Timothy ClarkAssociate Professor, Deakin University
- Deakin University
Timothy, I've been following this controversy for a while. I'm curious, have you and/or your colleagues ever contacted Munday and/or his colleagues to arrange a methodological get-together? The objective would be to let them "teach" you how they do their experiments. Let them look on as you use their techniques. Ask them to collaborate with you so that you can attain your goal of investigating the mechanisms of these phenomena; this goal is obviously a very cool research objective. A good-faith coming together would really help the rest of us figure out what the heck is going on. Is this even a possibility, or is there too much water over the dam? My point is that if you all can somehow figure out a way to work on this together, it would very much help the rest of us consider the biology, and plan our own experiments. I am assuming this collaboration I am inviting you to consider would be rocky; but perhaps you can convince yourselves and the Munday collaborators what most of us think: the biology is actually more important than the reputations.
Sorry William, I've never checked back on this site so I'm just seeing your comment now. We did indeed approach the Munday group on several occasions, expressing interest in viewing some of their experimental trials so we could see the incredibly large effects with our own eyes. The response was always the same - those experiments were performed behind closed doors by specific people, so it was not possible for us to see. We did receive an offer for them to conduct the behavioural trials on our behalf (behind closed doors) if we wanted to collaborate, yet that was not a desirable option for us. The only avenue for us was to run the experiments ourselves. We discovered that many of the experimental approaches reported in the Munday group papers simply didn't work, so we improved on everything to maximise robustness and transparency. I hope that helps to address your queries. There's also an article in Science that may help to shed more light onto what's going on here: https://www.science.org/content/article/does-ocean-acidification-alter-fish-behavior-fraud-allegations-create-sea-doubt