The two most bizarre people in the climate debate have now had the most bizarre thing happen to them and their garbage science paper that basically become a peer reviewd smear of Dr. Susan Crockford.. Retraction watch notes:
What Caught Our Attention: There’s a lot going on here, so bear with us. (Ba-dum-bum.)
First, there was the paper itself, co-authored by, among others, Michael Mann and Stephan Lewandowsky. Both names may be familiar to Retraction Watch readers. Mann is a prominent climate scientist who has sued the National Review for defamation. A study by Lewandowsky and colleagues of “the role of conspiracist ideation in climate denial” was the subject of several Retraction Watch posts when it was retracted and then republished in a different form. And the conclusion of the new paper, in Bioscience, seemed likely to draw the ire of many who objected to the earlier work:
By denying the impacts of [anthropogenic global warming] AGW on polar bears, bloggers aim to cast doubt on other established ecological consequences of AGW, aggravating the consensus gap.
Indeed, there was the predictable reaction to the paper. Judith Curry referred to it as “absolutely the stupidest paper I have ever seen published.” And Susan Crockford, one of the bloggers referred to repeatedly in the paper, and now in the correction, raised questions. (In several blog posts, natch.) Crockford reported last week that the journal would be issuing a correction. Which it now has.
But what really caught our attention was that the correction appears not in Bioscience, but in another journal from the same publisher (Oxford University Press), Neurosurgery. If you’ve ever tried to perform neurosurgery on a polar bear — and hey, we’d like to hear from you! — then perhaps you can understand the mixup. We, however, are chalking it up to a typo in the DOI for now.
Meanwhile, Dr. Susan Crockford has this to say:
After four long months of waiting, late last week I finally received an official response from the editor of BioScience regarding my retraction request for the Harvey et al. paper (Internet Blogs, Polar Bears, and Climate-Change Denial by Proxy), which I sent 5 December 2017.
From the sounds of it, the wait took so long because the paper went through a tedious process of parsing words just so among the 14 co-authors (akin to that used by the IPCC in constructing the Summary for Policy Makers), to convey the authors meaning and retain as much of the original insult as possible. In reality, we know the decision was made barely two weeks after I sent the request (16 December 2017) because that day, BioScience editor Scott Collins told a reporter he had no intention of retracting the paper.
In the end, the authors were compelled to make two small word changes. The editor insists that:
“…prior to publication, the article was peer reviewed by highly reputable scholars with expertise on the topic as per our standard procedures.”
So he says.
Michael Mann and Stephan Lewandowsky should just give up. Their credibility on this issue is hosed.