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Non-Sense About Science

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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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