Writing this blog takes a lot of time and effort but it gives me immense personal and professional satisfaction. I get emails from readers all over the world saying how much they appreciate what I do for science. The fact that my colleagues felt threatened enough to publish a malicious hit piece attacking my scientific credibility tells me I’m reaching a wide and influential audience that are convinced by the science I present.
My books are getting good reviews. I discount the few Harvey et al. supporters that showed up in the days after the BioScience paper appeared in late November to write some Harveyesque comments in the Amazon review section for my Polar Bear Facts & Myths kids’ science book. A thuggish stunt but predictable given the nasty tone of the paper.
I’m not worried, though: book sales over the last couple of months have been very good, even though my university didn’t issue a press release to promote my kids book like Penn State did today for Harvey et al. co-author Michael Mann. I know that folks will head to Polar Bear Facts & Myths for a child-appropriate science book about polar bears, and to Mann’s Tantrum book if they want their kids to be petulant activists before they finish elementary school.
You might be interested to know I’ve decided not to take legal action against the Harvey cabal responsible for the defamatory BioScience paper. I’m not backing down. I will definitely be pushing back (already started) but doing so will take time away from my paid work.
So if you’d like to buy me a virtual beer to help defray costs, it would be much appreciated. I’ll keep you posted on progress. My new donate button is upper right on the sidebar: “Support Polar Bear Science” — it takes credit cards or PayPal.
Posted in donations, Scientists hit back
Tagged children's book, defamation, donations, facts, lawsuit, legal action, polar bear, science, support, tantrum
The Harvey et al. Bioscience article that attacks this blog and others that link to it — a veritable tantrum paper that took 14 people to write — included a sciency-looking analysis of peer-reviewed articles said to have been retrieved by the database “Web of Science” using the search terms “polar bear” and “sea ice.”
“Consensus science pounds the floor and chews the carpet in angry frustration.” [mpainter, 25 December 2017]
Other critics have pointed out that the Harvey paper
used 92 such references:
“Of the 92 papers included in the study, 6 are labeled ‘controversial.’ Of the remaining 86, 60 are authored or co-authored by Stirling or Amstrup, or Derocher. That is, close to 70% (69.76%) of the so-called ‘majority-view’ papers are from just three people, 2 of whom wrote the attack paper themselves.” [Shub Niggurath, crossposted at Climate Scepticism, 14 December 2017]
The bias of co-author papers used to represent the “expert consensus” on polar bear biology is only one problem with this particular attempt at making the Harvey paper look like science: in fact, the short list of papers used for analysis is a far cry from the original number returned by Web of Science for the search terms the authors say they used in the supplementary information.
How that large original number (almost 500) was whittled down to less than 100 is not explained by the authors. As a consequence, I can only conclude that the “methodology” for paper selection was likely defined after the fact. While the method of paper selection sounds simple and reasonable, apparently not one of the Harvey et al. paper’s co-authors checked to see if it was plausible (or didn’t care if it was not).
Posted in Advocacy, Life History, Sea ice habitat
Tagged analysis, BioScience, critique, defamation, Harvey, literature, principal components, science, science blog
I shouldn’t be surprised that a journal editor who would publish — and then staunchly defend — a paper that deliberately trashes the reputation of a respected scientist would tell the media before anyone else of his decision regarding a retraction request.
From a story at this morning’s Climatewire (“From threats to tears — polar bears polarize both sides” 15 December 2017), my bold: