UWA closes ranks behind Lew – refuses access to data

Warmists hiding data? Who would have thought it possible?

UWA Vice Chancellor

UWA Vice Chancellor

Steve McIntyre writes:

I particularly take exception to [UWA Vice Chancellor Paul] Johnson’s claim that this blogpost demonstrates that I have become “unbalanced”. On the contrary, it seems to me that the blogpost shows my usual carefulness in avoiding needless editorializing. Even my severest critics have long recognized that Climate Audit posts avoid libelous claims and, when re-read, seldom offer targets. Oscar Wilde once observed that a true gentleman never hurts someone’s feelings unintentionally. If I have unintentionally hurt anyone’s feelings within the University of Western Australia administration, I apologize.

In addition, as is my policy, if there are any inaccuracies in the criticized blogpost, I will undertake to promptly correct them when brought to my notice.

In any event, even if my blogpost did contain “inflammatory language” about university administrators (which I deny), that is not grounds for refusing data.

Johnson seems to be unaware of how data obstruction played out in climate. Phil Jones famously said “Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.” This attitude has never been acceptable to the wider public that pays the salaries of Jones and other climate scientists. Much of the public distaste for Phil Jones, Michael Mann and the Climategate correspondents arose from their attempts to obstruct data access.

Post Climategate, it has become somewhat harder for climate scientists to obstruct data access, even to critics, though problems remain at many journals. One notable exception is Nature which has moved decisively to eliminate the charade under which obstructing authors used third parties an excuse for not providing data. Nature now requires that authors must obtain permission from third party authors to release any previously unarchived data, thus cutting off the daisy chain previously beloved by obstructing authors.

Now Vice Chancellor Johnson of the University of Western Australia has joined the ranks of data obstructionists. I believe that this was an unwise decision on Johnson’s part, one that I hope that he promptly reconsiders.

Yeah, that’ll happen.


  1. Lew Skannen says:

    I am sick of this. I have sent a paper letter.

  2. If they really and truly and fully believed that they are correct then they would hand it all over laughing all the time and saying, ‘knock yourself out as you will not find any errors in our data’ the fact that they will not hand over the data is proof in itself that they know there are flaws in the material, these refusals are proof in itself that they know that they are wrong. N

  3. Streetcred says:

    Maybe a question can be asked in the Federal Parliament to initiate some ‘political’ interest.

    • luisadownunder says:

      Tony Abbott brought this very thing up in Question Time when lambasting the Opposition, particularly Bill Shorten, during debate on the Carbon Tax.

  4. Why doesn’t Paul Johnson just stop digging the hole that he is in? Or is the pay for this grave digger too good to pass up.

  5. manicbeancounter says:

    Why doesn’t Professor Lewandowsky live up to his own declared values and release them.
    Ben Pile recently took a look at the Prof’s value statement.

    Two quotes from Prof Lewandowsky

    “I value freedom of speech. In most instances, “bad” speech should be countered by good or better speech rather than being suppressed. It is for this reason that I have not taken action, thus far, against the clearly defamatory content of various internet blogs.”

    “I value academic freedom. This entails the freedom to publish research that some people find controversial or inconvenient. It is the responsibility of scientists to be rigorous in publishing and attempt to eliminate all errors and identify weaknesses in their work. Where these persist in published articles, it is the job of peer-review to correct those via published rejoinders.”

    VC Johnson would appear to be suppressing the ability of the public to counter “bad” speech with “good” speech. He is also stopping critique of work, that the university would find “controversial or inconvenient”, as they have supporting someone who has been publishing work which is full of weaknesses. By so doing it stops a rejoinder that would correct that work.

  6. [snip – need to be careful – Ed]

  7. Imagine, a university hiding data and information. So much for liberal thinking and free exchange of ideas. Times sure have changed since I went to uni.

  8. Let them release their data – surely its accurate, correct and solid. If so, why the concern of releasing it?

    Its a puzzle…..

  9. Prof Lewandowsky is not exactly keeping a low, non media profile…

    NASA Faked the Moon Landing – Therefore, (Climate) Science Is a Hoax
    18 June 2014 12:30 – 13:30
    BS1 4QA Bristol | View map
    BIG Green Week Festival talk by Prof. Stephen Lewandowsky, Chair of Cognitive Psychology at Bristol University, in partnership with Bristol…



    • Skiphil says:

      They actually dare to charge money for that …..

    • One wonders if all they need now is a may pole and a belief in faries, and the morphing into a full pagan religion will be complete….

%d bloggers like this: