[Taxacom] Is this science?

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Thu Jun 17 16:01:09 CDT 2021


 John,Just to clarify why I see this case as an example of something concerning: there are many worthwhile projects in science competing for funding. One would really hope that appearances are not just a facade and that projects get judged on their merits by funders, right? I have been told privately, by someone who should know, that this project probably didn't undergo any external review of its merits prior to being granted funding by a charity whose chair is an insider (i.e. an employee of the applicant institution(s)). If it had been reviewed, it would have been easily apparent that (1) the project was overloaded with expenses; (2) the climate change spin was tenuous at best; and (3) the methodology was hopelessly unrealistic (e.g. treatment area far too small and open, treatment itself far too weak and nebulous). Killing hundreds of native beetles in an environmentally sensitive area of Fiordland, with the only outcome being the successful obtaining of external funding, done in the name of saving the world from climate change, and taking advantage of MSc students for that purpose, teaching them how to whitewash bad science, is surely a concern?Stephen
    On Friday, 18 June 2021, 01:09:26 am NZST, John Grehan <calabar.john at gmail.com> wrote:  
 
 Stephen - it might have been more informative for you to state what you think is garbage about the paper which leaves the option for others to weigh in if they want to. Science is full of garbage, including my own (according to others), so that in of itself is nothing new. Research Associate positions usually imply (implicitly or explicitly) concordance between the Associate and the institution. If one becomes uncomfortable with activities of that institution one can either withdraw, or be withdrawn - as in your case.
Cheers, John Grehan
On Thu, Jun 17, 2021 at 3:22 AM Stephen Thorpe via Taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> wrote:

 It seems that the link to ResearchGate isn't coming through on the Taxacom post. It can be found by Googling "Determining_species_diversity_and_functional_traits_of_beetles_for_monitoring_the_effects_of_environmental_change_in_the_New_Zealand_alpine_zone"
    On Thursday, 17 June 2021, 07:12:31 pm NZST, Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz> wrote:  

 Dear Taxacomers,A few years ago, I posted regarding a project being run as an MSc, by a major university around here, in the name of climate change. The project seemed to me to be garbage designed to suck external funding and load it with expenses (travel and accommodation between the two ends of the country, including helicopter rides to the study site). My attempts to bring my concerns about the project to light resulted in my expulsion as a research associate from the university. I have just now seen the publication resulting from the 4 year project: (PDF) Determining species diversity and functional traits of beetles for monitoring the effects of environmental change in the New Zealand alpine zoneMy opinion on the publication is that it is a deliberate attempt at obfuscation to try to make something of nothing. I would be very interested in any comments. Is this valid science? I have my opinion, but I could be wrong.Cheers,Stephen  
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