Koch-backed climate deniers are exploiting the reproducibility crisis to discredit climate science

The National Association of Scholars is a tiny, hydrocarbon-industry backed organization that is not to be confused with the National Academy of Sciences.

They just published "The Irreproducibility Crisis of Modern Science," co-authored by a historian/librarian and a Christian college Latin-teacher that claims — without evidence — that the very real reproducibility crisis in social science means that climate science can't be trusted.

The National Association of Scholars is backed by the Charles Koch Foundation, among others, including the Sarah Scaife Foundation, a dark-money organization and prolific funder of climate denial.

The National Association of Scholars is best known for distorting leaked emails related to climate science (the so-called "Climategate") and claiming that these were a smoking gun proving that climate change was a conspiracy ginned up by hippies and eggheads. They're also prominent backers of Lamar "SOPA" Smith's Secret Science Reform Act, which would effectively neuter the EPA's ability to enforce anti-pollutions rules; this has been rebranded as Smith's new "HONEST Act."

Naomi Oreskes, co-author of "Merchants of Doubt," an influential study of foundation- and industry-backed attacks on science, said the reproducibility debate has already been exploited by political activists. "These guys are loving it," Oreskes, a historian of science at Harvard, told me. "Any time scientists themselves admit there's a mistake or a problem, they're all over it. They have a feeding frenzy because this is exactly what they want. And what they want to do is use this now to try to discredit all science."

Just as concerning as ideological attacks, though, is the possibility that scientists will be hesitant to speak openly about the messiness of the work that they do. It's striking that, even in an era of skepticism and conspiracy theories, scientific communities have still been able to have such open—and often contentious—debates about reproducibility.

"Ideology is a powerful influence over all our behavior," Nosek said. "The best that we can hope for is exposing it with transparency, and correcting for it with open, constructive debate."

Science's "Reproducibility Crisis" Is Being Used as Political Ammunition [Michael Schulson/Wired]