Personal message to Stephan Lewandowsky

Dear Stephan,


I have just asked you for access to the data underpinning your latest paper “An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science” and received an auto-reply to my email because apparently you are travelling for a week or so.

Your message contains a rather odd addendum. After saying you’re travelling, it adds this:

Note that although I endeavour to keep all email correspondence private and confidential, this does not apply to messages that are of an abusive nature.

This is astonishing – even comical. It shows

  1. a tendency to receive large numbers of abusive messages
  2. a disinclination to enjoy them

It challenges the imagination, therefore, to understand why you should have participated in writing the paper about to be published in Psychological Science. It will surely generate more of the abusive messages which you don’t enjoy.

Imagine yourself as sceptical

To illustrate how abusive your paper is, imagine for a moment, if you will, that you were truly sceptical in your approach to the natural world. That you shared something similar, perhaps, to the attitudes of Newton, Rutherford, Pasteur, Galileo and the rest. You took nothing for granted, no matter who told you, and were keen to see evidence for each theory you encountered.

Then let us say that an idea has taken hold in the popular mind that mankind is heating the earth to a dangerous degree. Some heating may already have taken place, but, because of a measurable increase over about 200 years of atmospheric carbon dioxide emitted by human activities, and more to come, there will be a dangerous amount of heating over the next 100 years, and we must modify our industrial and personal behaviour to prevent these emissions.

Imagine that a major portion of the future heating rests upon an untested theory that predicts feedback from increased atmospheric water vapour, which will cause the ocean to warm.

A very thin skin

As a sceptical person, you ask, quite naturally, how this warming from the greenhouse effect will get from the air to the ocean and you listen with rapt attention to the answer, which concerns an ultra-thin “skin” on the surface of the water which, under the influence of minor extra heating from downward infra-red radiation from CO2, modulates the transfer of heat from the water to the air, so the ocean stays warmer for longer.

Wanting confirmation that you’ve understood correctly, you ask: “Are you saying the skin effect slows the transfer of energy from the water?”

The answer is “Yes.”

So you say: “I don’t understand how it does that. Would you go through it again, please?”

Accused of denial

The answer this time is an accusation of denial. You are anti-science, you’re told, a denier of climate science, probably in the pay of big oil, certainly under the influence of capitalistic think tanks and their coordinated attacks on honest scientists and you are recklessly delaying humanity’s response to the greatest challenge of our time. Climate change will destroy the earth as we know it and the day of reckoning for climate deniers will come. There will be a climate court where you can be held to account for your crimes of denial against humanity.

Would you feel betrayed, even offended? Would you object that you were only trying to understand, that something didn’t sound right and you asked for some evidence, and this was no way to repay honest enquiry?

This is literally the recent experience of climate sceptics, Stephan, and it’s no joke. In writing this paper, you are in the vanguard of this assault on us. Why don’t you listen to our honest questions and the valid objections we have to some (not all, but some) of the pronouncements of climate scientists and the IPCC? You’re using your academic weight (whatever weight psychologists playing with computers might have) to push these ideas, yet they lack scientific foundation. (Do let me know which sceptical blogs you contacted for your survey. Ours wasn’t one of them.)

Paper over the ridicule

Here’s some of the ridicule in the paper:

  • NASA faked the moon landing – Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax [the very title of the paper]
  • bloggers have taken a prominent and influential role in questioning climate science [as though sceptical questioning was not the very essence of scientific inquiry]
  • the variables underlying acceptance and rejection of climate science [taking the matter out of the realm of rational evaluation and claiming it is subject to unrelated beliefs]
  • We … show that endorsement of a cluster of conspiracy theories predicts rejection of climate science as well as the rejection of other scientific findings [as though asking for evidence is evidence of denial]
  • climate deniers believe that temperature records have been illegitimately adjusted to exaggerate warming [as though asking for the reasons for those adjustments is illegitimate]

I’m still reading the paper and I’ll let you know of any more deprecating material I find there.

About those abusive emails you get: did you know that if you keep doing the same thing, the same thing will happen? But I’m confident that, if you stop abusing others, they will stop abusing you.

I’m looking forward to examining your data, but even more to the happy cessation of this vulgar, preposterous campaign against free speech, which your paper takes to a whole new low.

Richard Treadgold
Climate Conversation Group

UPDATE 4 Sep 2012

Bishop Hill has the data here, which Simon at Australian Climate Madness uses to show that the paper’s very title is wrong. Simon found that Lewandowsky’s data contains 10 responses indicating that the moon landings were faked. Of those 10, 60% accept the consensus position on climate change. So the paper’s title should read: “NASA faked the moon landing – Therefore (Climate) Science is Real.” If, that is, you believe that the statistical logic on either side carries any weight. In fact, the so-called rigorous, peer-reviewed academic paper is everything but.

Views: 476

91 Thoughts on “Personal message to Stephan Lewandowsky

  1. Huub Bakker on 04/09/2012 at 4:47 am said:

    I’m betting he trashes this before he has read more than a third of the way down. If you had offered him right of reply on this blog there is a small chance he might have read it completely but little chance he would have replied. He will simply have no wish to engage with either the material or with us.

    • You’re righter than right, Huub. Given his position, I cannot really imagine a public conversation with him here. But, this post might contribute in some small way to the pressure he’s under and help to ensure a just result. Also, just as I enjoy reading your reasoning, and as some people will adopt the arguments Lewandowsky makes, so some will be keen to hear a response to those arguments. Again, our audience is largely silent but watchful.

  2. Andy on 04/09/2012 at 8:06 am said:

    It seems that things are picking up pace on this issue.
    Simon at ACM has issued an FOIA request for the data for the paper, and Tom Curtis, Skeptical Science contributer, has suggested that the paper be withdrawn

    • Richard C (NZ) on 04/09/2012 at 9:35 am said:

      BH, “…it seems likely that the allegations will be widened to include a clear and deliberate intention to commit academic fraud”

      That would be the case even if the paper is withdrawn.

      Also put’s the spotlight on Psychological Science and it’s peer review. UWA can’t hide either.

  3. Andy on 04/09/2012 at 9:59 am said:

    Richard – you might be waiting a while for a response.
    From his reply here, Lewandowsky responds

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, this paper has caused a considerable media response and a flurry of activity on the internet. I have also received a fair amount of correspondence, so much in fact that I have been unable to keep up with it. I apologize to those who have not received a reply to recent messages, and I hope this post covers some of the issues raised.

    and then goes on to say

    Unlike some of the people who have been emailing me, my work is subject to ethical guidelines and is subject to approval by my University’s ethics committee—as is the work of any other behavioral scientist in Australia and elsewhere. It is therefore not solely my decision whether or not to reveal the identity of people who were approached on the presumption of privacy.

    I wonder if he still has his “out of office” responder on?

    • He’s in, or should be in, a great deal of trouble.

      It’s been an hour without a reply so far. Either he’s turned the auto-reply off, or his email client is offline.

    • Stanley on 04/09/2012 at 1:07 pm said:

      How did his work gain approval from the University’s ethics committee?

      If they routinely approve this standard of work, there must be a systemic failure of the committee’s objectives. This is a matter for the University Council.

    • The ‘scientific’ team is in deep water on many levels. If such a metaphor holds water.

  4. Clarence on 04/09/2012 at 1:15 pm said:

    “the skin effect slows the transfer of energy from the water”.

    This suggests there is an ‘artificial’ build-up of heat just under the skin, which would show up in all SST measurements. But no such warming has been observed. On the contrary, the NOAA theory is that the heat must be accumulating in the ocean depths below the penetration of ARGOS floats.

    Perhaps Dr Lewandowskey can explain how that skin-generated heat gets to Davy’s Locker without first passing through the zones that are being monitored?

    • I didn’t know that, thanks.

      Yes, he might explain, or at the very least, when people express doubt about the mechanism, he could stop accusing them of a “motivated rejection of science.”

  5. Alexander K on 04/09/2012 at 1:31 pm said:

    Dr Lewandowsky appears not to have realised that doing the same thing twice and expecting different results the second time is the very definition of stupidity.
    I suspect he is one of those rara avis that doesn’t realise the breadth or depth of his own foolishness.

    • I like that.

      What did you mean by “rara avis”?

    • Bob D on 04/09/2012 at 8:25 pm said:

      What did you mean by “rara avis”?

      “You’re a rare bird, Jeeves!”
      – Bertie Wooster

      Technically rarae aves as used above (“one of those rare birds…”).

    • Andy on 04/09/2012 at 8:28 pm said:

      Blimey, another Latin scholar, watch out Monckton!

    • Bob D on 04/09/2012 at 9:56 pm said:

      I remember we had to translate bits of Vergil, and some passages have stuck with me:

      Here a vast crowd streams, hurrying to the shores,
      women and men, the lifeless bodies of noble heroes,
      boys and unmarried girls, sons laid on the pyre
      in front of their father’s eyes: they were as many as the leaves that slip and fall in the forest at the first frosts of autumn, as many as the birds that flock to land from the ocean deeps, when the winter cold
      drives them across the seas to sunnier climes.
      They stood there, pleading to be first to make the crossing,
      stretching out their hands in longing for the far shore.

      -Aeneid Book VI

    • Thanks, Bob, touching. In the hands of a master poet there’s no more stirring image than a river of countless people returning to the afterlife. It lifts the aim and sharpens the gaze.

  6. val majkus on 04/09/2012 at 4:43 pm said:

    this might help:
    Steve McIntyre says:

    September 3, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    I originally searched for Lewandowsky and had had no returns. In a comment above, I gave permission for Lewandowsky to identify me if they had sent me an email that I hadn’t located.

    In Lewandowsky’s post today, he reported that the inquiry was not sent out by him personally but by his research assistant. I searched again this time under the term “” and located an email from Charles Hanich on Sep 6, 2010 asking that the survey be posted by Climate Audit and a second request two weeks later.

    Like many people, I get lots of emails. I didnt know Hanich and I didn’t pay any attention to the request at the time. I didnt reply.

    Lewandowsky stated that the blogs in question “likely replied to my requests under the presumption of privacy and I am therefore not releasing their names.” Given that I made no reply, I don’t understand why their original inquiry would raise confidentiality issues.

    The study itself looks pretty goofy and to be compromised by fake (Gleickian) answers from readers of Tamino, Deltoid etc , but that is another story.

  7. val majkus on 04/09/2012 at 4:50 pm said:

    and here’s an interesting assessment of the paper (made on the data)

    and a quote from manic
    Let me be quite clear. The title of the paper makes a false claim from authors with an agenda of silencing opponents. It is entirely without any proper evidence.

  8. Andy on 04/09/2012 at 7:28 pm said:

    Lewandowsky is friends with John Cook who is friends with Hot Topic, etc
    You may find some interest in this thread in which I try to point out the downsides of CFL lightbulbs (as reported in Spiegel Online)

    I get accused of being a liar a wrecker etc.

    Apparently, poisoning your family with mercury is acceptable for “The Cause”

    These guys, in my view, are bordering on insanity (including Lewandowsky )

    They cannot see or acknowledge any other view than their own.

    • I took a look. Now I’m wondering whether it’s worth attacking lighting for the sake of fighting global warming. It’s more likely, in the light of comments by the head of Philips, to be a brilliant marketing strategy to sell more bulbs. Because Philips’ CEO said that, globally, lighting uses 20% of electricity produced. That seems to be fairly accurate. The greens don’t contradict that. But the target for reduction education is primarily the domestic lighting market. how much of the lighting market does that represent? Only 28%, globally. So we’re looking to reduce 28% of 20% of the world electricity market. That’s quite small and seems to be (unconfirmed yet) about 0.0005 of human CO2 emissions in 2009.

    • Andy on 05/09/2012 at 7:36 am said:

      There is the assumption that using CFL lightbulbs actually reduces electricity usage. Since a lot of people leave them on longer because they take longer to light up, this might not actually be true.

      By the way, the Ministry’s guidelines on CFL disposal are interesting

    • Bob D on 05/09/2012 at 9:52 am said:

      By the way, the Ministry’s guidelines on CFL disposal are interesting

      They are. I have no problem with CFLs as a concept, I even bought some the other day, but my daughter, for one, refused to put them in her room because they take so long to warm up.

      I think they have their place, but I would hate to be forced to use them, as has happened in some countries.

      The Ministry’s guidelines are quite sensible, but reading down the list, you discover that if a CFL breaks, you must “Dispose of any clothing or bedding that comes into direct contact with powder or broken glass.” If that’s because of the mercury issue then the risk alone makes it uneconomical – clothing or bedding costs significantly more than the CFL. But if it’s just because of the broken glass then I suppose it would apply equally to incandescents as well.

    • Andy on 05/09/2012 at 10:00 am said:

      I don’t have a problem with CFL either if used and disposed of carefully. What I find hypocritical is the “environmentalists” complete refusal to acknowledge that there might be any danger whatsoever due to mercury contamination, yet when it comes to their pet hates – CO2, nuclear, asbestos etc, no quantity whatsoever is tolerable.

    • Rob Taylor on 23/09/2012 at 3:16 pm said:

      Lot’s of straw men there, Andy – be careful they don’t catch fire with all those incandescents about…

      BTW, have you guys never heard of LEDs?

    • Andy, that’s so right about mercury. They’re hypocrites.

      The EECA campaign to get everyone to use less energy only exists to fight global warming. But to render the message more palatable and to answer the natural question “what’s in it for me?” the propaganda emphasises the financial benefits. Simple, right? Trouble is, it falls down with the CFL bulbs. I got mildly enthusiastic a few years ago when the price came down a bit and installed a dozen or so CFLs around the house. I started replacing them within less than six months (I didn’t actually keep a diary on them, wish I had). The best of them lasted only about two or three years. That completely scraps the economic argument that they’re the cheapest light bulbs, which would have trumped the environmental arguments. Now I think: these incandescents cost a little more in electricity, but so what? I’ll pay the price happily. Anyway, it saves a little on heating.

    • Andy on 05/09/2012 at 10:21 am said:

      Anyway, it saves a little on heating

      That’s exactly right, for cold days anyway. This is another example of flawed logic at hand. If we use “energy efficient” lighbulbs, we need to heat our houses with something else.

      Another logical flaw is that if you are against this kind of regulation, or coerced use of a particular product, this immediately makes you a “free-market libertarian/right-wing nut job (insert pejorative here)”

      I am not against regulation and control. I am against stupid regulations based on junk science and distorted priorities.

      Anyway, this personal rant of mine has taken us way off topic.


    • Yes, I’m sorry, too, I joined in.

      But after Bob quotes Virgil (Vergil?) at us, what hope do we have? I’ll post something else quickly so we can move on. What’s on your minds, everyone? No, don’t answer here – that’ll be the post. Wait one…

    • Andy on 05/09/2012 at 10:35 am said:

      Here’s a thought Richard. Al Gore is giving a talk in Auckland soon.
      Should we all brush up on our Latin and get Monckton over to ambush him?

    • Bob D on 05/09/2012 at 11:37 am said:

      You can’t have too much Vergil, you know. Or Vergilius, if you will.

    • So is it Vergil or Virgil? Will I Vergilius or will I not? That depends on who Vergilius was. Was Vergilius his uncle, perhaps?

    • Bob D on 05/09/2012 at 1:18 pm said:

      Nope same bloke, that was his name: Publius Vergilius Maro. Bit of a mouthful.

  9. val majkus on 04/09/2012 at 10:11 pm said:
    letter to the academic misconduct officer ( at the University of Western Australia from Alec Rawls (post is dated 1 Sept last so I assume the letter was about that date)

    • It will be interesting to see whether the university acts on this complaint, and any others. Of course, one aspect of the complaint has changed since Steve McIntyre admitted finding an invitation. But the paper still draws statistical inferences from pathetically small samples.

  10. val majkus on 05/09/2012 at 10:43 am said:

    The request to Steve McIntyre was made on Sep 6th, a full week after the survey had already been publicised ar Tamino’s and Deltoid, where commenters had discussed how to game it, whether sceptics would fall for it, etc.
    see comment by geoffchambers and
    a week after the survey was posted at 6 or 8 warmist blogs, Lewnadowsky’s assistant got round to asking the help of Steve McIntyre.
    Barry Woods also has an interesting comment on BH

    • Thanks, Val. Yes, very interesting. In one comment, a mere three days passed after McIntyre was asked to participate before Lewandowsky was presenting “results” in public.

  11. Andy on 05/09/2012 at 7:07 pm said:

    This is getting worse by the minute

    What a freakin amateur

    • You’re not wrong.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 06/09/2012 at 9:13 am said:

      Amateur or conniving?

      The Leopard In The Basement summary of Steve M’s query indicates that the survey was rigged from the outset:-

      HKMKNI_9a13984 – Brand A – “Skeptic”

      HKMKNF_991e2415 – Brand B -“Pro-science”

      HKMKNG_ee191483 – Brand C – Mystery?

      Should give the UWA Ethics Committee something to chew on.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 06/09/2012 at 9:29 am said:

      Maybe amateur AND conniving?


      “Is it possible that Hannich or someone else at UWA got their questionnaires in a twist?”

    • Richard C (NZ) on 06/09/2012 at 10:44 am said:

      Watts weighs in:-

      Stephan Lewandowsky’s slow motion Psychological Science train wreck

      “Motivated” is the key word here, as it appears there were hidden motivations for this paper. It seems though, once you scratch the surface of Lewandowsky’s paper, that it is nothing more than a journal sanctioned smear of climate skeptics based on not only faulty data, but data gathered with a built in bias”

      “I think it is time to ask Psychological Science editor Robert V. Kail to investigate this paper, and if he finds what the skeptics have, start a retraction”

      “My best advice to Dr. Lewandowsky right now is: withdraw the paper”

      Implicates John Cook.

    • Andy on 06/09/2012 at 10:54 am said:

      Yes I was looking at those archived surveys last night – different questions for different groups

      I think one commenter unkindly suggested that the man shouldn’t have even been awarded a degree never mind become a Professor.

      This is not looking good for the Aussies

    • val majkus on 06/09/2012 at 2:51 pm said:

      a suggestion from a commentator on WUWT
      Ian says:

      September 5, 2012 at 7:30 pm

      All of the links to Lewandowsky’s questionnaire do not provide any information as all give comments that the site is unavailable. This includes that from Jo Nova on Bishop Hill’s blog. Perhaps the best approach to this paper is, as Jo Nova has suggested, to write to the Secretary, Human Research Ethics Committee, Registrar’s Office, University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009 (email

    • Rob Taylor on 23/09/2012 at 3:13 pm said:

      This is getting worse by the minute
      What a freakin amateur

      Yes, Montford is, indeed, a “freakin amateur” – what’s your point?

  12. Mallet on 06/09/2012 at 4:39 am said:

    Shorter Richard: When we insult you it is free speech. When you insult us* you are trying to shutdown debate. Conclusion: free speech is good except when it isn’t. Oh, and you’re not allowed to ignore insults…..even in your personal inbox.

    *A somewhat questionable assertion.

    • Am I correct to characterise this as an assault on free speech? For it is that and more. Evidence is disregarded, arguments are misdescribed and people are maligned to spoil their case. Do both sides make against each other exactly the same complaints? For I find myself wondering whether you support this post or not.

    • Andy on 06/09/2012 at 7:34 am said:

      Who is We?

  13. Richard C (NZ) on 07/09/2012 at 9:20 am said:

    For the record:-

    10 conspiracy theorists makes a moon landing paper for Stephan Lewandowsky (Part II) PLUS all 40 questions

    Lewandowsky, Oberauer & Gignac must be feeling some heat by now (Ha!) surely. More to come at least from OnlineOpinion and JoNova.

    • Andy on 07/09/2012 at 9:31 am said:

      When TVOne’s “Closeup” programme posted something about Neil Armstrong’s death on Facebook, I was surprised and dismayed at how many commenters subscribed to the moon landing conspiracy meme.

      It was a bit depressing really

    • Richard C (NZ) on 07/09/2012 at 10:11 am said:

      There’s variations on the conspiracy that gets lost in the scrum (and Lewandowsky’s survey).

      I happen to subscribe to the variant that NASA promoted SOME photographic material as being from the moon when subsequent site reconstruction by computer spatial software that has become accessible to power PC users (e.g. Survey CAD) revealed the exact same mountain background profile occurring in camera shots taken in different directions.

      There’s also questions over the ability of an astronaut to compose the photos to that level of quality using a chest-mounted camera (try it yourself with a camera at chest height without looking down at the camera – the helmets and suits didn’t allow that)

      So although I solidly know the moon landings weren’t faked, I do think there was some NASA PR skulduggery wrt SOME of the photographic material purported to be of lunar origin.

    • Andy on 07/09/2012 at 11:31 am said:

      NASA making “data adjustments” even back in the 1960s

      Who’d have thought?

    • Richard C (NZ) on 07/09/2012 at 11:34 am said:

      The White/Dines photo claims are debunked here:-

      But those claims are not the Survey CAD reconstruction I’m referring to that featured in one of the TV Doco’s (perhaps my memory of the Doco is not good and what I think I saw was not was it was actually all about – it may have just been the White/Dines claims). I can’t find reference to that Doco and reconstruction, just ‘Examination of Apollo Moon photographs’

      The reconstruction is similar to the ‘Map of photos taken during Apollo 11 moonwalk’ on that page from what I (think I) recall

      The topology of the site should match the topology in the photos as per map.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 07/09/2012 at 3:29 pm said:

      The Apollo 11 Landing Site Superimposed on a Baseball Diamond

      Also the original “traverse map” on which it was based. Clicking and zooming on the images for full size brings them up nicely.

      Evolution of Apollo 11 landing site map designs

      Includes soccer pitch version and updated baseball diamond version

      I could have sworn there was a digital terrain model (DTM) of the Apollo 11 site but I must have dreamed it. The closest is this Figure 39: Illustration of LOLA-measured topography in the vicinity of the Apollo 11 landing site (about half way down)

      Maybe I was thinking of this DTM of the Apollo 14 site

  14. val majkus on 07/09/2012 at 12:36 pm said:

    Lewandowsky told DeSmogBlog:

    So now there’s a conspiracy theory going around that I didn’t contact them. It’s a perfect, perfect illustration of conspiratorial thinking. It’s illustrative of exactly the process I was analysing. People jump to conclusions on the basis of no evidence. I would love to be able to release those emails if given permission, because it means four more people will have egg on their faces. I’m anxiously waiting the permission to release this crucial information because it helps to identify people who engage in conspiratorial thinking rather than just searching their inboxes.

    Desmogblog (

    • Andy on 07/09/2012 at 12:56 pm said:

      A perfect example of circular logic – I release a dubious paper on conspiracy theories, then critics of mine find flaws in it which means they are conspiracy theorists.


    • I think Andy’s right, and pontificating about how right he was avoids answering our more pertinent questions about the paper claiming so much from just 10 “sceptical” responses.

  15. Andy on 09/09/2012 at 8:01 am said:

    Josh does Lewpapergate

    Wish I’d thought of that!

  16. Richard C (NZ) on 09/09/2012 at 9:52 am said:

    From ACM Lewandowsky Update:-


    I have absolutely no idea where anyone would get it into his wool-filled brain cavity that giving him permission to release information he claims to wish to release is evidence that I or anyone else harbor a conspiracy theory. I also don’t know why he thinks anyone would have egg on our faces if it turns out we are on the list. We are asking precisely because we want to know. Moreover, we are asking the information be shared because we want others to know.

    I would also like to respond to his insinuation that we haven’t some how looked hard enough for the emails. I can only speak for myself, but I am happy to reveal why I am not going to look harder.

    Conducting his survey may have been important to him at the time but it’s really nothing to me. I do not think its importance to him compels me to maintain records of our email exchanges for his sake. I does not compel me to burn email exchanges with perfect strangers into my memory nor to resurrect the hard drive which died in 2011 so that I can search for any emails he might have sent me in 2010.

    “wool-filled brain cavity” – Ouch!

  17. Andy on 09/09/2012 at 1:25 pm said:

    Steve McIntyre has posted about this

    • Richard C (NZ) on 09/09/2012 at 2:04 pm said:


      “The further fact that the satellite data yield precisely the same result without any surface-based thermometers is of no relevance to climate “sceptics.””

      “precisely the same result” Huh?

      He obviously hasn’t seen this:-

      Or this:-

      Or this:-

      Or this:-

    • Richard C (NZ) on 09/09/2012 at 2:21 pm said:

      “In any event, virtually all of the respondents appear to have come from the eight stridently anti-skeptic blocs, with most presumably referred by Deltoid, Tamino and Skeptical Science”

      Plus Bickmore, Hot Topic, Scott Mandia, Ill Considered, Trunity.

      Those appear to be the hotbeds of conspiracy theory according to Lewandowsky research. Not a good look for “readers of pro-science blogs” (as Tim Lambert at Deltoid puts it) and “people who follow science blogs” (as Gareth Renowden puts it).

      I don’t recall the invitation at Hot Topc. Obviously (as with Lucia) it wasn’t important to me if I did see it, to the extent of it not even registering any memory.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 09/09/2012 at 2:36 pm said:

      Lewandowsky’s questions leave out one that really sorts out the spectrum. His questions:-

      CO2TempUp – I believe that burning fossil fuels increases atmospheric temperature to some measurable degree.

      CO2HasNegChange – I believe that the burning of fossil fuels on the scale observed over the last 50 years has caused serious negative changes to the planet’s climate

      But what about say?:-

      CO2HasExpiredEffect – I believe that the effect of CO2 has been all but exhausted already.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 09/09/2012 at 2:52 pm said:

      The identification of “people attempting to scam the survey” by Tom Curtis and similarly “fake skeptics” by Steve McIntyre sure takes the wind out of John Mashey’s sails (he of the “fake skeptic” meme).

      Figure 2 (restricted to “true” skeptics) is hilarious – the conspiracy ideation completely disappears


      “Lewandowsky, like Gleick, probably fancies himself a hero of the Cause. But ironically. Lewandowsky’s paper will stand only as a landmark of junk science – fake results from faked responses”

  18. val majkus on 09/09/2012 at 1:36 pm said:

    thanks for that Andy, I love Steve’s calm methodical style

  19. Andy on 10/09/2012 at 5:40 pm said:

    Lewandowsky just doesn’t stop – the latest posting here:

    A Cabal of Bankers and Sister Souljah

    The comments are a joy. snip snip snip…

    This part of the article bought tears (of laughter) to my eyes

    The sick and desperate people who turn to the purveyors of denial to deal with their tragic illness, by contrast, deserve not contempt but compassion, however ill-informed and counter-productive their actions may have been


    Some comments from Tom Curtis:

    GeoffChambers @1, the Galileo Movement is the foremost Australian anti-climate science organization. Its advisors, most of whom are known to read Andrew Bolt, and hence are undoubtedly aware of his accusations are:

    Professor Tim Ball
    Warwick Hughes
    Professor Fred Singer
    Professor Dick Lindzen
    Bill Kininmonth
    Professor Bob Carter
    Professor Ian Plimer
    David Archibald
    Professor Peter Ridd
    Professor Garth Paltridge
    Dr Vincent Gray
    Dr Jennifer Marohasy
    Jo Nova
    Des Moore
    John Nicol
    David Flint
    John McLean
    David Evans
    Pat Michaels
    Joe D’Aleo
    Viscount Monckton

    That constitutes a who’s who of the Australian anti-climate science movement with the notable and creditable exception of Andrew Bolt. It also includes several of the most prominent international opponents of climate science. (-Snip-)

  20. Pingback: The Daily Lew | Watts Up With That?

  21. Andy on 11/09/2012 at 7:11 am said:

    CCG gets a mention in Anthony Watts round up of the world of Lew

  22. Andy on 13/09/2012 at 10:26 am said:

    This article showing the interactions between John Cook and Lewandewsky is worth a read

    • Richard C (NZ) on 13/09/2012 at 11:14 am said:

      John Cook opines:

      “[O]ne of the moderators flagged Poptech as a spammer and that deleted EVERY comment he ever posted off all the comments threads.” – John Cook [Skeptical Science], October 11, 2011

      “[W]e should have a blanket ban of any mention of Poptech in any SkS blog posts – not give him any oxygen.” – John Cook [Skeptical Science], March 21, 2012

      Watts re,

      “Yes John Cook is the administrator for Lewandowsky’s outlet at So, given what happens on his own blog, where there’s serial deletion of comments, and even post facto modification of comments later without the commenters knowledge, it really should not surprise anyone to find that same sort of behavior going on at the Lewandowsky thread when difficult direct questions are asked.

      What is even more interesting is that it appears to be a University of Western Australia owned domain, as this little note at the top of the report tells us: [see image]”

      Dirty tricks courtesy of University of Western Australia

    • Richard C (NZ) on 13/09/2012 at 11:24 am said:

      And (Watts),

      “John Cook also runs the Climate Science Rapid Response Team website” [courtesy of UWA].

      “That’s quite a little activist organization they have running out of the University of western Australia. I wonder if UWA officials realize the extent that UWA has become a base for this global climate activism operation and if they condone it?”

      I wonder too, and you can bet that JN over in WA will not be backward in coming forward to UWA about it now that the cat is out of the bag.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 13/09/2012 at 12:07 pm said:

      JN’s latest but not including the Watts revelations, that will follow I’m sure:-

      Lewandowsky does “science” by taunts and attempted parody instead of answering questions

      “Stephan Lewandowsky is rattled. Not surprisingly. Right now, his blog has gone from a steady run of zero-to-three-comment-posts up to 200, and the skeptics are armed with cutting questions.”


    • Richard C (NZ) on 13/09/2012 at 6:09 pm said:

      Skeptical Science: The Censorship of Poptech

      “The impact of that ban on PopTech was to silence him.” – Sphaerica (Bob Lacatena) [Skeptical Science]

      In March of 2012, the same computer illiterates at Skeptical Science who do not know how to use Google Scholar had their forums hacked and the contents posted online. In these I am mentioned in at least 65 discussions, with 17 forum threads started that specifically mention my name and one forum category devoted entirely to discussing the Popular list of papers. These discussions involve almost entirely with how to “deal” with the list. One of the ways they attempted to “deal” with the list was by having a former bike messenger and man-purse maker Rob Honeycutt write a Google Scholar illiterate post. In it Rob failed to use quotes when searching for phrases, is unable to count past 1000 and failed to remove erroneous results such as, “Planet Mutonia and the Young Pop Star Wannabes” – believing it to be a peer-reviewed paper about global warming. After being unable to refute how Google Scholar actually works they resorted to an extensive censorship of my comments and eventually a site wide purge of all of them.

      The forum thread on Rob’s post shows it initially started off with high hopes,

      “Poptech and the other minions of denialdom will hate this …so naturally I like it.” – Daniel Bailey [Skeptical Science], February 13, 2011

      This quickly descended into panic,

      “Exit strategy for the Meet the Denominator thread: Do we have one? […] Poptech is indefatigable …Against such an adversary traditional methodologies are doomed to impasse. This makes the thread the Skeptical Science version of Afghanistan (substitute with many other protracted losing campaigns). I say we let Rob write up a closing synopsis …but giving Skeptical Science the last word. And lock the thread & throw away the key.” – Daniel Bailey [Skeptical Science], February 18, 2011

      “Poptech will not go away. I’ve deleted a number of his …comments, but I feel no obligation to explain to him why they disappear.” – muoncounter (Dan Friedman) [Skeptical Science], February 19, 2011

      Continues >>>>>>>>

    • Richard C (NZ) on 13/09/2012 at 6:16 pm said:

      “He kept repeatedly posting comments, one after the other, that had to be deleted. I wasn’t prepared to stay up all night deleting comments from that loser.” – Rob Painting [Skeptical Science], October 11, 2011

  23. Richard C (NZ) on 13/09/2012 at 10:58 am said:

    Lewandowsky: study “Useless” unless authors demonstrate “data integrity”

    Steve McIntyre

    Lewandowsky has stated that an online survey by an opponent was “useless” “without the authors demonstrating the integrity of their data” and that their study “should not have been published without the authors demonstrating the integrity of their data—I doubt that they could”. Words that apply even more forcibly to his own study. I guess it all depends on whose ox is being gored.


    • Bob D on 13/09/2012 at 5:53 pm said:

      The Lewandowsky/Cook/UWA cabal very foolishly took on Steve McIntyre. No prizes for guessing who will win.

  24. Richard C (NZ) on 14/09/2012 at 9:37 am said:

    Steve McIntyre’s latest:-

    Lewandowsky’s Fake Results

    In addition to Lewandowsky using fake data, many of Lewandowsky’s results, including the result in his title, are fake as well. Lewandowsky’s claimed yesterday that their “results withstand skeptical scrutiny”, but this claim is untrue .

    Impact on Adherence
    Next here is the proportion adherence by skydragon-skeptic-warmist according to Lewandowsky’s yesterday “doesn’t matter” post. The horizontal line showing the proportion of warmists in the count restricted (As noted elsewhere, the proportion of warmists in a survey of respondents from Deltoid and Tamino seems low to me, but that’s a different story.)

    Removing the outliers (which removes the most grotesque fake responses, but not all of them), Lewandowsky’s signature conspiracies (MLK, Moon, 9/11) – all of which have negligible adherence – are now disproportionally held by warmists.


    I think I detect an irony there somewhere.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 14/09/2012 at 9:53 am said:

      “Only one “skeptic” in the revised dataset purported to believe the Moon conspiracy, while 4 “warmists” purported to believe in it. (All 5 responses are probably fake.) Aside from the lack of statistical significance, the eponymous claim of the title is fake.”

  25. Richard C (NZ) on 15/09/2012 at 9:53 am said:

    JN’s latest:-

    Lewandowsky gets $1.7m of taxpayer funds to denigrate people who disagree with him

    The Bottom line:

    This kind of unscientific poor standard work would not get attention or have any credibility if it were not funded by the Australian Government. According to his 28 page CV he claims to have been a part of $4.4m in grants.

    Nice work if you can get it.

    If we do not demand higher standards and turn off the tap filling this well of personal bias dressed as research, we’re letting good scientists down, we’re letting hard working tax-payers down, and we’re letting our children down.

    See below for details of the funding…


    Who’s paying the Cook?

  26. Richard C (NZ) on 15/09/2012 at 10:05 am said:

    The SkS “Link” to the Lewandowsky Survey

    Steve McIntyre

    Lewandowsky et al stated that “links were posted on 8 blogs (with a pro-science science stance but with a diverse audience”. Lewandowsky identified the eight blogs (in an email to Barry Woods) as: Skeptical Science, Tamino, Bickmore, the UU-UNO Clmate Change Task Force (trunity), Ill Considered, Mandia, Deltoid and Hot Topic.

    The relevant posts at six of the blogs have been located, but the relevant post at SkS, either no longer exists or never existed. Today’s question: did John Cook destroy all evidence at the SkS site of the existence of his posting the Lewandowsky thread? if so, why? Or are the claims by Cook and Lewandowsky to have posted the link untrue?

    This issue was originally raised by Barry Woods and Geoff Chambers, but have not been resolved by either Cook or Lewandowsky.



    The claim by Cook and Lewandowsky that SkS had destroyed the record of the survey being posted at SkS (and the related comments) is odd on a number of counts, not least of which is the ability to locate the relevant thread on the blogs less closely connected to Lewandowsky, but not from Lewandowky’s protege and close associate, John Cook (also the maintainer of the University of Western Australia blog.) Further, University of Western Australia research policies require that “data must be held for sufficient time to allow reference.” In the case of an online survey, the records of the survey actually being posted on the 8 blogs are essential data.

    Lewandowsky postulated that Cook “removed it when the survey was closed because then the link would have been dead.” But why would Cook do this? It’s highly unusual for blogs to delete old threads. Nor was there any particular reason for Cook to delete this particular thread – none of the other blogs bothered to do so. Deletion would be especially odd given Cook’s association with the University of Western Australia, the policies of which required preservation of documents necessary to verify claims in a research article.

    It is, of course, possible and, in my opinion, probable that the survey was never posted at SkS in the first place. As Geoff Chambers has already observed, there is substantial indirect evidence to this effect from the lack of mention in the private SkS forum in which Lewandowsky participated and the lack of mention in Wayback archives of the survey identification in connection with SkS.

    In my opinion, the Wayback machine record is overwhelmingly against the Lewandowsky and Cook claims that a link was posted and later destroyed.

  27. Richard C (NZ) on 17/09/2012 at 6:03 pm said:

    Lewandowsky’s Cleansing Program

    Steve McIntyre

    Conspiracy theorist Stephan Lewandowsky, in keeping with SkS style, has rewritten the history of his blog hosted by the University of Western Australia.

    Tom Fuller, who does online commercial surveys for a living, has sharply criticized the Lewandowsky’s tainted methodology – a methodology that relied on fake data to yield fake results.

    Over the past week or so, Fuller has commented frequently on Lewandowsky threads here, here, here and here.

    Although Lewandowsky snipped some of Fuller’s comments, over the past week or so, all or part of about 50 comments were approved.

    Today, Lewandowsky (who is being assisted by an SkS squadron) liquidated every single comment by Fuller on the entire blog, leaving rebuttals to Fuller in place without the protagonist. This is different from not approving the blog comments: it’s an after-the-fact cleansing of Fuller from the blog.

    The University of Western Australia should hang its head in shame at Lewandowsky’s Gleickian antics.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 17/09/2012 at 7:03 pm said:

      Toodle, Lew

      Guest post by Thomas Fuller

      The medicalization of dissent is a delicate topic to bring up in conversations about climate change. If you use it about somebody you’re almost instantly associating them with really evil people who used the tactic to further Stalinism, Naziism, Maoism, etc.

      But the tactic, which really is nothing more than a fancy term for calling your opponents crazy, exists. It is reprehensible. So when I accuse climate alarmists such as Chris Mooney, Kevin Prall, John Mashey and now Stephan Lewandowsky of using the tactic of medicalizing dissent, I am not trying to say they are Stalinists, Nazis or Maoists. That would be like calling people deniers… a thuggish tactic if ever I’ve seen one.

      Medicalizing dissent was perhaps first used by Dr. Samuel Cartwright in 1861, when he invented the term drapetomania to describe a new disease, suffered only by slaves. The disease was a desire for freedom. It had to be a disease, you see, because Cartwright had to justify slavery. As you can see, it’s hard to talk about medicalizing dissent without being offensive.

      The latest attempt is Stephan Lewandowsky’s paper, ‘NASA faked the moon landing, Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science’, scheduled to be published in Psychological Science in the near future. The paper describes the findings of an internet survey and finds a correlation between belief in a ‘laissez faire’ conception of free market economies and rejection of climate science.

      The paper is badly flawed, primarily because the internet survey is junk science. I am a market researcher who has extensive experience with online surveys. I’ve done them for government, non-governmental organizations, companies and volunteer groups. I’ve done a lot of them. Over 1,000, most of them in the UK when we were cranking them out like sausages to the tune of 25 a week for two years.


      “I’m not a climate skeptic–I’m a lukewarmer”

  28. Richard C (NZ) on 20/09/2012 at 5:51 pm said:

    McIntyre v Lewandowsky — Can we call in a statistician at UWA to help Lew?

    The Lewandowsky view is Drilling into noise. The McIntyre response: Lewandowsky’s Fake Correlation

    My favourite Lewandowsky line is: “We cannot get into the details here…”

    McIntyre can and does in gory depth. He posts the equations, the code, the tables, everything. He graphs the residuals, and shows the “severe non-normality” of them. He tests the correlation and finds that the two most obvious fake responses heavily affect the results:


    • Richard C (NZ) on 20/09/2012 at 6:16 pm said:

      Lewandowsky’s Fake Correlation

      Steve McIntyre

      Lewandowsky’s most recent blog post really makes one wonder about the qualifications at the University of West Anglia Western Australia.

      Lewandowsky commenced his post as follows:

      The science of statistics is all about differentiating signal from noise. This exercise is far from trivial: Although there is enough computing power in today’s laptops to churn out very sophisticated analyses, it is easily overlooked that data analysis is also a cognitive activity.

      Numerical skills alone are often insufficient to understand a data set—indeed, number-crunching ability that’s unaccompanied by informed judgment can often do more harm than good.

      This fact frequently becomes apparent in the climate arena, where the ability to use pivot tables in Excel or to do a simple linear regressions is often over-interpreted as deep statistical competence.

      I mostly agree with this part of Lewandowsky’s comment, though I would not characterize statistics as merely “differentiating signal from noise”. In respect to his comment about regarding the ability to do a linear regression as deep competence, I presume that he was thinking here of his cousin institute, the University of East Anglia (UEA), where, in a Climategate email, Phil Jones was baffled as to how to calculate a linear trend on his own – with or without Excel. At Phil Jones’ UEA, someone who could carry out a linear regression must have seemed like a deity. Perhaps the situation is similar at Lewandowsky’s UWA. However, this is obviously not the case at Climate Audit, where many readers are accomplished and professional statisticians.

      Actually, I’d be inclined to take Lewandowsky’s comment even further – adding that the ability to insert data into canned factor analysis or SEM algorithms (without understanding the mathematics of the underlying programs) is often “over-interpreted as deep statistical competence” – here Lewandowsky should look in the mirror.

      Lewandowsky continued:

      Two related problems and misconceptions appear to be pervasive: first, blog analysts have failed to differentiate between signal and noise, and second, no one who has toyed with our data has thus far exhibited any knowledge of the crucial notion of a latent construct or latent variable.

      In today’s post, I’m going to comment on Lewandowsky’s first claim, while disputing his second claim. (Principal components, a frequent topic at this blog, are a form of latent variable analysis. Factor analysis is somewhat different but related algorithm. Anyone familiar with principal components – as many CA readers are by now – can readily grasp the style of algorithm, though not necessarily sharing Lewandowsky’s apparent reification.)


  29. Richard C (NZ) on 23/09/2012 at 9:58 am said:

    Conspiracy-Theorist Lewandowsky Tries to Manufacture Doubt

    Steve McIntyre

    Lewandowsky’s results are bogus because of his reliance on fake and fraudulent data, not because of replication issues in his factor analysis. Nor do I believe that there should be any “doubt” on this point. In my opinion, the evidence is clearcut: Lewandowsky used fake responses from respondents at stridently anti-skeptic blogs who fraudulently passed themselves off as skeptics the seemingly credulous Lewandowsky.

    That Lewandowsky additionally misrepresented explained variances from principal components as explained variances from factor analysis seems a very minor peccadillo in comparison (as I noted at the time.) On this last point, to borrow Lewandowsky’s words, there seem to be two alternatives. Either Lewandowsky “made a beginner’s mistake, in which case he should stop posing as an expert in statistics and take a refresher of Multivariate Analysis 101″.

    Or else Lewandowsky, cognizant of how thoroughly compromised his results are by fake/fraudulent data, rather than thanking his critics for spotting defects and withdrawing his study, has decided to double down by trying to manufacture doubt about criticism of the degree to which his data and results have been thoroughly compromised in the “hope that no one would see through his manufacture of doubt.”


    Retained Eigenvectors and Factors

    The decision on how many eigenvectors/principal components to retain has been a wheelhouse issue at Climate Audit.

    Steig (in Steig et al 2009) had misunderstood the commentary of North et al 1982 on principal components and had additionally and incorrectly reified Chladni patterns as physical patterns. We observed that Steig’s retention of only three eigenvectors had incorrectly spread observed warming in the Antarctic peninsula onto the rest of the continent.

    Retained principal components also (famously) arose in discussion of MBH, where Mann and others have created massive disinformation. Mann had notoriously used a highly biased principal components algorithm (not that a centered principal components method was necssarily correct either.) Using a centered principal components method, the bristlecone hockey stick, said by Mann to be the “dominant pattern of variance”, was demoted to a lower order PC (the PC4). Why a PC4 of a regional network should be a unique and magic thermometer for the entire world was never explained. In the NAS panel report, they recommended that bristlecones be avoided in reconstructions (regardless of which PC.) One would have though that this would have put a silver bullet in the MBH reconstruction. However, the climate science community has proved unequal to the small task of rejecting Mann’s use of contaminated upside-down Tiljander data. All these issues linger on.

    • Rob Taylor on 23/09/2012 at 3:33 pm said:

      Ho hum… I suppose all the scientific enquiries (five?) that exonerated Mann’s work were evil warmist conspiracies, just like the NZ High Court?

      Meanwhile, the Wegman Report is exposed as a plagiarised fraud; let’s talk about that, shall we?

  30. Richard C (NZ) on 07/10/2012 at 3:52 pm said:

    Lewandowsky part VIII: Formal moves for a Governance Review of the STW blog.

    Mr Chairman, Vice Chancellor and Members,

    All of us here are committed to enhancing the University’s reputation and to ensuring good governance prevails on campus.

    In this context, I want to mention the University-funded website: Shaping Tomorrow’s World. A number of alumni are concerned about the tone and quality of recent activity here [during September, 2102]. We wonder whether its operation is consistent with Convocation’s aims and the University’s mission to “achieve international excellence”.

    Mr Chairman, [in your capacity as a member of STW’s Editorial Board], could you clarify at some stage if there is any governance provision that would require an STW Board member or Principal to, for example,

    (i) stand aside if under investigation by the University for alleged breaches of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2007), or for any other complaints regarding research misconduct; and

    (ii) cease involvement in the site’s management during the duration of any investigation, with reinstatement depending on the outcome?”

    Michael Kile

    The Warden replied that he would discuss my request with the STW Editorial Board and prepare a formal response for the next Convocation meeting in early 2013.

    The Warden also was asked later to include STW’s moderator policy in the governance review.

  31. Richard C (NZ) on 13/10/2012 at 11:07 am said:

    Lewandowsky’s bait and switch

    Question – how did this title for a scientific paper:

    Understanding Statistical Trends

    Turn into this?

    NASA faked the moon landing|Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science

    Easy. You get ethics approval from your university for the first and use it to push the second. According to UWA rules, Dr. Stephan Lewandowsky was required to obtain approval for his survey from the UWA Ethics Committee. He got that, the process took a week.


    Links to Australian Climate Madness – Simon Turnill who obtained information on this process through an FOI, request and Climate Audit – Steve McIntyre’s bait and switch post.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 16/10/2012 at 8:05 am said:

      Lewandowsky — A paper of questionable ethics, approved in a last minute switch

      Prof Stephan Lewandowsky had to make an ethics committee application in order to survey anti-skeptics to “find out” whether skeptics are conspiracy mad nutters (as you would). Simon Turnhill launched an FOI to ask for information and has received some information related to the ethics application. Turnhill wondered why the application seemed so unrelated to the survey. I pointed out that I’d seen a different Lewandowsky paper that fitted the description in the application. Simon hunted and found Popular Consensus: Climate Change Set to Continue (where Lewandowsky shows people in the Hay St. Mall in Perth, some “stock market” graphs and asks them to extrapolate the trend).

      Lewandowsky appears to have done an ethics approval for this bland paper, and then put in a last minute request for a “slight modification” which was for an entirely different survey for a different purpose and an unrelated paper, and which, as it happens, uses an internet survey rather than a face to face one. But apart from that… it was nearly the same.

      Worse, Turnhill found that by the time Lewandowsky was finalizing the ethics application in August 2010, he’d already done that bland survey fully 7 months before, and the paper was almost finished. The submitted paper was received on Sept 7th 2010, (the day after he started sending emails to skeptics under the name of his assistant Charles Hanich). Turnhill notes that Lewandowsky refers to “The Survey” in the future tense and as if there was only one survey.


  32. Richard C (NZ) on 15/10/2012 at 10:00 am said:

    Lewandowsky and “Hide the Decline”

    Steve McIntyre


    Lewandowsky appears to be yet another person who has been “tricked” (TM – climate science) by IPCC and others hiding the decline in the Briffa reconstruction. In his post on replication, Lewandowsky claimed that the Briffa et al 2001 decline not only did not contradict the Mann hockey stick, but replicated it:

    Replicable effects such as the conjunction fallacy are obviously not confined to cognitive science. In climate science, for example, the iconic “hockey stick” which shows that the current increase in global temperatures is unprecedented during the past several centuries if not millennia, has been replicated numerous times since Mann et al. published their seminal paper in 1998. (Briffa et al., 2001; Briffa et al., 200 Cook et al. 2004; D’Arrigo et al., 2006; Esper et al., 2002; Hegerl et al., 2006; Huang et al., 2000; Juckes et al., 2007; Kaufman et al., 2009 ; Ljungqvist, 2010; Moberg et al., 2005; Oerlemans, 2005 ; Pollack & Smerdon, 2004; Rutherford et al., 2005; Smith et al., 2006).


    Both the Mann reconstruction and the Briffa reconstruction used very large networks of tree ring data: explaining why one series went up while the other went down ought to have been a priority for specialists. (The “consensus” explanation by the Hockey Team is simply incorrect and all-too-typical armwaving. They claim that the Briffa reconstruction, unlike the others, is from a small geographically unrepresentative subset. In fact, the Briffa reconstruction is from a very large network of 387 sites, while the other reconstructions cited above are from small (5-18 site) networks, in which bristlecones and/or Yamal are important components. The Mann reconstruction, like Briffa, is from a large network, but its methodology results in very high weighting to the bristlecones.)


    Social Priming
    Lewandowsky, who has written in the past on “social priming”, noted in his post that Kahneman had recently slagged social priming theories (a development covered at CA here.) Lewandowky’s post cited the following classic example of social priming:

    For example, it has been reported that people walk out of the lab more slowly after being primed with words that relate to the concept “old age” (Bargh et al., 1996)

    As partial support for the concept of “social priming”, it seems to me that there is a statistically significant increase in the incidence of drivel in writings by activists after being primed with words that relate to “climate skeptics”. This hypothesis will be more difficult to test among authors where the incidence of drivel is already high, even without social priming.


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