From climate change to peak oil and food insecurity, our societies are confronted with many serious challenges that, if left unresolved, will threaten the well-being of present and future generations, and the natural world. This website is dedicated to discussion of those challenges and potential solutions based on scientific evidence and scholarly analysis.

Our goal is to provide a platform for re-examining some of the assumptions we make about our technological, social and economic systems. The posts on this site are generally written by domain experts, specialists and scholars with an interest in these problems and we hope they will generate informed and constructive debate. We will archive seminal papers and posts for future reference.

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Most Christians are definitely not terrorists

Posted on 4 February 2016 by Stephan Lewandowsky

Human cognition can be exquisitely attuned to our environment, but it can also be subject to numerous strong biases. To illustrate, consider the following logical puzzles:

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Transparency and Scrutiny vs. Harassment and Intimidation: The Triage

Posted on 25 January 2016 by Stephan Lewandowsky

A commentary appeared today online in Nature, co-authored by me and Dorothy Bishop, which took up the issue of transparency in science, with a particular emphasis on the “dark” side of transparency and openness. The article is freely available, and in this post I condense our argument into a few words and then offer some additional issues that are likely to arise during discussion.

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Putting the pause to a blind expert test

Posted on 16 September 2015 by Stephan Lewandowsky

A new paper that just appeared online in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society examines the idea of a "pause" in global warming in novel ways, including a blind expert test. The paper is authored by Stephan Lewandowsky, James Risbey, and Naomi Oreskes. It is open access and can be found here.

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Restoring Recurrent Fury

Posted on 8 July 2015 by Stephan Lewandowsky

A peer-reviewed article appeared in print today in an open-access journal that is likely to stimulate some interest and debate:

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Recurrent Fury: Frequently Asked Questions

Posted on 8 July 2015 by Stephan Lewandowsky

Q. What is conspiracist ideation?

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Announcing the Uncertainty Handbook

Posted on 6 July 2015 by Adam Corner

Have you ever struggled with the communication of climate change uncertainties? Are you frustrated by climate sceptics using uncertainty - inherent in any area of complex science - as a justification for delaying policy responses? Then the new ‘Uncertainty Handbook’ - a collaboration between the University of Bristol and the Climate Outreach & Information Network (COIN) - is for you. The handbook was authored by Dr. Adam Corner (COIN), Professor Stephan Lewandowsky (University of Bristol), Dr Mary Phillips (University of Bristol) and Olga Roberts (COIN)All are experts in their fields and have expertise relating to the role of uncertainty in climate change or how best to communicate it.

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Review of Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change

Posted on 3 July 2015 by Stephan Lewandowsky

I recently reviewed George Marhall's book "Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change" for the National Centre for Science Education. The full review can be found here.

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Voices from the climate community on "seepage"

Posted on 14 May 2015 by Stephan Lewandowsky

Our recent article “Seepage: Climate change denial and its effect on the scientific community” in Global Environmental Change, authored by me and Naomi Oreskes, James S. Risbey, Ben R. Newell, and Michael Smithson, has attracted a bit of attention over the last few days. I sample a few comments here and reply to a lengthy post by Richard BettsHead of the Climate Impacts strategic area at the UK Met Office, that critiqued our paper.

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Seepage: The effect of climate denial on the scientific community

Posted on 7 May 2015 by Stephan Lewandowsky

The article “Seepage: Climate change denial and its effect on the scientific community” just appeared in Global Environmental Change. The article is authored by me and Naomi Oreskes, James S. Risbey, Ben R. Newell, and Michael Smithson.

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The robust relationship between conspiracist cognition and rejection of (climate) science

Posted on 27 March 2015 by Stephan Lewandowsky

There are two articles in Psychological Science that appeared online today: The first article by Ruth Dixon and Jonathan Jones presents an alternative analysis of two papers that I published with colleagues in 2013 on the role of conspiracist ideation in the rejection of science. The second article is a rejoinder to Dixon and Jones and is authored by me together with Gilles Gignac and Klaus Oberauer.

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Cash for comments vs. public funding of science

Posted on 6 March 2015 by Stephan Lewandowsky

The revelation of the “cash for comments” that may have turned Dr. Soon into a mercury expert has highlighted the potentially pernicious role of funding from vested interests in science. (Non-Australian readers who are not familiar with the “cash for comments” saga will find it explained on Wikipedia).

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Cash for comments: The public has a right to know

Posted on 5 March 2015 by Stephan Lewandowsky

“In 1954 the tobacco industry paid to publish the ‘Frank Statement to Cigarette Smokers’ in hundreds of U.S. newspapers. It stated that the public’s health was the industry’s concern above all others and promised a variety of good-faith changes. What followed were decades of deceit and actions that cost millions of lives”—so reads the opening paragraph of a recent peer-reviewed paper on the history of how Big Tobacco “played dirty” by injecting lavish amounts of money into a public-relations campaign aimed at undermining the scientific evidence linking tobacco smoke to adverse health impacts.

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How to build support for climate policies?

Posted on 10 February 2015 by Mark Hurlstone & Stephan Lewandowsky

Our paper, entitled “The effect of framing and normative messages in building support for climate policies”, was recently published in the open-access journal PLoS ONE. The paper reports a media analysis of the framing of Australia’s carbon pricing scheme along with two studies exploring approaches to building public support for reducing emissions. The abstract for the paper reads as follows:

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The EU Science Advisor: Greenpeace and Climate Denial

Posted on 13 November 2014 by Stephan Lewandowsky

After being rumored for some time, the E.U. has now abolished the post of Chief Scientific Adviser. I have been following this from a distance, and although there may be some nuances that I am unaware of, my first reaction is that I am in agreement with Mark Lynas, namely that

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Air travel and 21st century fears

Posted on 7 November 2014 by David Hodgkinson & Rebecca Johnston

Air travel shows robust and sustained growth of 4 to 5% per year, and Airbus anticipates that air traffic will continue to grow at just under 5% annually.

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Naomi Klein in Oxford

Posted on 12 October 2014 by Stephan Lewandowsky

Naomi Klein spoke in Oxford a few days ago on invitation of COIN, the Climate Outreach Information Network in the UK. Her talk was in the Sheldonian Theatre, the official ceremonial hall of the University of Oxford—a ceremonial building indeed that added much to the enjoyment of the evening. Naomi drew a large crowd—of more than 800, so I have been told—and the event was very interesting indeed.

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The Australian's Disappearing Comissar

Posted on 3 October 2014 by Stephan Lewandowsky

Update 3 October 11:33: Apparently there are two versions of the AP story, the earlier of which contained no mention of the Australian heatwave. This information was revealed by Seth Borenstein in a Twitter exchange which is recorded here. If The Australian relied on the earlier version, they would not have removed anything, and the remainder of this post is therefore irrelevant to their reporting in this instance. We now look forward to The Australian updating their AP report to reflect the elements that are of such obvious importance to Australia.

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Putting a price on carbon: Why not a carbon tax?

Posted on 29 September 2014 by David Hodgkinson & Rebecca Johnston

In Australia there has never really been a debate about the merits of particular policy instruments available to governments – price-based or quantity-based ones – to mitigate the effects of climate change.

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The Arctic Sea Ice Bucket Challenge continues with Rich Pancost

Posted on 26 September 2014 by Stephan Lewandowsky

Having been challenged by Shapingtomorrowsworld's Stephan Lewandowsky, the Director of the Cabot Institute has risen to the challenge. Full details and the video are here, and the screenshot below provides an idea of the size of the event:

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The Arctic deserves our protection: @STWorg #icebucketchallenge

Posted on 21 September 2014 by Stephan Lewandowsky

The Arctic is in a death spiral:

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"Libertarian ideology is the natural enemy of science" Always?

Posted on 30 August 2014 by Stephan Lewandowsky

The Guardian carried an interesting and incisive piece yesterday under the headline “Libertarian ideology is the natural enemy of science.” From gun control to health care to climate change, there are indeed many arenas in which scientific evidence clashes with libertarian (and conservative) worldviews: To illustrate, even though the data show that if you are a victim of an assault, you are between 4 and 5 times more likely to be fatally shot if you had a gun available than if you didn’t have a gun, this evidence is generally dismissed by American libertarians and conservatives. They also dismiss the fact that after Australia introduced stringent gun control in 1996, accelerated declines in firearm deaths were observed.

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Responding and Adapting to Climate Change: A Meeting at the University of Bristol

Posted on 12 August 2014 by Stephan Lewandowsky

“Uncertainty, uncertainty, uncertainty … so why should we bother to act?”

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Well-estimated global warming by climate models

Posted on 20 July 2014 by Stephan Lewandowsky

Has global warming “stopped”? Do models “over-predict” warming? There has been much recent talk in the media about those two questions. The answer to the first question is a fairly clear “no.” Global warming continues unabated.

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The Frontiers Expert Panel

Posted on 16 April 2014 by Stephan Lewandowsky

Updated below: 17 April 2014

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Clarifying a revisited retraction

Posted on 13 April 2014 by Stephan Lewandowsky

Frontiers has issued a further statement on the retraction of our paper “Recursive Fury” (available at This statement is signed by their editor in chief. It cannot be reconciled with the contractually agreed retraction statement signed by the journal and the authors on 20th March.

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The analysis of speech

Posted on 9 April 2014 by Stephan Lewandowsky

What constitutes legitimate analysis of speech?

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Revisiting a Retraction

Posted on 7 April 2014 by Stephan Lewandowsky

The journal Frontiers retracted our “Recursive Fury” paper on 21 March. Frontiers withdrew Recursive Fury due to legal fears, not academic or ethical reasons. The paper—probably the most widely-read article ever published by Frontiers—can now be found at

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Recursive Fury: A Summary of Media Coverage

Posted on 4 April 2014 by Stephan Lewandowsky

The journal Frontiers retracted our “Recursive Fury” paper some time ago not for academic or ethical reasons but owing to legal fears. The paper can now be found at because the University of Western Australia has come to a different risk assessment and sees no reason not to host the paper.

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More Bandwidth for 'Recursive Fury'

Posted on 25 March 2014 by Stephan Lewandowsky

One of my most widely read papers, "Recursive Fury", was recently retracted by the journal Frontiers even though they found no academic or ethical problems with the paper. The reasons underlying this decision are outlined here and here.

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Recursive Fury goes recurrent

Posted on 21 March 2014 by Stephan Lewandowsky

Some 18 months ago I published a paper with colleagues Oberauer and Gignac that reported a survey of visitors to climate blogs which established a small, but significant, association between the endorsement of conspiracy theories and the rejection of several scientific propositions, including the fact that the earth is warming from greenhouse gases. The effects reported in that paper have since been replicated with a representative sample of Americans. No scholarly critique of either paper has been submitted for peer review to any journal to date.

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