Revisiting a Retraction

By Stephan Lewandowsky
Professor, School of Experimental Psychology and Cabot Institute, University of Bristol
Posted on 7 April 2014

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 uwa.edu.au/recursivefury.

The retraction was accompanied by the following statement:

“In the light of a small number of complaints received following publication of the original research article cited above, Frontiers carried out a detailed investigation of the academic, ethical and legal aspects of the work. This investigation did not identify any issues with the academic and ethical aspects of the study. It did, however, determine that the legal context is insufficiently clear and therefore Frontiers wishes to retract the published article. The authors understand this decision, while they stand by their article and regret the limitations on academic freedom which can be caused by legal factors.”

This statement was the result of negotiations between the lawyer for Frontiers and a legal representative of the authors in the U.K., and it formed part of a formal retraction agreement signed by both parties. Although we disagreed with the journal’s decision, we were provided with sufficient information to understand it. Our position on the decision was shared by officers of the Australian Psychological Society and other organizations, such as the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Although there has been considerable media attention, the authors have made few public comments since the paper was retracted. I have continued to serve as a co-editor of a forthcoming special issue of Frontiers, I accepted a reviewing assignment for that journal, and I currently have another paper in press with Frontiers. After the retraction, I was approached by several Frontiers editors and authors who were dismayed at the journal’s decision. In all instances I pointed out that I continued to serve as author, reviewer, and co-editor for Frontiers.

A few days ago, the journal released another statement about the retraction on their website. This recent statement raised several points that were new to us and that can be interpreted as a departure from the earlier, contractually-agreed retraction statement. Because of the public interest in this issue I draw attention to three issues that are most in need of disambiguation. (I defer other issues that deserve correction to future posts):

First, in its most recent statement, the journal seemed to imply that the paper was retracted because it “did not sufficiently protect the rights of the studied subjects.” This stands in contrast to the contractually-agreed retraction statement, signed by legal representatives of both parties, that Frontiers “…did not identify any issues with the academic and ethical aspects of the study.” It also sits uneasily with public statements by Frontiers’ lawyer, such as “Frontiers is concerned about solid science and it's obviously a regret when you have to retract an article that is scientifically and ethically sound…

Second, in its recent statement Frontiers also stated that it had received no (presumably legal) threats. This claim sits uneasily with the public statement of at least one individual who explicitly stated that he had threatened the journal. Moreover, another complainant publicly alleged defamation, and asserted that the journal's apparent concern with “defamation liability” was justified: Details were provided by Graham Readfearn earlier. The journal’s recent claim also sits uneasily with the contractually-agreed retraction statement, which ascribed the retraction to an “insufficiently clear” legal context. I pointed out earlier that this legal context involved English libel laws in force prior to 2014. Those laws were sufficiently notorious for their chilling effect on inconvenient speech for President Obama to sign a law that makes U.K. libel judgments unenforceable in the U.S.

Third, the journal revealed the existence of a new paper that we submitted in January 2014 and that according to their latest statement “did not deal adequately with the issues raised by Frontiers.”

To resolve those discrepancies between retraction-related statements requires a brief summary of events.

During a Skype conversation on 14 June 2013, representatives of Frontiers informed me that they had decided that there were no academic or ethical grounds for a retraction of Recursive Fury, but that changes might have to be made to the paper to safeguard against the legal risk of defamation. I agreed that I would “… work towards a constructive solution with you [Frontiers] to get the paper re-posted when it is ready,” even though no such risk of defamation had been identified by the relevant officers of my host institution at the time, the University of Western Australia.

On 28 August 2013 I was informed by Frontiers that their analysis of the defamation risk—under English libel laws—had found the risk to be too great for the journal to carry the article, and that it would have to be retracted. This decision was accompanied by an invitation to submit a replacement article that dealt with the issues identified in the various reviews and assessments.

We submitted a replacement article on 1/1/14, by which time English libel laws had changed significantly. It is worth considering this replacement article in some detail because it went beyond the initial Recursive Fury in the following ways:

  • Our narrative analysis was independently verified and further refined by a philosopher and a historian of science.
  • We conducted two behavioral studies with naïve and blind subjects who were not aware of the background or purpose of the study, and who responded to anonymized web content. Those studies (a) confirmed the classification of hypotheses reported in Recursive Fury and (b) showed that naïve observers rated the web content extremely high (i.e., modal response was the top end of the scale) on dimensions related to conspiracist thinking but not on an attribute relating to the quality of scholarly critique.
  • Our narrative analysis was anonymized (by paraphrasing verbatim public statements until they no longer yielded hits in Google) to prevent identification of individuals while retaining the integrity of the study.

Frontiers rejected this replacement paper on 12 February, claiming that it failed to deal adequately with the defamation issue. Our (English) legal advice clarifies that defamation cannot arise if individuals  cannot be identified in the minds of a “reasonable reader.” It must also be noted that the laws in England changed significantly on 1/1/14 to now include explicit provision for the protection of peer-reviewed science.

To sum up:

Throughout the entire period, from March 2013 until February 2014, the only concern voiced by Frontiers related to the presumed defamation risk under English libel laws. While the University of Western Australia offered to host the retracted paper at uwa.edu.au/recursivefury because it did not share those legal concerns, Frontiers rejected an anonymized replacement paper on the basis that non-identifiable parties might feel defamed.

No other cause was ever offered or discussed by Frontiers to justify the retraction of Recursive Fury. We are not aware of a single mention of the claim that our study “did not sufficiently protect the rights of the studied subjects” by Frontiers throughout the past year, although we are aware of their repeated explicit statements, in private and public, that the study was ethically sound.

This brings into focus several possibilities for the reconciliation of Frontier’s contradictory statements concerning the retraction:

First, one could generously propose that the phrase “did not sufficiently protect the rights of the studied subjects” is simply a synonym for “defamation risk” and that the updated statement therefore supports the contractually-agreed statement. This is possible but it puts a considerable strain on the meaning of “synonym.”

Second, one could take the most recent statement by Frontiers at face value. This has two uncomfortable implications: It would imply that the true reason for the retraction was withheld from the authors for a year. It would also imply that the journal entered into a contractual agreement about the retraction statement that misrepresented its actual position.

Third, perhaps the journal only thought of this new angle now and in its haste did not consider that it violates their contractually-agreed position.

Or there are other possibilities that we have not been able to identify.

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138 Comments


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Comments 51 to 100 out of 124:

  1. Tom Curtis - in light of your strong findings and negative comments on the LOG12 paper, do you support the request for Lewandowsky to release all of the data so that the work can be replicated and validated?
  2. Foxgoose said:

    Shortly after my complaint the offending passage was removed from the paper, presumably because the institutions concerned realised that my allegation was true.

    This ended the matter personally, as far as I was concerned - although I continued to draw attention the the blatant fraud and malpractice in both papers.

    Trying to resurrect my long resolved complaint and brandish it as "threat" which caused the paper to be withdrawn a year later just makes you look even more of a down than usual.


    Presumably there is documentary evidence that FG explicitly agreed that the matter was resolved and that he would not be proceeding with any legal action?

    Now would be the right time to provide it.

    If none such exists, how can we agree that the journal regarded the threat of legal action by FG as lapsed?
  3. A Scott, your question shows a confusion as to what is meant by replication. Replication involves repeating the experiment, not auditing the data of prior experiments.

    Beyond that, while I must admit some idle curiosity at the time as to how many responses were received for each version of the survey form, that information is not germane to the result. So far as I am aware, all data germane to the result has been released. So, absent a compelling case of fraud (and there is no evidence of fraud by the authors of LOG12) I object strenuously to researchers time being wasted by FOI and data requests by self appointed auditors acting to defend pseudoscience. Any sharing of data is, IMO, a courtesy, and need not be extended to those who neither request courteously, or have malevolent intent, including those on fishing expeditions for trumped up charges of academic wrongdoing.
  4. BBD, a legal threat was made by (or on behalf of) Foxgoose after the amendment of all versions of the paper to address Foxgoose's stated issue; and in reference to a complaint regarding the amended paper which requested that the paper be retracted. There is documentary evidence of that. The FOI request that revealed that evidence was completed before Frontiers had replied to Foxgoose (or representative) indicating the measures taken in response to his complaint.
  5. Brandon Shollenberger at 11:39 AM on 8 April, 2014
    Tom Curtis says:

    So, the threat of legal action took place after the amendment of both online and PDF versions, and with respect to the Frontier's potential response to a request that Recursive Fury, as already modified should be "permanently withdrawn".


    This is misleading. Foxgoose expressed his hope that the paper, in all versions, would be retracted because Stephan Lewandowsky grossly misrepresented him. That doesn't indicate he thinks he was misrepresented in the final version. It merely indicates his view of Lewandowsky's behavior is such that the paper ought to be retracted.

    Finally, Shollenberger's entire line of argument in the preceding post is nonsense. In the end it comes down to arguing that a preprint and a published paper, with only a few lines different are "entirely different paper[s]" - a patently absurd claim.


    Here Curtis misrepresents what I said. I never said "a preprint and a published paper" are "entirely different paper[s]." I said threatening to sue over a preprint is no more relevant to the published paper than is threatening to sue over an entirely different paper. That is trivially true. If a preprint has a problem but the published paper does not, one cannot sue over the published paper having that problem.

    Curtis's dismissal of this rests entirely upon misrepresenting what I said. Similarly, he makes this deceptive remark:

    You keep leaving out important little details? Why is that?


    Implying the quote he offered was an "important little detail[]." In reality, the quote he provided was irrelevant. Nobody ever filed a complaint about anything in the quote he provided. Not only that, but Curtis didn't even bother to explain why the quote would be relevant. That means he's implying I'm dishonest without offering an explanation, and he's doing it by pointing out I didn't quote an irrelevant portion of the paper.
  6. A. Scott:

    Probably the only way to fully resolve ALL questions is to make available full documentation of all correspondence between Frontiers and the authors for the last year or so.

    Ironically, there is an obstacle to doing that: From what I have heard, from parties more closely associated than I, the contractual agreement specifies that the actual complaints cannot be made public by either Frontiers or the authors.

    So to go "open kimono" on this situation would require that both parties to the contract agree to dissolve that clause.

    And then of course, one has to address the problem that making these papers available exposes the names, statements and judgments on the quoted individuals to the public - which contradicts the stated intention of the original retraction!

    I suppose this could be overcome by getting a release from ALL quoted parties to allow the full uncensored text of all versions of the paper - with exact wording and nature of complaint.

    So we just need a simple N-way agreement to publish all versions un-expurgated, where N is:

    N = 1 (Frontiers) + 4 (authors) + ? (quoted posters/bloggers)

    Should be easy, right?
  7. Tom - data is data. You vociferously and forcefully stated the data did NOT support the conclusions, and the LOG12 paper was essentially worthless.

    You cannot "trump up" anything from data. If someone were to try to misrepresent the data, the data being publicly available insures any misrepresentation can be easily refuted. On the other hand by refusing release of all the data the authors insure their work cannot be challenged and validated.

    IF the work is valid, the authors should have zero concern with others attempting to validate it. You yourself clearly stated the work in LOG12 was seriously compromised and the paper had little or no value as a result.

    The scientific method is based on challenge. Challenge requires the open availability of data - all of the data - necessary to challenge a work. There is no requirement that challenge be "friendly" ... and in fact it does not matter. Once again if the data and conclusions are well found and robust any challenge, friendly or not, will come to the same result.

    The data requests initially were made entirely courteously, by several different people with the credentials to review it. Had the authors provided the data at that time there would have been no need for FOI's or anything else.

    If the data is robust, and supports the paper's conclusions, what possible reason is there to withhold it?
  8. Neal - I am talking about the LOG12 data - the underlying paper - which the authors have refused to release.

    The Fury paper is based on the discussion resulting from LOG12. And the discussion on LOG12 was the result of the refusal to release the data necessary to validate the LOG12 conclusions.

    Further, the responses examined in Fury are the direct result of the authors taunts and denigrating commentary here at STW. For an alleged scientist to literally taunt those who disagree with them and then use the comments resulting from those bad acts, is simply ridiculous. It has no relationship to "science" nor should it.
  9. Darrell Harb at 13:24 PM on 8 April, 2014
    A Scott

    Surely you'd agree that the "taunting" of "skeptics" to reveal their true conspiracist colors was a masterstroke of experimental elegance (not to mention rigor). Especially admirable was the dance between Lewandowsky, Hanich and the unidentified "skeptic" blog owners wrt the non-findable emails. So-called skeptics jumped to the conclusion that Lewandowsky and his confederate had tricked them, when in fact they'd only pretended to trick them. You know, for science.
  10. Darrell Harb at 14:01 PM on 8 April, 2014
    Q: Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?

    A: Because my aim is to try and find something wrong with it.
  11. A Scott at #51 wrote: "so that the work can be replicated and validated".

    But you've already replicated LOG12, sort of, with your own survey and, presumably, validated it. Otherwise, surely you would have made all your own data available, no?

    http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/news.php?p=5&t=319&&n=164#1559

    Maybe you're afraid that by making your data available to the public at large, someone with nefarious intent would find something wrong with it :(
  12. No Sou - no matter how fervently you may wish it, I'm not afraid of a thing. I said the data would be released when the work was complete and published, and that has not changed.

    I think the bigger question is to apply your comment to the LOG12 authors ... if their conclusions are supported by the data, if their findings are robust and reproducible, then what possible reason would there be for them to be so vehemently against release of their data, all of it?

    In your words "maybe they're afraid by making their data available to the public at large someone ... might find something wrong with it."
  13. Steve Metzler at 22:03 PM on 8 April, 2014
    Tom Curtis at #53 says it all, really:

    A Scott, your question shows a confusion as to what is meant by replication. Replication involves repeating the experiment, not auditing the data of prior experiments.

    This seems to be a recurring theme in the denialosphere, brought on by the continuing vexatious efforts of the likes of Steve McIntyre. It goes like this:

    Give me the fruits of your hard-earned labour, so I can analyse it any way I like and write it up on my blog. Then all my sycophants will have a great laugh at your expense. Hey, there's a very good chance I completely botched the analysis because I don't understand any of the science underlying the data - or I didn't understand how to apply the correct methodology. But it doesn't matter as you'll have no comeback. Because unlike you, I'm never gonna publish the results in a reputable peer reviewed journal. So there's no formal channel through which you can refute my analysis. Nyah nyah.

    Rinse and repeat for over 10 years now. Sniping from the sidelines may be acceptable 'blog science' but it sure ain't real science.
  14. Darrell Harb at 22:26 PM on 8 April, 2014
    Steve Metzler:

    Yours is a fascinating new conjecture. Data obscurantists are merely trying to avoid being teased!

    If only I'd thought of that before...y'know, teasing them for data obscurantism.

    D'oh!
  15. "what possible reason would there be for them to be so vehemently against release of their data, all of it?"

    I can think of more than one reason, some of which have already been mentioned here. Remember that Steve *already has* all the data he needs to do the analysis. The fact that he can't figure out how to do the analysis is in itself an excellent reason. The fact that he's not a cognitive scientist and he's not a psychologist is another reason - that's in at least one code of ethics by the way. The fact that he's not acting in good faith and has said he's aiming to try to get the data by surreptitious means (he mentioned he's trying to get a psychologist to get it for him) is another excellent reason. The fact that "all" the data would most probably include data that would allow identification of individual respondents is another excellent reason. The fact that there are research and ethics guidelines that should be followed with regard to surveys of this nature is another reason that would most probably preclude giving someone like yourself or Steve "all" the data. Some ethics codes caution researchers against allowing data from surveys such as this from being misused and misrepresented. Steve McIntyre has already misrepresented the data so it would be unethical to provide him with "all" of it.

    Actually, the UWA Vice-Chancellor said it better.

    Like I said, Steve already has all the data he needs but he doesn't know how to analyse it.

    BTW - you're taking your sweet time with your survey. If you had any skills you'd have finished it.

    You've also reneged on your statement on your blog:
    "Data collected will be provided upon request."

    I and at least one other person have been requesting, but no joy. You and Steve might have rationalised your double standards but I doubt too many other people are buying it.

    I also doubt you'd ever get the report published, it's unlikely to be publishable in any reputable journal for any number of reasons. That is the excuse you are using as an out. You'll be using that excuse for the next five years. Forever probably. Plus you'll be able to shout "gatekeeping". (Try the dog astrology journal. They might publish it.)

    I think it's much more likely that you don't know what to do with the data and don't want anyone else to see it.

    See, I can nefarious intent along with the best of you conspiracy theorists :)
  16. Darrell Harb at 23:06 PM on 8 April, 2014
    Sou:

    "The fact that he's not a cognitive scientist and he's not a psychologist is another reason - that's in at least one code of ethics by the way."

    ...but let's pretend Elaine McKewon, journalism student, was competent to review the paper and clear it for publication.

    Got it.

    LOL
  17. Darrell, you're talking about Recursive Fury. Nice put-down by the way. (She's a doctoral candidate.)

    The data that A Scott has access to already, but wants more of, is the moon-landing survey data (LOG12).
  18. Darrell Harb at 23:25 PM on 8 April, 2014
    Thanks for the correction. But they're both cognitive-science-slash-psychology papers unless I'm mistaken. If you can explain why access should be limited to people who:

    1. are cognitive scientists
    2. are psychologists
    3. or might one day complete a PhD in journalism

    then I'm all ears.
  19. Yes Darrell, let's pretend that you knew all along that graduate students pursuing their doctorate publish and review research.

    Someone elsewhere commented on the frog and the scorpion story, which seems very apt. It's like the denier mindset is 'they're up to something', and however hard they try, out comes the sting.
  20. Darrell Harb at 23:51 PM on 8 April, 2014
    "graduate students pursuing their doctorate publish and review research"

    Gosh! Please tell me more about these students. Do they publish and review research in fields in which they have zero apparent training?

    OIC (only in climate), as usual.
  21. Darrell @ #70
    OIC? - More like QED.
    It's a psychology paper, not climate.
  22. Tom Curtis states:

    BBD, a legal threat was made by (or on behalf of) Foxgoose after the amendment of all versions of the paper to address Foxgoose's stated issue; and in reference to a complaint regarding the amended paper which requested that the paper be retracted. There is documentary evidence of that.
    .

    This is correct.

    So I repeat:

    Presumably there is documentary evidence that FG explicitly agreed that the matter was resolved and that he would not be proceeding with any legal action?

    Now would be the right time to produce it.

    If none such exists, no-one can claim that the journal regarded the threat of legal action by FG as lapsed.

    Not Foxgoose, not Brandon S. No-one.

    Stop ignoring this fact please.
  23. Darrell, I listed multiple reasons for not giving Steve and A Scott *all* the data. You chose one reason and ignored the rest.

    The University and researchers may make exceptions for any one of the reasons. Steve fails all of them, not just one. In any case, I doubt anyone asking for data would be provided with any more data than Steve already has, whether they wanted it for authentic research purposes or to sling mud McI style.

    Oh, and if you need to ask the question about why *all* the data from the survey shouldn't just be handed out willy nilly, then I'd say you wouldn't be a good candidate for the data either.

    (Eg Even if IP addresses were stripped, Steve particularly wants dates and the names of blogs on which the survey was posted. That would allow a person so inclined to take a fair guess at who completed what survey in some instances, where for example a person wrote a comment on the blog. As Tom Curtis already explained for people who don't get it already, you don't need that extra info to analyse the data. It adds nothing of value.)

    You're going great guns with your put-down by the way. Keep it up.
  24. Darrell Harb at 00:03 AM on 9 April, 2014
    chek:

    " It's a psychology paper, not climate. "

    What, if anything, is the point you hoped to make there?

    Psychology is a science. (I know, I know, it's hard to believe sometimes—but it is.)

    Newsflash: starting a PhD in journalism does not make one a scientist, nor a reviewer of scientific papers.
  25. "It's a psychology paper, not climate." It also has elements of social research and communication, both of which are strengths of Ms McKewon, going by her CV. It's not as if she were the sole reviewer.
  26. Darrell, have you had those short term memory problems assessed? You were the one who wrote "OIC (only in climate)"!

    Take some time out so your brain can catch up with your keystrokes.

    PS You'll be devastated to learn that Ms McKewon is a reviewer for other journals too.
  27. Darrell Harb at 00:11 AM on 9 April, 2014
    Sou:
    You chose one reason and ignored the rest.

    Are the other reasons as bogus as that one?
  28. Darrell Harb at 00:19 AM on 9 April, 2014
    You were the one who wrote "OIC (only in climate)"!
    OK, chek's reply makes sense now. But nobody was suggesting the papers under discussion are climate science.
  29. Darrell Harb at 00:22 AM on 9 April, 2014
    It also has elements of social research and communication, both of which are strengths of Ms McKewon, going by her CV.

    It also was written in English, which I speak. Why wasn't I contacted for my two cents? I could have saved them the embarrassment of publishing, thanks to my rad English strengths.
  30. Darrell, if you think it's bogus, take it up with the relevant professional bodies who've adopted it in their code of ethics. I think it should be part of every professional code of ethics. It's particularly relevant to psychology, medicine etc.

    I'd say you're not capable of judging the merits of any of the reasons I provided, going by this short exchange.
  31. Darrell Harb

    It is a matter of fact that conspiracist ideation is commonplace amongst "climate sceptics". Are you denying this matter of fact, copiously supported as it is by readily-accessible comments left at climate blogs? Comments we can examine together for as long it takes for you to agree that this is a matter of fact?

    I wonder what your objection to RF actually is? Because it cannot be the conclusion that some "climate sceptics" are also conspiracy theorists.
  32. Darrell Harb at 00:45 AM on 9 April, 2014
    It is a matter of fact that conspiracist ideation is commonplace amongst "climate sceptics".
    If it's a matter of fact, why are climate psychologists doing studies in search of evidence for it? One can't help but think of that saying about climate epistemology, in which "the cart of knowledge precedes the horse of evidence."

    In any case, your own conspiracist ideation has not gone unnoticed or uncelebrated, BBD:

    http://climatenuremberg.com/2013/12/11/bbd-goes-full-conspiracist/
  33. Darrell Harb

    So you do dispute that it is a matter of fact that conspiracist ideation is relatively commonplace amongst "climate sceptics".

    Very well, you can be dismissed as either dishonest or too deluded to participate in a rational discussion. However, before you go:

    If it's a matter of fact, why are climate psychologists doing studies in search of evidence for it?


    The results emerge from an investigation of the evidence. Nobody "went in search" of their conclusions. This is in fact evidence that you are a conspiracy theorist. You clearly imply intent and malign intent at that. If the tinfoil fits...

    Thank you for your illuminating contribution.
  34. In any case, your own conspiracist ideation has not gone unnoticed or uncelebrated, BBD


    Donors Trust.

    Wake up, Darrell.
  35. Darrell Harb at 01:40 AM on 9 April, 2014
    Donors Trust.
    So they'd be your lead suspect when you ideate about the "denier machine" ("a false narrative for contrarians to karaoke... misdirection, false equivalence and dogmatism are central to it all... if more were publicly known about the contrarian spin machine... dishonest tactics of the misinformation industry... people do not realise what is going on behind the scenes") would they, BBD?

    That's cute.
  36. You are trying to change the subject, Darrell, which is that you deny matters of fact and yet are yourself a conspiracy theorist.

    I think Sou was correct to question your ability to parse reality.
  37. And Darrell, denying that there is an organised denial industry about which the voting public is woefully under-informed is to deny another matter of fact.

    I am not indulging in conspiracist ideation at all. Brad's attempt to paint me in his own colours is called "projection".
  38. Darrell Harb at 01:59 AM on 9 April, 2014
    Trying to change the subject?

    Uh, I'd say I've succeeded. Everyone reading this thread can now see you as a conspiracist, BBD, especially once they read the blog post:

    http://climatenuremberg.com/2013/12/11/bbd-goes-full-conspiracist/
  39. Darrell Harb at 02:04 AM on 9 April, 2014
    Hey, don't let my chuckles deter you from your important mission to expose the denial machine!

    "If more were publicly known about the contrarian spin machine," as you put it, then you could finally rest. But as long as "people do not realise what is going on behind the scenes," your work must not stop!

    LOL
  40. Darrell Harb at 02:11 AM on 9 April, 2014
    And please remember, folks, if you watch Stephan Lewandowsky's YouTube rants about how climate skeptics are conspiracists, you must not under any circumstance infer that he'd made up his mind on the topic. No, all his research is conducted without a trace of prejudgement—and to suggest otherwise is to posit that Lewandowsky secretly met with himself in a smoke-filled room and premeditated a grand plot (involving himself) to disguise prejudice as science.

    And that, dear reader, would make you a conspiracist just like BBD.
  41. Darrell

    You are either arguing from ignorance and/or from personal incredulity or you are lying.

    Reality check.

    Insisting that I am a conspiracy theorist when I can demonstrate that I am not makes you appear both desperate and dishonest.

    Which is exactly what I would expect from someone who has just denied that conspiracist ideation is common amongst "climate sceptics" although this is of course self-evident, then revealed himself to be a conspiracy theorist who believes this:

    If it's a matter of fact, why are climate psychologists doing studies in search of evidence for it?


    "They" are out to get you!

    I'd stop now, if I were you.
  42. Darrell Harb at 02:30 AM on 9 April, 2014
    "They" are out to get you!

    Don't be silly. Everybody knows climate psychologists are motivated by one goal and one goal only: to help us. Indeed, when we finally have a cure for climate skepticism, the Nobel Prize should go not to the pharmacologist who invents the life-saving molecule, but to the unsung heroes—the Lewandowskys—whose work paved the way.

    I therefore deeply regret any hint of ingratitude to Prof Lewandowsky, who was a true friend to the skeptic community when the rest of the psych profession tossed us in its Too Hard basket.

    Thank you, Professor.
  43. Everybody knows climate psychologists


    Climate psychologists?
    Really?
    Careful Darrell, shaping reality to match your POV - that way madness lies.
    Unless of course you can steer me to which faculty(ies) offer(s) such a qualification.
  44. Darrell Harb at 03:02 AM on 9 April, 2014
    Unless of course you can steer me to which faculty(ies) offer(s) such a qualification.

    Any decent journalism school. Half a PhD should qualify you to review climate psychology papers.
  45. BBD

    I'm really curious to know if you've ever had a real life or job - outside the fetid blog-wars hothouse.

    I ran businesses around the world for over 40 years and must have written or received hundreds of letters threatening legal action if disputes weren't resolved.

    No company or organisation iI ever worked with, including academic institutions, would ever consider or record such a threat as pending legal action.

    Litigation commences with a formal notice from an opponent's lawyer - and, even then, it doesn't need to be recorded or financially provided for if it can be easily resolved.

    That's just how it works in the real, grown-up world.

    I never considered consulting a lawyer about the Fury paper - because I knew the fraudulent use of my quotation was so crass and blatant that, once a responsible adult (i.e. not Lewandowsky or Cook) looked at it it would be taken down, as it was.

    Why on earth would I spend my hard-earned money fighting a legal case, to protect the honour of a pseudonym, against a bunch of people I think of as slightly deranged?

    Analysing the sequence, dates and timing of my email correspondence to try and prove it would have had any lasting effect on a business organisation like Frontiers is just making you and Tom look like a pair of sub-adolescent obsessives.

    Something else which rather amuses me is seeing Lew and his buddies at Desmog brandishing excerpts of my FOI'd emails around as if they'd struck gold.

    If Lew had memory retention better than a fruit fly - he would remember that I
    posted full details of all my complaints here, on his own blog, at the time I made them.

    They're still there if any of you super sleuths want to look at them!
  46. Darrell Harb at 03:31 AM on 9 April, 2014
    But remember Foxgoose, the climate world has a severely subnormal threshold for feeling "threatened." A pensioner need only mention his kangaroo-culling licence at a dinner party to send entire cli-sci faculties scurrying for the panic room and howling about "consp—" er, I mean "secret organised campaigns to intimidate the nation's scientists."
  47. Why on earth would I spend my hard-earned money fighting a legal case, to protect the honour of a pseudonym, against a bunch of people I think of as slightly deranged?


    You appear to by lying, FG. Earlier, you stated that the following quotes were yours:

    I should also remind you that if this proceeds to legal action, any court or tribunal would take a very poor view of you attempting to impose an arbitrary and unreasonable deadline of less than 24 hours for me to supply you with further information.

    [...]

    Please try to understand that academic fraud and defamation are serious matters which cannot be dismissed so lightly.


    That is most definitely a threat. So is this (p24):

    Although I contribute to blogs under the anonymous username of [redacted] I have sought legal advice which has confirmed that, as long as a reasonable number of blog readers are aware of my true identity and professional reputation (which is the case), I could potentially have a defamation action against the authors and publishers of this paper for an outright lie which was told about me.

    I have so far pursued this complaint with [redacted] university, UWA, and they are considering it.

    I hope you will also give it consideration even though (so far) it comes from any [sic] anonymous source. Obviously I understand that any legal action would eventually have to be prosecuted under my real identity.


    And this (p28):

    Remember that your company's responsiveness to these matters will be a major factor in determining any future legal actions.


    And this (p52):

    My only concern is for my reputation and rights and I will pursue all means at my disposal to protect them.


    How do you explain the discrepancy between statements you freely admit to having made and your new claim that you never considered legal action and made no threat of it?

    One way or the other, you appear to by lying.
  48. "be lying"
  49. No company or organisation iI ever worked with, including academic institutions, would ever consider or record such a threat as pending legal action.


    * * *

    Remember that your company's responsiveness to these matters will be a major factor in determining any future legal actions.
  50. Eli much prefers the ink blot story of a psychiatrist showing inkblots to a patient and asking what they reminded him of. Sex, sex, sex says the patient. At the end the psychiatrist observes that the patient has a problem to which the patient replies, I don't have a problem doc, you are the one showing me the dirty pictures.

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