Lewandowsky tries to rationalise ‘Fury’ retraction

Cook 'n' Lew

Cook ‘n’ Lew

Popcorn time. Stephan Lewandowsky ties himself in knots attempting to reconcile his unshakeable belief that Recursive Fury was scientifically and ethically sound with Frontiers’ statement that the paper ‘does not sufficiently protect the rights of the studied subjects’ and ‘categorises the behaviour of identifiable individuals within the context of psychopathological characteristics’.

According to Lew:

No other cause was ever offered or discussed by Frontiers to justify the retraction of Recursive Fury. We are not aware of a single mention of the claim that our study “did not sufficiently protect the rights of the studied subjects” by Frontiers throughout the past year, although we are aware of their repeated explicit statements, in private and public, that the study was ethically sound.

This brings into focus several possibilities for the reconciliation of Frontier’s contradictory statements concerning the retraction:

First, one could generously propose that the phrase “did not sufficiently protect the rights of the studied subjects” is simply a synonym for “defamation risk” and that the updated statement therefore supports the contractually-agreed statement. This is possible but it puts a considerable strain on the meaning of “synonym.”

Second, one could take the most recent statement by Frontiers at face value. This has two uncomfortable implications: It would imply that the true reason for the retraction was withheld from the authors for a year. It would also imply that the journal entered into a contractual agreement about the retraction statement that misrepresented its actual position.

Third, perhaps the journal only thought of this new angle now and in its haste did not consider that it violates their contractually-agreed position.

Whichever it is, it’s truly astonishing that Lew finds it so difficult to grasp that labelling those who disagree with him as suffering from some psychopathology is ethically and morally unacceptable.

For the record, according to Recursive Fury, my particular pathologies are nefarious intention and persecution-victimisation – and of course, I am a ‘denier’ and rabid conspiracy theorist. If the paper cannot even characterise my view on AGW correctly (lukewarmer), it really has little hope of getting anything else right.

Lucia considers her free diagnosis here – I have to say, she comes off worse than me.


  1. The irony of this situation is probably the most hilarious in years.

    Lew is utterly deluded; I’m sure he’ll be the subject of significant psychological study in years to come.

  2. Martin Wesley-Smith says:

    C’mon, Simon! We’re all waiting for your good oil on the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, but you’re ignoring that and going on and on, instead, about the sideshow that is Lewandowsky.

  3. Paul Sangster says:

    You Aussies have the same problem with the stone brained left that we do.

  4. thingadonta says:

    “Lew finds it so difficult to grasp that labelling those who disagree with him as suffering from some psychopathology is ethically and morally unacceptable”.

    I hope that the academic community comes down on him like a ton of bricks, because the rest of the community certainly would. The problem is the same as it has always been, as Michael Crichton put it, he is far too sure of himself: ‘I am certain that there is too much certainty in the world’.

  5. Because he is a true believer then the others will find a way to cover up for his lies. N

  6. Bernd Palmer says:

    Has Frontier entered into a conspiration against Lewandowsky. Once you adhere to an ideation, it’s difficult to let loose, it becomes pathological.

  7. Streetcred says:

    I have diagnosed Lewandowsky … there can be no doubt that he is a ‘pathological twat’.

  8. Bob Koss says:

    Today Retraction Watch put up their 4th post since April 4th concerning the Lewandowsky affair. Probably some sort of record for them over such a short period of time. They direct readers attention to yet another statement by Frontiers which has once again repudiated Lewandowsky’s version.


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