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Follow-up to Matt Nisbet

Science and the Media

John Ståhle

January 29, 2003

In “The Skeptical Environmentalist: A Case Study in the Manufacture of News", you write: “The latest development took place in early January 2002 when the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty issued a decision that declared Lomborg’s research “to fall within the concept of scientific dishonesty,” and to be “clearly contrary to the standards of good scientific practice.” ”

This, however, is nowhere near the latest development.

Since then it has been revealed, that re. Lomborg’s “The Skeptical Environmentalist” The Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty has performed no research of their own, the entire basis for their evaluation is a study of papers published in or submitted to Scientific American by 4 (highly respected) scientists, at least 2 of whom were attacked and ridicouled by Lomborg for their alleged inability to draw sensible conclusions (some years ago one of them predicted a new ice age real soon now), and so are obvious enemies of Lomborg. Also, Lomborg’s response to the critics has not been taken in consideration at the evaluation.

That left wing environmentalists have a grudge against Bjørn Lomborg and the chairman of the Committees is a social democrat politruk, does not constitute any sort of proof, but should be considered when assessing the ruling.

Consequently, following the Committees’s ruling, 287 Danish scientists, most of whom from the universities including many professors, have in a joint statement objected strongly to the decision of The Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty, which is not authorized to evaluate, have no proper scientific procedures for and no competence in evaluating any work outside the realm of health sciences.

Furthermore a Danish professor has lodged a complaint to the Ombudsman, who for the time beeing has rejected it on the formal basis that all other ways of appeal have not been exhausted.

Had the ruling of The Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty been a piece of scientific work, it would indeed have been bad science.

The above mentioned objections and complaints are spawned by consideration of scientific practices and publication and not in specific support of Lomborg.

Regards, John Ståhle

Unfortunately I have only a couple of late links at hand and the texts are in Danish:

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