All grist to Murdoch’s mill

Times front pageGet the facts straight, for God’s sake!


More lies from The Times…

A paper by a group of researchers headed by Lennart Bengtsson, a University of Reading research fellow, was turned down for publication by Environmental Research Letters. Bengtsson was briefly a board member of the climate sceptic organisation the Global Warming Policy Foundation, founded by former UK chancellor of the exchequer Nigel Lawson, but he resigned on Wednesday citing pressure from other academics.

He turned to the Times newspaper to complain that the journal’s rejection of his paper was on “activist” grounds. But the publishers of the journal, the Institute of Physics, said on Friday that the paper was rejected because it contained scientific flaws, and not for any political reasons.

Environmental Research Letters told The Guardian it rejects about 65-70% of the papers submitted to it. But of course that wasn’t how The Times saw it and the paper promptly twisted the non-incident into yet another slurred swipe at the science of climate change. 

For once, the scientific community responded quickly and forcibly.

Simon Lewis, reader in global change science at University College London, said: “What counts are the reasons the editor gave for rejection. They were because the paper contained important errors and didn’t add enough that was new to warrant publication. Looking at all the comments by the reviewer they suggested how the paper might be rewritten in the future to make it a solid contribution to science. That’s not suppressing a dissenting view, it’s what scientists call peer review.”

Environmental Research Letters even took the unusual step of making reviewers’ comments available in their entirety. To no avail of course…

Who cares about the facts when millions of people have seen that headline?


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