Tag Archives: John Abraham

Suzan does a mini- Monckton

The journalist Suzan Mazur seems to be taking a leaf out of Christopher Monckton’s silly book.

A while back I reviewed Suzan Mazur’s book The Altenberg 16: An Exposé of the Evolution Industry (see Self-exposure – a journalist out of depth). I didn’t like it. My conclusion was that she had no real knowledge of evolutionary science. She approached the issue like a political journalist, believing the worst of the scientists she interviewed and thinking she had a “story” when she didn’t. The title of the book says it all. As does the fact that it was promoted by intelligent design/creationist websites and blogs.

Since then Mazur has had a few other digs at scientists particularly on the issue of peer review (see The Peer Review Prison). It is just so easy to get quotes from disgruntled authors to support a conspiracy theory of the “scientific establishment” censoring honest scientific work and new ideas. Nothing new there. And it is not honest reporting.

Now she has been called out by the scientist/philosopher Massimo Pigluicci. He described his experience with her work on The Altenberg 16 in his recent book Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk.* The discrepancy between the material he provided in his interview and the article she wrote allowed, according the Pigluicci, “a rare glimpse from the inside of a journalist’s behaviour once she thought (mistakenly) that she was on to something big.” Pigluicci said it revealed “how thin the boundary is between not only science and pseudoscience, but journalism and pseudo-journalism.”

This didn’t please Mazur at all. And like a mini-Monckton she climbed out of her tree, attacked Pigluicci, his employer (Lehman College) and Publisher (University of Chicago press). She describes Pigluicci’s comments as a “malicious attack,” “twisted,”  disingenuous” and “libelous trash.” She questions whether Pigluicci “is competent to teach with regard to moral and ethics at Lehman College.”

And she demands that the publishers removed Pigliucci’s book from circulation, cancel scheduled readings and “advise Massimo Pigluicci to cease and desist from further derogatory public statements with regard to me and my work.”

This is the sort of thing we have come to expect from lord Christopher Monckton when his claims are subjected to calm, reason, scientific critique (see Support John Abraham against Monckton’s bullying).

Two weeks after making her demands the University of Chicago Press and their legal counsel have advised Mazur they stand by  Massimo Pigliucci, won’t be removing his  book from circulation or stop public readings from it. Se has released the letter she sent to the publishers (see Pigliucci Deceit Drags Publisher Into Big Muddy) but no copy of their response.

Strangely, this little storm in a teacup was reported, as far as I can find, only at New Zealand’s Scoop (which was also involved in publishing her book).

*See Pseudoscience and anti-science nonsense for a review of Pigluicci’s book Nonsense on Stilts

Permalink

Similar articles

Share

Enhanced by Zemanta

Support John Abraham against Monckton’s bullying

Six weeks ago I posted a slideshow of a talk by John Abrahm’s (see Don’t trust Monckton!).

It was a calm and objective investigation into the claims made by Christopher Monckton in one of his lectures. If you didn’t watch it I highly recommend you do so.

Trouble is, Monckton is not used to such exchanges and has climbed out of his tree. His has written a 99 page “rejection” of Abraham’s talk and sent threatening letters to both Abraham and his employers (University of St Thomas, Minnesota). Asking for the presentation to be removed form the web site and demanding money – which has all the implication of possible legal action.

Now he is further organising his minions via climate change denier blogs to send similar letters to  the University of St Thomas.

Monckton can’t be allowed to succeed in this campaign. I has all the earmarks of those campaigns by Stalinists against dissident Russian scientists, or the German Nazis against Jewish scientists.

It is important that supporters of science make the university aware that this sort of bullying is just not acceptable.

Gareth at Hot Topic is organising a way for you to make your support for Abraham known. Just leave your name on a comment at his post Support John Abraham. He will ensure these messages of support get to Abraham’s employers.

Effectively Gareth is asking us to support the statement:

We the undersigned offer unreserved support for John Abraham and St. Thomas University in the matter of complaints made to them by Christopher Monckton. Professor Abraham provided an important public service by showing in detail Monckton’s misrepresentation of the science of climate, and we applaud him for that effort, and St. Thomas University for making his presentation available to the world.

UPDATE 10:30 am, July 16: I am heartened at the huge support Abraham is getting – currently over 630 people have added teir names to Gareth’s post at Hot Topic (Support John Abraham). In contrast Mockton provides copies of three (3) letters sent to the University of St Thomas as a result of his campaign (see Letters to Father Dease in support of Monckton). Some of Monckton’s supporters are starting to question his wisdon in this attack and threat of legal action.

I believe it important that everyone who is concerned with protecting science from this sort of censorship add their names to the list at Hot Topic. Unfortunately science employers can sometimes be influence by threats of legal action to employ self censorship. However if the University is aware that there is a groundswell of public support for both them and Abraham I am confident they will not give in.

Enhanced by Zemanta