Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Missing views: the Lewandowsky affair

Ben Pile at Spiked Online has an interesting essay about the flawed research behind recent attempts to smear climate sceptics as conspiracy theorists. The author of the flawed research, Stephen Lewandowsky, was recently "grilled" by ABC's Science Guru Robyn Williams. This is how Robyn introduced the story:
"What if I told you that paedophilia is good for children, or that asbestos is an excellent inhalant for those with asthma?" 
How positively Charming! Somehow Robyn missed the mistakes that Ben Pile outlines in detail in his essay, and this is someone ABC thinks is competent to present a Science Show (ed. perhaps those brain cells rusting with age?). The problems with Lewandowsky's research were widely covered on the internet (see Climate Audit) but somehow this important news failed to make the ABC's News Desk.

An extract...
A culture of intransigence has developed in the shadow of the compact between politics and science, which can be seen in the Lewandowsky affair in microcosm. Lewandowsky’s work unwittingly demonstrates that what is passed off as peer reviewed and published ‘science’, even in today’s world, is no more scientific than the worst ramblings of the least qualified and nuttiest climate change denier on the internet. It looks like science, certainly, but the product only survives a superficial inspection. The only difference being the institutional muscle that Lewandowsky has access to, but which unhinged climate change deniers do not. The object of the professor’s study is really his own refusal to debate with his lessers.

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