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Non-Sense About Science

Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill

Reality sometimes has the extraordinary ability to outdo even the most ludicrous works of fiction and the award of this year’s Maddox Prize is certainly a case in point. The prize is awarded by Sense About Science for ‘courage in promoting science and evidence on a matter of public interest’ and this year the judges have picked an Oxford academic and Guardian columnist called David Grimes. Here is an example of his heroic work:

A series of investigations published last year by Prof Stephan Lewandowsky and his colleagues – including one with the fantastic title, Nasa Faked the Moon Landing – Therefore, (Climate) Science Is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science – found that while subjects subscribing to conspiracist thought tended to reject all scientific propositions they encountered, those with strong traits of conservatism or pronounced free-market world views only tended to reject scientific findings with regulatory implications.

Yessiree, a man who can make statistical inferences from a sample size of zero and makes claims that are patently not supported by his own data, writes a paper thatdescribes the head of climate impacts at the Met Office as a conspiracy theorist. This is lauded by an Oxford academic and Guardian columnist who is promptly awarded a prize by Sense About Science.

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