Michael Asten continues The Australian‘s war on science. In his latest piece (Google “Science hijacked at school level”) Asten complains that secondary science education is not paying attention to the views of Ian Plimer on climate change.

Perusal of the resources for secondary school physics students provided by the Australian Institute of Physics (Vic) Education Committee suggests some of our science educators have indeed lost the ability to teach objective and open-minded scientific inquiry.

Web resources relating to climate science provided by this committee contain at least three teaching resource references using the derogatory term “deniers”. One listed article titled “Climate deniers cause dangerous confusion” addresses claims made in a web presentation by climate science contrarian Leon Ashby and contains the telling line: “Let’s look at Ashby’s presentation from the point of view of science. (You don’t need to have seen Ashby’s presentation to follow this one. The claims he makes are typical of so called ‘climate sceptics’. )”

If we ignore the multiple subheadings in the genre of “deniers”, “deception”, “nonsense” and “dangerous”, this article contains useful if incomplete material for science teaching. But the suggestion that it is not necessary to read the source material before engaging in a critique shows a lamentable teaching methodology.

But if look at the website and the article you can see how Asten has misrepresented them.


  1. #1 Philip Machanick
    Grahamstown, South Africa
    March 13, 2013

    It is unfair to call Plimer a denier. He’s a liar. A denier may honestly believe that a polyanna attitude to science is valid and anything else is alarmism; stupidity is after all not a crime. Plimer on the other hand has the education and knowledge to know that much of what he says is untrue. Good counters to much of his garbage here: http://www.climatechange.gov.au/climate-change/understanding-climate-change/~/media/climate-change/prof-plimer-101-questions-response-pdf.pdf (linked to via the website cited in the article).

    Why do these clowns think kids should be taught right-wing propaganda in schools?