Fachzeitschrift “Frontiers in Psychology” zieht verschwörungstheoretischen Klimaalarm-Artikel zurück

In der Wissenschaft wird viel geschrieben und publiziert. Leider ist nicht alles ganz richtig, was dort von der Leine gelassen wird. In den allermeisten Fällen bleiben diese fehlerhaften Studien unentdeckt und werden Teil der wissenschaftlichen Forschungsliteratur. Manchmal sind die Defizite allerdings so arg, dass die Herausgeber der Zeitschriften bzw. die Autoren die Fahnen streichen und die Beiträge ganz offiziell zurückziehen. Damit werden diese Studien nicht mehr zitierbar und bekommen den Stempel “das war ganz großer Murks”.

Die Internetplattform Retraction Watch berichtet regelmäßig über die Spitze dieses wissenschaftlichen Pannen-Eisbergs. Am 21. März 2014 schrieb Retractionwatch über eine alarmistische Klimastudie, die kürzlich einkassiert wurde. Hauptthese: Klimaskeptiker wären alle Verschwörungstheoretiker:

Controversial paper linking conspiracy ideation to climate change skepticism formally retracted
A year after being clumsily removed from the web following complaints, a controversial paper about “the possible role of conspiracist ideation in the rejection of science” is being retracted. The paper, “Recursive fury: Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation,” was authored by Stephan Lewandowsky, John Cook, Klaus Oberauer, and Michael Marriott, and published in Frontiers in Psychology: Personality Science and Individual Differences. Here’s the retraction notice, which isn’t live on the journal’s site yet:

“In the light of a small number of complaints received following publication of the original research article cited above, Frontiers carried out a detailed investigation of the academic, ethical and legal aspects of the work. This investigation did not identify any issues with the academic and ethical aspects of the study. It did, however, determine that the legal context is insufficiently clear and therefore Frontiers wishes to retract the published article. The authors understand this decision, while they stand by their article and regret the limitations on academic freedom which can be caused by legal factors.”

Weiterlesen auf retractionwatch.

Der beleidigte Hauptautor der Studie, Stephan Lewandowsky, behauptete sogleich, die Zeitschrift wäre von Klimaskeptikern bedroht worden und wäre gezwungen worden, die Arbeit zurückzuziehen. Die Zeitschrift meldete sich daraufhin mit einer offiziellen Stellungnahme, in der sie diese Verschwörungstheorie als falsch beschrieb. Retraction Watch am 4. April 2014:

Frontiers in Psychology, which last month formally retracted a controversial paper linking climate skepticism to conspiracy ideation, says it did not cave in to threats from skeptics, contrary to what a lot of news reports and commentary implied or claimed. For example, summarizing a number of those reports this morning, before Frontiers had issued its statement, co-author Stephan Lewandowsky wrote on his blog:

“By and large, the mainstream media coverage seems to have picked up on what’s really at issue here, namely academic freedom and editorial intimidation by a small band of vociferous individuals.”

Here’s the statement, in which Frontiers stresses the rights of the people Lewandowsky and his colleagues wrote about:

“(Lausanne, Switzerland) – There has been a series of media reports concerning the recent retraction of the paper Recursive Fury:Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation, originally published on 18 March 2013 in Frontiers in Psychology. Until now, our policy has been to handle this matter with discretion out of consideration for all those concerned. But given the extent of the media coverage – largely based on misunderstanding – Frontiers would now like to better clarify the context behind the retraction.

As we published in our retraction statement, a small number of complaints were received during the weeks following publication. Some of those complaints were well argued and cogent and, as a responsible publisher, our policy is to take such issues seriously. Frontiers conducted a careful and objective investigation of these complaints. Frontiers did not “cave in to threats”; in fact, Frontiers received no threats. The many months between publication and retraction should highlight the thoroughness and seriousness of the entire process.”

Weiterlesen auf Retraction Watch.