Climate Science Deniers Are Again Trying To Game The Bloggies

2015 BloggiesThose that reject the science behind global warming have nothing to back them. They can’t rely on the scientific literature as it clearly shows they’re wrong. They can only point to the odd flawed paper that manages to get through peer-review. If no flawed research is available then they might switch over to misrepresenting valid research. This means that they’re at odds with the majority of the scientific community and don’t get any support from them.

Thanks to this science deniers don’t get any science awards. Quite the opposite of what happens when you do communicate science. This also makes it very difficult for them to get recommendations from well-respected scientists. Not surprising when you attack the very same scientists, and their research, with baseless accusations.

That does leave them in a tough credibility spot. Though that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways for them to at least give themselves an air of legitimacy. One way they do this is by trying to win awards where the public can vote on.

They’ve been quite effective in getting their base to vote in such awards. It’s why in previous years they managed to dominate the Science and Technology category with science denial websites as nominees; and winning.

This takeover of the Science and Technology category is why the category was removed from the Bloggies awards. The category had lost any credibility thanks to science denial websites winning it year after year. Though the removal of this category has yet again not stopped them. Jo Nova is calling for her readers to protest this change by nominating science denial blogs for other categories (archived here):

Bloggies nominations are open but only til Sunday this week.There is still no Science and Technology category, after 2013 when 4 out 5 finalists were skeptics. Protest by nominating science blogs for all the other categories that apply.

She also openly admits that they need these awards for credibility:

Do these dumb awards matter?  They bring in new traffic, and help bloggers tick credibility boxes with the media and with donors. So yes. If you bother (I know it’s a chore) it is a way to say thanks and to put your favourite sites further up the rankings lists. Think of it as a way to alert more people to the sites you feel deserve more attention. It’s free advertising for them. You might have a bit more sway if you also tick the box “I’d like to be on the panel of voters who choose the finalists”.

I wouldn’t be surprised if they managed to dominate other categories and win Bloggies in those categories. If this continues as is it could very well mark the end of the Bloggies. Though I do hope that the Bloggies organization finds a way to prevent this from happening. It would be sad to see the biggest and longest running blog award brought down by science deniers.

Though the end of the Bloggies wouldn’t stop science deniers as they’ll just move on to the next award that they can manipulate. The best solution would be to prevent science deniers from manipulating these types of awards in the first place. Though that isn’t an easy thing to do and it has a lot of interesting social and technical challenges. I just hope a solution is found before too much damage is done.

Collin Maessen is the founder and editor of Real Skeptic and a proponent of scientific skepticism. For his content he uses the most up to date and best research as possible. Where necessary consulting or collaborating with scientists.