A new definition of academic misconduct

by Judith Curry

Ridd was punished by James Cook University for “not displaying responsibility in respecting the reputations of other colleagues.” The university even warned that if he does this again, he’ll be tried for serious misconduct.

The latest perversion in research ethics comes to us from James Cook University in Australia. The Australian has the scoop, but it is behind paywall. Michael Bastasch of the Daily Caller has an article on this University Censures Science Prof For Fact-Checking Global Warming Claim. Excerpts:

An Australian university recently censured marine scientist Paul Ridd for “failing to act in a collegial way and in the academic spirit of the institution,” because he questioned popular claims among environmentalists about coral reefs and global warming.

What was Ridd’s crime? He found out two of the world’s leading organizations studying coral reefs were using misleading photographs to make the case that global warming was causing a mass reef die-off. Ridd wasn’t rewarded for checking the facts and blowing the whistle on misleading science. Instead, James Cook University censured Ridd and threatened to fire him for questioning global warming orthodoxy.

Ridd’s not alone in criticizing some institutions and environmental groups for over-hyping the impacts global warming will have on coral reefs.

In fact, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s own chairman had to come out and dispel notions the reef was almost completely gone.

“We’ve seen headlines stating that 93 percent of the reef is prac­tic­ally dead,” Reichelt said. “We’ve also seen reports that 35 percent, or even 50 percent, of the entire reef is now gone.”

“However, based on our ­combined results so far, the overall mortality rate is 22 percent — and about 85 percent of that die-off has occurred in the far north between the tip of Cape York and just north of Lizard Island, 250 kilometers north of Cairns,” he said. “Seventy-five per cent of the reef will come out in a few months time as recovered.”

The group’s former chairman Ian McPhail even accused environmentalists of “exaggerating the impact of coral bleaching for political and financial gain.”

Despite the campaign to tamp down on reef alarmism, Ridd was punished by James Cook University for “not displaying responsibility in respecting the reputations of other colleagues.” The university even warned that if he does this again, he’ll be tried for serious misconduct.

JC reflections

I just love this statement: “not displaying responsibility in respecting the reputations of other colleagues.” Folks, we have a new definition of serious academic misconduct. Watch out, Michael Mann.

If this seems like a joke, it isn’t.  I was ostracized from the ‘community’ for criticizing my colleagues overconfidence and failure to adequately account for uncertainty (see the infamous article Climate Heretic Judith Curry Turns on Her Colleagues).  I thought that, in the midst of all the important issues at play in the climate debate, ‘turning on my colleagues’ was the least of them.

In my previous post Scientists and Motivated Reasoning, I identified a major ethical conflict for scientists between the microethics  of your conscience in adhering to the norms of science, versus the macroethics of your perceived duty to the public, which may be colored by your politics and values.

Also included in the discussion of microethics versus macro ethics is responsibility to your colleagues.  In my previous post, I wrote:

I am particularly concerned about microethical conflicts involving colleagues and scientific institutions that apparently justify self-serving irresponsible professional behavior, both by individuals and institutions. This seems much worse to me than politically motivated reasoning by members of the public. Personally, I have felt the need to break loose of the shackles of loyalty to colleagues and institutions if it comes at the expense of integrity in science and professional conduct.

Why even bother with loyalty/responsibility to colleagues – beyond giving them credit for their research?  Do I really have any responsibility to any and all scientists just because they are members of the same professional society?  I would say no, but upon further reflection I can see a tiny point here – it isn’t just a joke.

The importance of ‘collegiality’ among elite academic researchers seems to be perceived as more important than I have credited.  In Michael Polanyi’s Republic of Science, the self-coordination of scientists is of paramount importance.

Going back to my previous discussion on microethics versus macroethics, I wrote:

As a researcher, what kinds of responsibilities do you have to

  • your conscience (micro)
  • your colleagues (micro)
  • institutions (micro/macro)
  • the public (macro)
  • the environment (macro)

My previous post illustrated numerous ethical conflicts that can arise for researchers.  But when it comes to conflicts between your conscience and your colleagues, or the public and your colleagues, any perceived responsibility to your colleagues has to take a back seat.

But it seems that in academic science, responsibility to your colleagues and their opinions, their declarations of consensus, their reputations, is apparently regarded by many researchers as the paramount consideration, viz. the circling of the wagons that occurred in Climategate.

This concern about ‘responsibility’ to your colleagues seems only to extend to colleagues who happen to agree with you.

In Science on the Verge, and in postnormal science more generally, the importance of extended peer review is emphasized, which is very much needed to break down the clubby, exclusionary academic collegiality that is used as a club to marginalize dissenting voices.

The sickness of the clubby academic collegiality is absurdly highlighted by this latest episode from James Cook University.

284 responses to “A new definition of academic misconduct

  1. Pingback: A new definition of academic misconduct – Enjeux énergies et environnement

  2. stevefitzpatrick

    Obligations to colleagues who are mistaken (or worse, dishonest)? It is almost the perfect definition with what is wrong today with ‘institutions of higher education’: evil and stupid.

  3. JCU was that institution that wiped Professor Bob Carter for his views.Free university- not on your nelly.

  4. Incredible, This link worked for me. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/reef-whistleblower-censured-by-james-cook-university/news-story/c7aa0e0ac1c1dec1b065273d2e968f6d

    “Is there a chance that many marine scientists are partially driven by ideology? Is there a chance that peer review among this group is self-selecting of the dominant idea? Is there a robust debate without intimidation?”

    Professor Ridd wants an independent agency to check the science before governments commit to spending hundreds of millions of dollars.

  5. what about academic freedom?

  6. We don’t see what Ridd actually wrote the in The Australian, and it is paywalled. Words matter and there must be more to it than complaining about a few photos in articles for censure. Do we trust the Daily Caller to give an unbiased assessment? Any other sources?

    • Specious BS. If you really care, you could subscribe. If you don’t want to do that, try this (it worked for me):

      Go to Google and search on the phrase “chance that many marine scientists are partially driven by ideology” (including quotes). When I did it a link came up that allowed me to read the article. As Planning Engineer notes above, the same link probably won’t work for somebody else if you copy/paste it into a comment.

    • And what we certainly don’t see is what the University actually concluded. What was the proceeding exactly? There must be Uni sources if this is true.

      • In The Australian he did attack their professionalism, so it is not just photos, and you need more than photos to do that.

      • Jim, I don’t mean whether the charge is true. I’m querying whether JCU actually made it? I what circumstances. I googled Paul Ridd at JCU and found nothing except people echoing the Daily Caller article. And another similar from Andrew Bolt five years ago.

      • You can google the phrase excerpted by AK and planningengineer for The Australian article. It is similar because it only quotes Ridd about photos and ideology. One phrase of use is “A JCU spokesman said it was university policy not to comment on individual staff”, which he did.

      • There does seem to be a history of “non-collegiality”. Here is a 2007 article headed “The Great Great Barrier Reef Swindle”. And yes, he’s talking about his colleagues.

      • nothing like good anecdotal evidence

      • Yes, tony b gathers anecdotal evidence.

      • Wait – all this hyperventilating from people who don’t even know what he actually said?

        Reminds me about all the “neo-McCarthy” hyperventilating about Bengtsson from people who don’t even know what happened to him.

      • JCH

        Yes, Tonyb gathers ‘anecdotal evidence’, often from different unrelated sources and often backed up by scientific papers. There were some 50 papers quoted in one of my articles that was supposed to be ‘anecdotal.’ Presumably for ‘anecdotal’ you mean you don’t like what you are reading?
        Anyway, how is historical anecdotal text any different from the historic anecdotal numbers often used gathered?
        tonyb

      • I enjoy reading your articles. I do believe, as James Bradley, the son of Iwo Jima corpsman John Bradley and the author of Flags of Our Fathers, has recently learned, that historical photographs sometimes may not be what they seem.

      • JCH quotes Clark et al. (2016). captdallas complains about the anecdotal nature of the evidence. The very next sentence:

        However, these photographs cannot provide definitive proof that these reefs are in a state of decline as they only offer two (three for Stone Island: c.1890, 1915 and 1994) qualitative ‘snap-shots’ over a ~100 year time period.

        Summation of the purpose of the study comes in the following paragraph:

        In 2012 (eighteen years later), Bramston Reef was still characterized by many large faviid colonies, dead and overgrown by algae and sediment, as well as a large number of small living faviid colonies. Yet there was evidence of some small increase in coral cover, primarily driven by tabular Acropora sp. and other genera (Fig. 5a; Supplementary Fig. S3). In addition, living faviid colonies that appeared to be of equal size to their predecessors were also found in 2012, albeit scarce (Supplementary Fig. S3e). At Stone Island, the reef crest was similar to that observed in 1994 with a substrate almost completely devoid of living corals. The timing of the changes observed in the photographs then becomes particularly important not only for understanding the potential drivers behind the coral mortality, but also to reliably assess the current status of the reef by gaining some perspective on the length of time between disturbance and recovery.

        Ridd is complaining about an entirely different publication which uses the same photographs:

        “These photographs are a big deal as they are plastered right across the internet and used very widely to claim damage,” Professor Ridd told The Weekend Australian.

        The photographs were taken near Stone Island off Bowen. A photograph taken in the late 19th century shows healthy coral. An accompanying picture supposedly of the same reef in 1994 is ­devoid of coral. When the before-and-after shots were used by GBRMPA in its 2014 report, the authority said: “Historical photographs of inshore coral reefs have been especially powerful in illustrating changes over time, and that the change illustrated is typical of many inshore reefs.”

        The 2014 GBR Outlook Report contains the offending photographs, with the following caption (p. 17 of the document, p. 33 of the .pdf):

        Figure 2.2 Inshore coral reefs over time, Stone Island, offshore Bowen Historical photographs of inshore coral reefs have been especially powerful in illustrating changes over time. The changes in the fringing reefs at Stone Island are typical of many inshore reefs. They largely took place before monitoring programs began — illustrating that modern assessments of the condition of coral reefs are likely to be based on an already shifted baseline. (2012 photograph © The University of Queensland, courtesy of Tara Clark)

        The bolded bit is an appropriate and important caution The Australian left out. Beware narratives concocted on the basis of quotemining, which is the worst sort of anecdote.

      • brgates, right, they had a bit more in there about dating the last major die off to 1990 which happened to coincide with extreme spring tides and a couple of storms at a couple of locations on a roughly 2400 km long reef.

        Extrapolating that to 93% of the GBR being “devastated”, a term that was greatly overused by my niece in her teenage years, seems to be a stretch in my opinion. If 93% is devastated in a permanent sense, I think vacation timeshares would be a good option.

      • captdallas,

        Again you don’t directly respond to the argument, and instead offer anecdotes about your daughter chanting 93%.

      • brgates, “Again you don’t directly respond to the argument, and instead offer anecdotes about your daughter chanting 93%”

        The anecdotal evidence is 5 old photos from two small section of a the largest reef in the world and part of another paper. I don’t actually have a problem with that evidence once you look at the ecological and geological evidence that was also apart of the paper you are not referring to.

        However, the paper you chose to link to has a WTF moment where they overstate the results in the beginning and refute in the main body. Your chosen link is much more interesting than the anecdotal paper :) I thank you for that.

      • captdallas,

        However, the paper you chose to link to has a WTF moment where they overstate the results in the beginning and refute in the main body. Your chosen link is much more interesting than the anecdotal paper :) I thank you for that.

        I can see how issues with The Media would be more interesting than the science itself. Happy to have been of service.

        I begrudgingly grant you the point that calling the 93% of the reefs “devastated” is untenable. 93% of the reefs affected by some level of bleaching would have been better.

      • brgates, “I can see how issues with The Media would be more interesting than the science itself. Happy to have been of service.

        I begrudgingly grant you the point that calling the 93% of the reefs “devastated” is untenable. 93% of the reefs affected by some level of bleaching would have been better.”

        You know, I think a scientist that attempts to inform the media when they are exaggerating “scientific” claims, is probably a pretty stand up kinda person.

      • DailyCaller is a rightwiing rant which seems totally unreliable even in its won content.

        I don’t intend to subscribe to any outlet that makes some arbitrary claims. If they want to be read, don’t charge me. I don’t value their opinions that much.

        Equally I do not expect the university will have public records of any of this. All done behind closed doors, away from prying eyes and accountability.

        I feel Judith should have got some more corroborative sources than DailyCaller before running with this. Does not look at all like a factual source of information.

  7. I “early” retired from a well-known major land grant university in 1993 for a variety of reason including attitudes like this. The “uncolleguial” argument is used capriciously to admonish professors who are not liked, uphold standards, back students, avow political views that are not “in,” or just do their jobs too well.

    The tipoff for me came in 1985. I had two foreign graduate students who needed to complete ESL (English-as–second-language) requirements and suggested they do so by taking two such courses CONCURRENTLY during the summer. A woman program coordinator called me and said this was “impossible” and wouldn’t allow it because one course was a pre-requisite for another. I politely reminded her that in the sciences, what I suggested the students do was not uncommon. SHe then claimed I yelled at her, was sexist, and a stream of claptrap long forgotten, and hung up. Next, she filed a complaint with her department head who in turn filed a complaint with the college dean. The dean asked to meet with me.

    The Dean recommended I write an apology. That university had just given an honorary degree to an alumnus who was now foreign minister of an allied middle eastern country. I reminded the dean of this and said I did not want to watch TV in 20 years and see one or both student ranting ‘down with AMerica’ like the Iranian foreign minister did in 1980 because he was flunked out of Georgetown University just because our ESL program hrsed my students around The Dean agreed it was a concern but suggested I do so to keep peace in the college. I also reminded the dean that the students’ academic freedom just might have been violated.

    SO, I wrote a letter of apology but added that it seemed to me the students’ academic freedom was violated. The ESL Department Head called the Dean and told him my letter was unacceptable and uncollegial and needed to be revised. This time, the Dean backed me up and told that department head the case was closed.

    However, I am sure in today’s gestapo-like environment on university campuses the results would be different

    George Devries Klein, PhD, PG, FGSA

    • Let me add one thing. I learned over the years at that institution that :Collegiality” was also the liberal cop-out word for papering over administrative goofs when calling attention to them and to get them resolved or fixed..

      George Devries Klein, PhD, PG, FGSA

      • I saw the same type of behavior in private industry. Near the end of my career my job involved policing the quality of the engineering organization’s work. This led to serious conflicts with managers who preferred to paper over their organization’s mistakes.

      • Fernando, had a similar experience. I was once one of the top 15 at a Fortune 50. One of my jobs was to ‘grade’ the other 14 on their MEIP goals (Management Executive Incentive Plan, aka bonus). So the CEO ordered a big reorg (and I as the one of 8 in the know opposed). Well, the new big boss of the reorg laid down his markers. After one year,mI scored him a zero on all. Needless to say, the CEO revised that, gave him,the biggest senior exec bonus,mand then had to fire him three months later for other reasons. Needless to say, I was removed from that position of honest corporate responsibility the same year. A Judith like experience.
        The Board fired the CEO three years later. But I had already left for what were hopd to bemgreener pastures. Who wants to be officr on deckmof the Titanic as it goes down?

  8. Living in a society where the positions of power are dominated by lefties is SO depressing. No rationality, no logic, no respect for the law, no respect for the opinions of others, and most of all no respect for truth. Yuck!

    • That’s why we cling to our faith and our guns Jim.

      • My conclusion after reading about 15000 pages this last year is that:
        ‘That’s why we cling to our faith and our guns’
        is ABSOLUTELY correct. Especially the first part.

  9. I just love this statement: “not displaying responsibility in respecting the reputations of other colleagues.” Folks, we have a new definition of serious academic misconduct. Watch out, Michael Mann.

    And, what about John Cook (also from James Cook Uni, owner of Skeptical Science and author of the “97% believe in something” that Obama likes to quote)?

    And Stefan Lewandowski?

  10. You only need to follow the money and the tenure track.

  11. Curious George

    Consensus as one and only method of science.

  12. pamelasuemakin

    Been there. In public education, I have been the recipient of a professional misconduct charge (at the local school level) saying that I impugned the reputation of a fellow colleague because I said to a parent a change in intervention (I indicated the old versus new intervention and how the change might better address the deficit), was necessary because data from the previous year demonstrated a lack of growth sufficient to catch up to grade level.

    To make that charge go away I had to apologize for making the colleague feel that his/her reputation was impugned. I was sincere in my appology. I had no intention of making that colleague feel bad by confidently suggesting an intervention change, and I was truly sorry my colleague felt that way. My apology was never acknowledged but the charge was dropped. However, I continued providing services using the changed intervention. That was years ago but this post brought it fresh in my mind again.

    People get attached to their philosophies, theories, and statistical analysis, along with their belief in themselves as being the one with top-notch understanding. That deeply ingrained thinking can extend all the way up to top administrators. Over time, it can become a raging river for those of us who wish to paddle upstream, take a side stream, or get out of the river altogether.

    It’s what happens when an organization becomes inbred with advancements happening within the organization only for those that adhere to the status quo. There are those who encourage people like me to play the game till I get to upper administration levels, then I can go wild if I want, bringing about necessary change. Unfortunately, I have never been able to force myself to play that game. I guess I have no stomach for it.

    • Curious George

      Excerpt from C.Northcote Parkinson, The Law Complete, Chapter 14, Injelititis or Palsied Paralysis: If the head of the organization is second-rate, he will see to it that his immediate staff are all third-rate; and they will, in turn, see to it that their subordinates are fourth-rate.

      • Joe Crawford

        Years ago I had a copy of a book called ‘The Entrepreneur’s Handbook’ or similar (I no longer remember the exact title or author). One statement from it, similar to that of Parkinson, has proven correct many times throughout my career in both large corporations and small start-ups:

        ” First rate managers hire first rate people. Second rate managers hire third rate people.”

  13. Curious George

    In other environments Dr. Ridd would be called a snitch and would never be seen again. James Cook University still has a long way to go.

  14. Pamela Gray

    Just so it is clear, pamelasuegray is the same person as Pamela Gray. I had a glitch in my wordpress account that is now fixed.

  15. Pamela Gray

    oops. I meant pamelasuemakin

  16. there must be more to it than complaining about a few photos in articles for censure.

    Does there? After what happened to Dr. Curry?

    By “complaining about a few photos”, he was, in effect, saying they were misleading. That does not necessarily go over very well with those indicated.

    • I think it is when you start accusing people of ideology in newspapers, they don’t take it very well. The photos, fine, just stop at that. Better still, show your own evidence of the reef loss to counter them. Ideology accusations of fellow scientists, not so much. It attacks their professionalism in public. There is a line.

      • Steven Mosher

        ‘Ideology accusations of fellow scientists, not so much. It attacks their professionalism in public. There is a line.”

        Do you think anyone has crossed the line with Judith?
        Roy Spencer? Christy? Lindzen? McKittrick?

      • Have they mentioned the word “ideology”? I don’t know. It’s one of those words where the first thing you would do is look at the accuser from that perspective because they are sorting people on a basis different from science.

      • ” There is a line.”

        Indeed there is – rebuking people for upholding honesty and integrity in public pronouncements is certainly crossing the line.
        From what I can tell, this was not simply sent out without any attempt at allowing the “mistake” to be corrected first – seems that such a “correction” was rejected as a solution. Under such circumstances, what is one to do? Or perhaps, what would YOU do if you found an official press release contained misleading information? If you need to ask “what did it say?” first, you are part of the problem. And if you think a fellow academic who corrects your mistakes when you refuse to is “bad”, then wait until the whole sorry mess becomes public – who do you think has their reputation tarnished more, the individual standing up for truth and honesty, or the institution smashing him back down for daring to do so?
        And why would an institution of science and learning even suggest that correcting mistakes is “wrong”?
        It’s a sad commentary on just how badly corrupted by politics these institutions have become that this is anything more than the prelude to the department being publicly rebuked and the head being asked to explain in no uncertain terms how this could happen. That nothing much further will happen, that the whistle-blower will continue to have his career stunted, is inexcusable pure and simple.

      • The same article says a quarter of the reef is lost. Does he need a photo to illustrate that in some exact way? Maybe he can find his preferred photos to show it. That would have been the scientific direction to go with this.

      • I suspect he wasn’t rebuked for complaining about their photos, more for complaining about their ideology. That’s where the line is.

      • Steven Mosher

        JimD

        1. you state there is a line.
        2. you imply crossing that line is a form of acedemic misconduct ( the
        topic of this thread.
        3. You suggest using the word Ideology is crossing the line
        “Have they mentioned the word “ideology”? I don’t know.
        4. Besides the “I” word, are there any synonyms that should be outlawed?
        because you mention “sorting people” on a basis other than their science? and also mention “complaining” about their ideology
        ( which of course one can do without using the word “ideology”

        and for the record, when I produce the quotes will you call the behavior academic misconduct or weasel your way away from the discussion.?

      • The university policy is not to talk about other individual staff in the press (it is not collegial). Fine to criticize the science or a photo, but he brought personal politics into it. I suspect many universities would have a policy like this.

      • Of course, one might argue that since they, themselves, took said ideology to the newspapers, that would make the venue reasonably fair game.

        Besides, skeptics have been marginalized in both the community and in the press. Who’s to stand up for them when they undergo attacks on their professionalism in public?

        Ask Dr. Curry. How many on your side of the aisle are standing up for her professionalism?

        So we gotta look out for ourselves, see. Like you say, there is a line. And it’s been crossed.

      • I think that their university policy is that staff members can’t make personal accusations about each other in the newspapers. It is very narrowly defined, and probably very common for universities in their guidelines about interactions of their staff with the press. Maybe some non-academic employers do this too.

      • And the list (of what you don’t know, but comment on anyway) keeps growing.

        I call you Kudzu Jim.

      • “… more for complaining about their ideology.”

        Ah – so if someone were to claim that a paper/article/book was authored by a big oil bought-and-paid-for researcher, that would also be against policy? Such policy wasn’t mentioned that I recall when they ranted against Lomburg being offered the chance to study the economics of AGW – maybe I missed it. Be so good as to point me to it, would you?

      • This is a policy of academics making personal statements against academics in the press, especially from the same university.

      • JimD, you say:
        I think it is when you start accusing people of ideology in newspapers, they don’t take it very well. …It attacks their professionalism in public. There is a line.
        And
        The university policy is not to talk about other individual staff in the press (it is not collegial)

        I read the Australian article. The text of it is below. Can you please tell me where he is “accusing his colleagues of ideology” or where he “talks about individual staff“?

        ————————-

        When marine scientist Peter Ridd suspected something was wrong with photographs being used to highlight the rapid decline of the Great Barrier Reef, he did what good scientists are supposed to do: he sent a team to check the facts.

        After attempting to blow the whistle on what he found — healthy corals — Professor Ridd was censured by James Cook University and threatened with the sack. After a formal investigation, Professor Ridd — a renowned campaigner for quality assurance over coral research from JCU’s Marine Geophysics Laboratory — was found guilty of “failing to act in a collegial way and in the academic spirit of the institution”.

        His crime was to encourage questioning of two of the nation’s leading reef institutions, the Centre of Excellence for Coral Studies and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, on whether they knew that photographs they had published and claimed to show long-term collapse of reef health could be misleading and wrong.

        “These photographs are a big deal as they are plastered right across the internet and used very widely to claim damage,” Professor Ridd told The Weekend Australian.

        The photographs were taken near Stone Island off Bowen. A photograph taken in the late 19th century shows healthy coral. An accompanying picture supposedly of the same reef in 1994 is ­devoid of coral. When the before-and-after shots were used by GBRMPA in its 2014 report, the authority said: “Historical photographs of inshore coral reefs have been especially powerful in illustrating changes over time, and that the change illustrated is typical of many inshore reefs.”

        Professor Ridd said it was only possible to guess within a kilometre or two where the original photograph was taken and it would not be unusual to find great coral in one spot and nothing a kilometre away, as his researchers had done. Nor was it possible to say what had killed the coral in the 1994 picture.

        “In fact, there are literally hundreds of square kilometres of dead reef-flat on the Great Barrier Reef which was killed due to the slow sea-level fall of about a meter that has occurred over the last 5000 years,” he said. “My point is not that they have probably got this completely wrong but rather what are the quality assurance measures they take to try to ensure they are not telling a misleading story?”

        A GBRMPA spokesman said last night “the historical photos serve to demonstrate the vulnerability of nearshore coral reefs, rather than a specific cause for their decline.

        “Ongoing monitoring shows coral growth in some locations, however this doesn’t detract from the bigger picture, which shows shallow inshore areas of the Great Barrier Reef south of Port Douglas have clearly degraded over a period of decades.” Centre of Excellence for Coral Studies chairman Terry Hughes did not respond to questions from The Weekend Australian.

        Professor Ridd was disciplined for breaching principle 1 of JCU’s code of conduct by “not displaying responsibility in respecting the reputations of other colleagues”. He has been told that if he does it again he may be found guilty of ­serious misconduct.

        A JCU spokesman said it was university policy not to comment on individual staff, but that the university’s marine science was subject to “the same quality assurance processes that govern the conduct of, and delivery of, ­science internationally”.

        This is the crux of the issue for Professor Ridd: “I feel as though I am the whistleblower.”

        His potential downfall is the ­result of a long campaign for better quality assurance standards for ocean and reef research, which has come under fire globally for exaggerating bad news and ignoring the good. Reef politics is a hot topic in the wake of widescale bleaching of corals on the Great Barrier Reef as part of what US agencies have called the world’s third mass-bleaching event.

        The photographs were taken near Stone Island off Bowen. A photograph taken in the late 19th century shows healthy coral. An accompanying picture supposedly of the same reef in 1994 is ­devoid of coral. When the before-and-after shots were used by GBRMPA in its 2014 report, the authority said: “Historical photographs of inshore coral reefs have been especially powerful in illustrating changes over time, and that the change illustrated is typical of many inshore reefs.”

        Professor Ridd said it was only possible to guess within a kilometre or two where the original photograph was taken and it would not be unusual to find great coral in one spot and nothing a kilometre away, as his researchers had done. Nor was it possible to say what had killed the coral in the 1994 picture.

        “In fact, there are literally hundreds of square kilometres of dead reef-flat on the Great Barrier Reef which was killed due to the slow sea-level fall of about a meter that has occurred over the last 5000 years,” he said. “My point is not that they have probably got this completely wrong but rather what are the quality assurance measures they take to try to ensure they are not telling a misleading story?”

        A GBRMPA spokesman said last night “the historical photos serve to demonstrate the vulnerability of nearshore coral reefs, rather than a specific cause for their decline.

        “Ongoing monitoring shows coral growth in some locations, however this doesn’t detract from the bigger picture, which shows shallow inshore areas of the Great Barrier Reef south of Port Douglas have clearly degraded over a period of decades.” Centre of Excellence for Coral Studies chairman Terry Hughes did not respond to questions from The Weekend Australian.

        Professor Ridd was disciplined for breaching principle 1 of JCU’s code of conduct by “not displaying responsibility in respecting the reputations of other colleagues”. He has been told that if he does it again he may be found guilty of ­serious misconduct.

        A JCU spokesman said it was university policy not to comment on individual staff, but that the university’s marine science was subject to “the same quality assurance processes that govern the conduct of, and delivery of, ­science internationally”.

        This is the crux of the issue for Professor Ridd: “I feel as though I am the whistleblower.”

        His potential downfall is the ­result of a long campaign for better quality assurance standards for ocean and reef research, which has come under fire globally for exaggerating bad news and ignoring the good. Reef politics is a hot topic in the wake of widescale bleaching of corals on the Great Barrier Reef as part of what US agencies have called the world’s third mass-bleaching event.

        About a quarter of the Great Barrier Reef has died and could take years to rebuild. The damage is concentrated in the northern section off Cape York. The scientific response to the bleaching has exposed a rift ­between GBRMPA and the JCU’s Coral Bleaching Taskforce led by Professor Hughes over how bleaching data should be treated and presented to the public. Conservation groups have run hard on the issue, with graphic ­images of dying corals. All sides of politics have responded with ­increased funding to reduce sediment flow and to combat crown of thorns starfish.

        University of Western Australia marine biologist Carlos Duarte argued in BioScience last year that bias contributed to “perpetuating the perception of ocean calamities in the absence of robust evidence”.

        A paper published this year claimed scientific journals had exaggerated bad news on ocean acidification and played down the doubts. Former GBRMPA chairman Ian McPhail accused activists of “exaggerating the impact of coral bleaching for political and financial gain”. Dr McPhail told The Weekend Australian it “seems that there is a group of researchers who begin with the premise that all is disaster”.

        Concerns about quality assurance in science are not confined to the reef. Drug-makers generated headlines when they were unable to replicate the results of landmark studies in the basic science of cancer. Professor Ridd poses the question: “Is the situation in marine science likely to be worse than in medicine and pharmaceuticals, psychology, education? Do we have a decent system of replication and checking of results?

        “Is there a chance that many marine scientists are partially driven by ideology? Is there a chance that peer review among this group is self-selecting of the dominant idea? Is there a robust debate without intimidation?”

        Professor Ridd wants an independent agency to check the science before governments commit to spending hundreds of millions of dollars.

        There is no doubt the current bleaching is a serious event but there are also many questions still to be answered. The consensus position of reef experts is that bleaching events will get worse as ocean temperatures continue to rise because of climate change.

      • He thinks he can get his accusations through by posing them as questions. The questions were a rhetorical reflection of his view. They weren’t born yesterday and saw through it.

      • Steven Mosher

        Making stuff up?

        ‘The university policy is not to talk about other individual staff in the press (it is not collegial). Fine to criticize the science or a photo, but he brought personal politics into it. I suspect many universities would have a policy like this.”

        hmm trying to find the rule that says “you cant talk about other staff in the press”

        Not seeing it. Plus it would not be that broad.

        https://www.jcu.edu.au/policy/corporate-governance/code-of-conduct

        https://www.jcu.edu.au/policy/procedures/corporate-governance-procedures/code-of-conduct-explanatory-statement

      • This one seems relevant “criticise and challenge in the collegial and academic spirit of the search for knowledge, understanding and truth”. Accusations regarding ideology, intimidation, do not fall into the accepted types of criticism, while academic criticism is fine.

      • “criticise and challenge in the collegial and academic spirit of the search for knowledge, understanding and truth”.

        ‘E was criticizing my Spirit. You saw ‘im didn’t you? That’s what I’m on about.

        May be burn ‘im?

      • The Custer Expedition to the Black Hills resulted in a large set of photographs of the area at that time. There is photography book out that features the old photographs and new versions taken from approximately the same place… as close as they could get. It ain’t no kilometer or two. They could not find one waterfall. Eventually they figured out it was actually located in Minnesota, so they ended up within inches to feet on that one as well.

  17. David L. Hagen

    Restore the foundations of the highest law undergirding science
    The scientific revolution grew on the foundations of Christianity informed by the widespread availability of the Bible in English and then German. See The Book that Made Your World, Vishal Mangalwadi.; Science and Christianity: Conflict or Coherence? Henry F. Schaefer III, and List of Christians in Science and Technology

    James Cook Uni. breaches the very foundations of Western society on which the Common Law, the Magna Carta -1215, the (English) Bill of Rights -1689,, the Declaration of Independence – 1776 and the US Constitution & Bill of Rights and thence the scientific ethos, were founded: The “laws of nature’s God” and the standards of the Supreme Judge of the world” – starting with “Do not lie, do not bear false witness”. See:
    Declaration of Independence-1776

    When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, . . .
    We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions,

    Those so corrupting science will answer to the Supreme Judge of the world. Better to restore the foundations of science before that!

  18. I admire you, Professor Curry, for your keen analytical mind and your courage in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds.

    After WWII, Standard Models of Climate, Cosmology, Nucleus & Sun were clearly labeled so “copy-cat” (i.e., “consensus scientists”) would not stray from the straight and narrow path to renewal of their research grants in exchange for “respecting the reputations of other ‘copy-cat‘ colleagues.”

  19. Here’s the report Ridd is criticizing:

    http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/cdn/2014/GBRMPA-Outlook-Report-2014/

    And here are the photographs Ridd is questioning:

    • Close-up of the caption below the photographs:

      When Ridd sent his investigators out to check it out, this apparently is what he found.

      The Stone Island reef appears healthy again in 2015.

      Graham Lloyd, Reef whistleblower censured by James Cook University
      http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/reef-whistleblower-censured-by-james-cook-university/news-story/c7aa0e0ac1c1dec1b065273d2e968f6d

      • Clearly, that photograph proves something. It so obvious. That photograph proves something; the other photographs prove nothing.

      • Doesn’t “prove” anything.

        The only thing on the way to being proved is what a jacka$$ you are JCH.

      • So you’re still a complete dick.

      • Perhaps J,

        But it is a category I still trail you in by a wide margin. Perhaps I should start referring to you as Grandpa Dick.

      • Wait … how can there be any inshore reefs left when sea level has been rising at an accelerating rate for so many years? Clearly, Ridd is guilty of at least two apostasies. Burn him!

    • Glenn Stehle,

      Well done for showing and discussing the relevant facts, rather than the never ending personal opinions, assertions and statements of beliefs that fill these threads.

      • Peter,

        Sometimes simple facts speak louder than words.

      • What are the simple facts?

      • JCH,

        The fact is you’re simple.
        The fact is you’re simple.

        That’s two facts. I can supply more if you wish. Have you any other simple questions?

        Cheers.

      • Best you got? What are the facts?

      • While I wait for the punks to come up with some loud talkin’, simple facts, here’s an opinion on the newly minted hero Ridd:

        AIMS director John Gunn told The Courier-Mail he did not wish to respond to Prof Ridd’s commentary.

        “In the past, (Prof) Ridd has provided scientific submissions to the journals that have published the AIMS papers, and his comments have been factually and robustly rebutted,” Dr Gunn said.

      • Here is an article from March 2016:

        However James Cook University marine geophysicist Professor Peter Ridd believes rather than “another scare story” on the coral bleaching that is ultimately human induced, the reef will fair better and potentially grow from the rise in temperature.

        Ridd argues the annual and spatial variability of water temperature is far greater than the small average temperature rise over the last century, thus temperature rises would have broken the bleaching threshold “long before marine biologists first noticed bleaching”.

        “All the corals that live on the GBR live in water around Indonesia where the temperature is much higher than in the GBR but grow much faster and better than our reefs,” Ridd said.

        “We should be predicting that the GBR will grow better from a modest temperature rise.

        “This is yet another scare story and in the end it will reflect badly on science.”

        How did that turn out? It’s a simple fact that 75% of the reef that was never damaged will fully recover soon.

  20. ‘I just love this statement: “not displaying responsibility in respecting the reputations of other colleagues.”’

    Do we have some objective facts here? Like an actual doc or statement from the University? Or just an interpretation in the Daily Caller?

    • This is getting strange. Who is Professor Paul Ridd? I googled, found nothing useful. I searched on the JCU staff list, found nothing. I tried Google Scholar, nothing. Does anyone have more info?

      • Peter Ridd.

      • Nick- I found a bunch of stuff. The Great Barrier Reef is in great shape.

      • I believe it is peter ridd

      • OK, it seems they are talking about Peter Ridd, who is Head, Intelligent Systems, Information and Modelling. Not gerat accuracy there. Can we really believe what they say about his interaction with JCU?

      • I wouldn’t believe anything the “Daily Caller” says without checking it out carefully. Same goes for the “Australian”, although they seem to have gotten the name right.

        He’s described here as

        Senior Principal Research Scientist and Theme Leader – Oceanography

        […]

        Professor Peter Ridd is a physical oceanographer and founding member of the Marine Geophysics Laboratory in the late eighties. Peter is also the head of the Department of Physics at JCU. His current research projects focus around coastal hydrodynamics, sediment re-suspension, transport and turbidity contributions within the Great Barrier Reef. He is also heavily involved with development of instrumentation for both marine and terrestrial applications.

        Peter Ridd is a geophysicist with the following interests: coastal oceanography, the effects of sediments on coral reefs, instrument development, geophysical sensing of the earth, past and future climates, atmospheric modelling. In addition with his group in the Marine Geophysics Laboratory (http://www.marinegeophysics.com.au/) he works on the development of instruments including: sediment deposition sensors, light sensors, tilt current meters, and Lagrangian drifters. He also works on applications to agriculture and weed control including an automated weed killing robot and non-invasively sensing defects in fruit.

        Peter Ridd raises almost all of his research funds from the profits of consultancy work which is usually associated with monitoring of marine dredging operation (http://www.jcu.edu.au/marinephysics/services/JCU_103139.html) . Work has recently been done at Hay Point and Abbot Point as well as at Barrow Island in Western Australia. The general philosophy is to use the instruments and analysis methods which are developed by the Marine Geophysics Lab to give a competitive edge for tendering for contract work. Funds pay PhD scholarship and the staff of the MGL (usually around 7 scientists and engineers).

        Y’know, a little bit of research before jumping in with (implicit) accusations of fraud can sometimes save embarrassment. I keep having to learn that the hard way…

      • ‘I wouldn’t believe anything the “Daily Caller” says without checking it out carefully.’
        Indeed. And I saw many claims made, and no indication that anyone was checking it out carefully. That’s why I asked. I still see no substantiation of the story.

      • The Daily Caller didn’t give the “ideology” quote from Ridd, which was the real reason for his being cautioned. They made it sound like it was because of him questioning the photos. Many were fooled by this article.

      • You seem determined to dive to the bottom of the scum pond Stokes.

        Nice.

      • You realize – Nick Stokes – that you just made a complete fool of yourself by your failure to do a competent search and your load of unfounded accusations

      • “unfounded accusations”
        No, we are offered what is supposed to be an authoritative “new definition of academic misconduct”. All the information comes from a report in the Daily Caller, quoting “Paul Ridd”, which apparently we are supposed to believe. If they can’t even get their informant’s name right, what chance that what they say about JCU is correct?

        What “unfounded accusations”?

      • Nick Stokes,
        ” we are offered what is supposed to be an authoritative “new definition of academic misconduct”. ”

        Where does the “authoritative” come from?

        If your point is to caution against reaching conclusions before all of the facts are known (or at least more of them), I agree completely. So why not simply say that? Instead you appear to take a stance that until proven otherwise, the University must be given the benefit of the doubt.

        Would it have been better for Dr. Curry to have framed this as “On the face of it, it appears we have a new definition …”? Perhaps. On the other hand we have this from the University:

        “not displaying responsibility in respecting the reputations of other colleagues.”

        and

        “failing to act in a collegial way and in the academic spirit of the institution,”

        Fairly serious charges? Perhaps if you deal with a bunch of thin skinned, easily upset people who operate in a rather closed environment, with a high possibility of them believing they are superior to Commonman. Whether serious or not, one would think that the burden of proof is on the University. In fact they should be leading the way in providing those facts you ask for.

        Then there is this:

        “The university even warned that if he does this again, he’ll be tried for serious misconduct.”

        Some might see that simply as a warning. It also can be seen as a threat. A warning would have been “Don’t do this again.” There any threat is implied. But apparently they had to go a step further and offer specific punishment. That makes it clear this was intended to threaten and intimidate.

  21. btw, Paul Kench is a reliable source on the science of coral islands.
    he is a pure scientist
    he has no agenda at all.
    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Paul_Kench/contributions

  22. Reef whistleblower censured by James Cook University
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/reef-whistleblower-censured-by-james-cook-university/news-story/c7aa0e0ac1c1dec1b065273d2e968f6d

    When marine scientist Peter Ridd suspected something was wrong with photographs being used to highlight the rapid decline of the Great Barrier Reef, he did what good scientists are supposed to do: he sent a team to check the facts.

    After attempting to blow the whistle on what he found — healthy corals — Professor Ridd was censured by James Cook University and threatened with the sack. After a formal investigation, Professor Ridd — a renowned campaigner for quality assurance over coral research from JCU’s Marine Geophysics Laboratory — was found guilty of “failing to act in a collegial way and in the academic spirit of the institution”.

    His crime was to encourage questioning of two of the nation’s leading reef institutions, the Centre of Excellence for Coral Studies and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, on whether they knew that photographs they had published and claimed to show long-term collapse of reef health could be misleading and wrong.

    “These photographs are a big deal as they are plastered right across the internet and used very widely to claim damage,” Professor Ridd told The Weekend Australian….

    A GBRMPA spokesman said last night “the historical photos serve to demonstrate the vulnerability of nearshore coral reefs, rather than a specific cause for their decline….

    Professor Ridd poses the question: “Is the situation in marine science likely to be worse than in medicine and pharmaceuticals, psychology, education? Do we have a decent system of replication and checking of results?

    “Is there a chance that many marine scientists are partially driven by ideology? Is there a chance that peer review among this group is self-selecting of the dominant idea? Is there a robust debate without intimidation?”

  23. “The sickness of the clubby academic collegiality is absurdly highlighted by this latest episode from James Cook University.”

    Alas it is more widespread than you may imagine – please refer to Dennis Jensen parliamentary speech (a member of federal parliament here in Oz), where he relates the story of someone seriously suggesting to him that NOT taking account of a persons skin color is racist.
    These people will seek to demonstrate that black is white and then complain about being run over at the next pedestrian crossing, arguing that the driver should be charged and using the “that’s different” answer when it is pointed out that their own published research demonstrates that the driver could not have possibly seen the crossing.

    They have no shame.
    They place political correctness above truth.
    They NEED to be corrected or removed post haste before they succeed in destroying in their entirety the concepts of honesty, integrity and tolerance.

  24. Unless they were using old cameras the pictures should be geotagged so it could be easy to verify if the photos are legit.
    As to the GBR Marine Park Authority chairman’s claim of minimal bleaching it does support his reasoning for censoring the GBR from the UN’s World Heritage and Tourism report last month. Fortunately we only have to wait a short time to find out since chairman Reichelt has assured us that seventy-five per cent of the reef will come out in a few months time as recovered. The university should withhold judgement until we can have a third party examine the reef next year.

  25. Is it political correctness or ideological cleansing?

  26. Judith Curry

    Academic Integrity is back in the news I see. There seems to be no end in reprisals by institutions in preserving “face” whenever a blemish might appear. Such vain creatures are institutional academic and administrative elite.
    Loss of face means loss of credibility which, when ground into the sausage making of institutional academic ratings, which is the quintessential currency of academic administrators. Academic rating is the worth fighting over as it determines salary, personal prestige and academic mobility. Hence, Integrity is a side bar to which lip service is paid but not to be considered seriously.

    Academic Integrity of John Cook University is not apparent now, if the University ever had integrity.

  27. And those same insular souls at JCU also harassed the late Dr Bob Carter. I bet they would have rubbed out the bloke who dobbed in the Piltdown man hoaxers.

  28. khal spencer

    As a researcher, what kinds of responsibilities do you have to: Telling the truth and respecting the limits of the scientific method??

    Back when I was finishing my Ph.D. another scientist, far ahead of me in years and position, skewered me on something I said at an AGU meeting in San Francisco regarding continental evolution. We got into quite a row and the session chair finally told us to take a time out. In retrospect, my colleague was spot on and I had oversimplified the problem. He was right to pull my intellectual trousers down.

  29. Geoff Sherrington

    James Cook University (Townsville) was originally a college of the University of Queensland (Brisbane). After its establishment in the 1960s, I enrolled in the second year of the first science class. Therefore, I have more than usual interest in JCU. (In the following, I am purposely not putting names to people).
    Years later, I met one of my lecturers while I was giving evidence to a government inquiry into world heritage matters. This lecturer, unknown to me, had become prominent in the World Wildlife Fund and presented evidence from its position. He was one of the last people whom I thought would have ventured away from classical science, which he had taught to us with rigour, to the looseness of environmental matters.
    A short summary of his later positions includes: Chief Scientist, Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries; Senior Fellow, Australian Institute of Marine Science; Chairman National Landcare Council; and Chairman, Australian Heritage Commission. These connections interweave with others, like the coming together with a former Commissioner of the Fox Report into Uranium mining, who in 1980 was Chairman of the Great Barrier Reef marine Park Authority in which my past lecturer was also at high level.
    Such brief, random snapshots help illustrate networks, this network involving some of the most contentious issues of the 1980s. I have never teased it right out and meshed it with other networks of this type, because it is hard to do. The network members are seldom in the news, not much about them can be found with easy Internet searches. Often they are granted high civil honours by governments of the time and often they go off to plum jobs, like suddenly appearing as directors of corporations like gambling casinos. My overall impression is of somewhat shadowy, high level groups, well financed, working with NGO ‘environmental’ groups to get their ways with legislation and regulation. They have been quietly active for decades.
    Academia is involved, of course. One cannot make policy progress on environmental matters without the endorsement of the science. In recent years, Australia’s academia gives the impression of a closed shop (in trade union terms) with those who want to question the closed shop getting a severe kick to the head.
    This seems to be a possible mechanism for the extraordinary reaction of JCU to Dr Paul Ridd as reported above. I do not know the present players, but I think I know the methods.
    I am thoroughly ashamed of James Cook University, not because I hold opinions about science that might be different to theirs, but because there is no place for such censorship by university officers.

  30. The name of the game afoot in Western Universities now is to shut down skeptics until the global warming alarmist establishment can make it to retirement.

    Mark Steyn’s Case Against Climategate Scientist Is Taking So Long A Key Witness Died

  31. Academic definition of free speech – you are free to say anything we tell you to. Facts are irrelevant.

    The luminiferous ether is real. The atom is indivisible. CO2 has heating properties. The Great Barrier Reef is dying because of CO2. The continents do not move.

    This too shall pass. Hopefully.

    Cheers.

  32. There’s a lot written about deniers being ideologues. Often with the claim that that’s not quite the same with consensus science with a slant towards, it’s not about ideology it’s science. Trying to set up a contrast where a warmist can call a denier an ideologue. My favorite is where the libertarians got top billing for causing something like many people rejecting the reality of global warming. Like their presidential candidate, it’s his fault. Like the party that drew 1% in the last presidential election. Some small minority is bollixing a whole lot progress that could have been made. That’s some ideology. Libertarians can take a small bow. Pretty soon the world will be yours. Scratch that, your liberty will soon be yours.
    Ridd asked about the field. Is it having problems? Are we doing a good job? Are some of us driven by ideology? And then, “Is there a robust debate without intimidation?”
    Then he gets the answer to that question.
    Here’s a tip for Universities, When someone asks, “Is there a robust debate without intimidation?” don’t reprimand them in public.

  33. “However, these photographs cannot provide definitive proof that these reefs are in a state of decline as they only offer two (three for Stone Island: c.1890, 1915 and 1994) qualitative ‘snap-shots’ over a ~100 year time period.”

    Sci Rep. 2016; 6: 19285.
    Published online 2016 Jan 27. doi: 10.1038/srep19285
    PMCID: PMC4728430
    Historical photographs revisited: A case study for dating and characterizing recent loss of coral cover on the inshore Great Barrier Reef
    Tara R. Clark,a,(1) Nicole D. Leonard,(1) Jian-xin Zhao,b,(1) Jon Brodie,(2) Laurence J. McCook,(3) David R. Wachenfeld,(4) Ai Duc Nguyen,(1) Hannah L. Markham,(5) and John M. Pandolfi(5)

    1.School of Earth Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane QLD 4072 Australia
    2.Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811 Australia
    3.ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811 Australia
    4.Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, 2-68 Flinders Street, PO Box 1379, Townsville, QLD 4810 Australia
    5.ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane QLD 4072 Australia

    URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4728430/

  34. AGW starts at around 31.09:

  35. B-b-b-ack in the USSR…

    • B-b-b-but . . . Lysenko!

      All your word belong to us!

      Cheers.

      • In 1946 George Orwell mover from London to the Scottish Isle of Jura to start writing a warning: We would awaken to a frightening new totalitarian form of government in “Nineteen Eighty-Four!”

        We continued to life in ignorant bliss, another twenty-five years, until Climategate emails made us face this unpleasant reality in late Nov 2009.

      • If some see Orwell as a prophet just remember how the story ends.
        From the wiki entry,
        “After being put back into Oceania society, Winston meets Julia in a park. She admits that she was also tortured, and each reveals betraying the other. Later, Winston, sits alone in the Chestnut Tree Cafe, troubled by memories which he is sure are lies. A raucous celebration begins outside, celebrating Oceania’s “decisive victory” over Eurasian armies in Africa, and Winston imagines himself as a part of the crowd. Winston feels he has at last ended his “stubborn, self-willed exile”, exile from the love of Big Brother—a love Winston returns quite happily as he looks up in admiration at a portrait of Big Brother.”

        As it is written, so it shall be.

  36. Over at the the notorious activist-biased “Conversation”, Peter Ridd was called a “denier” for daring to suggest that threats to the GBR were exaggerated.

    I wonder if the author of that piece, Prof John Bruno, was told off for “not displaying responsibility in respecting the reputations of other colleagues”?

    • Paul Matthews,

      In the world of doublespeak and double standards of the Warmists/Alarmists, I think “not displaying responsibility in respecting the reputations of other colleagues” only applies to those who do not march in lockstep with the one true faith.

    • Paul Matthews,

      It’s like the PC Sensitivity Gestapo.

      They’re the biggest racists to ever hit the bit time, and yet they go around blasting anyone who doesn’t immediately bow down to their multiculturalist militancy as racists.

    • In modern Western universities being a scientific skeptic is about like being a gay Islamist for Christ.

    • Of course not.

      Nor will you see JCH or Jim D calling for “facts” or speculating from complete ignorance on Prof Bruno.

  37. Sauce fer the gander ‘n the goose.

  38. Pingback: A New Definition Of Academic Misconduct | The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

  39. The same thing happens with vaccines: there’s an ideology (“vaccines are safe and effective and necessary”) that no one is allowed to challenge. If you want to see suppressed science then look into vaccine science, beyond what the AMA and CDC and WHO present.

    http://nordic.cochrane.org/sites/nordic.cochrane.org/files/uploads/ResearchHighlights/Complaint-to-EMA-over-EMA.pdf

    Here’s the famous 1998 retracted study by Andrew Wakefield– supposedly the only study to show a link of vaccines to autism (it is not; see vaccinepapers.org): http://feingold.org/Research/PDFstudies/RETRACTED-Wakefield1998html.pdf This retracted study is used as “proof” that those who question vaccines are frauds.

    Here is Dr. David Lewis’ detailed rebuttal of the Wakefield fraud claim: https://niceguidelines.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/lewis-report-jan-8-2012.pdf

    • DD, bad news for you. Researched Wakefield and ‘autistic colitis’ for Arts of Truth. You will find the whole thing there. 7 of the 12 children Wakefield studied had parents who were party to an MMR lawsuit, whose counsel hired Wakefield to gin up evidence. Wakefield was paid £700,000 by the law firm, which was hoping for a breast implants like settlement. Wakefield was expecting to make £35 million a year selling a colitis diagnostic kit. Money grubbing dishonesty.
      Correlation is not causation. MMR is administered at around 12-18 months, which happens to be when autism first manifests in an infant’s development. The true rate of MMR complications is about 1/1000000. And it isn’t autism. Colitis is a gut disorder. Autism is a brain disorder. Duh!
      Antivaxers are doing as much harm to public health as warmunists are doing to energy supply. Oddly, strong contingent of both in the land of fruits and nuts, California.

      • You need to dig more, but unfortunately there’s a mountain of misinformation regarding vaccines. If you’d bothered to read my links, you’d find some of that.

        Vaccines are pharmaceuticals, and like any pharmaceutical product that has profits attached, the harms are minimized and the benefits exaggerated. There’s a great deal of support for this statement. You might want to read “Overdosed America,” “The Truth About Drug Companies,” or “Pharmageddon,” to name but a few of the books that expose how drug companies work to distort science in order to sell product. Despite this we believe that vaccines are corruption-free, that there’s no distortion of the science or evidence, and that the CDC, which does the majority of the epidemiological safety studies for vaccines, isn’t influenced by its very close ties to pharma, including about 25% of its funding that comes from industry through the CDC Foundation and other sources, according to the BMJ.

        Wakefield has been smeared; I think Lewis provides compelling evidence that no fraud was committed by anyone from the study in question. If you look at the evidence I’ve provided in my links, and I think especially the evidence regarding Gardasil, then I don’t know how you can believe that the science on vaccines has been honestly presented. Just because there are mountains of websites proclaiming the absolute safety of all vaccines isn’t evidence of safety; to my mind, this is evidence of an expansive PR campaign, and any PR firm that failed to provide on-line “evidence” to convince the public wouldn’t be doing the job, would they? And anyone who believes that with 300 vaccines in the pipeline, huge sums aren’t at stake that would justify expansive PR is living in a world where money doesn’t talk.

        Did Wakefield have an undisclosed conflict of interest? Yes, OK. This happens, and in 1998 such things weren’t as serious as they are today. Wakefield was paid by lawyers for testimony is autism cases. But Wakefield held no patent on anything, as Lewis explains, and in any case none of this suggests that the 1998 paper was fraudulent and the depiction of him as a money-grubbing lowlife are way,way off the mark. Maybe you should read my link on Lewis as an excellent introduction to what passes for science in the world of vaccines.

      • DD, your problem is that I did read your links and found them grossly deficient.
        One of my companies is in the pharma space. I have been to the FDA many times. I have personally experienced their cost/benefit rigor. Wakefield was a hoped for junk science lawsuit scam, pure and simple. Based on a correlation (MMR/ autism) without causation (gut/brain).

        You mention Gardasil (HPV 5). It is preventing a known cause of ovarian and uterine cancer. My former mother in law almost died of that disease. My daughter got vaccinated. I did a quick scan and could not find any significant side effects literature.

        It is true that almost all effective pharma products have some infrequent side effects. The insider joke is that given what we know now, aspirin would never have been approved (it is grandfathered). That is why drugs and vaccines are so extensively tested. And new generations come out with better efficacy/safety profiles. Vaccination was better than variolation. Tetracycline was better than penicillin (saved my life from rheumatic fever, at the cost of yellowed permanent teeth). Increasing global life spans are evidence of modern medicine efficacy. The highest infectious disease mortality rates are where we do not yet have effective vaccines. Malaria, Zika, dengue, Ebola, gross variant influenza,… Small pox is gone. Polio is almost gone. The death incidence from measles is way down, and remaining outbreaks are usually only wheremthere is a high proportion of antivaxers thanks to the herd immunity problem of contagious spread.

        My initial points were only two: your cited sources on MMR are just factually wrong, and antivaxers cannot be persuaded by any amount of clear simple counterfacts, no different than warmunists. Your reply simply illustrates point 2. Read The Arts of Truth; you are practicing too many (the title is sarcastic, as the intro explains with a delightful Harvard illustration).

      • You found my links grossly deficient? Would you mind explaining to the community exactly how?
        Gardasil hasn’t been proved to prevent a single case of ovarian cancer. At this point, only surrogate endpoints have been used. We need to weigh this against reported harms.
        No, vaccines aren’t extensively tested. The 2004 IOM Review on vaccines and autism failed to include biological studies that would have shed some light on the issue and instead relied almost exclusively on epidemiological studies, despite an earlier IOM Review recommending a review of biological studies. The recent CDC whistleblower case casts doubt on all CDC epidemiological studies.
        Would you be so kind as to explain how Lewis’ analysis is wrong, since you say my sources are factually wrong? Please explain this in detail; I must be thick and I need some help. Please show how Wakefield did indeed falsify the biopsy slides.

      • Uh, DD, read my book example. Check the footnotes. The futility of debating you here on this point just proves my point. You deny that your bogus references are just that. You fail to cite Gardasil adverse events. As to your MMR links, my book explained how and why. So did my upthread post. Somebody whining about fact skew does not make facts skew. A biased assertion requiring research.
        Somebody taking £700000 from plaintiff bar desiring fact skew definitely does result in apparent skew. Just like warmunist climate science.
        Man, you live in an alternative reality to what is generally recognized as one of the three greatest scientific fra*ds of the past century. Mann hockey stick not yet included.

      • Regarding your book, no, I’m not going to read it right now but perhaps you could link to the relevant parts on Wakefield?

        You claim my references are bogus but offer no proof. You are claiming, then, that the Nordic Cochrane Review is off-base in taking the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to task for failing to acknowledge the reported harms of the HPV vaccine. In the words of the Cochrane review,

        “The EMA’s official report … gives the impression of a unanimous rejection of the suspected harms. However, only seven months earlier, the EMA had resolved that “A causal relationship between the dizziness and fatigue syndrome, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) and Gardasil [one of the HPV vaccines] can neither be confirmed nor denied” …. Moreover, the EMA’s internal report of 256 pages …, which provided the draft for its 40-page official report, tells a very different story. The internal report is confidential but has been leaked.”

        So in this review you’ll find the alleged harms of the HPV vaccines, as well as the unscientific denial of these harms by the EMA. Are you saying then that there are no reported harms? What exactly about this particular review is “bogus”?

        I will say also that you, who have apparently written a primer on critical thinking, are accusing me of “whining,” which sounds suspiciously like an ad hominem attack.

        I will redirect you to my link to Lewis: https://niceguidelines.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/lewis-report-jan-8-2012.pdf . Are you trying to tell me that the BMJ was correct in accusing Wakefield of fraud for altering the biopsy reports, and if so, can you prove that he did alter them, contrary to all the evidence Lewis presented?

        http://vaccinepapers.org/ presents another side of the vaccine debate. In particular the section on aluminum in vaccines is strong and puts a lie to the constant refrain of how “harmless” aluminum adjuvant is. The section on immune activation is also strong, and if we tie this in to aluminum activation of the immune system (that’s what aluminum does) we can see how it’s plausible that we could be harming young children by giving them too many vaccines too soon . We know that the cytokine IL-6 can cause autism in developing brains, this is proved and there’s ample documentation provided, and we know that stimulating the immune system can cause surges in IL-6. Vaccines stimulate the immune system. Yet the CDC, heavily influenced by pharma, will have none of it, despite the fact that the reason we have a Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is that children are, indeed, seriously injured by vaccines, although no one in the CDC seems to want to know the mechanisms for these injuries– except to call it “coincidence.” Correlation isn’t causation, agreed; correlation also isn’t “no causation.”

      • There does seem to be some immune system relationship to autism symptoms. An immune response to an injection may temporarily make autism symptoms more apparent, leading people to believe it caused their child’s autism.

        Hopefully anti-vax backlash doesn’t prevent exploration of this avenue of research towards managing the more negative symptoms of autism.

      • When my son was a one-year old they were doing one of the vaccinations on the 2nd birthday. We scheduled it. He came down a cold. The Doc said to postpone the vaccination for a few weeks to allow the cold to subside. About 15 days later we were in the ER with a toddler who was dying. He had the rare bacterial infection that the postponed vaccination was intended to prevent. At that time the infection killed about 1,100 children a year nationwide. Since then a new vaccine allows vaccination at ~three months, and deaths of infants/toddlers from the infection are far far below 1,000 per year.

      • We need a lukewarmer autism science.

        Otherwise Lysenko.

      • No one is arguing that we don’t need some vaccines, sometimes. That isn’t the issue. The issue is that the science on vaccines has been distorted and we dismiss the harms, including serious neurological harms, which many of us believe (with good evidence) are far more common than is admitted by the authorities.

        But … science has spoken, I’m told, and the “deniers” are tin foil hatters, anti-science, flat-earthers, etc., etc. It seems I’ve heard that argument before although I don’t remember where. Maybe it had something to do with global warming ….

        Has “science” spoken? Judge for yourselves. http://putchildrenfirst.org/chapter6.html

        Even the history on vaccines has been distorted. Everyone believes vaccines saved us but even this isn’t exactly true– yes, I know there are published papers that say so but they seem not to understand the historical evidence. Again, this isn’t to say that vaccines didn’t play a role in smallpox and polio prevention, but the story isn’t nearly as simple as we’re led to believe. For example, William Foege, who led the ground operation for smallpox elimination in India and Africa, believed that mass vaccination would lead to failure. The backbone of the policy that worked relied very heavily on the isolation of cases and “ring vaccination” of contacts, not mass vaccination (see “House on Fire.”)

        Bubonic plaque halted with vaccines? No. Cholera? No. Scarlet fever, one of the greatest childhood killers? No. TB? No. Childhood diarrhea, the greatest killer of children in the 19th century? No. http://www.dissolvingillusions.com/chapters/

        If you think climate science is a mare’s nest, then try looking closely at vaccines.

      • Look at animal vaccinations. We used to vaccinate pigs by the tens of thousands for hog cholera. Eventually they decided to stop vaccinating (late 1960s?) and instead kill and dispose of the infected pigs… worldwide. It sounded nuts, but it they say it has been very successful.

      • Don –

        I’ll give you credit for this much. You dealt with Rud’s personal attacks and arrogant appeals to self-authority quite well. Do understand that despite being Judith’s pet, the behavior he displayed in this sub-thread is quite typical. I commend you for not stooping to his level of behavior. Your restrains speaks well for you. How interesting it is to watch as he evidences the types of behaviors that he is so concerned with in others.

      • > The issue is that the science on vaccines has been distorted […]

        I thought “ze” issue was that vaccines was causing autism, DonD.

        Do you believe that vaccines cause autism?

        Thank you for your consideration.

      • Yes, I do believe that vaccines cause a serious encephalopathy that can appear to be autism. I know this is controversial and I know the “science has shown” that there is no connection between vaccines and autism, but having read a great deal of science on this, I believe this is inaccurate. We’ve compensated vaccine victims for both autism (a few cases that are controversial) and many more cases of debilitating encephalopathy. See for example Mary Holland’s 2011 paper: http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1681&context=pelr. I’ve also referred readers to vaccinepapers.org, which is an excellent science-based site that lays out the potential mechanisms.

        I’m not going to get into a big fight over this so if you want to call me a flat-earther and tin-foil hatter, I’m not going to respond. I have reason to believe that the 2004 IOM report that supposedly closed the door on the autism issue was done to protect the vaccine program and not children; I linked to the aptly-named putchildrenfirst website (http://putchildrenfirst.org/chapter6.html) that goes into this issue. But there’s much, much more. Honestly, you wouldn’t believe it.

        The authorities are afraid that if people feel that vaccines can cause something like autism, then uptake will drop. The CDC is closely aligned with pharma, and pharma encourages this view, and my view is that they’ve “fudged” the studies in order not to scare people. The CDC whistleblower case is an example of this: Dr. William Thompson alleges that he and others deliberately withheld data that would have shown an increased risk of autism for black children who had the MMR. There’s a lot of controversy about this but to me what really matters is that Thompson and others believed data would show a link, and removed that data. Now I know you can go to scienceblogs and any number of websites and find that the data would’ve made no difference, etc, etc. But I suggest you counter what those sites say with an in-depth look at what Dr. Brian Hooker has to say. Thompson spilled the beans to Hooker and Hooker then wrote a paper with the corrected data that was later retracted. Retracted. Sound familiar? Wakefield? Yes, the Wakefield affair is indeed a huge fraud, but perpetuated by Wakefield’s main accuser, journalist Brian Deer, and not by Wakefield. Those of you who took the trouble to read my link to David Lewis’ work will understand how this can happen.

        I’ve said plenty and I’m not going to say any more. Please looks at some of the links I’ve provided: look for yourself. I’m a parent. I have no horse in this race except my children. I have no website, no organization, I’m not selling anything, etc, etc. I used to believe that anti-vaxers were really, really stupid, and our girls got all their early shots, no questions asked. And then I asked questions. We need to stop the madness of pumping more and more vaccines into our kids. Do we need some vaccines? Yes. Do children need everything their getting? Absolutely not. Should we force parents to vaccinate children? Absolutely not, because vaccines, my friends, didn’t save us, despite everything you’ve heard. Look at the history of sanitation and how utterly filthy our cities were in the mid-19th century, when diseases ran rampant. Diseases were eradicated largely because of changes in sanitation, nutrition, housing, antibiotics, etc., even the use of soap and water that became something of a fad around 1915. Vaccines played an adjunct, not major role, and it’s very likely that our tinkering with the immune system is having consequences that the authorities simply don’t want to see.

      • Dan –

        Without wading through all of your links, I’m wondering if you have any that address the issue of confusion between increases in prevalence of autism with the concurrent change in the diagnosis? My understanding is that many parents think attribute an increase in prevalence to increases in vaccinations when in reality, it is explainable by broader inclusion criteria.

      • The eyewitnesses to the downing of TWA flight 800, suffered from the same problem according to the FBI.

      • Joshua,
        I don’t have data on autism incidence that I can find quickly, except this by F. Edward Yazbak, MD, FAAP: “Once rare, autism has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. The increase cannot be attributed to changes in diagnostic criteria, which have actually become more restrictive.” See http://www.jpands.org/vol8no4/yazbak.pdf

        The truth is that is no information in the mainstream media regarding vaccines or autism can be trusted. I know this from experience. My guess is that this is because with something like close to 300 vaccines in the pipeline for everything from Alzheimers to various cancers, there’s a huge PR effort underway to convince us that anyone who opposes vaccination is a nutcase. If people refuse some vaccines then that cuts into the profit stream, and worse, people may not readily take to new vaccines coming down the pike. The reason there was a huge push to make Gardasil mandatory wasn’t because it’s a highly contagious disease; it was, simply, because if you can force people to take your product, then you have a great business model. I believe the push to punish people who refuse vaccination is coming largely from pharma. Pharma and the CDC are far, far too close.

        Pharma wants profits– that’s OK. We have tons of evidence that pharma continually engages in deceptive practices to sell product– OK, that’s capitalism, we should expect that although to be honest we’d expect some ethics too. Yet when it comes to vaccines … presto. There’s nothing wrong with them. All the “science” supports safety (but it doesn’t.) All detractors are nutcases. Doesn’t this strike anyone as a bit odd? There’s huge future profits in the vaccine world. Because of this future profit potential, there’s an absolutely huge PR effort behind selling vaccines to a public that believes that without vaccines, we’d be dropping like flies. We won’t. If you want to go back to mid-19th century tenement conditions– crowded and with no running water, filthy outhouse serving 50-60 each, no soap, tainted milk and sausages, poor nutrition with no understanding of vitamins, absolutely filthy streets with horse manure and other wastes piling– then I daresay that no amount of vaccines would have helped, and it’s likely they’d have stressed many immune systems to the breaking point.

        So there, I’ve said even more although I said I wouldn’t.

      • “Once rare, autism has reached epidemic proportions in the
        United States. The increase cannot be attributed to changes in
        diagnostic criteria, which have actually become more restrictive.”
        From http://www.jpands.org/vol8no4/yazbak.pdf by F. Edward Yazbak, M.D., F.A.A.P.

      • Don –

        Thanks for that link.

        With regard to diagnostic criteria and prevalence rates, you might find this interesting. I found the information rather persuasive:

        http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/09/02/436742377/neurotribes-examines-the-history-and-myths-of-the-autism-spectrum

      • Don –

        Sorry, this is the link I meant to provide:

        http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=436742377

        It gives more information w/r/t the changes in diagnostic criteria over time. I look forward to reading your link.

      • Joshua

        Did you ever read this novel on the autism spectrum that became very famous over here a decade ago?

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Curious_Incident_of_the_Dog_in_the_Night-Time

        I had never thought of there being an epidemic of autism as described above and wonder what that actually means in terms of numbers of people affected per 100 .

        Over here a school child might be identified as having ‘ special needs’ which might include the spectrum of autism. It is being recognised much more than in the past perhaps because parents and school teachers have become more aware of it rather than there being more affected by it today than in the past. To that extent a play of the book referenced above is now running in London which will highlight the condition even moe

        Tonyb

      • Joshua,
        Thanks for the NPR link.
        I notice that it deals with the Wakefield affair, and Silberman talks the usual talk– how Wakefield was a fraud. Whether Wakefield was paid by lawyers for testimony in autism cases isn’t exactly irrelevant, but it isn’t exactly germane. There’s nothing in the 1998 paper that was false– it was an honest paper. I suppose one thing most people don’t know about the Wakefield affair is that the journalist Brian Deer was feeding the BMJ all this material and the BMJ ran with it, and then the British Medical Council (BMC) used what the BMJ said to strip Wakefield of his license. But Lewis (earlier link) showed conclusively how Wakefield falsified nothing. Another thing people don’t know is that one of the co-authors, John Walker-Smith, also lost his license but his insurance, unlike Wakefield’s, allowed him to appeal to the British High Court. He did, and won: the court found the reasoning of the BMC to be “superficial” and the entire judgement by the BMC against Walker-Smith was quashed. Not to beat a horse that isn’t yet dead, but if you bother to read the 1998 paper in question, you see that it’s relatively tame and cautious– nowhere, for example, does it assign causality of anything to the MMR. Surprised? Read the paper. How could such a paper cause such a furor? The short answer is that the real furor was that Wakefield dared to question the MMR and even hint that it might be associated with bowel disorders or autism but I, and many others, believe he did this on reasonable grounds. The combination of Justice Miting’s conclusion in the Walker-Smith case and Lewis’ arguments show this pretty much beyond a doubt. But this is tough stuff to wade through– most of us don’t have the time. Wakefield et al reported on what the parents said: most of them believed the MMR had something to do with the symptoms. He also cited two earlier papers that mentioned an association of MMR with either bowel disorders or autistic symptoms. Apparently doing such things is a grievous crime. By the way there were 13 co-authors of this paper: it wasn’t just Wakefield and Walker-Smith shooting in the dark. There are papers that corroborate the 1998 paper: there’s a unique bowel condition in children with autism, and yes, that really was the subject of the paper. One of them is this 2011 paper by Williams et al: http://www.thestaracademy.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Impaired-Carb-Digestion-in-Autism.pdf However, you still find accusations that Wakefield made up this whole bowel syndrome– part of the “fraud,” I suppose. Believe me, it gets weirder the deeper you dig.

        Regarding the diagnostic criteria for autism, Yazbak (earlier link) takes this on in detail, and I think Silberman is talking about the time just about 1990. So the expanded diagnostic criteria were in place by about 1990, but the cases kept going up throughout the 1990s with no further changes. I’m not an expert on this part, but as I said Yazbak shows in detail how the increases were real and not due to any diagnostic changes.

      • I think the Yazbak reference effectively refutes the “no real increase” line. Do we really think that physicians will diagnose more autism because they’ve seen Rain Man?
        Another refutation is: where are all the 1-in-66 adult autistics over 60 years old? After all, if the increase isn’t real then they’ve always been with us just diagnosed better today.

      • Don –

        ==> Do we really think that physicians will diagnose more autism because they’ve seen Rain Man?

        I don’t think that’s an accurate characterization of what he said.

        Some more links…

        http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10803-012-1566-0

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/tarahaelle/2015/01/05/majority-of-autism-increase-due-to-diagnostic-changes-finds-new-study/#645844ec737c

        Related to the first link (Utah study):

        https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2012/06/29/autism-surge-analysis/15957/

        –snip–
        The analysis found that 59 percent of those who were “diagnosed not autistic” in the 1980s would qualify as having autism today, while an additional 38 percent of people in this group showed some characteristics of autism.

        Meanwhile, those who were found to have autism in the 1980s study continued to qualify for the diagnosis using the current criteria, the study found.

        “The results of this study demonstrate a significant effect on ASD case status attributable to changing ASD criteria, particularly with regard to individuals with intellectual impairment,” the researchers said. “An important caveat, however, is that we were unable to determine whether it was the broadening of the criteria themselves, or the interpretation of the criteria, which lead to this effect.”

        –snip–

        I need to look at it more, but Yazbak’s discussion of the diagnostic criteria seems incomplete to me. The number of criteria being greater – which he seems to stress – in and of itself doesn’t tell necessarily explain anything. And his reference to decreases in “certain states” seems oddly unquantified, as his lack of discussion of the effects of greater public awareness also seems to suggest a less than comprehensive approach…

      • Don –

        http://www.unstrange.com/dsm1.html

        Look at the changes between 1987 and 1994:

        The classification of “clearly more restrictive” doesn’t seem terribly obvious to me. Does it to you?

      • Don –

        Some reasonable points raised below, IMO, and it doesn’t seem to me to speak well to Yazbak’s approach that he doesn’t address them in detail:

        –snip–

        Based on his work in the United States and abroad, Unstrange Minds presents the controversial idea that there is no evidence for an autism epidemic. Instead, the high rates of prevalence and diagnosis today are instead evidence that scientists are finally counting cases correctly. And this is a good thing, not only for the US but for the world, including cultures that have only just begun to learn about autism.

        Unstrange Minds shows how the shift in how we view and count autism is part of a set of broader shifts taking place in societies throughout the world. The growth of child psychiatry, the decline of psychoanalysis, the internet, the rise of international advocacy organizations, greater public sensitivity to children’s educational problems, and changes in public policies have together changed the way autism is diagnosed and defined.

        Societies are becoming more aware of children’s behavioral and learning differences at earlier and earlier ages and more comfortable with diagnosis, medication, and psychiatric labels. Under the rubric of autism we now find a multitude of emotional and cognitive problems, problems that used to be given other diagnostic labels or that were even considered within the range of the normal. Doctors now have a more heightened awareness of autism and are diagnosing it with more frequency, and public schools in the United States, which first started using the category of autism during the 1991-1992 school year, are reporting it more often, developing ways to help children with autism, and directing parents to appropriate resources. Epidemiologists are also counting it better.

        –snip–

        http://www.unstrange.com/unstrangesummary.html

      • Tony –

        That book looks interesting. You’ll see that I linked a book that seems to touch on some overlapping issues.

      • OK, the debate about autism increases is … debatable. I’m not an expert in that field, although so far as I know the autism community in general, including the many groups that believe vaccines have nothing to do with it, agree that there’s been a real increase.

      • No one is arguing that a child diagnosed as autistic in 1995 might not have been in 1980. The issue is what happened in the 1990’s, when the criteria remained the same? As Yazbak’s table 1 shows, cases increased dramatically. Why is this significant? Because the vaccine schedule expanded in the 1990s and, more importantly, children were receiving huge doses of mercury during that period, far above safe reference doses during vaccine sessions. This is another very interesting story, and as usual, the mainstream “facts” don’t even come close to what really happened.

        For the curious, if you research the whole issue of ethylmercury there’s one inescapable conclusion: the CDC knew children received huge doses of ethylmercury in the 1990’s, they knew mercury in all forms is toxic, yet they recommended that children NOT be tested for mercury exposure and they covered up the fact that huge doses, far above EPA safe reference standards, were given.

        The mainstream will tell you that studies have shown this and studies have shown that and mercury is eliminated and the dose makes the poison and on and on. This is BS. I’ve looked at the mercury issue carefully. We poisoned our kids and then we tried to cover it up, pure and simple. I know it sounds like a wild conspiracy theory but unless you believe that when a heroin overdose comes into the ER the doctor should average that dose over six months to see if it’s within a safe range, then there’s no escaping that we averaged out bolus doses of mercury to make them appear “within range.”

      • > Yes, I do believe that vaccines cause a serious encephalopathy that can appear to be autism.

        Thank you for your response, DonD.

        In return, please rest assured that I won’t need to call you any name to wish you would not bring this up. C-l-i-m-a-t-e-b-a-l-l is just for fun. Autism crap is serious stuff – what you’re peddling could at least indirectly deterioriate the lives of hundred of thousands of kids.

        For starters, please stop this “no one” this and “no one” that. You don’t talk for everyone, and since we’re on the Internet, it’s usually false. Also note that raising concerns in the form of dubious correlations and asking “what about” rhetorical questions are far from what we’d expect from someone who paid due diligence to his area of research.

        Please beware your wishes.

        W

      • Willard,
        My point is that the science on vaccines has been distorted, just as climate science has been distorted. Yes, you think silencing people like me is probably justified in light of the harm I could be causing. I, on the other hand, would welcome a full and complete and very careful examination of all the science on vaccines, and in particular the 2004 IOM report on vaccines and autism. I don’t know a single anti-vaxer who wants nothing more than that the science is looked at carefully and with an open mind. The science does NOT say what we believe it says, and if you think it does, head on over to vaccinepapers.org and look at what they say about aluminum adjuvant– all backed by published research that you can download right there– and compare it to what the CDC or FDA says. You also might fight some extremely interesting material on immune activation, and this is all mainstream information that’s widely accepted by the scientific community.
        Or … you can dismiss it as crap.

      • “Valproic acid, which is used to treat epilepsy, causes a dramatic increase in the risk of autism when taken by women before they know they’re
        pregnant. This drug is still commonly prescribed, but people are beginning to get concerned about its use by pregnant women. ”

        Wait a minute … I thought it was all genetic?
        The above quote is from a highly recommended and very readable summary of the science on immune activation by Patterson. http://vaccinepapers.org/wp-content/uploads/Pregnancy-Immunity-Schizophrenia-and-Autism-Patterson.pdf

      • > you think silencing people like me […]

        Thank you for probing my mind states, DonD. Your victim playing is duly noted.

        Look. You must be new here. So in return of your candid answer, I’ve returned the favor and warned that if you continue to peddle your crap, due diligence will be paid to it. I’ve even hinted at two pet tricks that don’t really work: “no one says” and “what about X.”

        I’m more than delighted to pay due diligence to your crap, if that’s what you choose. Speaking of Rain Man, it’s not even clear Kim Peek was autistic.

        Please, do continue, and thanks for playing.

        Due diligence,

        W

      • The first resource in the Scientific Library of the Crap Papers leads to:

        In a letter in this issue of the Journal, Coats et al. request that their article, “Nonsurgical Reduction of the Interventricular Septum in Patients with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy,” which was published on October 24, 2002, be retracted. The reason for the retraction stems from incomplete manuscript review by the authors and false signatures on submitted documents. We publish this editorial comment not only to inform the medical community but also to prevent similar situations from arising in the future.

        http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMe030015

        So after the prevalence fumble, we get a retraction strike. Not that this means the Crap Papers are untrue. We must keep an open mind.

        The truth is out there.

      • Steven Mosher

        somebody make a you tube of this..

        Willard is being a bad cat

    • Speaking of David Lewis:

      In the article, Lewis held himself out to be “director” of the “National Whistleblowers Center Research Misconduct Project”, and called himself a “research microbiologist” at the centre. I established that the “NWC” (whistleblowers.org) is a website operated by a firm of Washington employment lawyers, Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto, and shouldn’t be confused with the prestigious Government Accountability Project (whistleblower.org). Although, for all I know, it may do legitimate public interest work, it appears to me that the law firm operates the NWC much as drug companies have been known to operate associated bodies to reach out to potential customers. […]

      The “Research Misconduct Project” is Lewis, and he obtained approval to announce this and designate himself as “director” in December 2010, the month before he took up with Wakefield. Although he’d never contacted me, I found that he’d posted a suite of pages on the NWC website crammed with libellous abuse of me. Some of it was written in an oddly indignant tone. […]

      Upon reading this extraordinary, material, alleging that I was part of such activity, I promptly wrote to Stephen Kohn, who heads both the law firm and the website “center”. Shortly afterwards, most of Lewis’s material was taken down, although he continues to claim on his pages that he’s producing “a non-biased, objective review”.

      http://briandeer.com/solved/david-lewis-1.htm

      No wonder Dr. Lewis’ crap comes from Dr. Speedy’s.

      • Willard,
        I certainly accept your implicit challenge. It’ll take me a few days to respond to your post on Deer. I absolutely expect due diligence on all my comments, and welcome this.
        I have no science background to speak of. This should be ridiculously easy for you.

      • After several days of not being able to post comments and suspecting that I’d been cut off from posting, I’m told (via email exchanges) that I’d never been cut off.

        If that’s the case, and if anyone is interested in pursuing this, then I’m prepared to answer Willard’s objections. If, on the other hand, everyone is certain that “the science is settled,” then there’s no point.

  40. Pingback: A New Breakthrough In The Annals Of Academic Ethics | Transterrestrial Musings

  41. JCU’s behavior is having a Streisand effect. GBR was a warmunist alarm polar bear equivalent. And now people are learning that they have been deliberately mislead– just like with polar bears.
    Another example of institutional warmunist retaliation.

    • People deliberately seek out information that misleads them.

      This is the warmunist genius.

      • rr, you might be right. That is a main reason I think factually correct, simple crystal clear soundbites are a viable counter. An example: Disappearing summer arctic ice: polar bears do not depend on it–they feed mainly on spring ice during seal pupping season. H/t Susan Crockford. The example relevant here: Coral bleaching disaster; no, bleaching is a means of exchanging symbionts and normally leads to a healthy recovery. H/t Jim Steele.

    • “Extensive aerial surveys and dives have revealed that 93 percent of the world’s largest reef has been devastated by coral bleaching.”

      So that is an accurate “scientific” assessment?

      • I think nearly a thousand aerial surveys combined with dives along the entire length of the GBR is more in the realm of empirical than anecdotal, and that asking me rhetorical questions which are wholly unresponsive to the argument I made is about as far from scientific as I can imagine. Try again?

      • brgates, You provided a link, there is a statement in that link

      • Steven Mosher

        weirdly the references dont say 93%

        whatever

      • It is interesting that the other causes of coral bleaching:
        * pollution
        * sunlight
        * low tides
        * and low temperatures

        are summarily dismissed in favor of chasing everyone’s favorite hypothesis.

        Coral ancestors go back half a billion years.

        As a species, they’ve seen a lot more than we can conceive.

      • captdallas,

        Yes, that’s the factual, provable characteristic of your query. I’m expressing annoyance that you’ve silently shuffled on to the next argument. Here’s what else the same SA article has to say:

        More than 80 percent of reefs surveyed there showed signs of severe bleaching. The southern end of the reef fared better, but overall the bleaching represents a massive blow to biodiversity at the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

        The dry scientific content would be the first sentence. I think 80% severe bleaching constitutes both “devastation” and “a massive blow”, but what do I know … we’ve already well established in this forum that I’m not a corals expert.

        I can complain about qualitative hyperbole too, with some tu quoque to boot — from the OP: The sickness of the clubby academic collegiality is absurdly highlighted by this latest episode from James Cook University.

        Is that an accurate “scientific” assessment?

      • “weirdly the references dont say 93%”

        Which references? 93% devastated and “only 7% avoided bleaching” seem to be popular uses in the media and where would the media come up with such specifics?

      • “More than 80 percent of reefs surveyed there showed signs of severe bleaching”

        That would be the northern section in red, amber fared better and the green appears healthy, so your link has the eye catching 93% of the GBR then crawfishes into something a bit more realistic in the DRTL portion.

      • looks like nesting is in randomize mode :)

      • Turbulent Eddie,

        are summarily dismissed in favor of chasing everyone’s favorite hypothesis.

        The waters in which the GBR resides have been unusually warm this year, that correlation is robust. Topicality does not necessarily constitute dismissal. BTW, you left ocean acidification out of your list.

        Coral ancestors go back half a billion years. As a species, they’ve seen a lot more than we can conceive.

        This is déjà vu all over again. You’re right, they bounced back (or re-evolved) after each of the Big Five extinction events, but they were often among the hardest hit of species to begin with and it took hundreds of thousands to millions of years for them to do it.

      • captdallas,

        That would be the northern section in red, amber fared better and the green appears healthy, so your link has the eye catching 93% of the GBR then crawfishes into something a bit more realistic in the DRTL portion.

        Is 25% not bleached = “appears healthy” an accurate “scientific” assessment? Are we ready to discuss the alleged anecdotal nature of GBR coral studies yet, or will the browbeatings over media hyperbole continue until morale improves?

      • “Is 25% not bleached = “appears healthy” an accurate “scientific” assessment?”

        1% severely bleached versus <1% not bleached. I kind of doubt that 0% bleached or paled is a normal condition and I believe "devastated" would related to "severe" bleaching.

      • Steven Mosher

        capatin

        “Which references? 93% devastated and “only 7% avoided bleaching” seem to be popular uses in the media and where would the media come up with such specifics?”

        I dunno,, I’m look for the actual aircraft survey and dive reports?

        WTF?

      • “WTF?”

        Couldn’t have said it better myself.

      • Steven Mosher,

        I dunno,, I’m look for the actual aircraft survey and dive reports? WTF?

        Consider the possibility that this being an ongoing event, the formal results have not yet been published.

      • Curious George

        93% bleached? And the Scientific American wrote it? Then it must be true.

        “The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s own chairman had to come out and dispel notions the reef was almost completely gone.
        We’ve seen headlines stating that 93 percent of the reef is prac­tic­ally dead,” Reichelt said. “We’ve also seen reports that 35 percent, or even 50 percent, of the entire reef is now gone.”

        “However, based on our ­combined results so far, the overall mortality rate is 22 percent — and about 85 percent of that die-off has occurred in the far north between the tip of Cape York and just north of Lizard Island, 250 kilometers north of Cairns,” he said. “Seventy-five per cent of the reef will come out in a few months time as recovered.”

        I am sorely missing a 97% figure, very popular at John Cook.

      • Curious George,

        93% bleached?

        Some bleaching is how I’m reading it.

        And the Scientific American wrote it? Then it must be true.

        Wrong.

        “The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s own chairman had to come out and dispel notions the reef was almost completely gone. We’ve seen headlines stating that 93 percent of the reef is prac­tic­ally dead,” Reichelt said. “We’ve also seen reports that 35 percent, or even 50 percent, of the entire reef is now gone.”

        Good to know there’s still some integrity in science remaining, especially amongst the coral community.

      • This is déjà vu all over again. You’re right, they bounced back (or re-evolved) after each of the Big Five extinction events, but they were often among the hardest hit of species to begin with and it took hundreds of thousands to millions of years for them to do it.

        No, extinction is hardest hit and the overwhelming majority of all species have gone extinct. Corals on the other hand have succeeded through innumerable changes and don’t care about your minor fluctuations.

        corals first appeared in the Cambrian period, some 542 million years ago

        Here’s estimated temperatures for that period:

        Stop it with the corals – it’s just silly.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Consider the possibility that this being an ongoing event, the formal results have not yet been published.”

        Ah PNS…

        I see.

      • btw, the catlin seaview survey group has a reevaluation of the northern GBR on their list. While they were resurveying Heron Island they ran into a crew from national geographic doing about the same thing.

        I wonder how much unintended damage can be done when so many well funded, well meaning groups visit large areas of sensitive corals in a short time?

        http://catlinseaviewsurvey.com/news/01-04-2016/bleaching-watch-on-the-great-barrier-reef

      • > how much unintended damage can be done when so many well funded, well meaning groups […]

        That depends, Cap’n. In the case of groups of Lysenkoists, the damage is amply compensated by how they contribute to contrarian concerns, which are inestimable as GRRRROWTH itself.

        Is your “well funded” an accurate scientific assessment?

      • Turbulent Eddie,

        No, extinction is hardest hit and the overwhelming majority of all species have gone extinct. Corals on the other hand have succeeded through innumerable changes and don’t care about your minor fluctuations.

        We’ve done about a quarter to a third of a deglaciation in a century … your concept of “minor fluctuation” is curious. I don’t care how long ago it was that corals were first seen in the fossil record, them going absent five times in the fossil record not to be seen for hundreds of thousands to millions of years later is the salient point.

        Stop it with the corals – it’s just silly.

        I’ll stick with what domain experts say over the opinions of random pseudo-experts on the Internet if you don’t mind.

    • When even the WWF fund ranks climate change last in its list of threats to coral reefs, you know claims that climate change is killing reef systems is hype and pr, not science.

      http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/blue_planet/coasts/coral_reefs/coral_threats/

    • BRG, there are three problems with your SciAm link. First, there are about 4x the actual GBRs as surveyd per the alarmist graphic. So an unwarranted extrapolation. Second, as Ridd pointed out, the survey baselines are not WC’d and in at least one location plain wrong–formwhichnteuthnhe was censured. Third, “93% devastated”. As Jim Steele guest posted here recently, bleaching is a normal symbiont exchange process where the coral rapidly recovers. “Devastated” completely hides that biological fact.
      Granted,mthere are two circumstances where bleaching is bad for corals, both commented on at Steele’s guest post here. 1. Pollution runoff decomposition produces immediately fatal H2S. 2. Suitable symbionts do not re-establish. The coral are lft filter feeding, are nutrionally weakened, and will eventually die in 1-2 years. In both those unfortunate cases, a healthy reef will still re-establish within 10 years.
      I dive reefs, and care about their biology. You could do likewise.

      • ristvan,

        First you write:

        First, there are about 4x the actual GBRs as surveyd per the alarmist graphic. So an unwarranted extrapolation.

        Then you end:

        I dive reefs, and care about their biology.

        This could be a problem, no? TBF, in the middle you write:

        As Jim Steele guest posted here recently, bleaching is a normal symbiont exchange process where the coral rapidly recovers. “Devastated” completely hides that biological fact.

        Problem is, “normal symbiont exchange process where the coral rapidly recovers” completely hides the fact that the very studies Steele cited by authors supportive of the ABH aren’t so optimistic:

        Baker (2003):

        The Future of Coral Reefs

        The extent to which symbiont diversity and flexibility will affect the long-term future of coral reefs in response to continued climate change is not yet clear.

        Maynard et al. (2008):

        Acclimation through symbiont shuffling from less to more stress-resistant clades is another mechanism by which corals may increase the thermal tolerance of the holobiont. Similarly, shifts in the patterns of association between host and symbiont may occur between generations in species which do not transmit symbionts in the gametes (Baird et al. 2007). Indeed, there is growing evidence that such shuffling can increase thermal tolerance, at least in the short term (Berkelmans and van Oppen 2006). This is a promising area of research, but heralding symbiont shuffling as a panacea for reefs threatened by climate change is premature. Efforts must now be directed towards establishing whether the increase in thermal tolerance of the holobiont following symbiont shuffling persists and reduces mortality during subsequent thermal anomalies.

        We’re never going to be able to survey 100% of reefs down to every last coral, and these somewhat hopeful studies were not based on a census any more than the “alarmist” graphic in the SA article I cited. Yet the ABH proponents are credible while the bleaching “alarmists” issue “unwarranted extrapolation”.

      • Perhaps, but Lysenko.

        Checkmate.

  42. “We’ve seen headlines stating that 93 percent of the reef is prac­tic­ally dead,” Reichelt said. “We’ve also seen reports that 35 percent, or even 50 percent, of the entire reef is now gone.” – from the article

    Becomes:

    “There is no discrepancy between the scientific statements issued by GBRMPA, the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies,” he said. “Indeed, I greatly appreciate the close working relationship formed between scientists from all three organisations.

    This co-operation is ­continuing and will ensure we learn as much as we can from the impacts of this summer’s bleaching event.” … – Reichelt

  43. According to dictionary.com, university derives from the latin meaning universe or “the totality of known or supposed objects and phenomena”.

    Nice irony that Cook want’s to limit the totality of the known in order to respect the reputations of other colleagues.

  44. This concern about ‘responsibility’ to your colleagues seems only to extend to colleagues who happen to agree with you.

    That is why it is so out of order, to give Ridd a warning. He seems only to have shed light on some misuse of stated facts.
    Would any critic reviewer to papers by colleagues also get a warning?

    • Curious George

      That’s where pal review comes in. Problem solved – no – eliminated.

    • How do you know he shed some light on some misuse of stated facts? I’m just trying to learn how to both swallow the hook, line, and sinker while claiming to be skeptical at the same time.

      I do think one of Ridd’s claims could work out. It is entirely possible that after sea levels rise like crazy during the rest of this century, and beyond, that Magnetic Island could have a batch of brand new corals around 2150 in places that are now void of coral.

      • Why don’t you pull out your crayons and show us some nice colored graphs proving how sea level is going to rise like crazy during the rest of this century?

        Piece of advice – stay away from arithmetic and unit conversions. Those tell you 8 inches by the end of this century.

      • Shut the phuqk up maroon.

      • Nice Grandpa Dick.

        Sucks when the data doesn’t support your arguments, heh?

      • Joshu@ It is all very simple. This is just a hoax, perpetuated by greedy, self-serving, money-grubbing, leftist, statist, authorization, neo-mccarthyite, ivory-tower-inhabiting, elitist, name-calling, incompetents, who never had a job where they actually had to produce anything or would be held accountable if their implausible theories didn’t match reality.

        Motivations for alarmists are a complicated by the intermingling of mutual interests. The statist authorization, neo-mccarthyite, ivory-tower-inhabiting, elitist have been around on both left and right since the Bolshevik Revolution and the Fascist movement rivaling it. The fallacy is that just needs to win control to be free unaccountable hand in order to do the unsavory but necessary societal reorganization, engineering and cleansing, that consensus is unnecessary. Problem: With unaccountable authority comes Incompetence and abuse.

        Many in the western world thought after the fall of the Berlin Wall society had learned lessons. Name calling, emotional appeals and vilification come through the moral justification of noble ends “God [Gaia] is on our side.” But true progress is made by patient gathering of consensus through truth seeking and humility.

        “And part of their goal is to oppress truth- and purity-seeking non-conformists, whose only goal is to reveal unadulterated science, even when it comes at great coat and sacrifice, as self-interest matters not to these humble champions of integrity, freedom, and fairness.”

        Truth through science in areas of high complexity of signal and high political implication should have special protocols to eliminate or cancel investigator bias. The fact that the left has no time for this but wants trillions in resources for solutions imposed by a world governmental bodies, is an alarm with higher decibels than the one they are intending to broadcast, at least for the ones who learned the past lessons. The best bet to solve problems is convince or entice accountable, self-interested, problem solvers in the free market. The free market, of course, is the cornerstone of liberty, assuming one is interested in keeping it.

    • It’s all very simple. The coral has been devastated. This is caused by warming oceans, which is caused by increased down-welling IR radiation, which is caused by increased CO2 in the atmosphere, which is caused by humans burning fossil fuel to support our unsustainable lifestyles. The only solution is for all governments to act in concert and drastically raise the price of fossil fuels through taxes and other market mechanisms which will make wind and solar power financially attractive, which will cause us to eschew fossil fuel and leave it deep in the ground, which will halt the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, which will stop more down-welling IR warming the oceans killing the coral and we will all eat tofu and the GBR and the polar bears will be saved, Gaia be praised. This is settled science which is has been thoroughly understood and proved as facts by 97% of peer-peer reviewed climate scientists smarter than you and is consistent with computer models and RPC 8.5. Any unpleasant colleagues that raise doubts about the quality of the evidence, the level of certainty or the magnitude of any of the above cause – effect relationships, or suggests that other processes may be involved are Fox News watching, anti-science, creation believing, gun loving, Koch funded fossil fuel industry shill racist redneck Trump voting Disinformers and they need to be RICO-investigated by the FBI DEA ATF BBC BLM EPA NOAA NAS NSA IRS and suffer in blog moderation for the rest of their lives. Gaia be Great. The Facts are Irrefutable. Praise Gaia. Did I miss any bases?

      • Ken W,

        You forgot that dirty filthy coal is the colour of evil – black.

        The evil-doers in Westerns have black Stetsons.

        Evil hackers are “black hats”.

        And we all know about the Black Mass – of a lump of coal, obviously.

        Cheers.

      • KenW,

        You got it.

        It’s a secular stealth religion, and an extreme and fundamentalist one at that.

        It took its inspiration from the medieval Catholic Church.

        Saint Vincent of Lerins had written in his Commonitoria (Memoranda, c. 430) that the Church had become “a faithful and ever watchful guardian of the dogmas which have been committed to her charge. In this secret deposit she changes nothing, she takes nothing from it, she adds nothing to it.”

        Overstating this absolutism is impossible. “The Catholic Church holds it better,” wrote a Roman theologian, “that the entire population of the world should die of starvation in extreme agony…than that one soul, I will not say should be lost, but should commit one single venial sin.”

        In the words of one pope, “The Church is independent of any earthly power, not merely in regard to her lawful end and purpose, but also in regard to whatever means she may deem suitable and necessary to attain them.”

        Another pope, agreeing, declared that God had made the Vatican “a sharer in the divine magistracy, and granted her, by special privilege, immunty from error.”

        Even to “appeal from the living voice of the Church” was “a treason,” wrote a cardinal, “because that living voice is supreme; and to appeal from that supreme voice is also a heresy, because that voice, by divine assistance, is infallible.”

        As one Roman theologian of the

      • Au contraire.

        It is all very simple. This is just a hoax, perpetuated by greedy, self-serving, money-grubbing, leftist, statist, authorization, neo-mccarthyite, ivory-tower-inhabiting, elitist, name-calling, incompetents, who never had a job where they actually had to produce anything or would be held accountable if their implausible theories didn’t match reality.

        And part of their goal is to oppress truth- and purity-seeking non-conformists, whose only goal is to reveal unadulterated science, even when it comes at great coat and sacrifice, as self-interest matters not to these humble champions of integrity, freedom, and fairness.

      • > As one Roman theologian of the

        Lysenkoist Church of Science.

        You’re welcome.

      • KenW, I think you boiled the bias of one side down to the syrup. I would only add that there is a bias in who seeks to study environmental science and who desires the career to disseminate it.

        BTW, Willard was going to delete your comment (like he would at ATTP) but then realized he does not have the moderation control here. Rats…

        Willard, you could at least have pointed out denier’s bias.

      • Thank you for your kind words, RonG.

        Do not worry – I can play visitor too. I even can abide by the Denizens’ ground rules. Beware your wishes.

        Ask around.

      • Damn,

        Josh gets it right for once.

        Well not really, it being a gross generalization.

        Josh, you could take lessons from KenW on mocking.

  45. Pingback: Circling the Climate Wagons | Science Matters

  46. Some background in organizational sociology is helpful to understand what James Cook officials are doing.

    https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2016/06/14/circling-the-climate-wagons/

  47. Excuse me for not reading every comment before commenting, but it’s not clear to me what Prof. Ridd actually did to raise univ. hackles. What was his actual “whistleblowing” act? Did he release his report to the press, arguably blindsiding his colleagues and institution? Did he discuss his report beforehand with the institution and release it after being stonewalled internally? What was his uncollegial act after gathering his evidence?

    We all know that there are many ways to challenge authority, some of them designed to embarrass rivals and other ways apparently innocent of ill-will. Was his act an “in your face attack” or a last gasp attempt to get people’s attention after being frustrated internally?

    We all know rivalries in univ. setting can get out of control, until eventually someone gets busted for going too far.

    Any comment?

    • Wow, somebody finally asks for simple facts.

    • scraft1, my thoughts also. It’s not clear exactly what transpired. JCU doesn’t seem to want to talk about it, and the article is just a news report.

      In the absence of official statements from both sides, there is much room for speculation. Mine is that it all has something to do with the second to last paragraph in article:

      ”Professor Ridd wants an independent agency to check the science before governments commit to spending hundreds of millions of dollars. “

  48. Science is very much overrated.
    Most of the questions it tries to answer have far too many degrees of freedom for science to even scratch.
    Those degrees of freedom render any answer possible and ‘rationalizable’.
    This is the tyranny of the science regime:
    Robespierre
    Lenin, Stalin
    Hitler
    Not good company.

  49. No problem atoll?

    Abstract
    The future of low‐lying reef islands has been the subject of international concern, scientific debate, and media interest in the last decade. As a result of sea‐level rise, atoll islands are expected to become increasingly unstable and to be susceptible to potential depopulation by the end of the 21st century. Some have suggested that sea‐level rise has already resulted in widespread erosion and inundation of atoll islands. Here, we analyze the physical changes in over 200 islands on 12 atolls in the central and western Pacific in the past few decades when sea level in the region increased at rates three to four times the global average. Results show little evidence of heightened erosion or reduction in island size…

    ~McLean R, Kench RL, Destruction or persistence of coral atoll islands in the face of 20th and 21st century sea‐level rise? WIREs Clim Change 2015

  50. Ridd was punished by James Cook University for “not displaying responsibility in respecting the reputations of other colleagues.” The university even warned that if he does this again, he’ll be tried for serious misconduct.

    But when it comes to James Cook University, they can punish and humiliate Ridd. Some might say this is not responsible, and not respecting Ridd’s reputation.

    • And of course, JCU will punish those who don’t respect Ridd’s reputation.

      No? A gang of gutless cowards hiding behind the skirts of “university” and “collegiality”?

      About as worthy of respect as pond scum (and I apologise to any pond scum who may feel offended by the comparison).

      If anybody is offended by anything I say, tough! It’s your choice to take offense. You can always decline, if you wish.

      Take a teaspoon of cement and harden up. Words can’t break your leg, nor pick your pocket, (according to Thomas Jefferson, at least).

      Precious petals. Dear oh dear! Better make an urgent run to the cotton wool factory – JCU seems to need an academic grade resupply.

      Cheers.

    • “they can punish and humiliate Ridd”
      But did they? How? All we’ve heard is Ridd’s own account, via Daily Caller (“Paul Ridd”). No apparent punishment, and if there’s humiliation, it’s based only on what he has chosen to tell.

      • Professor Ridd has received an academic censure from James Cook University for going public with his views. “It really annoys me,” he said. “That is an academic misconduct and blot on my reputation that will be there for the rest of my academic career.”

      • JCH,
        Is your source for this the Daily Caller/Oz articles? Do you know what kind of proceeding we are talking about? Any other sources?

      • Nick

        I haven’t been following this having lost the will to live what with all the claims and counter claims…

        For what its worth here is an article with what appear to be a number of direct quotes.

        http://www.queenslandcountrylife.com.au/story/3969446/leading-marine-scientist-says-reef-science-needs-quality-checks/

        It might be worth checking direct with the conference web site cited to see if the quotes are direct or if they are scare quotes.

        Interesting that he appears to be defending Farmers and there is no mention in the article of AGW. Presumably the journal is a farming related one?

        tonyb

      • Tony,
        It’s a rural oriented newspaper reporting on a talk he gave as keynote speaker at the Property Rights Australia conference in Charters Towers. It’s not clear whether they were speaking with him directly, and the last quote may be indirect from another publication. But it also gives no detail on what sort of procedure resulted in this “academic censure”, or what his offence was, according to the University. My issue here is that it is all so undocumented, and we’re only hearing one side, filtered through some pretty dodgy sources, although I would attach more credibility to Queensland Country Life.

        I mentioned earlier his article titled “The Great Great Barrier Reef Swindle”. That seems to label as swindlers not only his colleagues but their institutions, possibly including JCU. I think that if JCU did take some action against him, there may be reasons.

      • Nick

        Thanks for your link. It is to a 2007 article so presumably things have moved on one way or another since then. It seems to be written directly by him with no added phrases from elsewhere as he uses the words ‘I’

        I never like it when people use the words swindle, hoax or conspiracy. Ridd uses the word swindle but then seems to slightly qualify it here

        ‘To a certain extent it is, however, the scientist in me worries about the credibility of science and scientists. We cannot afford to cry wolf too often or our credibility will fall to that of used car salesmen and estate agents – if it is not there already. The environmentalist in me worries about the misdirection of scarce resources if we concentrate on “saving” a system such as the GBR. Better we concentrate on weeds and overpopulation and other genuine problems.

        So I’m thinking of asking Martin Durkin to come over to Australia and do another show called The Great Great Barrier Reef Swindle. I’d have to make sure he got all his graphs right and did not talk to anybody who thought smoking didn’t cause cancer, but I reckon he could put a very compelling case that the GBR is in great shape and that there is little to fear, especially relative to other environmental issues, such as overpopulation and invasive species.’

        Obviously he wants to ensure only correct and accurate information is used if Durkin had done a piece but it is still disappointing that a scientist should use the word ‘swindle.’ However than article 7 years ago presumably has no bearing on what recently happened with the University.
        Presumably the link I gave regarding his conference speech can be taken as Ridds’ current thinking on the subject?

        tonyb

      • Tony,
        He’s pretty explicit about the swindle: “Closer to home, there is a swindle by scientists, politicians and most green organisations regarding the health of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR).” Yes, the Qld article sets out some of his views. My contention is that we don’t even know what sort of proceeding happened at JCU, and we only have at best Ridd’s account of what may have perturbed the university. I quote that article to show that there may have been more to it than he indicates.

      • Nick

        I agree with you, we don’t know enough from both points of view to form a balanced opinion. The trouble is that quotes are often made out of context, out of sequence, or have never been said in the first place, as with ‘scare quotes.’ It would be good to know more about the story first hand from both sides.

        This is why I tend to keep away from these ‘he said, you said’ type of discussions. For instance I have no ideas of the rights and wrongs of the Mann v Steyn case other than there is a freedom of speech issue as well as a debate about the merits of the science.

        best wishes from a cool and rainy UK.

        tonyb

      • > This is why I tend to keep away from these ‘he said, you said’ type of discussions.

        Most historical records are of that type, TonyB.

      • Willard

        Some are of course, but many accounts can be cross referenced or are not part of some complex dialogue where one ‘side’ says something disputed by another. The equivalent would be one of Mosh’s monks in the same location in say the 13th century who write up contradictory accounts of the same days weather.

        tonyb

      • Tony –

        =>> ” other than there is a freedom of speech issue as well as a debate about the merits of the science.”

        Is it a freedom of speech issue or a libel issue (or some combination thereof?) How would you know if you don’t know anything about it?

      • > Some are of course, but many accounts can be cross referenced or are not part of some complex dialogue where one ‘side’ says something disputed by another.

        Don’t forget the many accounts where we only have the “he said” part.

      • According to Stanley Kubrick, it was simply stated as… it’s all just a Commie plot to destroy our purity of essence, Mandrake.

      • Joshu%%

        if it is a libel rather than freedom of speech issue it shows how little I have followed it. No doubt when something eventually happens I shall take an interest in it but at present I have few views on the overall rights and wrongs of the scientific case

        tonyb

      • Willard

        You presumably include figures as well as text in your comment as they were usually taken by one person?

        tonyb

      • I presumably include paintings too, TonyB.

      • Willard

        Paintings can be broadly indicative of a long term trend or a snapshot of climate but I think it a mistake to read too much into cloud paintings

        tonyb

      • Steven Mosher

        “Most historical records are of that type, TonyB.”

        dont forget the other kinds of records..

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salem_witch_trials

        and sometimes this

        look its in the paper!

        http://s8int.com/giants19.html

        jeez even trained observers get it wrong

        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/06/08/weather-observers-misread-wind-speeds-skewing-a-major-hazards-database/

        Your best bet it to get data from multiple sources and look for agreement, documents, proxies, models.

        http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2013/06/monks-volcanoes-and-very-cold-weather

  51. The Western education complex might as well be thought of as a part of a pan-commie party with the actions of James Cook U looking a lot like they are identifying skeptics who are destined for the gulag.

  52. I’m glad that some have picked up my point about learning more about the facts before we all self-immolate over an apparent mistreatment of a skeptic. We know next to nothing about what happened other than Prof. Ridd’s own statements.

    But I’m also happy to read some good discussion of the GBR and some of the subtleties of the bleaching and other reef health problems. Maybe should be the subject of a separate post or a guest post.

    I hate to see this blog exhibit the flaws of less rigorous skeptic blogs – i.e., IMO, an ill-considered post that threatens the credibility of this blog. Climate, etc. is where I come for civil discussion of serious climate issues. Making a victim of an obscure univ. professor halfway around the world is not my idea of serious discussion of the issues.

  53. The opposite of diversity? University.

    It has generally been found that coral bleaching can be traced directly to local activity – hurricane destruction, disease (black band and white band), silting from run-off, pollution, sewage, locals/tourists killing off fish that help protect the reef, sunscreen (yes, highly toxic to coral)…

    Easily accessed areas are being “loved to death” by the impacts of tourism.

    These reasons don’t get big CAGW grant money (essentially a bottomless $ bucket) so they always throw ‘warming’ in there somewhere, and “more research is required.” :O/

    I’ve been going to the Virgin Islands almost every year for the last 32 years to dive. I have seen the changes first hand, and the huge increase in human activity.

    As an organism, coral has been around for over 500 MILLION years. As such is has survived MANY temperature cycles that are greater than that which we have experienced in the last 100 years.

    References:
    https://www.nps.gov/viis/learn/nature/upload/Coral%20Bleaching%201.pdf
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/01/080129-sunscreen-coral.html
    http://globalreefproject.com/coral-reef-history.php

  54. Talk about war on science. It’s as if they don’t want people to trust them.

  55. From the article:

    My letter to Vice-Chancellor Prof Sandra Harding is reproduced below:

    Dear Prof Harding,

    I am writing to express my dismay at the recent treatment of Prof Peter Ridd, as reported in the media, for expressing his considered professional opinion about issues relevant to his expertise.

    As a practicing physical scientist (70 peer-reviewed publications, h-index = 19), I expect anything I publish to be frankly and fearlessly criticised if my methodology or assumptions are deficient, and would be horrified if potential critics were to refrain from such criticism on the grounds that it would be ‘disrespectful to my reputation’. If such a criterion – as reported in the media as grounds for the censure of Prof Ridd – were to be generally adopted, it would mean the death of science.

    And parenthetically, as a former resident of Townsville (1983-1998), I can remember many episodes of panic that one event or another would lead to the death of the Reef. I vividly recall my grandfather, E/Prof Bill Lacy (Foundation Professor of Economic Geology at James Cook University), saying that such episodes had been a feature of life in North Queensland since he first visited the region.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Dr Chris Fellows FRACI
    Associate Professor in Chemistry
    School of Science and Technology
    The University of New England
    NSW 2351
    Australia

    http://chrisfellows.blogspot.com/

  56. Pingback: Were Historical Pictures of Great Barrier Reef Degradation Really Misused, as The Australian Newspaper Claimed? – Enjeux énergies et environnement

  57. How much “loyalty and responsibility” do the academic mandarins show when dishing out grant money?

  58. Between the cookies-and-safe-space infantilization of the students and this academic fascism, does anyone get an actual education at university anymore?

  59. Nothing much has changed since Climategate then. Deep corruption to uphold political correctness against truth-seeking is still the order of the day.

  60. Pingback: Yet another test of ‘really existing’ academic freedom | DON AITKIN

  61. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #229 | Watts Up With That?

  62. From wikipedia …. “he is known as a generous man who lives by a strict moral code of loyalty to friends and, above all, family. He is also known as a traditionalist who demands respect commensurate with his status …”

    Mr. Corleone had very strong ethics …

  63. Pingback: Government’s Undermine Climate Goals, Science and Human Progress Once Again | Somewhat Reasonable

  64. Pingback: Government’s Undermine Climate Goals, Science and Human Progress Once AgainWestern Free Press | Western Free Press