About

I’m a research scientist who has worked in the fields of freshwater ecology, biological conservation, behavioural ecology, invasive species management and plant pathology. I am passionate about people having access to good quality scientific information and would like to see a greater understanding of what “science” is and how the scientific process works. I am particularly interested in the infiltration of pseudoscience and non-science into our science classrooms.

This is my first attempt at a blog. While my initial intention was to provide my insight into interesting science papers I have read, mostly concerned with human induced climate change and global warming, I have gravitated towards highlighting and criticising the lies, distortions, scientific illiteracy and misrepresentations of AGW deniers and their ilk.

Being a research scientist, having gone through years of university, sacrificing so much time and money, my passion for science and the integrity of science is strong. So, this is my blog and I plan to use it as a potential resource for those genuinely interested in real science. While I do welcome lively discussion, anyone being abusive, repetitive, impolite or taking up too much space will not have their comments posted. Please refer to the Rules

40 responses to “About

  1. Bob

    Who are you? Why don’t you use your real name? What is your scientific training? You mention ecology, but that is very broad. Are you skilled in mathematics and statistics? -I mean really skilled. It is required to play the game you intend.

    • I am Mike. I don’t use my real name for a few reasons but mostly because of the threats I have received from loony fundamentalist Christians who disapprove of my YouTube videos. I am a wildlife ecologist and university lecturer. I’m good with stats as far as my research area goes. My intentions are to provide accurate factual information to people who aren’t scientists and also to highlight the lies and hypocrisy of people pretending to be scientists. What game do you think I intend to play?

      • Bob

        You say, ” My intentions are to provide accurate factual information to people who aren’t scientists and also to highlight the lies and hypocrisy of people pretending to be scientists”. What do plan to communicate if you can’t play at the level of McIntyre, Lilregren, Schmidt, Mann, Condon. One way you can be judged is for you to provide your analysis of the de-centering principal component issue in MBH 98.

      • Mike,
        I have just read your Election 2013 page. I am standing in this election as a ‘climate emergency independent’ in the seat of Gippsland. Details of the campaign (and previous ones) can be found on my blog at petergardner.info Also I am secretary of the single issue Global Warming Action Party Australia – globalwarmingaction.org.au It is because the latter has failed to attract publicity or members (still only a few handfuls) that I decided to run as an independent. I also have a twitter pager at peterdgardner. Any help / publicity welcome. Cheers and keep up the good work Peter Gardner

        • Hi Peter, welcome to my blog. Thanks for the kind words. I’ll have a look at your blog and I may provide a link. I’m not into endorsing any particular person or group but will highlight things if I think they are important and/or well presented. Cheers
          Mike

        • john byatt

          Wonder where peter got the link to the page?

          interesting information

      • Jo

        I don’t agree with threats of any kind, but you know, speaking respectfully and not behaving like an intolerant hatemonger (dare I say a loony fundamentalist atheist), you’d probably be surprised to see Christians and all sorts of religious people interested in what you have to say, if for no other reason than to debate. You attack, belittle and hate people who you don’t agree with, then wonder why they retaliate. Your videos and attitude are pretty hypocritical and not at all sensible, sir, just the opposite. But you already knew that.

        • On your first visit here, you suggest that I should speak respectfully and then refer to me as a “loony fundamentalist atheist” and accuse me of hypocrisy. The irony of this is exceeded only by your apparent lack of self awareness. Well done.

  2. Unlike a number of people, I don’t suffer from the Dunning-Kruger effect and will be sticking to my area of expertise.

  3. Bob

    Dunning-Kruger effect. I think you are simpatico with Mike Mann, eh? I don’t think you intend to be a serious and relevant science blogger. Good luck.

    • Given that I have a real job but have also outlined quite specifically the areas that I intend to focus on, plus whom my target audience is, I think I’ll do fine. Unlike so many denier bloggers, I’m not a Google Galileo or Excel Expert.

  4. Tony Duncan

    uknowispeaksense,

    Come on. You HIRED Bob just to make your point. You really should try not to be so obvious next time.

      • Tony Duncan

        I was being facetious. A close relative of sarcastic..
        BTW. Excellent blog from just a days perusal! (neither facetious or sarcastic)

        • Hi Tony

          Yup I picked up on and appreciate the facetiousness. It might be related to sarcasm but is far removed in terms of wit. Thanks for the compliment.
          Bob was a classic. He came here full of arrogance intimating that I need to be some sort of stats genius to qualify as a worthy blog. He’s probably an excel expert producing pie graphs and thinking he’s doing “science”.

  5. Skeptikal

    “My intention is to provide my insight into interesting science papers I have read, mostly concerned with human induced climate change and global warming”

    When is that going to start happening?… All I see is you bagging various people and websites.

    • You raise a valid point and that was my initial intention. I should probably update that page to better reflect what I’m doing now. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Personally, I think highlighting the lies, distortions, ignorance, scientific illiteracy and misrepresentations of deniers is probably more important at this stage. Thanks again.

      • Skeptikal

        I noticed you were very prompt to update your page, and it does now appear to better reflect what it is that you’re actually doing. Personally, I think your original intention would have made for more interesting reading… there are enough blogs already engaged in what some would see as nothing more than ‘slanging matches’… but that’s just my opinion.

        • There is also a time factor. Examining papers and writing about them is very time consuming if it’s to be done correctly. Between my family, research and teaching, I have just enough time to expose those who should be as well as answer a few questions.  

          ________________________________

  6. Sundance

    If you are a research scientist why are you defending Lewandosky when even Tom Curtis at Sceptical Science states that his paper should be totally revised or not published? Do you accept Lewandowsky’s data as being accurate and his methodology as being sound?

    • Am I defending it? If you are referring to my comment over at climate audit, I am merely questioning Steve McIntyre’s approach and critiquing his belief that what he said was not inflammatory. I reiterate that if he was truly serious he would write a response to the journal where it was published rather than flaming in his blog. That is the usual accepted way within the science community. As for your second question, it’s not my field. As I don’t suffer from the Dunning Kruger effect I am willing to listen to expert opinion.

      • Sundance

        Actually your comments at WTD led me to believe you were a supporter of Lewandowsky’s paper, not SM’s blog, but if you say you aren’t defending him, I believe you.

  7. James Dapple

    In the article’s first paragraph we read, “I am also an atheist and dislike the infiltration of superstition into our classrooms and politics.” What a joke! Self proclaimed atheists are about the most superstitious people going. They ridicule religious people with a religious fervor rarely seen in others.

    • Thanks for your comment James. I am hardly superstitious. I don’t believe in luck, ghosts, spiritualism, gods, voodoo or any other nonsense. You don’t need to be superstitious to ridicule the ridiculous. Religion is poison to critical thinking and the brainwashing of children into superstitious dogma is akin to child abuse in my opinion. You may not like that and that’s your perogative but trying to brand atheists as superstitious is like suggesting bald is a hair colour.

      • Hiya, a scientific position on the question of theism might be an open response.. the universe does seem to operate with inherent intelligence.. intelligence suggests mind..
        mind though I’m bald..
        and when I once had hair it was dark.. now the little white bits that grow out the sides if left too long suggest crusty the clown..
        I’m opposed to the thrust of Religious dogma in public institutions, However any classical teaching that doesn’t deal with the cultural aspects of the multi-faceted human condition in the elegant and still mysterious space we call Universe misses a few things, or is that no-things..
        I agree critical thinking is important, so is feeling, intuition and the other softer aspects of the human condition..
        The materialist paradigm absent an ethical base is apparent in the Climactic problem you here seek to highlight and I presume alleviate..
        Best with the project..

  8. Harriet

    Hi Mike,
    If you want to engage cohenite/Anthony Cox on a forum where moderation isn’t tied to denialism, you might like to try Online Opinion – cohenite is a regular there.

    Cheers…keep up the good work.

  9. M Roberts

    Seriously, are you really a University lecturer? You write more like a petulant teenager.

    There is one important qualification necessary to do proper scientific research, and that is the ability to appreciate that you may be wrong in the light of evidence. Anything else and you are just doing politics.

    There is no such thing as settled science, the best science is merely sufficiently useful to make reasonably accurate predictions within certain contexts.

    • “There is one important qualification necessary to do proper scientific research, and that is the ability to appreciate that you may be wrong in the light of evidence.”

      No shit Sherlock. Perhaps you are confusing Australian bluntness for petulance? You poms are always a bit sensitive like that. Anyway, no doubt you have some startling evidence for whatever your position is? Would you like me to open a thread just for you?

    • john byatt

      Wonder if they will ever settle if the earth is flat or not, goose’

      .

  10. LLAP

    @uknowispeaksense:

    I thought I would have a look at your blog, but I can’t get past your sickening arrogance. If the purpose of your blog is to change opinions on climate change, you are already wasting your time. I won’t be back for a second look.

    • LLAP, I’m sorry that you feel that way. I am more than happy to have a conversation with you but I very much doubt it would do much good. What is more likely than you coming to “have a look” was your desire to come here and make a comment like that. What a shame you didn’t bother to look around. I have plenty of excellent links to quality scientific papers that you could maybe use to educate yourself, but I also doubt you’d be interested in that anyway. Your loss and good riddance.

  11. Pingback: Arithmetic, Population and Energy | Lack of Environment

  12. I am a librarian in the Web Archiving/Pandora section of the National Library. We are interested in adding a copy of your blog site to the Pandora Archive http://pandora.nla.gov.au/index.html but to do so I need to first send you an email with information regarding Pandora and a permission form for you to complete. Would it be possible to obtain a direct contact email address so I can send these items to you?

  13. Thanks for the reblog of my latest posting at naturestimeline, it is very much appreciated.

    Best Wishes

    Tony

  14. Given that your career would be at risk if you used your real name – more power to you for playing it a little dark.
    Keep up the good work mate.

  15. So…
    I’m a research scientist who has worked in the fields of freshwater ecology, biological conservation, behavioural ecology, invasive species management and plant pathology. I am passionate about people having access to good quality scientific information and would like to see a greater understanding of what “science” is and how the scientific process works. I am particularly interested in the infiltration of pseudoscience and non-science into our science classrooms.

    Seems to me that you are

    SNIP: I do not think you are qualified to judge my scientific literacy. Your sole intent by coming to this page and saying what you did was to illicit and angry response and satisfy your inner troll. Rather than making me “froth” as was your intent, you have managed to garner my sympathy and pity. You have also qualified to have every comment end up in moderation.

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