As if there could be any more ludicrous antics from this plonker, we now find that Dr. Stephan Lewandowsky pulled a bait and switch on ethical approvals for his psychological research papers at the University of Western Australia that were designed from the start to smear climate skeptics. It’s so unreal, it can only be called science fiction, or perhaps Lewdicrous SciFi.
Steve McIntyre observes in More False Claims from Lewandowsky:
…I’ve been mildly interested in Lewandowsky’s claims about people subscribing to contradictory beliefs at the same time, as for example, the following:
While consistency is a hallmark of science, conspiracy theorists often subscribe to contradictory beliefs at the same time – for example, that MI6 killed Princess Diana, and that she also faked her own death.
Lewandowsky’s assertions about Diana are based by an article by Wood et al. entitled “Dead and Alive: Beliefs in Contradictory Conspiracy Theories”.
He goes on to say:
…nowhere in Wood et al 2012 is there any explicit statement that only two respondents purported to believe in the Faked Death theory that was highlighted in the abstract. Had readers been aware that only two people purported to subscribe to this theory, then they would obviously not expect “many people to give high endorsement to both theories”. Unfortunately when zero people subscribed to both theories, one cannot justifiably assert that “In Study 1(n= 137), the more participants believed that Princess Diana faked her own death, the more they believed that she was murdered”.
Got that? Zero.
A new FOIA on the ethical approval process for Lewandowsky’s research has been obtained by Australian Climate Madness.
Simon there has done a Yeoman’s work in getting to the bottom of Lewandowsky’s machinations, and it illustrates vividly why FOIA is so important in verifying if researchers have behaved ethically and professionally when nobody is watching them.
Shub Niggurath has done a summary of the whole affair laid bare by Simon’s work and it is a case study in noble cause corruption in my opinion:
The now-withdrawn Lewandowsky Fury paper (link) is possibly one of the egregious examples of ethically compromised research encountered.
The approval was granted as a “follow-up” study to the ‘Moon’ paper. The ‘Moon Hoax’ paper was itself was approved under an application for “Understanding Statistical Trends”. As recounted here, “Understanding Statistical Trends” was a study where Lewandowsky’s associates showed a graph to shopping mall visitors and asked questions (link pdf). This application was modified to add the ‘Moon hoax’ questions on the day the original paper was accepted for publication. The same application was modified for the ‘Recursive Fury’ paper. Each modification introduced ethical considerations not present in the previous step. Nevertheless, three unrelated research projects were allowed to be stacked on to a single ethics approval by the university board. In this way, Lewandowsky was able to carry out covert observational activities on members of the general public, as they reacted to his own work, with no human research ethical oversight.
Complaints to the University of Western Australia have been deferred, complaints to journals (including mine) have been ignored.
Won’t somebody, anybody, in a position of authority stand up for decency, honesty, and integrity when it comes to Lewandowksy’s bogus ‘science’? Or are you all too timid and complicit in protecting one of your own?