Friday Funny – Clownfish Climate Science

Star marine ecologist committed misconduct, university says

Finding against Danielle Dixson vindicates whistleblowers who questioned high-profile work on ocean acidification [due to rising atmospheric CO₂ levels]

A major controversy in marine biology took a new twist last week when the University of Delaware (UD) found one of its star scientists guilty of research misconduct. The university has confirmed to Science that it has accepted an investigative panel’s conclusion that marine ecologist Danielle Dixson committed fabrication and falsification in work on fish behavior and coral reefs. The university is seeking the retraction of three of Dixson’s papers and “has notified the appropriate federal agencies,” a spokesperson says.

Among the papers is a study about coral reef recovery that Dixson published in Science in 2014, and for which the journal issued an Editorial Expression of Concern in February. Science—whose News and Editorial teams operate independently of each other—retracted that paper today.

The investigative panel’s draft report, which Science’s News team has seen in heavily redacted form, paints a damning picture of Dixson’s scientific work, which included many studies that appeared to show Earth’s rising carbon dioxide (CO₂) levels can have dramatic effects on fish behavior and ecology. “The Committee was repeatedly struck by a serial pattern of sloppiness, poor recordkeeping, copying and pasting within spreadsheets, errors within many papers under investigation, and deviation from established animal ethics protocols,” wrote the panel, made up of three UD researchers.

Dixson did not respond to requests for comment. She “adamantly denies any and all allegations of wrongdoing, and will vigorously appeal any finding of research misconduct,” Dixson’s lawyer, Kristina Larsen, wrote in an email to Science. Larsen describes Dixson as a “brilliant, hardworking female scientist” who was “targeted” by a group of scientists who “chose to ‘convict’ Dr. Dixson in the court of public opinion” by sharing their accusations with a Science reporter last year.

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Alan M
August 12, 2022 6:24 am

And I noticed she got her PhD from James Cook University, hmm. Not where she learnt her data manipulation was it?
Oh and Josh’s cartoon is brilliant

Reply to  Alan M
August 12, 2022 7:46 am

Some guy named Peter Ridd who we were assured was a know-nothing DENIER called out the lack of quality research several years ago.

August 12, 2022 6:35 am

Finally, blatant academic fraud is called out.

Meanwhile, all the other blatant academic fraud is just considered “Mike’s Nature Trick” which is, of course, academically rigorous.

Reply to  HotScot
August 12, 2022 7:57 am

Modern climate science avoids science fraud charges by making always wrong wild guess predictions of the future climate.

Can’t refute predictions without waiting 10, 20 or even 50 years for data.

In fact, it could be said that predictions are not expected to be 100% correct, so science fraud is not a relevant charge.

Of course predictions of environmental doom have been 100% wrong since the 1960s.

Predictions are very important for Climate Howlers.

“Climate change” is nothing more than a 50 year old prediction of a coming climate crisis, that never shows up. CAGW is merely a prediction, not reality.

I have heard, however, from sources that might be reliable this time, that the coming climate crisis got lost somewhere in Scotland, or in New Jersey. It’s still coming. And don’t you forget it. Because scientists say so.

Reply to  Richard Greene
August 12, 2022 10:25 am

I believe that they prefer the word “projection” rather than “prediction”. Makes a difference, of course, to folks who like to change the meanings of words.

michael hart
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 12, 2022 10:50 am

“Can’t refute predictions without waiting 10, 20 or even 50 years for data.”

Amen. What a great job, to never be proved wrong before you retire.
In a synthetic chemistry lab you get to be wrong every day (if you put the hours in). It gives you a different perspective on science and humans.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 12, 2022 11:00 am

“Can’t refute predictions without waiting 10, 20 or even 50 years for data.”

They have that covered with an algorithm designed using falsified science to make hundreds of small changes each day to temperatures that keep delta T tracking their desired warming.

Cynical consensus scientists probably joke privately that this jiggery pokery is the REAL “manmade global warming’. Har de har!

Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 12, 2022 11:20 pm

You forgot to mention tipping points! Climate science is replete with fabricated and prognosticated tipping points. None have come to pass and never will because if they were real, “it” would have happened 1000 years ago when the world was at least as warm as it is posited to be in 2100 AD.

Perhaps the first tipping point we shall see is the collapse of the academic ecosystem that cuddles, forgives and overlooks blatant fraud and professional malpractice of “climate researchers” too many of which pollute the pages of journals from Science.

James Cook University owes the nation an apology for allowing so much bunk to be published in their name about how the GBR is dead or dying.

When I was younger it was starfish that were eating the entire reef and the whole thing was a gonner.

They should hire Prof Ridd again to a new position of scientific ethics investigator. Every new student should have to take his course on ethics and how to expose cheats, frauds, exaggerators and data diddlers. He would only have to look down the hall to find case studies.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  HotScot
August 13, 2022 3:15 pm

HotScot: I dunno, I bet the Clime Syndicate scientists responsible for the whole doomster shiteree are shaking in their boots over the first misconduct finding for, apparently, one of their stars.

Critics of these evildoers will smell blood in the water and may now start making strong complaints that are more likely to bring these manipulators down. I think there will be a stepping back by many, probably by way of publications of papers questioning earlier findings, and maybe retractions of their own earlier papers. There is likely to be some throwing of research buddies under the bus, too.

We just saw a remarkable about turn by ‘Coral Doomsters, Inc’ after the firing of Prof Ridd by Cook Uni for criticizing their work as sloppy and not supporting their conclusions. The Ridd firing attracted worldwide attention. This was followed up by Jennifer Morohasy’s dives, photographs, newspaper articles and tours for young people over reefs falsely reported as dead and dying by the doomsters. By the timing, it was also already known to Cook U (the alma mater of scientist, Dr Dixson, charged with scientific misconduct and mention of Dixson’s supervisor and co-author Prof Mundy of Cook U) that whistleblower scientists from Norway had called out Dr. Dixson for misconduct. Three of Dixson and Mundy’s papers were just retracted by Science. Just before this story broke, the doomsters report record coral growth of +30% over the GBR (last year the reef was reported by the same boffins as heading for extinction with climate change worsening.) Watch for a battalion-strength swarm of doomster retirements to protect penions.

(Mark Steyn’s)

August 12, 2022 6:56 am

So she won the Miss Conduct competition..

Richard Page
Reply to  E. Schaffer
August 12, 2022 10:07 am

An honourable mention goes to the author of this news headline: “Climate change causes glacier to melt SO MUCH that it reveals 2 bodies and a plane wreck from 1968.” That, in my book, isn’t very much melting at all!

August 12, 2022 7:07 am

 “brilliant, hardworking female scientist”



Reply to  Bad Andrew
August 12, 2022 9:34 am

I’m curious to know what qualifies this lawyer to be able to make that judgement.

Reply to  Sunderlandsteve
August 12, 2022 9:59 am

Yeah, is that lawyer also a biologist to be able to determine that she is a female?

Does the lawyer consider “a serial pattern of sloppiness, poor recordkeeping, copying and pasting within spreadsheets … and deviation from established animal ethics protocols” the hallmarks of a brilliant, hardworking researcher?

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Sunderlandsteve
August 12, 2022 11:29 am

“Woman” scientist is just tipping her hand on the defense she’s going to pursue. The whistle blowers are all male.
Her alma mater is Cook Uni where they’ve just weathered intenational exposure for during Prof Peter Ridd for criticizing reef scientists of sloppy work and untenable conclusions and Jennifer Morohasy’s dives and filming showing the reef is fine. I hope his court can reopen on this new evidence.

Richard Page
Reply to  Bad Andrew
August 12, 2022 10:09 am

Straight out of the climate ‘scientists’ playbook – what to do when caught out in a lie; deny, then play the innocent victim.

Joseph Zorzin
August 12, 2022 7:14 am

Sheesh– was it necessary for her liar… er I mean lawyer to say, “Larsen describes Dixson as a “brilliant, hardworking female scientist””??? It’s irrlevant if that scientist is female or male other than to get sympathy from the woke crowd.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
August 12, 2022 7:22 am

Joseph Z,

Even if Brilliant, Hardworking, and Female are all true… does that mean innocent too? I don’t know what the relevance is. Wait. Wokeness. Never Mind.


Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
August 12, 2022 7:25 am

Identity politics is all they have. Consider stuffy boring old archaeology – it’s key to their Orwellian push

Some academics have even started to explicitly label ancient human skeletons as ‘nonbinary’ or ‘gender neutral’. This attempt to stop the sex identification of skeletal remains, dating hundreds or even thousands of years old, probably sounds like a slightly absurd academic squabble – of concern only to archaeologists and anthropologists. But it has far-reaching implications.

Anthropologists, such as Chelsea Blackmore at the University of California, Santa Cruz, argue that ‘queer archaeology’ ideas are ‘powerful tools for changing the past and the present’. This is reminiscent of the party slogan in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four: ‘Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.’

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  fretslider
August 13, 2022 6:18 am

I wonder what % of Neanderthals were gay?

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
August 12, 2022 7:39 am

It also doesn’t matter if those who agree with agenda consider her “brilliant and hardworking”, if she uses those attributes to create fake science.

H. D. Hoese
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
August 12, 2022 7:55 am
“…was among the most hard-working and persistent colleagues I’ve worked with,…..”
I have seen this excuse before on more minor points such as in lack of homework. I vaguely recall the paper, using flumes with different types of water is not a new methodology. This one may have gotten tied up with statistics. There are probably more cases of failure to ask other questions due to the narrative (multiple working hypotheses of geologists). Still no guarantee that the study is not biased. Part of the blame goes to the incentives and rewards in the system. Still deserves due process, needs revival.

Reply to  H. D. Hoese
August 12, 2022 10:19 am

Like most of Dixson’s experimental work, the study relied partly on a so-called choice flume, an apparatus in which a fish can choose whether to swim toward a chemical signal. The committee calculated that to produce the paper’s data, which Dixson said she had collected herself, she would have had to carry out 12,920 fluming trials, generating some 860,000 data points and taking 1194 hours of observation time. The ecologist would have needed 11,628 liters of sea water to flow through the flume, which the draft report says she had to collect 2 kilometers from the shore. “It is highly unlikely that she had the time available to do all the experiments and trials as detailed in the paper,” the panel wrote.

From Science

Gary Pearse
Reply to  H. D. Hoese
August 12, 2022 11:35 am

Yeah, serial killers are always described by neighbors as polite pleasant young men.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
August 12, 2022 2:59 pm

Not as brilliant as she thinks she is.

She got caught !

August 12, 2022 7:15 am

You can read all about it here and at Retraction Watch.

You won’t see it reported on UK television and you won’t hear it reported on UK radio.

To all intents and purposes it never happened. Unless you happen to read the Times.

August 10 2022
“The journal Science drops coral reef paper amid data doubts”

Data doubts is one way of putting it…

I can say with 95% confidence that 97% of British people won’t know any of this.

That’s a measure of the power and reach of the Waffen BBC

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  fretslider
August 12, 2022 7:28 am

‘Data Doubts’ aka Shonky Data!

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
August 12, 2022 7:41 am

If the data doesn’t support your theory, change the data.

Reply to  fretslider
August 12, 2022 9:49 am

You are absolutely correct, this is the first I’ve heard of this despite being switched on to these things.

August 12, 2022 7:37 am

If recent history is any guide, the only people who will be punished will be the whistle blowers.

August 12, 2022 7:41 am

“The Committee was repeatedly struck by a serial pattern of sloppiness, poor recordkeeping, copying and pasting within spreadsheets, errors within many papers under investigation, and deviation from established animal ethics protocols,” wrote the panel, made up of three UD researchers.

I’d advise paying more attention in classes to Team rules and sticking strictly with the dooming simulations in future luv-
What’s causing Europe’s extreme summer? Answer could lie over Atlantic (
A much safer gender space I’d reckon and avoids working with animals and kids. Definitely leave pushing polar bears off skyscrapers and exploding schoolkiddies to the pros.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  observa
August 12, 2022 11:49 am

“deviation from established animal ethics protocols”

Wasn’t a researcher panned a few years ago for dumping concentrated hydrochloric acid into the flume to simulate extreme acidification. That might drive them toward a predator. Did the researcher not know that she should have used carbonic acid and introduced it very very slowly? Of course that would be a multi-year project and carbonic is a very weak acid, easily buffered.

August 12, 2022 7:45 am

With her clear climate abilities she will be getting job offers from every western government to help them fix their data so that the plebs will believe.

Negligent? Fraudulent? Deluded? = YOUR HIRED!

Gary Pearse
August 12, 2022 7:47 am

In the full report:

“because no notebooks or files exist from the study, “there is insufficient evidence to support a finding of research misconduct.”

This is research misconduct all by itself!! It is also a huge ‘tell’. DIsappearing notebooks and files is the modus operandi of a scientific fraudster. Check and see if this is a pattern of her behavior. If so, retract all her papers and her ban her from scientific work

Reply to  Gary Pearse
August 12, 2022 10:07 am

Don’t worry, everything will be found on Hunter’s laptop eventually.

Probably filed under “People We Could Use”.

August 12, 2022 7:50 am

Not funny that it took 8 years from 2014 when paper was published to 2022
when “university is seeking the retraction of three of Dixson’s papers and “has notified the appropriate federal agencies,” a spokesperson says.”

For those interested in this subject I recommend the website Retraction Watch:

Retraction Watch – Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Reply to  Richard Greene
August 12, 2022 8:15 am

I recommend the website Retraction Watch”

Can I add – especially if you have a medical condition

Richard Page
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 12, 2022 10:17 am

I understand that 20 papers of hers were initially highlighted as falsified work – 7 of those were eventually looked at and only 3 of those were used as evidence. Given those statistics, I’m willing to bet those 3 were incredibly badly done to the point of sheer negligence and incompetence. It looks like there is still a bias in the system to exonerate scientists unless the evidence is too blatant to ignore.

Gary Pearse
August 12, 2022 8:25 am

Note, Dixson did her PhD at Cook University under Prof Mundy who was also cited as the co-author of the suspect papers. Had this stuff been known when Peter Ridd was fired for criticizing Cook U coral research, the court case would probably had a different outcome.

Also from the complete report:

“Josefin Sundin of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, a member of the group of whistleblowers, says the research culture at JCU, a tropical marine biology mecca, deserves more scrutiny. Sundin and others earlier blew the whistle on a 2016 Science study, which was also retracted; that paper’s first author, Oona Lönnstedt, also obtained her Ph.D. at JCU under Munday’s co-supervision. “We have heard many stories about an unhealthy focus on eye-catching publications at JCU. The competition level is extremely high,” Sundin says.”

Absolutely shameful. The work of these malefactors has also contributed to the looming global economic and social disasters and suffering baked into the next few years. I have to say for its size, Australian science scholarship in climate seems to be near the top of the notoriety list. The few brave defenders of science there are among the best there is though
Whole departments of universities almost globally need to be decertified, not just a few papers retracted.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
August 12, 2022 8:37 am

You addressed the facts of the matter. Let me tell you now, facts count for nothing and feelings count for everything.

“How is it possible for you to be so easily tricked by something so simple as a story, because you are tricked? Well, it all comes down to one core thing and that is emotional investment. The more emotionally invested you are in anything in your life, the less critical and the less objectively observant you become.” — David JP Phillips, We Don’t Have Time board of directors, “The Magical Science of Storytelling”

We Don’t Have Time catapulted one Greta Thunberg to global stardom on day one. Next time you see an advert for an NGO or charity remember the words of David JP Philips.

Any reportage now either concentrates on feelings or puts the reporter’s personal lived experience at the centre of the story.

Reply to  fretslider
August 12, 2022 10:02 am

Hey, don’t forget we stole Gret’s childhood, fretslider. Although, I think in about 20 years she will realize it wasn’t stolen. She just wasted it.

If all the various nefarious WEF-trained politicians succeed in carrying out the Net Zero policies, Greta will find that they actually stole her adulthood (and her money). But she was a willing participant, so we’ll see if she comes up with an “Oopsie. Sorry. If only I had known.”

Maybe a slap in the face from reality will override her emotions.

Richard Page
Reply to  H.R.
August 12, 2022 10:22 am

Hmm. ‘We’ didn’t steal Greta’s childhood – David Attenborough, fallen idol, stole it with malice aforethought.

Reply to  H.R.
August 12, 2022 10:53 am

Her parents and handlers filled her head with nonsense

That’s on them

Richard Page
Reply to  Gary Pearse
August 12, 2022 10:19 am

Would this count as being ‘new evidence’ and basis for a fresh appeal in the Peter Ridd case?

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Richard Page
August 12, 2022 12:07 pm

I would explore this I were Ridd. In his criticism he used word sloppy research.

CD in Wisconsin
August 12, 2022 8:49 am

There is nowhere near enough of this going on. It is probably risky today to be a whistleblower and call out fraudulent science like this when one sees it.

The veil of forced climate silence (if indeed it exists) is in dire need of being widely exposed if there is any hope of getting science back on track again.

August 12, 2022 9:16 am

While outright FRAUD like this example is allowed on the part of the Climate Alarmists, Climate REALISTS are being deplatformed along with entire organizations they have created with a wealth of scientific support documentation and research. They need to create their own social platforms and search engines and host on servers NOT controlled by the globalists.

LinkedIn silences climate skeptics while Biden pushes expensive Green schemesBy kevin-mooney |August 12th, 2022|Civil Rights|

Don Perry
August 12, 2022 9:45 am

We were warned on January 17, 1961:

“The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.
Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.” — Dwight David Eisenhower

Reply to  Don Perry
August 12, 2022 9:26 pm

Who also warned of the US military-industrial complex that needs constant wars to run…

August 12, 2022 10:55 am

I think it’s time to publish a paper showing that elevated CO2 levels are causing mediocre “scientists” to behave erratically. The stats are rather damning.

Rud Istvan
August 12, 2022 11:14 am

Academic misconduct concerning ‘climate change’ is not uncommon. A University denouncing it within their own ranks with multiple papers retracted is.

In ebook Blowing Smoke, I identified at least three clear cases without even going looking:

  1. Marcott’s hockey stick.
  2. Fabricius Milne Bay corals/acidification.
  3. PMEL’s Whiskey Creek oyster hatchery spat set/acidification.

Plus there were two papers so objectively ‘silly’ they should never have been published. Essay ‘Green House Effects’ on latitudinal spread of bad insects. Turns out only in greenhouses, not outdoor climate change. Essay Burning Nonscience concerning a revisit of the plant survey transects along the famous 21 mile long Catalina Highway from the desert floor to the top of Mt Lemmon outside Tucson. Found Plants moved up the mountain thanks to lapse rate compared to first study, supposedly a response to global warming. No mention of two consecutive years of massive forest fires than completely burned both sides of the highway almost all the way up—just natural forest fire succession. Faster further up the cooler wetter mountain.

August 12, 2022 12:31 pm
August 12, 2022 4:05 pm

Imagine that. A “climate scientist” committing “research misconduct”. I am just totally blown away…NOT.
Now let’s get the rest of the fakers with their phony credentials looked at as well. Probably find a whole lot of “research misconduct”, otherwise known as lying.

August 12, 2022 11:08 pm

I seem to remember that another PHD from James Cook, now returned to her homeland in Scandinavia, was also found to have produced similar fraudulent work on clown fish and CO2 levels. She produced a series of photos of the fish. Peter Ridd (I believe) noted that many of the photos were of the same fish, reversed or colour adjusted, in order to artificially increase the number of test subjects. Her work was found to be fraudulent but JC never published the results of the findings.

August 14, 2022 10:54 am

She’s a woman so she can’t be wrong about anything she researches because that shows jealousy, misogyny, and micro-agressions against this lying WOMAN pretend scientist

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