Reef Scientist Receives “Standing Up for Science” Award for Defending His Climate Change Claims

Terry Hughes
Terry Hughes. ARCCOE [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Dr. Willie Soon – Reef Scientist Terry Hughes has received the John Maddox Prize for standing up for science, to acknowledge his spirited defence of his claim that reef coral which survived hundreds of millions of years of extreme climate shifts and extinction level events is in grave peril due to our gradual modern warming.

Reef scientist Terry Hughes awarded prize for standing up to political ‘smears’

Coral reef scientist jointly awarded John Maddox prize weeks after his research centre lost government funding

Judges have awarded an Australian scientist a prestigious international prize, saying he has battled political smears and public attempts to discredit his work in order to shine a light on the devastating effects of climate change on coral reefs.

Prof Terry Hughes was jointly awarded the John Maddox prize on Wednesday for bringing public attention to coral bleaching.

It comes only weeks after his research centre lost government funding for its work.

Known as the “standing up for science prize”, the award acknowledges scientists who promote their research as a matter of public interest and do so in the face of attempts to criticise their work.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/15/reef-scientist-terry-hughes-awarded-prize-after-standing-up-to-political-smears

Back in the real world Peter Ridd, a scientist who genuinely stood up for science by demanding evidence to support wild claims that the Great Barrier Reef is endangered, is still fighting to get his job back.

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mikebartnz
November 16, 2018 10:16 pm

I am glad you mentioned Dr Ridd as he certainly deserved that prize.

Reply to  mikebartnz
November 17, 2018 5:58 am

Excerpted commentary:

Judges have awarded an Australian scientist [Prof Terry Hughes] a prestigious international prize (John Maddox Prize), saying he has battled political smears and public attempts to discredit his work in order to shine a light on the devastating effects of climate change on coral reefs.

It is quite obvious to me that the ONLY reason that Terry Hughes was awarded that per se “prestigious prize” was to insure continued public support and approval of the university’s decision to terminate Peter Ridd.

Peter Ridd’s legal quest to be reinstated in his old position is now less likely, simply because, his former employer can not cite the above “prestigious prize” awarding as further evidence in support of Ridd’s termination

Greg
Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
November 17, 2018 6:51 am

Ridd’s case stands on its own merits and does not rely on some arbitrary prize being given to him. This makes no difference tot he legal case.

Reply to  Greg
November 18, 2018 5:56 am

Greg, ……. getta clue, …… Ridd wasn’t the one who was awarded a prize.

Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
November 17, 2018 10:42 am

Maybe we should all contribute to a foundation that will reward scientists whose climate work is consistent with Karl Popper and is therefore real science.

Cheers

Roger

http://www.rogerfromnewzealand.wordpress.com

David /Dave
Reply to  Roger
November 17, 2018 11:36 pm

Yes,Roger…

“It’s about science with a public conscience,”

Just about says it all, eh?

Cheers.

Dave

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
November 17, 2018 12:58 pm

“can not?” or “can now?”

probably neither

November 16, 2018 10:21 pm

Hypocrisy is one of the many features of the alarmist bureaucracy.

LdB
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
November 16, 2018 11:53 pm

It is a way they can try and show support like you do a mate who just did the most stupid thing you have ever seen and now sits there with that mortified look on his face … you know the one 🙂

Chris Hanley
November 16, 2018 11:24 pm

We showed that 29 per cent of it exceeded the threshold for collapse in the north …. (Professor Hughes).
======================================
Divers disagree : “… if you believe reports in many main stream media outlets you would think that Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is dead after two coral bleaching events in recent years. Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth, especially on the Far Northern Reefs …”:
https://www.diveplanit.com/marine-environment/great-barrier-reef-far-northern-reefs/

Leo Smith
November 16, 2018 11:39 pm

The truth is subservient to the narrative.

The Party looks after its own.

drednicolson
Reply to  Leo Smith
November 17, 2018 2:12 pm

Comrades, what is the narrative?
That which leads us to truth.
Comrades, what is the truth?
That which we find in the narrative.

Chris Hanley
November 16, 2018 11:42 pm

Many in the political and media classes in Australia believe the GBR doom stories and further believe that windmills have some apotropaic power to ‘save’ it.

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  Chris Hanley
November 17, 2018 12:35 pm

Everyone at work believes it.

drednicolson
Reply to  Chris Hanley
November 17, 2018 2:26 pm

Magic pinwheels to make the unicorns fly.

Bill In Oz
November 16, 2018 11:45 pm

Eric, why not post the diveplanit post directly here.It refutes the catstrophic dying claim completely.

LdB
Reply to  Bill In Oz
November 17, 2018 12:07 am

It has been widely reported
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/great-barrier-reef-scientists-exaggerated-coral-bleaching/news-story/99810c83f5a420727b12ab255256774b

Dr Reichelt said maps accompanying the research had been misleading, exaggerating the ­impact. “I don’t know whether it was a deliberate sleight of hand or lack of geographic knowledge but it certainly suits the purpose of the people who sent it out,” he said.

At worst he is accused of fabricating things at best he is incompetent by even the reef authority itself.

LdB
Reply to  LdB
November 17, 2018 12:17 am

We probably should add that his fall from grace had nothing to do with his belief in climate science, it was that he physically presented maps and a presentation etc of damage that were blatantly untrue. In science terms he doctored the data and in most science fields that will leave you with a hearing of fraud but in climate science it seems you get an award.

Robertvd
Reply to  LdB
November 17, 2018 7:29 am

In Climate Religion you get an award.

Bill In Oz
Reply to  LdB
November 17, 2018 12:48 am

Only behind a paywall.

Don
Reply to  LdB
November 17, 2018 3:35 am

Any chance of getting a copy of the paywalled Australian report?
Don132

LdB
Reply to  Don
November 17, 2018 7:26 am

It was reported at the time on here
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/06/03/expert-scientists-exaggerated-coral-bleaching-story/
Link at the bottom leads back to paywall .. sorry

Don
Reply to  LdB
November 17, 2018 4:21 am
Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  LdB
November 17, 2018 12:40 pm

So what you’re saying; is that once again the society that hands out their award does zero background research before giving away their prestige and backing to someone who is not worthy.

What mystifies me, is why is this the norm?
And it’s a double take for a scientific organization (data, facts, background, evidence?) What?

LdB
November 16, 2018 11:50 pm

The Peter Ridd case is due for hearing one one of the 3 days between 26-28 Mar 2019 a courtroom has not been set again yet.

Carl Friis-Hansen
November 17, 2018 12:07 am

What a poster example of special interest behavior disguised as science!
Who are those people who give out prizes?
Even the Nobel prizes are often a joke.
It is like giving A-grade for a school essay filled with factual errors, but with a subject that satisfies the teacher.
Wouldn’t is be better to work for honesty, love and economical and technological growth?
On the bright side, there are worldwide political organizations with both feet on the ground, and in space, like for example the Schiller Institute.

BCBill
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
November 17, 2018 10:57 am

Science awards have become like journalism and real estate awards. They are not about recognizing excellence, they are a vehicle for scooping media space. The award is irrelevant, it is all about recognition for the institution.

thingadonta
November 17, 2018 12:15 am

Underwater is out of sight, and out of mind, so facts don’t matter.

Robertvd
Reply to  thingadonta
November 17, 2018 7:33 am

Like the DEEP oceans and the faraway Arctic or High above the Earth.

November 17, 2018 12:36 am

The GBR is the perfect example of everything which is wrong with the Warmers claims.
Every year millions of eggs are released and go in every direction. If for example they reef was to suffer a major change then th eggs would die in that spot, but florish in manys other spots. So excesive heat for example would
simply result in the reef slowly moving South to the cooler waters.

Another big Furphy, Aussie for rumour, is that bleaching means the coral is dying. Not true, it simply means that the cr eatures on the coral died off, to be replaced soon from eggs drifting around.
Anyway as previously stat ted go to Madang in PNG. Its near the Equater and has beautiful corals of all sorts , just as occurres in the very warm waters of the Red Se a.

MJEi

irritable Bill
November 17, 2018 12:39 am

A fine acronym for “Standing up for Science” might be SUS….the SUS awards, awarded to especially SUS people.

ozspeaksup
Reply to  irritable Bill
November 17, 2018 4:32 am

at least theyve lost funding
small mercies

November 17, 2018 12:41 am

The GBR is the perfect example of everything which is wrong with the Warmers claims.
Every year millions of eggs are released and go in every direction. if for example the reef was to suffer a major change then th eggs would die in that spot, but florish in manys other spots. So for example a major climatic change re.hea t, would simply result in the reef slowly moving South to the cooler waters.

Another big Furphy, Aussie for rumour, is that bleaching means the coral is dying. Not true, it simply means that the cr eatures on the coral died off, to be replaced soon from eggs drifting around.
Anyway as previously stat ted go to Madang in PNG. Its near the Equater and has beautiful corals of all sorts , just as occurres in the very warm waters of the Red Se a.

MJEi

Bill In Oz
November 17, 2018 12:54 am

Ummmmm. Eight thousand years ago before the last ice age ended, the coast of Qld was another 40-80ks out to sea of where it is now..

And there existed a huge great barrier reef off that Ice age coastline..It’s remains were discovered a year or so ago ..
But the ice melted..The sea level rose. And a new Great Barrier Reek quickly developed off shore in the newly flooded coastal areas..

My point being ? The Great Barrier Reef we know now is relatively new..Just a few thousand years old..And replaced a previous one now deeper in the sea….Life has this capacity to cope with change..

commieBob
Reply to  Bill In Oz
November 17, 2018 4:32 am

Yep. The sea level was 130 meters lower during the last glaciation. link The GBR isn’t much older than 10,000 years. The way “reef coral which survived hundreds of millions of years of extreme climate shifts and extinction level events” have survived is by moving to more congenial habitats when necessary.

Jay
Reply to  Bill In Oz
November 17, 2018 8:38 am

Yes, there’s a great paper about that…Aboriginal Memories of Inundation of the Australian Coast Dating from More than 7000 Years Ago. It seems that the people who lived there passed down stories of the occurence.

Paper at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00049182.2015.1077539?src=recsys&journalCode=cage20

Reply to  Jay
November 17, 2018 3:06 pm

Jay,
Have you checked the veracity of the assumption that events from 7000 years ago CAN be remembered in a society with little to no recording apparatus?
Has group recall been tested with other known major, dated events?
Or is this just another example of noble savage romanticism invention?
Geoff

DP
Reply to  Bill In Oz
November 17, 2018 11:13 am

Dear Bill

When the next ice age starts and the sea level falls, the Great Barrier Reef will be left high and dry.

What are the greenies going to do about that, I wonder?

“Burn more carbon” might be the greeny cry, but as far as I know ice ages are not ended by carbon dioxide. We might hope that the current interglacial may be extended by the release of all that carbon dioxide sequestered in fossil fuel deposits, but that may not be the case.

One thing that is certain is that ice ages kill.

DP

Bill
Reply to  Bill In Oz
November 17, 2018 4:57 pm

To one Bill from OZ from another…the Amazon is sitting on an ancient coral reef. All that massive basin has been at one time or another a coral reef. Destroyed by…global cooling obviously. I think its safe to say, as you point out correctly, coral is highly adaptive and has survived violent changes over the 200 million years, since the Jurassic…unless you count the Triassic coral, and add another 25 million years, and evolved at a time when the global CO2 levels were over 2,000PPM…. I think I am completely justified in being certain coral will survive 410 PPM CO2, or even 500 or more, and if a court decides otherwise I think its time to overthrow the system. Cant believe we haven’t done that already, what will it take? The system is complete shit, as once again made completely obvious by the idiotic climate change muggins in the above story. What other time in history would a strange little person like this not been ostracized from normal society? Congrats to the Libs for dumping his pathetic rent seeking ass…I will vote for them after all. But only as a second pref. after Mark Latham and Pauline get my 1st pref.

Jon Scott
Reply to  Bill In Oz
November 18, 2018 1:15 pm

We are dealing with insincere people who know exactly what they are doing. That people who once had scientific credibility have sold their souls to get their snouts in the trof should not surprise anyone. Most people are basically cowards and will fly any flag to 1. make a buck and 2. be part of the team….. Lord of the Flies. But when the team you are part of are all liars or at best snake oil salesmen? You are known by the friends you keep. It has long been held that the crooks win the prizes and the real do gooders and triers get nothing…. Just look at the corrupt honours system in the UK!

Cephus0
November 17, 2018 2:32 am

Ah the arch bed-wetter in chief. The polyp-fancying over-emotional schoolgirl. This specimen wins the Pseudoscience Today Red Herring award.

hunter
November 17, 2018 3:05 am

This is the sort of award given to scientists in the USSR who supported Lysenkoism.
Australians are dumber because this clown is allowed to win awards.

Bill In Oz
Reply to  hunter
November 17, 2018 4:23 am

All Australians ? We never heard of this prize. Nor who judged and awarded it…
It’s just the Guardian doing it usual garbage stuff..And the Guardian is HQ’d in the UK…
In Oz it just a website ‘personed’ by 5-6 radical lefties …

Gary Ashe
November 17, 2018 3:11 am

Brave man, bravest of the brave.

Truly earn’t his participation prize imo.
What kind of sub-human could ever doubt his science ?.

Me.

Pumpsump
November 17, 2018 3:30 am

Indeed, a pre-emptive back-slapping exercise attempting to paper over the ever widening cracks in the climate change narrative that the Peter Ridd case will inevitably highlight

TonyL
November 17, 2018 3:41 am

Eric Worrall:
Another cheap garbage post from The Guardian.

Eric Worrall:
If we wanted to see what clickbait the Guardian has published, we would go look.
We do not care. We know that junk is out there.

Eric Worrall:
WUWT deserves better than a constant stream of garbage and junk from someone who just wants to post *something*.

Eric Worrall:
Give it a rest.

Don
Reply to  TonyL
November 17, 2018 4:28 am

Some of us are very interested in reef science and the corruption thereof and appreciate this news that we hadn’t heard before.
Don132

R Taylor
Reply to  TonyL
November 17, 2018 6:28 am

As long as the The Guardian has more influence in the world than WUWT, I want to see criticism of such junk. Good work Eric.

Jay
Reply to  TonyL
November 17, 2018 8:40 am

Eric reads the Guardian so I don’t have to. A very valuable resource, keep it up Eric

MarkW
Reply to  TonyL
November 17, 2018 9:19 am

If this site offends you so much, why do you keep coming back?

drednicolson
Reply to  TonyL
November 17, 2018 2:40 pm

Relevance troll is irrelevant.

ResourceGuy
November 17, 2018 3:42 am

The “up is down” award goes to Australia.

LdB
Reply to  ResourceGuy
November 17, 2018 7:30 am

Don’t blame us it’s actually a British organization that gave him the award
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sense_about_Science

Sense about Science is a UK charity that promotes the public understanding of science. Sense about Science was founded in 2002 by Lord Taverne, Bridget Ogilvie and others to promote respect for scientific evidence and good science. Sense about Science was established as a charitable trust in 2003, with 14 trustees, an advisory council and a small office staff. Tracey Brown has been the director since 2002

James Bull
November 17, 2018 4:23 am

This seems fairly par for the course giving the prize to the one who can say what they want to hear and not to the one who can do science.
I wonder if he has difficulty looking at himself in the mirror in the morning?

James Bull

Tom in Florida
November 17, 2018 4:42 am

In the end, all the rest of us just want to know what vegemite really tastes like.

Russ Wood
Reply to  Tom in Florida
November 17, 2018 5:58 am

Like Marmite, but not as strong-tasting. Oh? You don’t know about Marmite?

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Russ Wood
November 17, 2018 2:43 pm

I just read about it. So no thank you but at least now I know I can make a joke about it some where down the line.

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  Tom in Florida
November 17, 2018 1:02 pm

A cross lemon and peanut butter. As close as I can get. It’s a strongly bitter taste, but incredibly yummy. Young babies love it. They’ll fight you if you try to take it away from them.

john
November 17, 2018 4:43 am

https://www.centralmaine.com/2018/11/16/regulators-close-maines-shrimp-fishery-for-next-3-years/

I have my doubts about the fishery claim. The push is on to develop offshore wind and the fishermen are solidly opposed. The fisheries shutdowns are financially ruining the fishermen and in the long run, there will be no fishermen left to give legitimate oppsition.

Tom Abbott
November 17, 2018 4:49 am

From the article: “Known as the “standing up for science prize”, the award acknowledges scientists who promote their research as a matter of public interest and do so in the face of attempts to criticise their work.”

LOL!

This award sounds like politics right down the line. Who set this award up, Tom Steyer? I guess this is one way to keep encouraging the alarmist to hang in there because we support you, even if your science is wrong.

Coral Reef destruction and ocean PH are two of the more egregious lies produced by the CAGW scam artists.

MarkW
Reply to  Tom Abbott
November 17, 2018 9:20 am

“and do so in the face of attempts to criticise their work”

Oh my God, he’s being criticized. The poor snow flake.

drednicolson
Reply to  MarkW
November 17, 2018 4:11 pm

Anything short of uncritical approbation is unacceptable to their paper-thin egos.

DaveAllentown
November 17, 2018 5:15 am

Totalitarian societies use propaganda to lionize their officials, because the masses gravitate toward those who gave all in support of a just cause such as the truth. So this award forces the sane to mistrust global alarmism all the more.

Sheri
November 17, 2018 5:30 am

Science is dead. There’s nothing more to say.

Ivor Ward
November 17, 2018 5:44 am

it seems you cannot be criticized for being wrong. Only for being off message. Welcome to the brave new world.

E J Zuiderwijk
November 17, 2018 6:10 am

John Maddox hss just turned in his grave.

Kevin Kilty
November 17, 2018 6:25 am

From my time as a college trustee I learned that when any one of the many incompetent or malicious administrators would put their foot in it, the first course of defense would be for the other incompetent or malicious administrators to cook up some award for the miscreant as proof of his or her continuing value.

Rigged
November 17, 2018 6:39 am

“The award acknowledges scientists who promote their research as a matter of public interest and do so in the face of attempts to criticise their work”

So if I stand up in the face of criticism saying Coral Reefs will not die I lose my job but if I stand up in the face of criticism saying Coral Reefs will die I get an award? I think I will opt for religion.

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  Rigged
November 17, 2018 1:11 pm

Amen!

Earthling2
November 17, 2018 6:55 am

It seems like Australian climate science is very similar to narco politics in the Philippines, metaphorically. It is all a bunch of cover ups and lies within a slaughter of the truth. Presidenti Duterte would be proud of these climate crooks for how they can tell such a whopper of a lie with a bold face. Or maybe a better analogy is that Australia is the ‘Saudi Arabia’ of climate science. Luckily, history will not be so kind to these shiesters of the truth. Peter Ridd will be vindicated by history in his quest to bring out the truth regarding the GBR. Fired for practising true science. What a shame on Australian academia.

LdB
Reply to  Earthling2
November 17, 2018 7:32 am

Again as per above detail I provided it’s a British award not an Australian.

Earthling2
Reply to  LdB
November 17, 2018 7:48 am

Yes, I realize that and this implicates the UK as well in all this fiasco. I was referring to climate science in general, and specifically what was done to Peter Ridd, both in Australia. I think the state of climate science in Australia is similar to politics in the Philippines or Saudi Arabia, metaphorically speaking. You don’t dare speak out against the ‘climate elites’ in Australia without taking your ‘life’ in your own hand, metaphorically speaking. In the case of Peter Ridd, he lost his job for just practising science. What a shame!

Robertvd
Reply to  Earthling2
November 17, 2018 7:40 am

If you promise the voter free stuff you have to be a professional liar. These people would be out of work in a real capitalist society where honesty is the only way to prosper.

Robert W. Turner
November 17, 2018 8:08 am

The post truth world is a fascinating, yet frustrating, world to live in.

Tasfay Martinov
November 17, 2018 8:11 am

I thought the Maddox prize was for researchers suffering from mad cow disease, but battling on through it to continue their research. If so, I can think of many more climate scientists who would be eligible.

November 17, 2018 8:23 am

here is another one from the “it’s the sun, ‘stoopid’ …” crowd
https://youtu.be/LT7uIJHJ4SY

November 17, 2018 8:31 am

They got a great idea – a pal prize for pal-reviewed papers. Why don’t we copy it?

Steve Borodin
November 17, 2018 8:51 am

The “Corrupt your Science for Polotics Prize”.

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  Steve Borodin
November 17, 2018 1:12 pm

The award wasn’t for the science, corrupt or otherwise.

The “Self aggrandizing award to promote your cause, award!”

Utterbilge
November 17, 2018 9:03 am

To summarize, Australian coal lobby content provider & political PR smear author Worral tips his hat to Aerospace engineer turned coal lobby content-provider Willie ‘Deliverables’ Soon, for lamenting that late Cook University coal flack Robert Carter’s protege’ has not been an academic success.

Of course, neither have the Cook administrators who want to sack him – last spring, Queensland education union’secretary Michael McNally said: “All management have done is to feed a right-wing media narrative that universities are conformist and actively suppress heterodox views on topics such as climate change.”

But who could be more conformist than an energy lobbyist in full cry ? Here are Soon & Carter hard at work with Viscount Monckton’s crew :
https://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2015/12/its-christmas-time-in-cite.html

Warren
Reply to  Utterbilge
November 17, 2018 12:27 pm

Utter . . . . not going your way in the climate game?
Institutional autocracy no match for democracy.
There now, have your medication and rest today.

Kenji
November 17, 2018 9:35 am

You WILL … BELIEVE …. “science” I command you! BELIEVE!! 97% of Federally Funded scientists agree … BELIEVE! BELIEVE in our “projections”, “predictions”, and dead-reckoned guesses … BELIEVE!

… or you won’t get a prize.

Harry Passfield
November 17, 2018 10:59 am

In this age of hansen-mannian science the prize ought to be:
‘Standing Up To Science’.

James Barker
November 17, 2018 12:01 pm

Sir John Maddox was the editor of Nature. For 22 years until 1995. It was a respected publication, once upon a time. Now, not so much.

Roger Knights
November 17, 2018 9:33 pm

It’ll be inconvenient when / if the reef recovers. I guess they won’t claw back the award, though.

Schitzree
Reply to  Roger Knights
November 18, 2018 12:26 am

It would only be inconvenient to them if they ever acknowledged when they were wrong.

And really, when have you ever seen one of the Climate Faithful acknowledge that a prediction or ‘projection’ they made has failed? Or admit that one of their ‘warning signs’ has reversed, and is now getting better?

~¿~

observa
Reply to  Schitzree
November 18, 2018 12:35 am

That would be the sound of tipping points being moved on and it’s beyond the sensitivity range of many human ears by all accounts.

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