I’ve noted in comments on previous articles how Lewandowsky continues to hold his own in the media, from the New Yorker to the Daily Beast. Now there’s this from
“Two Bristol academics are among the 27 new Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award holders.
“Professors Stephan Lewandowsky, Chair in Cognitive Psychology in the School of Experimental Psychology, and Fred Manby, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry in the Centre for Computational Chemistry, have both been successful in securing this prestigious award from the Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of science.
“Jointly funded by the Wolfson Foundation and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the scheme aims to provide universities with additional support to enable them to attract science talent from overseas and retain respected UK scientists of outstanding achievement and potential.
“Professor Lewandowsky receives the award for his project entitled ‘The (mis)information revolution: information seeking and knowledge transmission’, which addresses how people navigate the blizzard of information with which we are faced on a daily basis, not all of which is accurate or truthful. The project emphasises how people update their memories and under what conditions they are able to discount information that turns out to be false. The project also examines how people interact with, and influence, each other to understand how information spreads through a society.”
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And now for the good news. Possibly the first sensible look at the Moon Hoax paper from a mainstream source, written by a global warming believer, at:
In the course of a sensible and funny analysis of the perils of online polls, the author Scott Alexander says:
“I really wish polls like these would include a control question, something utterly implausible … like “Do you believe Barack Obama is a hippopotamus?” Whatever percent of people answer yes to the hippo question get subtracted out from the other questions…
“Alas, not all weird poll answers can be explained that easily. On the same poll, 13% of Americans claimed to believe Barack Obama was the Anti-Christ … (a friend on Facebook pointed out that 5% of Obama voters claimed to believe that Obama was the Anti-Christ […]. On the other hand, I do enjoy picturing someone standing in a voting booth, thinking to themselves ‘Well, on the one hand, Obama is the Anti-Christ. On the other, do I really want four years of Romney?’)
“The paper’s thesis was that climate change skeptics are motivated by conspiracy ideation – a belief that there are large groups of sinister people out to deceive them. This seems sort of reasonable on the face of it – being a climate change skeptic requires going against the belief of the entire scientific establishment. My guess is that there probably is a significant link here waiting to be discovered.
“Unfortunately, it’s…possible Stephan Lewandowsky wasn’t the best person to investigate this? Aside from being a professor of cognitive science, he also runs Shaping Tomorrow’s World, a group … which seems to be largely about promoting global warming activism. While I think it’s admirable that he is involved in that, it raises conflict of interest questions. And the way his paper is written – starting with the over-the-top title – doesn’t do him any favors…”
The author goes on to describe our discussions as “the worst flame war I have ever seen on the Internet”, which I find strangely comforting.