Quadrant Falls For Science Hoax  

Posted by Big Gav

The Age reports that the Crikey team have played an amusing practical choke on the nanderthal editors at Quadrant (a sorry example of what passes for a highbrow conservative periodical in Australia) - Conservative bible falls for furphy.

CONSERVATIVE historian Keith Windschuttle — who has previously derided left-wing academics for sloppy fact-checking and fabrication — has been caught in a hoax involving fake CSIRO research, genetic modification and a non-existent biotechnologist.

Windschuttle, editor of the literary magazine Quadrant, published an essay in the current edition purporting to be by a biotechnologist, Dr Sharon Gould, who claimed the CSIRO had planned to commercialise wheat, mosquitoes and cows that had been modified with human genes.

"Commercialisation of both these projects was abandoned, along with the wheat project … because of perceived ethical issues in the public and media understanding," the article stated.

But online news website Crikey yesterday revealed the article as a hoax, relying on "false science, logical leaps, outrageous claims and a mixture of genuine and bogus footnotes". "Gould", journalist Margaret Simons wrote, was a pseudonym constructed by an anonymous blogger, while the CSIRO has also confirmed the claims made in the article were false.

Simons said she had known about the hoax for three weeks, after the article had been accepted for publication. She would not reveal the identity of the hoaxer but firmly denied she was responsible.

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