Monday, June 20, 2011

Ove Hoegh-Guldberg: the secrets of my success

In conversation Coral Whisperer Prof. Ove Hoegh-Guldberg reveals the secrets of his publishing success:

Marc Hendrickx

I'm not getting nasty Ove, I'm merely pointing out some facts. Let's again examine these. For your last 10 papers listed in The Web of Science here is your author position.
1. Validation of Housekeeping Genes for Gene Expression Studies in Symbiodinium Exposed to Thermal and Light Stress: Last author out of 4
2. Mesophotic coral ecosystems on the walls of Coral Sea atolls: second last author out of 7
3. Ocean acidification and warming will lower coral reef resilience: last author out of 7
4. Coral reef ecosystems and anthropogenic climate change: first of one
5. Revisiting climate thresholds and ecosystem collapse: fifth of 12
6. Regulation of Apoptotic Mediators Reveals Dynamic Responses to Thermal Stress in the Reef Building Coral Acropora millepora: last of 6
7. Climate change impedes scleractinian corals as primary reef ecosystem engineers: second of 12
8. Complex Diel Cycles of Gene Expression in Coral-Algal Symbiosis: last author of 10
9. Gene expression profiles of cytosolic heat shock proteins Hsp70 and Hsp90 from symbiotic dinoflagellates in response to thermal stress: possible implications for coral bleaching : last author of 5
10. Shallow-water wave lensing in coral reefs: a physical and biological case study: second last of 8.

Based on the evidence it seems a reasonable contribution from OveH for 30% of these, but it appears only a token contribution for 70%. Most of the these where Ove's students are the lead author.

Congratulations Ove you are the master of the publish or perish system. Is your name there:
1. Because of a sizeable contribution to the work?
2. As a token thankyou from grateful students?
3. As a means to allow a softer journey through the review system for students yet to get a name for themselves?, or
4. Because you insist on putting your name on all your students papers, afterall where would they be without you?

Ove Hoegh-Guldberg
Director, Global Change Institute at Univers…
about 12 hours ago
Marc - I am surprised that you are not aware the last author position on publications in many fields (such as marine and molecular biology) goes to the head of the laboratory or research group. This is to recognise the effort that these individuals put into the science, but also as recognition of the funding, experience, and infrastructure that invariably goes into a project. In our field, this is not insubstantial and my calculations have revealed that studies involving molecular biology or field work can often require substantial costs in terms of materials and supplies required to do the science. Obtaining that funding is not an easy task as I'm sure you know.
Life is too short to keep justifying myself to you Marc. Despite your continual insults, my track record and the cohesion of my research group ( some of the finest young biologists in Australia) does speak for itself.
Anyway, enough of this - I have a lab group to run, papers to write, and an institute to direct.

Marc Hendrickx
about 11 hours ago
So it was number 4 then! And these are papers you claim as your own. Shame Ove Shame.

Marc Hendrickx
about 11 hours ago
In geology we generally take credit for our own work, and not the work of others. If there has been administrative assistance it typically gets a place in the Acknowledgements.

Unjustly appropriating the work of others is one sign of workplace bullying. I pity his personal assistant and his students!
Read the whole conversation at The Conversation.


  1. What is interesting in reviewing this "conversation" is the defaulting - almost to desperation - to the "peer-review" as being an unchallengeable monolith of scientific integrity.

    The process has shown time and again to be deeply flawed, easily manipulated, inherently outcomes biased and highly politicised.

    Not to mention being riddled with rentseeking opportunism.

    Unfortunately this appears to be Hoegh-Guldberg's only defence in the quite legitimate questioning of his (and others) research and methodologies.

    Sadly those who challenge this irrational orthodoxy are dismissed outright from the conversation, branded "skeptics" and "denialists" and incapable of "legitimate" scientific reasoning and understanding in the absence of being subjected to the "rigour" of "peer-review".

    Mann's hockey-stick theory was peer reviewed and found to be a fraud. Vast swathes of all the IPCC's peer-reviewed reports and conclusions were found to be exaggerated or grossly in error.

    Conversely, only one of Albert Einstein’s more than 300 scientific papers was subject to peer review. That was on gravitational waves and was rejected.

    Maybe Mr Hoegh-Guldberg could point out the number of peer-reviewed articles eminent "Father of Science" Sir Isaac Newton had published? Galileo?

    Friedrich Miescher, whose groundbreaking research into nucleic acid chemistry and paved the way for the DNA discoveries of Watson and Crick, was not ratified or “legitimised” by any peer review process.

    Nor was Charles Darwin.

    In the November 2004 edition of Physics Today ( 39% of junior members of the American Physic Society responding to an ethics survey said they had cited one or more of the following ethical violations:

    - data falsification
    - not including appropriate authors
    - plagiarism
    - less than truthful reports
    - not citing prior work
    - delaying referee reports
    - including inappropriate authors
    - other

    It stands to reason that a cabal of scientists whose very livelihood rests on governments, corporations and NGO's committing vast research monies to 'solving the problem' have a vested in perpetuating the myth of dangerous and human-induced climate change.

    So why is Hoegh-Guldberg so ideologically opposed to subjecting his and others research in this area to independent peer-review?

    Stress testing his hypotheses and deductive methods should be open and freely available to all interested parties. There is nothing commercially in what's the problem?

    That Mr Hoegh-Guldberg believes his fellow scientists to be benevolent beyond reproach in their climate theory endeavours is disingenuous, hypocritical and just plain wrong.


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