2013 7:57 am

I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Lewandowsky avoided WUWT on purpose.

May 6, 2013 8:05 am

“Rather it is the direct consequence of “skeptics” not wanting their views of their supporters to be known”
Conspiracist ideation!

May 6, 2013 8:15 am

I expected both editors to say, omg, we don’t want this activist (conflicted hostile researchers’) rubbish in our journal, thank you for bringing it to our attention! and to withdraw it instantly.
There are psychology editors who would have reacted in the way Barry Woods expects.
Unfortunately, neither the editor of Psychological Science nor the editor of Frontiers are in this category.
From what I’ve seen of the “conspiracizing” literature, previous authors of studies on “monological” conspiracy theorizing and “conspiracist ideation,” such as Ted Goertzel and Marina Abalakina-Paap and Viren Swami, were never able to get their stuff into Psychological Science.
It was Lewandowsky who broke in, with what looks like the very worst study of them all.

Lars P.
May 6, 2013 10:56 am

Barry Woods says:
May 6, 2013 at 5:23 am
If the editors of psychology journals, nor those responsible for ethics in uwa don’t get it, nobody will.
Barry, they may not react immediately. Maybe they will never react. They maybe hope that with time people will forget these “minor” things.
However the Internet never forgets.The information is there available and can be seen and searched. Imagine all students at UWA can go and check what paper does “their” professor write. What lew quality the paper has, what kind of ethics does he have! UWA is to remain related with these papers and this professor.
The more nonsense he produces, the more lew papers they publish, the less they do, the more awkward is their position. They still live in a bubble, question is for how long.
The same for the journals. they do not have to act, they can keep the papers there, it is their journal that collects such papers.
The papers have been throughout reviewed and shredded to pieces, one needs only to read the blogs. It is even more embarrassing for them that you have drawn them the attention to it. They cannot say “we are not reading WUWT, or other blogs”.
Keeping the papers there just shows the lew quality of those journals.
The more they do such the sooner they become irrelevant. We live in interesting times, and many things are changing very fast.

May 6, 2013 1:02 pm

ozspeaksup says:
May 6, 2013 at 4:54 am
I must admit i have never meet a truther before that wasn’t a hardcore pro-agw type. “Us” “evil deniers” are almost always matched with the birther crowd… mostly because the logic and demands are the same. Combined with the same tactics to deny information. Climategate may have be a road map you blocking bithers from info. Same tactic, almost exactly the same lies… in order no less and a huge need to bury everything because no matter the true the coverup was huge.
Truthers talk about stuff like false flags but obama has been proven to have committed at least one(fast and furoius), he’s running hardcore coverups of many questionable actions as well. Any person with any common sense would have known back in 2008 that obama was a totalitarian nut case… yet the truther movement then and still today heavily supports him… why? Simply because bush is the devil. The truther movement in my view was/is a falseflag action of 9/11… not a reaction to a falseflag.

Climate Daily
May 7, 2013 4:01 am

Reblogged this on Climate Daily.

%d bloggers like this:
Verified by MonsterInsights