Lewandowsky and UWA – Freedom of Information Documents

More Lew paper

More Lew paper

I am providing a download link to all the UWA FOI documents relating to Stephan Lewandowsky and the “Moon Landing denier” paper. If you haven’t followed this closely, you can check out the whole story here.

The FOIs were in two stages, the first focussed on the emails sent to “sceptic” blogs, and the second was more general in scope. The ZIP file contains two folders with the various documents from each.

Download HERE (.zip file, 95.7 MB).


  1. Welcome back Simon. Although we’re on the home straight we need you more than ever!

  2. Have you considered asking for the date and time that each URL first appears in the web server logs?

    In other words you are not asking for when it was published, but when it was first accessed.
    I would imagine that most people, when they publish a blog post, will immediately load it and read over it just to make sure no obvious errors have been made. If Lew does the same then you will effectively have the publish dates.

  3. Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings.

  4. Amazing stuff. Many thanks for doing this; i’ve posted a link at Climate Audit and am trawling through, copying out the juicy bits by hand. There must be an easier way. Can anyone tell this IT-illiterate old fogey how to turn these photocopies into searchable documents?

  5. ClimateAudit’s moderation is slow today, so I‘ll mention here a comment that shows Lew in typical form. From document 015:

    “from: Stephan Lewandowsky, 15 October 2012
    to: Robyn Owens
    “I am afraid those emails will keep coming. XXX has developed something of an obsession with my work, and his acolytes will thus continue to fling emails around the world. In today’s internet world, there is no cost associated for those individuals to generate noise that is disproportionate to their tiny number.
    The good news is that my work has provided some reprieve for the climate scientists whom XXX would otherwise be persecuting instead.”
    “By the way, as far as reputation is concerned, I’ve been running various Google alerts, and thus far, the entire mainstream media response to my work – and there has been plenty of it – has been positive (for science) and damning for the (denialist) bloggers.
    “The noise you are currently experiencing is thus demonstrably limited to to the blogosphere and the real media are staying away from it. …
    “It also appears that it has not been a very smart strategy to respond to a paper on conspiracy theorizing by creating umpteen conspiracy theories. I suspect that XXX and his ilk have recognized this, at least tacitly, and it drives them crazy because they have no other tools at their disposal but to accuse scientists of a conspiracy – and all of a sudden this has stopped working because the media are not buying it.
    “By the way, I have enclosed a submission to Science which report a follow-up with a large representative U.S. sample… the bottom line is that the effect replicates with a representative sample collected by a professional survey firm, so all the frenetic criticisms of my earlier methodology are of little relevance.”
    [XXX is clearly Steve McIntyre]

    The other thing of interest I noticed is that Lewandowsky wrote to the people responsible for ethical approval about his second paper, Recursive Fury, saying that he didn’t think it needed approval since it didn’t involve interviews (his description of his proposed paper is as misleading as his description of the first). Kathryn Kirk writes back saying: “I think it best in this instance if I treat your email as a request for an amendment and approve it under the current reference number”.
    So Recursive Fury did get UWA ethical approval, albeit of the most cursory kind. This means that UWA are in the firing line for any accusations of defamation.
    I’m one of four people mentioned by name in the paper as being a “conspiratorial ideationist”. Dozens more are mentioned in the supplemental material. If the editors of the journal “New Frontiers” don’t withdraw the article, I think we have grounds for serious charges against UWA.
    I didn’t put in a complaint to UWA about “Moon Hoax” because I’m not Australian, so the questions of misuse of taxpayers’ money etc. don’t concern me. But the question of being defamed by an Australian university does.
    I’d welcome any comment from Australians about the state of the law of defamation there. And once again, congratulations to Simon for all his efforts.

  6. I don’t expect any normal human being to do what I have done, and spend the best part of a sunny day reading through a lot of badly photocopied university emails. i do recommend, however, that you look at documents 263 to 267 of Simon Turnill’s FOI requested documents. These contain a questionnaire whose results, to my knowledge, have not been published by Professor Lewandowsky. I do suggest that Australian taxpayers might try to obtain the results of this fascinating survey.
    Then there are documents 284 to 286 containing a number of inoffensive questions about people’s preferences. For some reason, they are marked in red: “RELEASED AFTER OBJECTION OVERRRULED”. Whatever Lewandowsky did or didn’t do with these questions, he presumably meant them to be used in a paper which would be published. Now he doesn’t want you Australian taxpayers to know that they exist. Why?

  7. Skimming through all the docs – it’s encouraging to see the amount of of his colleagues time Lew managed to waste. That must have made him popular on Friday afternoons.

    I’m amazed that he addresses UWA admin staff in same the crazy, cackling Dr Evil mode he used to us deniers on his blog.

    Steve M suggested he had been “unwinding” after a hard day at a German conference when he made those weird posts – having seen the emails to his colleagues, I’m more inclined to think he was sober but somewhat deranged.

    My guess is, he was given a gentle push from UWA – and his path to Bristol via RS funding was greased by someone in the large UK “scientactivist” community.

  8. P24 and 25 show Cook and Lew discussing that the survey was only tweeted, not blogged at SKS as claimed in the paper.


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