The rapid spread of misinformation and its subsequent resistance to correction routinely inflicts contemporary societies …
There are several ways in which the effectiveness of a rebuttal can be enhanced, three of which are particularly noteworthy.
People can disregard misinformation if they are suspicious of the motives underlying its introduction. …
Alternatively, a correction must be accompanied by an explanation of why a piece of information was incorrect. …
Another tool for effective rebuttal involves the use of graphs …
Perhaps he could spend some time explaining why climate change ‘deniers’ are not paedophiles.
ROBYN Williams: NOW what if I told you pedophilia is good for children or that asbestos is an excellent inhalant for those with asthma? Or that smoking crack is a normal part, and a healthy one, of teenage life and to be encouraged? You’d rightly find it outrageous. But there have been similar statements coming out of inexpert mouths again and again in recent times, distorting the science (of climate change).
Stephan Lewandowsky: There seems to be something about an extreme free-market ideology that prevents some people from accepting scientific evidence. I think there are some spokespeople out there for anti-scientific positions who claim to have a left-wing Marxist background, but when you look at the population at large in a large sample of people, then you don’t find them. And that probably means one of two things. Either the numbers of these people are so small that you just have to be extremely lucky to find one, maybe one in a hundred thousand, or that their claimed political affiliation is not as left-wing as they make out.
Extra credit for using graphs.
It seems though, once you scratch the surface of Lewandowsky’s paper, that it is nothing more than a journal sanctioned smear of climate skeptics based on not only faulty data, but data gathered with a built in bias.
But who are we to criticise? Lewandowsky tells he “was awarded a Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award by the Australian Research Council in 2011.” The criteria for that is:
The DORAs provide opportunities for mid to late career research-only and teaching and research academics. There are no restrictions in relation to time since award of PhD, and selection is based on the needs of the project in addition to the excellence of the researcher.
The Project? A cool $765,000 over three years for:
Intelligence is correlated with learning but uncorrelated with most aspects of expertise. Why is this so? Why does the role of intelligence diminish as one becomes more expert at a task? This project examines a broad range of cognitive tasks to provide a concise mathematical description of how intelligence relates to expertise.
A mathematical model of learning by doing.
Then there is this bit of hypocrisy:
Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, a researcher of climate change denial at the Cognitive Science Laboratories at the University of Western Australia, said the premature leak of the report was “dishonourable.”
“Science is one of the most transparent endeavours humans have ever developed. However, for the transparency to be effective, preliminary documents ought to remain confidential until they have been improved and checked through peer review,” he said in an emailed comment.
“The leak of a draft report by a reviewer who has signed a statement of confidentiality is therefore regrettable and dishonourable.”
To be transparent documents must be confidential? It is dishonourable to leak? Here is his defence of Peter Gleick.
But it does mean that one’s ethical concerns should consider competing actions and outcomes rather than focusing on an individual’s chosen action in isolation.
Gleick has apologised for his use of subterfuge. His actions have violated the confidentiality of a think tank but they have also given the public a glimpse into the inner workings of the climate denial machine.
Had he not done so, no one’s confidentiality would have been violated, but then the public would have been kept guessing about the internal workings of one of the world’s most notorious serial impersonators of science.
Here is the Bunyip’s take down of that nonsense.
When it comes to Lewandowsky do I follow his first principle:
… disregard misinformation if … suspicious of the motives underlying its introduction.