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Re: Giving Sharp Knives to Children

I don't think J that many people in this forum will be downloading the "Multivariate Data Analysis for Dummies" white paper or book. From what I can see, it looks like a software firm called CAMO Software (based in Norway) is giving away a free book mainly to acquire a load of e-mail addresses and telephone numbers for their sales people to contact. They require a 'valid' e-mail address, which suggests that they may test the validiity of the address before allowing a download. Their main software product is something called "The Unscambler X" and they appear to have a total of 25000 users in 3000 organisations worldwide.

I remember that this multivariate analysis thing did feature in a fairly big junk science story last year. It seems to have been used in the notorious work by Australian psychology professor Stephan Lewandowsky in his paper “NASA faked the moon landing—Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science”. In a post on his blog Lewandowsky dismissed Steve McIntyre's (of the Climate Audit blog) critique of his paper and retorted that McIntyre "should stop posing as an expert in statistics and take a refresher of Multivariate Analysis 101". It might be noted that Lewandowsky will not necessarily be using CAMO's software as academic researchers often avoid the use of commercial software products.

Incidentally Lewandowsky seems to have been appointed as a professor at Bristol University in the UK. He even managed to get a special grant from the Royal Society, a Wolfson Research Merit Award, which is apparently awarded "to provide universities with additional support to enable them to attract science talent from overseas and retain respected UK scientists of outstanding achievement and potential".