As some bunnies have noticed recursive fury has broken out about Recursive Fury. There are long threads at Shaping Tomorrow's World, where Stephan Lewandowsky hangs out, the blog of the publishers Frontiers and at Retraction Watch.
Eli would like to make a small contribution about the latest hand grenade lobbed by Harry Markram, one of the founders of Frontiers and evidently an editor with a pretty much unrestricted portfolio
My own personal opinion: The authors of the retracted paper and their followers are doing the climate change crisis a tragic disservice by attacking people personally and saying that it is ethically ok to identify them in a scientific study. They made a monumental mistake, refused to fix it and that rightfully disqualified the study. The planet is headed for a cliff and the scientific evidence for climate change is way past a debate, in my opinion. Why even debate this with contrarians? If scientists think there is a debate, then why not debate this scientifically? Why help the ostriches of society (always are) keep their heads in the sand? Why not focus even more on the science of climate change? Why not develop potential scenarios so that society can get prepared? Is that not what scientists do? Does anyone really believe that a public lynching will help advance anything? Who comes off as the biggest nutter? Activism that abuses science as a weapon is just not helpful at a time of crisis.Without getting into minutia about the unbolded (and there are several falsehoods in there, but Markram is fighting for his baby), this has been greeted by mighty huzzahs from the ilk of Barry Woods, Carrick, Nik from NYC and others. Markram makes major errors in dumping on Lewandowsky and his co-authors, because he assumes that the Woods, Carrick and Niks are just fools who no one listens to. But then again Markram lives in Switzerland where denial has perhaps not made such a major impact on policy and one can ignore the symphony of denial.
Driving the fact home that 97% of climate scientists are aware of the planetary threat is necessary. Mole whacking to keep the moles in their blogs, well yes, that is also necessary. And yes, Markram appears unaware of the facts of how his organization handled Recursive Fury. He has not followed the smokescreens constructed by the Breakthrough Institute, Lomborg and others to stop any real preparation for the coming deluge. Yes. Steven is for sure shrill, pre-mature anti-denialism as it were, and those who see and understand existential threats are often treated so by those munching grass.
Markram apparently believes that singing folk songs with the denialists will work. Eli, on the other hand, suggests that Markram might also consider the lesson of Admiral Byng.
But as to what is bolded (by Eli), well yes, that is the real issue, but we have to get to it
UPDATE: For some time now Eli has been pointing out that quoting somebunny's public statements is not exactly verboten in scientific literature. John Mashey below points to a new post at Shaping Tomorrow's World. Turns out that Frontiers convened an expert panel to consider the question and sent the recommendation to the Recursive Fury authors
“among psychological and linguistic researchers blog posts are regarded as public data and the individuals posting the data are not regarded as participants in the technical sense used by Research Ethics Committees or Institutional Review Boards. This further entails that no consent is required for the use of such data.” Although this view is held by many researchers and their ethics boards, it is by no means a unanimous judgment and it is to be expected that legitimate challenges, both on ethical and legal grounds, will be raised as web-based research expands in scope. But to the charges that Fury was unethical in using blog posts as data for psychological analysis, the consensus among experts in this area sides with the authors of Fury.Let the parsing fest begin.