Penn State report on Mann: new investigation to convene.

The report is out, and further investigation is forthcoming.

http://www.personal.psu.edu/users/a/q/aqs11/imgs/logo.jpghttp://live.psu.edu/slnoflash2/userpics/10003/normal_Mann_Michael.jpg

Excerpts from the report are below, where they considered 4 allegations. They say only one had merit. That will be the subject of the upcoming investigation.

Excerpts:

“It is clear to those who have followed the media and blogs over the last two months that there are two distinct and deeply polarized points of view that have emerged on this matter. One side views the emails as evidence of a clear cut violation of the public trust and seeks severe penalties for Dr. Mann and his colleagues. The other side sees these as nothing more than the private discussions of scientists engaged in a hotly debated topic of enormous social impact.

We are aware that some may seek to use the debate over Dr. Mann’s research conduct and that of his colleagues as a proxy for the larger and more substantive debate over the science of anthropogenic global warming and its societal (political and economic) ramifications. We have kept the two debates separate by only considering Dr. Mann’s conduct.”

“Decision 4. Given that information emerged in the form of the emails purloined from CRU in November 2009, which have raised questions in the public’s mind about Dr. Mann’s conduct of his research activity, given that this may be undermining confidence in his findings as a scientist, and given that it may be undermining public trust in science in general and climate science specifically, the inquiry committee believes an investigatory committee of faculty peers from diverse fields should be constituted under RA-10 to further consider this allegation.

In sum, the overriding sentiment of this committee, which is composed of University administrators, is that allegation #4 revolves around the question of accepted faculty conduct surrounding scientific discourse and thus merits a review by a committee of faculty scientists. Only with such a review will the academic community and other interested parties likely feel that Penn State has discharged it responsibility on this matter.

An investigatory committee of faculty members with impeccable credentials will consider this matter and present its findings and recommendations to Dr. Henry C. Foley within 120 days of being charged. The committee will consist of the following five faculty members:

1. Dr. Mary Jane Irwin, Evan Pugh Professor, Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering;
2. Dr. Alan Walker, Evan Pugh Professor, Department of Anthropology and Department of Biology;
3. Dr. A. Welford Castleman, Evan Pugh Professor, Department of Chemistry and Department of Physic;
4. Dr. Nina G. Jablonski, Head, Department of Anthropology; and
5. Dr. Sarah M. Assmann, Waller Professor, Department of Biology.

Ms. Candice Yekel, as Director of the Office for Research Protections and as the University’s Research Integrity Officer, will provide administrative support and assistance to the committee.

The investigatory committee’s charge will be to consider what are the bounds of accepted practice in this instance and whether or not Dr. Mann did indeed engage in, or participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research or other scholarly activities.

Read the report here (PDF)

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156 Responses to Penn State report on Mann: new investigation to convene.

  1. John says:

    Fox guarding hen-house.

  2. PaulH says:

    Well, at least they seem to be taking this matter seriously and are following all the (apparently) necessary protocols. :-|

  3. supercritical says:

    ” John (10:05:55) :

    Fox guarding hen-house.”

    ….with a hockeystick?

  4. A C Osborn says:

    Whitewash.

  5. John says:

    @supercritical: lol!

  6. Al Gore's Brother says:

    Why isn’t Steve McIntyre on the committee? Couldn’t it be said that Professor Mann participated in defrauding the public and governments around the world with his hockey stick theory?

  7. Luke Lea says:

    I’d be worried that two of the five are anthropologists, a very left-leaning profession of late not known for its objectivity.

  8. Al Gore's Brother says:

    I did not have relations with that hockey stick!

  9. Mike Ramsey says:

    Politically speaking, it was the only possible outcome.

    Not good for Mann because his detractors now have more time to dig. And dig they shall.

    Mike Ramsey

  10. EdB says:

    I assume the question of Manns non release of data and methods, his obfuscation of M&M and his “peer review process” is part of this ongoing investigation?

  11. Joe says:

    Well, at least they didn’t stuff the panel with members of the World Wildlife Fund.

  12. Stacey says:

    Extracts
    He explained the content and meaning of the emails about which we inquired;

    He explained that he had never falsified any data, nor had he had ever manipulated data to serve a given predetermined outcome;

    He explained that he never used inappropriate influence in reviewing papers by other scientists who disagreed with the conclusions of his science;

    He explained that he never deleted emails at the behest of any other scientist, specifically including Dr. Phil Jones, and that he never withheld data with the intention of obstructing science; and

    He explained that he never engaged in activities or behaviors that were inconsistent with accepted academic practices.
    end of extract.e

    Well he would say that wouldn’t he?

    He seems to be in Denial and the interviwers seem to eager to accept Mann’s expressions of guilt

    In the UK in the past if a complaint was made about a Policeman the station where he was located carried out the investigation and more often than not the complaint was not upheld. Of course this was not acceptable to the Public or the Police as it undermined confidence. The University are wrong to carry out their own investigation.

    The University has investigated Mr Manns conduct but has not carried out interviews with anyone else that could throw light on the matter.

    They mention he has emails related to AR4. Will they publish?

    You can bet your bottom dollar that Mr Mann will get a slight slap on the wrist and the Universities reputation will not be put at risk. I sincerely hope this is not the case.

  13. Stacey says:

    OOPs sorry Freudian slip should be Mann’s expressions of innocence.

  14. Pops says:

    You’d think the main Mann would simply resign and save them all the bother of looking even more foolish 120 days from now.

  15. motionview says:

    It is a white-wash; I quickly read the report and the only outside scientists they consulted were Kennedy of Stanford/Science and North of Texas A&M.

    Penn State is standing behind MBH98. It’s wrong and it’s a very sad day for science.

  16. Mad Elf says:

    My experience with anthropologists tells me that the anthropology professors are likely to be liberal blowhards. I’ll be surprised if they aren’t among the true believers in AGW.

  17. Henry chance says:

    but, but but but Mann has impecible credentials also. They must be “Peers”

    Take your time. We will of course hope donors will also take their time and 120 days from now they can devise a panel to evaluate the Impecible PennState and send their money elswhere if Mann is not in the State Penn.

    Is 3 hots and a cot too humbling for a “cold” crime?

  18. TerryS says:

    Given that information emerged in the form of the emails purloined from CRU

    Given that there is no evidence that the emails were stolen as opposed to leaked shouldn’t there be an “allegedly” before the purloined?

  19. WasteYourOwnMoney says:

    I notice that no mathematician is on the review committee. Certainly no need for anyone to review Dr. Manns usage of statistics…

  20. Ric Werme says:

    Given the four questions, #4 was the easiest one to find worth further investigation.

    It seems to me the committee should have talked with McIntyre, perhaps they decided early on that #4 would be in the followup investigation and hence didn’t need McIntyre’s input for this round. (Allegation 4. Did you engage in, or participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research or other scholarly activities?)

    Allegation 1. Did you engage in, or participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions with the intent to suppress or falsify data? is too restrictive in my mind. If they had included the “intent to mislead” then there could have been a lot more to consider.

    120 days for the investigatory committee. I hope they contact McIntyre or that McIntyre contacts them directly.

  21. Fred from Canuckistan says:

    purloined ?

    Who wrote that one , Snaggle Puss?

  22. Bernice says:

    We expected a whitewash. Instead we get a more gentle drawn out whitewash.

    Time for an external investigation.

  23. Jack says:

    It’s worse than the fox guarding the hen house. It is the marks guarding their already squandered credibility.

    Boy, all those anthropologists know a lot about statistics and scientific method. They feel so strongly about their conclusions.

  24. Ric Werme says:

    Al Gore’s Brother (10:16:32) :

    > Why isn’t Steve McIntyre on the committee?

    For the some of the same reasons the murder victim isn’t on the jury.

  25. mrpkw says:

    Penn State ordered a truckload of whitewash???

  26. MattN says:

    It is my hope that the chemist and biologists on the panel remember what real science is supposed to look like…

  27. vince says:

    It has bought them a few more months to see which way the wind blows.

  28. Eric Rasmusen says:

    As commentors have said, an internal investigation like this lacks any credibility. I suppose its purpose is to delay, and to obstruct other investigations, using the standard tactic of “I can’t give any evidence to you because an investigation is ongoing.”

    The investigators *ought* to be people from a scholarly society, including some big names who have credibility to lose. It’s bad that no scholarly societies are commenting on Climategate. I investigated having the American Economic Association get involved, but though the economists I contacted were generally sympathetic, I dropped it because it’s really too far outside our field– the only real link is that we in economics do care about the reputation of peer reviewing and scholarship generally.

  29. L Bowser says:

    This is exactly what you would expect out of a preliminary investigation. I would liken this to a grand jury, who will decide whether or not there is enough evidence to substantiate charges for trial.

    Based on the accusations leveled, the only one you could prove would be 1, 2 and 4 with the CRU emails. If he provided all his emails around AR4, and none of the CRU emails or those referred to by the CRU emails were found to be missing, then #2 goes away. With the framing of #1, it dealt only with the suppression or falsification of data. The fact is you can’t prove any of that in relation to “data” based on these emails, so #1 goes away.

    Now findings, analysis and conclusions are a totally different matter which gets to the heart of the matter in #4. The committee found that you cannot dismiss this allegation outright. The CRU emails provide sufficient evidence that Mann and company tried to surpress research and render journals they felt to be biases ineffective or shut them down altogether. In other words, there may be substance to the allegation. The grand jury has spoken, there is enough evidence to proceed to trial and here is the jury of peers.

    I was glad to see that no one from his department was included as a peer (an obvious conflict of interest). It seems that Penn State is following the letter of the law regarding their internal policies. In regards to the investigation, I would say so far, so good.

  30. Jere Krischel says:

    WTF? These guys essentially only took testimony from Mann? They didn’t search through his non-climategate email records? His other work files? Maybe even just one witness for the prosecution?

    Epic fail.

  31. L Bowser says:

    @Rick Werme:
    For the some of the same reasons the murder victim isn’t on the jury.

    Umm… I don’t think that’s quite the same. A murder victim is dead. A better analogy would be the same reason a witness is not on the jury. He is biased towards the version he witnessed.

  32. TerryBixler says:

    “The so-called “trick”1 was nothing more than a statistical method used to bring two or more different kinds of data sets together in a legitimate fashion by a technique that has been reviewed by a broad array of peers in the field.
    Decision 1.”

    If so then why not show the splice in the graphic and foot note accordingly. Note the divergence. Otherwise someone might think that they were being misled. Now we have been told by the review board it was all OK.

    http://climateaudit.org/2009/12/10/ipcc-and-the-trick/

  33. Tom G(ologist) says:

    The inquiry is really not on the integrity of his scientific paper so a mathematician is not requisite on the panel. Many scientists publish papers which are later found to be wanting, or to have used a technique (trick) to manipulate data. I don’t think we should dwell on whether his science was right or wrong. The university is not looking at that. Science proceeds by scientists making wrong steps and then making corrections when the problem is identified. The university is looking for ethical and legal wrong-doing. Apart from his academic ‘trick’ Mann is correct in that he did not delete emails at Jones’ request and many other exonerations he will attempt. I think the stumbling block for him is going to be on some nebulous points and the outcome is far from certain.

    Personally, I think he is a thin-skinned creep and a discredit to the geosciences (and I am the President of the Pennsylvania State Licensing Boards for Professional Geologists – close to Mann’s home, so to speak) but, as a college educator (in a different university) I understand how Penn State will be viewing this. Let’s see wht transpires, but I will caution that if you are hoping for a big defeat of the Mann-heim steamroller, begin preparing yourself now for a ruling you will probably find disappointing.

    As a reminder, the PA state senate higher education committee has already stated that if it is dissatisfied with the university inquiry, it plans a separate investigation of its own.

  34. JackStraw says:

    The only thing that will influence this investigation is money. I hope donors to PSU act accordingly.

  35. Green Sand says:

    Funny stuff whitewash, very difficult to apply without getting splashed and stained by it and even when you think you applied it correctly it never lasts as long as you think it will, requiring constant maintenance, especially in adverse climatic conditions.

  36. John R. Walker says:

    Bullshit baffles brains – as we used to say with monotonous regularity in engineering… Sadly – it’s frequently true!

  37. John Galt says:

    Am I right in concluding it’s to be an investigation of conduct, not an investigation of the underlying science?

    Is that too narrow of an interpretation?

  38. templar knight says:

    Anthropology is a science? Who knew? Regardless, this is a whitewash, and all the more reason to do our very best to make sure we get a Republican majority in one side of Congress this fall. And then, let the investigations begin. I truly believe it will take a monumental political effort to smoke out these warmists.

  39. Rainer says:

    Thats a result I expected.
    But I wonder how he could escape with the explanation of the “Trick”.
    They should have asked and investigated what he meant by
    “Trick to hide the decline”!

  40. singularian says:

    They’re trying to buy some time.

    Considering what’s fallen from the shaken tree in the last couple of months, they’ll be hoping for something bigger to come along so they can quietly slip their results ( no case to answer ) out at a opportune moment.

    External investigation needed. Isn’t Penn state funded by the State?

    It’s becoming obvious with Penn and the UEA that there are too many vested interests and I think it’s going to take some serious people power to drag this rotting corpse out into the sunlight.

  41. Ray says:

    Surely, those that gave grants to this Mann can have their own investigation into the misuse of their money?

  42. Stan says:

    Much nothing about the to-do. We should have expected as much.

    Penn State only get the message if the state pulls their funding

  43. Harry says:

    Penn State is doing what BBC, Guardian et all are doing.

    Rather then argue the point on whether the science is good or bad, they are accepting that ‘the concerns of skeptics’ have not been properly answered or properly addressed.

    Hence Anthony gets emails from the BBC asking if there are any skeptic scientists conveniently available they could interview.

    The computer models are deviating from the surface tempurature record anyway..so now is as good a time as any for mea culpa’s, listen to the skeptic’s arguments, incorporate the arguments into the new computer models, declare that with the assistance of the skeptics they’ve got the new models right this time. And yes…global warming is still happening…but not quite as serious as previously thought.

  44. danbo says:

    “The so called “trick” was nothing more than a statistical method used to bring together two or more different kinds of data sets together in a LEGITIMATE fashion by a technique by a technique that has be reviewed by a broad array of peers…”

    For the first time in my life. I feel ashamed of having a graduate degree. If I were a Penn State alum I’d send them back my degree.

    If this is ok. No one should ever trust universities or science.

  45. mpaul says:

    I suspect you will see a lot of pressure put on Penn State to expand the scope of the independent investigation.

  46. Steve Oregon says:

    I call BS.
    Remember how “context” was so important in the early dismissal of the Cru-Leak?
    Well, context is everything in evaluating Dr. Mann’s research conduct and that of his colleagues.
    Their conduct must be assessed in the context of their effort to manipulate the debate over the science of anthropogenic global warming. It most likely to be found that their conduct sought to deceive and thereby effect the societal (political and economic) ramifications.
    It is absurd and disingenuous to pretend there are two debates in need of separating. Doing so serves only to subject Mann and his colleagues to the least amount of scrutiny posible while preventing the worst of their offenses and the greater AGW scandal from being judged.
    This is like looking into some con men without looking into the con job.
    Forget about it PSU.
    There’s only one outcome that will ultimately be adequate.
    Mann et all will be found to have used their positions and PSU to manipulate, deceive and advocate for policies derived from official malfeasance on a grand scale.

    Any attempt by Penn State to slow or lesson the full discovery and consequenses will only only cause more damage to the institution while failing miserably to defend Mann.

  47. Robert Coté says:

    Perhaps the choice of two anthropologists to whitewash Dr. Mann’s actions is a subconscious acknowledgement that AGW is a dead and buried human construct. More probable however is the likelihood that they need experts to rebury the evidence.

    The decision has already been made. Whomsoever chose the word “purloined” to describe the whistle blowing is also the person who has rendered prejudgement. It truly saddens me to see a formerly respected institution like Penn choose to this path.

    My cousin is a Summa Alum and I will suggest she pay special attention to supporting institution in the future.

  48. JohnB says:

    I read on surfacestations.org that they switched from whitewash to white latex paint for the Stevenson Screens. So does that mean that Penn State is “White latex painting” this controvesy?

  49. JC says:

    And with a gigantic sweep of their broom
    under the rug it goes.

    Nothing to see here, move along

  50. D. Howard says:

    I wish the university had decided to investigate the “intellectual rigor” of his arguments, instead of the relatively uninteresting “standards of behavior” question. You know… put a mathematician “language of science” person on the committee, defend the university’s academic credentials, etc. I (as a lay person) would have found the results to be more interesting. [ I think letting professors defend their own discipline would give a more interesting result--who wants to be the guy who wasn't bright enough to see the errors?(O.k.-if any.)]

  51. hro001 says:

    What I found interesting in the report was the following (p. 2):

    “At the time of initiation of the inquiry, and in the ensuing days during the inquiry, no formal allegations accusing Dr. Mann of research misconduct were submitted to any University official. As a result, the emails and other communications were reviewed by Dr. Pell and from these she synthesized the following four formal allegations.”

    IOW, no one made a “formal” complaint, therefore they decided what their line of enquiry would be, gave Mann lots of time to figure out his answers so that he could “impress” them with his “composure” and “forthright responses” (p. 4) thereby enabling them to find “no credible evidence” of the first three allegations.

    Maybe it’s high time for some “formal allegations” to be submitted to a “University official”.

  52. Fred from Canuckistan says:
  53. 1DandyTroll says:

    I wonder if they would’ve come to the same meek it-could’ve-been-my-ass conclusion if they had had a civil suit hanging over their heads. Or a federal charge. And will they stand by hockey-mann-stick in the future if, or when, the super-federal-men comes a nocking for purloined federal grant money.

  54. Norman says:

    Actually I find the analysis of these four points to be spot on. If we are going to have open scientific debate, then we have to accept the possibility that Dr. Mann’s conduct (Based on the CRU Evidence) does not meet the criterion set by questions #1,2 & 3.

    (BTW – before loaded guns are pointed in my direction, I believe there are alternate and simpler explanations of recent climatic / weather trends that are simpler and better than AGW and if so then the principle of Occam’s razor should be applied.)

    However the report does identify the one area in which there is significant evidence in the CRU emails that Dr. Mann and the others may have interfered with the scientific / peer review process. It leaves the possibility open (Which is to say there is credible evidence) that Dr. Mann and his AGW colleagues not only suppressed opposing scientific evidence, but also engaged in a conspiracy to suppress.

    In my mind this is certainly the worst of the four issues under review.

  55. Tenuc says:

    Good result. If you examine the context of the Climategate emails looks like he will be found guilty as charged. I wonder what Dr. Jones of the CRU feels about this?

  56. David Middleton says:

    Finding #1 is 98% BS. The 2% of non-BS is in italics…

    After careful consideration of all the evidence and relevant materials, the inquiry committee finding is that there exists no credible evidence that Dr. Mann had or has ever engaged in, or participated in, directly or indirectly, any actions with an intent to suppress or to falsify data.

    There’s no evidence that Mann intended to suppress or falsify inconvenient data. OK. I’ll buy that. It can’t be proven that he intended to suppress or falsify inconvenient data.

    This bit here is laughable…

    In fact to the contrary, in instances that have been focused upon by some as indicating falsification of data, for example in the use of a “trick” to manipulate the data, this is explained as a discussion among Dr. Jones and others including Dr. Mann about how best to put together a graph for a World Meteorological Organization (WMO) report. They were not falsifying data; they were trying to construct an understandable graph for those who were not experts in the field. The so-called “trick”1 was nothing more than a statistical method used to bring two or more different kinds of data sets together in a legitimate fashion by a technique that has been reviewed by a broad array of peers in the field.

    The most benign possible interpretation of the “trick” is that they edited part of Briffa’s reconstruction because the tree ring chronology showed that the 1930s to early 1940′s were warmer than the late 1990′s. So, they just substituted the instrumental record for the tree ring chronology.

    I suppose that there is no evidence that they did this with an intent to deceive… But you can’t just substitute instrumental data for proxy data. The fact that they called it “Mike’s nature trick” sure makes it seem like this sort of thing was SOP.

    Taking a set of data that shows that the 1930′s were warmer than the 1990′s and using another data set to reverse that relationship is not bringing “two or more different kinds of data sets together in a legitimate fashion.” It’s a total bastardization of the data.

    If I have a seismic reflection surface that is dipping the wrong way, I can apply a velocity gradient to reverse the dip. When there is a geological reason to do so, this method can be used to correctly convert a time map of a seismic horizon to properly positioned depth map of a geological formation. When there is no geological reason to do so, I’m just fabricating a reason to drill a dry hole.

    These people are like a bunch of out-of-control seismic modelers working with one point of well control.

  57. mandolinjon says:

    Academia is so tolerant of their members that it is very rare when one is chastised. As a result there is an ethical vacuum in most universities. In Mann’s case, he will be judged by a committee of faculty who will not consider his behavior unethical unless his activities would reflect on them and their research. The political world of academe believes in total academic freedom. That freedom includes freedom from responsibility. Being wrong or incompetent is not justification for a reprimand let alone dismissal. Being unethical or bullying are not unknown behaviors in many institutions. The faculty committee will look at this issue through the rose colored glasses of a faculty charged with protecting, at all cost, academic freedom and from any external influence from interlopers in the AGW skeptics camp. They will conclude that no matter what we claim about Dr. Mann ethics, it is a university issue and not an issue of scientific integrity or crimes against humanity. They will conclude that the attacks on Dr. Mann are an attempt by the outside world to limit his and their academic freedom.
    Thus, a negative recommendation would depend upon what pressure is brought to bear on the university over the next 120 days. Maybe a lawsuit filed against the University based on a racist claim would work, viz., the false scientific claims by Dr. Mann used by the world governments to limit fossil fuel use will ultimately cause people in Africa to starve to death as a result of a lack of energy needed to escape from their bondage of poverty reaped on them by cap and trade. Barring this extreme political case, the University administration will hide behind their decision, and say, the faculty have spoken. Perhaps I have spent too much time in faculty meeting, but I really hope I am wrong!

  58. Marlene Anderson says:

    I interpret this to mean there will be absolutely no investigation of Mann’s science itself, but strictly a look at whether he’s going to be a liability or an asset to the university . If they perceive their donations and reputation will improve if they throw him under the bus, they’ll do it. If they think the case for AGW will ultimately be proven, then they’ll hang onto him and bask in any glory his research draws to the institution. Don’t ever make the mistake of believing they will do what’s ethical – they’ll spin those e-mail any way they see fit in order to support the direction they want to take.

    So, for the next 120 days the tone and substance of the press coverage of Climategate, Michael Mann, the IPCC and AGW theory in general will have great bearing in how Mann’s jury of peers make a judgment on his future with Penn State.

  59. solrey says:

    I think it’s encouraging that they found some sort of justification to continue the investigation, even if the scope is narrowed considerably. At least this keeps the door open and that’s better than closed.
    They could have just ended it by saying “nothing to see here, move along”, but they didn’t do that so imo, the glass is half full. ;)

    peace,
    Tim

  60. Mark Sawusch says:

    New Scientist Headline: US ‘climategate’ scientist all but cleared of misconduct
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18474-us-climategate-scientist-all-but-cleared-of-misconduct.html

    “This is very much the vindication I expected since I am confident I have done nothing wrong,” Mann told New Scientist. “I fully support the additional inquiry which may be the best way to remove any lingering doubts.”

  61. RConnelly says:

    While I dont believe Dr Mann will be found ‘guilty’ of anything serious… this is not good for his career. Maybe no public action, but behind the scenes there will be more doubt in academia about his research, in a couple years he will be off to another University.

  62. David, UK says:

    And so we see that the main concern of the investigation is the “undermining [of] public trust in science,” as opposed to the alleged abuse of the whole scientific process. It’s clear that they are not interested in questioning whether this weakens the whole “science is settled” assertion, but rather are concerned that people’s *trust* in that assertion has been diminished. So I am expecting, on that basis, to see – whether by the exoneration or sacrifice of Mann – an effort to restore that trust in AGW so they can all get back to business as usual.

    I hope I am just being cynical.

  63. mroiler says:

    A whitewash to protect the cash flow. Time to call in the Feds for misuse of public funds.

  64. Jeremy says:

    Meh, Universities never rat on themselves, there’s too little at stake in the matter.

    Government grants, however, fall under federal laws. This investigation from Penn State university while welcome was actually the icing without the cake. It was far-fetched to think his own university would ever seriously implicate him. When the s**t really hits the fan is when politicians who believed in him begin to feel betrayed by him, and then abandon any defense of him. Seriously, the only reason Mann came out looking at all good after the NSF and Wegman reports was because there were people in congress willing to spend political capital on him. That won’t last forever.

  65. Scott B says:

    Do quotes such as these (limited to PSU e-mails) not constitute engaging in actions with the intent to suppress data?

    “hi tim. personally, I don’t see why you should make any concessions for this moron. By the way, our supplementary site (now on scott’s computer) doesn’t block any ip#s. another lie.. Mike”

    “The last thing you want to do is help them by feeding the fire. Best thing is to ignore them completely. They no longer have their friends in power here in the U.S., and the media has become entirely unsympathetic to the rants of the contrarians at least in the U.S.–the Wall Street Journal editorial page are about the only place they can broadcast their disinformation. So in other words, for contrarians the environment appears to have become very unfavorable for development. I would advise Wang the same way.”

    “I don’t read E&E, gives me indigestion–I don’t even consider it peer-reviewed science, and in my view we should treat it that way. i.e., don’t cite, and if journalists ask us about a paper, simply explain its not peer-reviewed science, and Sonja B-C, the editor, has even admitted to an anti-Kyoto agenda!”

    “Seems to me that CRU should charge him a fee for the service. He shouldn’t be under the assumption that he has the right to demand reports be scanned in for him on a whim. CRU should require reasonable monetary compensation for the labor, effort (and postage!). It this were a colleague acting in good faith, I’d say do it at no cost. But of, course, he’s not.”

    “I never acknowledge emails from people I don’t know, about topics that are in any way sensitive. this is a perfect example of something that goes right to the trash bin,”

  66. JohnH says:

    I did a search for Castleman, who will be on the committee. He is a hard science guy. Can’t find anything to see if he has strong views on AGW

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10013/1027688-115.stm?cmpid=education.xml

  67. JJ says:

    “If he provided all his emails around AR4, and none of the CRU emails or those referred to by the CRU emails were found to be missing, then #2 goes away”

    No!

    This simply demonstrates the inadequacy of the ‘investigation’. He was suspected of deleting some emails regarding AR4 at the request of Phil Jones. The ‘proof’ that he didnt is:

    a) he says he didnt delete any emails, and

    b) he provided some emails that reference AR4

    That proves exactly nothing. He could have deleted damning emails and kept some innocuous ones that reference AR4 and provided those to the committee. Or, he could have deleted emails as requested by Phil Jones, but kept a hidden copy just in case he needed them … criminals tend to keep copies of mutually damning documents. They just keep them hidden.

    The committee should not have accepted a ‘zip file’ of emails as proof that they were not deleted. Who knows where that zip file came from. They should have tasked IT experts from local law enforcement to determine if emails were missing from the email system and official archives.

    This was a whitewash, intentionally, thru sheer incompetance, or both.

  68. Tom says:

    Now would be a very good time for interested parties to contact the administrative person for the RA-10 committee and ask, 1)who has standing to submit a formal complaint, and 2) how does one go about that?

    What the committee needs is not a lot of blog chatter and (frankly, often nutty) insinuations. What the committee needs is a formal letter setting out specific allegations how Dr. Mann violated professional ethics by doing specific, verifiable things, with specific reference to CRU emails, publications, public comment by Dr. Mann and others, and specific citations to the relevant paragraphs of PSU’s ethics rules. Preferably such letters would come from other academics whose work was unfavorably reviewed by Dr. Mann, or who were treated by Dr. Mann in violation of professional ethics (refusal to share data, etc.)

  69. Zorro says:

    Whitewash or not Mann’s finished

  70. you are not paranoid says:

    Weren’t papers M&M from for peer review rejected in part or in full because of the reviews of Jones, Mann, and company?

    Mann might be paranoid even if we are all to get him!

  71. Niels says:

    Mann did actually, contrary to Finding 2: ” After careful consideration of all the evidence and relevant materials, the inquiry committee finding is that there exists no credible evidence that Dr. Mann had ever engaged in, or participated in, directly or indirectly, any actions with intent to delete, conceal or otherwise destroy emails, information and/or data related to AR4, as suggested by Dr. Phil Jones.”

    In the exchange below, he clearly confirms his intentions to do exactly that:

    From: Phil Jones
    To: “Michael E. Mann”
    Subject: IPCC & FOI
    Date: Thu May 29 11:04:11 2008

    “Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis. Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address. We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.”

    From: Michael Mann
    To: Phil Jones
    Subject: Re: IPCC & FOI
    Date: Thu, 29 May 2008 08:12:02 -040

    I’ll contact Gene about this ASAP. His new email is: xxxxx@yxxxxx.com

    No way, should he be able to talk himself out of that one. “Finding 2″ is obviously wrong.

  72. Richard Tol says:

    Tom G(ologist) is right. This inquiry was not about Mann’s research but about his behaviour. The report is damning. There was clearly a debate between the investigators with one side saying “this is not right” and the other side saying “don’t we all do this?”. So the verdict was referred to another committee, which is larger and further removed from Mann. Unlike the people on the old committee, the people on the new committee do not care about the reputation of the geosciences department or about the funds raised by Mann.

  73. DJ Meredith says:

    THIS just in…

    WASHINGTON — “An academic board of inquiry has largely cleared a noted Pennsylvania State University climatologist of scientific misconduct, but a second panel will convene to determine whether his behavior undermined public faith in the science of climate change, the university said Wednesday…”.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/04/science/earth/04climate.html

    …The second panel will determine if his behavior “undermined public faith in the science of climate change…”?????? In other words, they’re going to make sure that the public still adheres to AGW.

  74. John Whitman says:

    The decision of PSU to recommend a new investigation was the only way out that I for PSU. If PSU had decided that nothing was found and no further investigation would be done then outside forces (State of Pennsylvania & Federal gov’t) would intervene which would make PSU look like it is incapable to properly deal with its own affairs. By recommending new investigation they are maintaining some credibility. It allows independent investigations to start while PSU new investigation is ongoing. I think PSU would privately be encouraging some indepedent investigation to start before their new investigation ends. That would get them completely out of their difficult situation. I think PSU leadership is wise. This is looking good, but not for Prof Mann.

    John

  75. JMANON says:

    This is a question based on ignorance:
    “How are these committee members qualified to evaluate the scientific evidence that underpins Mann’s work?”
    We have Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Profesor; one for the Department of Anthropology and Department of Biology; Department of Chemistry and Department of Physic; Department of Anthropology; and
    Department of Biology.
    One hopes that if they do not they will at least talk with some of the protagonists on either side.
    Of course, if they had a bunch of climatologists on hand we might suspect a fix anyway.
    The more general question is, how do we know any scientists is above suspicion if they are not exposed to the scrutiny of their peers and how do universities measure performance other than by number (not quality) of publications and grants acquired?

  76. JMANON says:

    Stacey makes some good points and the question is whether the University, which has to be the responsible agency should invite “visiting professors” with more appropriate qualifications to “assist”.
    One name I’d be very upset to see would be Professor John Prescott (from whichever Chinese university it is that gave him his title in Climate Studies)

  77. David Middleton says:

    solrey (11:39:53) :

    I think it’s encouraging that they found some sort of justification to continue the investigation, even if the scope is narrowed considerably. At least this keeps the door open and that’s better than closed.
    They could have just ended it by saying “nothing to see here, move along”, but they didn’t do that so imo, the glass is half full. ;)

    peace,
    Tim

    The way I read it… They just want to double-clear him of #4. They aren’t investigating wrong-doing on Mann’s part; they’re trying to insure that this “investigation” rehabilitates his reputation…

    Given that information emerged in the form of the emails purloined from CRU in November 2009, which have raised questions in the public’s mind about Dr. Mann’s conduct of his research activity, given that this may be undermining confidence in his findings as a scientist, and given that it may be undermining public trust in science in general and climate science specifically, the inquiry committee believes an investigatory committee of faculty peers from diverse fields should be constituted under RA-10 to further consider this allegation.

    On the other hand, the committee has already convicted someone of stealing the CRU emails. Their contempt for the hacker (or mole) is palpable.

    Reply: Ack!. “Ensure”. ~ ctm

  78. bill hughes says:

    While the consensus here seems to be that this doesn’t amount to much, Mann might be slightly shaken that he has actually got to go through another round, that his buddies didn’t completely let him off….

  79. If it quacks like a white wash
    walks like a white wash
    sound like a white wash
    reads like a white wash

    then it must be: A WHITE WASH!!

  80. PaulH says:

    Initial observations from the Green Hell Blog at JunkScience.com:

    http://greenhellblog.com/2010/02/03/penn-state-primes-for-the-climategate-whitewash/

    “Whitewash” is the key term here. Nothing unexpected in this “investigation”, I’m afraid. :-/

  81. Ray says:

    It does not matter if you falsify or not the data, or that your research is pure crap, if they managed to control the peer-review process (as they actually did), there lies the evidence of immoral scientific activity.

  82. Indiana Bones says:

    How hard is this: “Used the… Nature trick to hide the decline.” Meaning the substitution of one type of record for the inconvenient decline of the dendro temp record. How hard is it to see the science fraud in this single act?

    Clearly Penn State is in full CYA mode. An internal investigation that, should it reveal fraud or misconduct, pretty well guarantees loss of $717M annual (fiscal 2008) research funding. Essentially guaranteeing the death of the science programs at PSU. There will be much looking the other way.

    Which addresses the fundamental problem here. Universities beholden to funding sources to continue their research. Which essentially makes academia an extension of Government. Fifty years ago Eisenhower’s final address said this:

    “A steadily increasing share [of research] is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government…The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.”

    Call on PA State Senator Jeffrey E. Piccola to conduct an arm’s length independent investigation today: jpiccola@pasen.gov

  83. BDAABAT says:

    Interesting… seems as though they did what would be expected: review the affair SOLELY from the perspective of what was in the climategate emails.

    So, they ask if he destroyed emails/documents. He was able to provide those, so that charge went away while throwing Phil Jones under the bus).

    They asked about intention to falsify or suppress data. Specifically, “While a perception has been created in the weeks after the CRU emails were made public that Dr. Mann has engaged in the suppression or falsification of data, there is no credible evidence that he ever did so, and certainly not while at Penn State.”

    Interesting language… “not while at Penn State”. Wasn’t he at VCU when the “CENSORED” folder was discovered?? Anyway, that’s not Penn State’s problem right now.

    They asked Mann’s “peers” about the “hide the decline trick” and found out from those peers that this sort of thing is considered acceptable; “The so-called “trick”1 was nothing more than a statistical method used to bring two or more different kinds of data sets together in a legitimate fashion by a
    technique that has been reviewed by a broad array of peers in the field.”

    No discussion about the appropriateness of the practice, just that it’s what climate scientists do.

    Part 3 of the review was about appropriateness of use of privileged information as an academic scholar (serving as a reviewer for scientific journals). I don’t recall the specifics from the emails, but my recollection was that most of the inappropriate comments and activities related to duties as reviewers were from Dr. Jones.

    So, finally, allegation #4:
    “Did you engage in, or participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research or other scholarly activities?”
    This allegation was a bit more broad than the others… and the one the committee couldn’t resolve on it’s own. Should be interesting to see how other scientists on the next committee respond to this allegation.

    Bruce

  84. JohnH says:

    From: Michael Mann
    To: Phil Jones
    Subject: Re: IPCC & FOI
    Date: Thu, 29 May 2008 08:12:02 -040

    I’ll contact Gene about this ASAP. His new email is: xxxxx@yxxxxx.com

    No way, should he be able to talk himself out of that one. “Finding 2″ is obviously wrong.

    If they only looked at his emails yes he could have got away with it as he actually looks like he suckered Jones, if they found the email Mann to Gene asking him to delete then that would be a smoking gun.

  85. Sniff? Sniff? Is that the odour of white paint in the air?

  86. James Sexton says:

    I thought it somewhat humorous their handling of the word “trick” and their subtle interjection of “quantum mechanics” as if to infer the science is as complicated. I still don’t know of any science that allows for tricks of comparing apples to oranges. “The so-called “trick”1 was nothing more than a statistical method used to bring two or more different kinds of data sets together in a legitimate fashion by a technique that has been reviewed by a broad array of peers in the field.” As I recall, this trick was used to smooth the tree ring proxy graph line to the real temperature graph line in an artificial way that doesn’t have a connect with reality.

    Am I wrong on the trick use or did these “scholars” actually look at the “trick” and determine it was an acceptable application to join different data sets to make it appear the same? Because they applied the “trick” the tree rings are a legitimate proxy for real temps? Otherwise the graph wouldn’t connect properly and therefore make the proxies illegitimate? Someone help me here.

  87. Steve Dallas says:

    Irwin has a BS in Math, MS and PhD in Computer Science. I’m sure she is up to snuff on the technical matters that will need to be addressed.

  88. George E. Smith says:

    Well I don’t want to see any witch hunts either.

    I’m bothered by the language describing the e-mails as “purloined”

    I’ve not seen a shred of evidence that points to the files being “stolen” rather than “leaked” by an insider; and until such time as they have a culprit’s name to reveal; either way, I wish they would stop trying to demonize the process by which the information got out. Also the e-mails are only secondary to the code sections that reveal exactly how the alleged fudging of the data could be accomplished.

    It seems pointless to try and review Dr Mann’s scientific papers; that requires climate peers, not academic peers; and the issue is as they say, whether he acted improperly as far as science conduct goes.

    Yes they could “whitewash” this; but in the long run that only extends any malfeasance to the whole institution. Thjat’s a big risk for Penn State.

    I’d rather hold judgement till the dust has settled. I already have opinions on the science of his papers.

    The CRU end of the mess, is a more serious concern to me; that involves one of the leading sources of supposed observational data.

    I’m already suspicious of those data sets; simply on the grounds of sampled data theory. Trying to sanitize lousy data with lousy practices, simply makes it all worse for science.

  89. thecomputerguy says:

    So let me get this straight:

    Peer review will be used to determine whether the peer review process has corrupted.

    How is this not the equivalent of just giving these guys more practice at deceit until they get it right?

    Or am I missing something?

  90. rbateman says:

    George E. Smith (13:37:45) :

    Penn State is not going to walk away so easily from this, and I believe they know it. It’s not the emails which are allegedly purloined, it’s the reputation of Science in general and Penn State specifically, which is troubling them.

    I’d be willing to bet that there’s finger-pointing and heated exchanges going on internally. They are darned if they do, and darned if they don’t.
    Bad Hair year.

  91. Dallas Dinosaur says:

    This is hilarious. Their explanation of Mann’s “trick” (“…nothing more than a statistical method used to bring two or more different kinds of data sets together in a legitimate fashion…”) is nothing more than Michael Mann’s own propaganda.

    Here’s Mann’s own quote (from CNN interview, Dec. 7, 2009): “so the trick was simply presenting these two data sets together so that they could be compared against each other”.

    Certainly the Penn State crew could have taken the time to understand the “trick” rather than just regurgitating Mann’s explanation.

  92. GeneDoc says:

    David Middleton (12:39:28) :

    is correct.

    An important function of these investigations is to clear the accused. My committee has had to deal with silly and spurious accusations, but we treat them seriously and carry them through in order to make sure there is no doubt.

    In this case, the allegations are rather broad and in a sense all encompassing. Since they were “synthesized” by the Dean of the Graduate School, they lack adequate specificity. It’s curious that they did not treat the numerous “emails, phone calls, and letters” as formal allegations of misconduct. Certainly in our shop, any of those would be treated as a formal allegation.

    I’m surprised that the inquiry committee decided that there was insufficient evidence in points 1-3 to merit an investigation. They rendered conclusions along the lines of an investigation at the inquiry stage, which is not really appropriate since it is generally much less in depth. While we certainly aren’t privy to all the evidence and explanation that Dr. Mann provided, it is clear that the inquiry was not very thorough, using only the emails as a proxy ;) allegation. In my committee, we would most likely have determined that there was sufficient credible evidence to warrant an investigation into each of those 3 areas, in part for the reasons stated by many who’ve posted here (how do we know it was all the emails? what was communicated to “Gene”). PSU is correct in not revisiting history beyond Dr. Mann’s arrival on campus. That’s certainly not in their purview, but it seems that they have some interest in whether there is an ongoing pattern of unethical behavior. But data in papers from 1998 or 1999 might be fabricated or falsified–that certainly isn’t ruled out by the finding of this inquiry.

    Again, a thorough investigation can remove doubts raised by allegations and clear the accused. Setting allegations 1-3 aside at the inquiry stage leads to precisely the responses that we see above. In my view, Ms. Yekel (and possibly Mr. Courtney) has provided inadequate advice to these Deans, leading to a poor conclusion at the inquiry stage that will ultimately be damaging to the University. It also seems likely that the University will now be peppered with additional allegations that they may need to treat “formally”. The temptation will be to direct complainants to this report, but it will raise exactly the same concerns about the thoroughness of the inquiry.

  93. Charles. U. Farley says:

    Al Gore’s Brother (10:17:48) :

    I did not have relations with that hockey stick!

    Nor did he inhale.

  94. Atomic Hairdryer says:

    It just means the bus is on standby. Mann’s a litigous fellow. If Penn act unilateraly, they may face a lawsuit. This stalls things for 120 days. In the intervening time, there are multiple other investigations due to report. If they find something damning, Penn can use that to get the bus driver to take their foot off the brake. Might still be their bus, but they can then claim a consensus in throwing Mann under it.

  95. KTWO says:

    I think the report is what anyone would expect. They said nothing of consequence and tossed the headache to the next committee.

    A conditioned reflex from three academic survivors. Having said nothing they cannot be wrong.

  96. Phillep Harding says:

    Who decided what the questions should be?

    “Once they have you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about the answers” – Slothrup’s Third Proverb

  97. Kay says:

    They make a point of stressing that his conduct “while at Penn State” [...] He arrived at Penn State in 2005.

    Does the University of Virginia get a say in this? Shouldn’t PSU contact UVa and see if any allegations were brought to bear there?

  98. David Middleton says:

    David Middleton (12:39:28) :

    [...]

    Reply: Ack!. “Ensure”. ~ ctm

    Oops!

    Note to self: Always type out comments in Word and proof-read them prior to posting here. I had no idea Charles checked for grammar!

    :-))

  99. Kay says:

    Not to nitpick at anyone, but it’s Penn State, not Penn. They’re two completely different schools. Penn State is a state school. Penn is Ivy League and in Philadelphia.

  100. geo says:

    Wow, after white-washing him on the first three, they actually set-up a hangin’ posse on the 4th.

    Their reasons to go forward on the 4th are “public trust” –in other words, because there has been an outcry, public trust was damaged, so we must further investigate. This is very circular logic, quite independent from whether the public outcry was actually justified.

    So they are actually set up to 1) Say he did nothing wrong, and, 2) Reprimand him anyway for embarrassing them with the public.

    Sometimes one just has to marvel at the inventiveness of the bureaucratic hive-mind in self-perservation mode to find solutions that are not inherently compatible.

  101. Bob Kutz says:

    Well, if they can get past email 1051202354 (dated Apr 24, 2003) without realizing Mann was directly involved in a cabal who’s only purpose was to subvert the peer review process, then it’s a whitewash indeed.

    A few choice comments;

    “Thanks for your comments, and sorry to any of you who don’t wish to receive these correspondances(sic)…”

    He (Mike Mann) acknowledges in this salutation that he is aware of the impropriety.

    He then goes on to discuss how he’s provided Dave Halpern with his review comments, which is interesting because the review process is to be independent and anonymous, then goes on to offer assistance to the other reviewers, should they need it.

    Next; (in the same email chain)

    “Michael E. Mann wrote:

    Dear Tom et al,
    Thanks for comments–I see we’ve built up an impressive distribution list here!”

    This is where he notes the long list of CC’s, and seems to understand they’ve got quite a team assembled. At this point, everybody should have opted out, realizing that scientific credentials could be in jeopardy, should this situation reveal itself to the academic world at large. It is okay to converse with colleagues, when you’ve cornered the entire field and are actively colluding on who does and does not get published in your field, there’s little gray area left.

    Next he (Mike Mann, in case you forgot) proceeds to comment on the potential comments of two of the ‘independent and anonymous’ peer reviewers , and offers a brief overview of the comments he would make on the Soon and Baliunas paper, (I believe ’01), and gives an overview of contemporary work he and Jones are working on, as well as new work by Bradley, Malcolm, Hughes & Diaz. Next he digress’ into out and out advocacy in the political arena. Far from true scientific discourse, and a good heads up to his potential field of peer reviewers, should they be tasked as such on the aforementioned work.

    This chain seems to have originated with an email to Mike, from Tom Wrigley, wherein he (Tom) describes his interest in reviewing some recent skeptic articles, and although he refers to one as abuse of the peer review process (the irony here is palpable) and describes it as bad science, he is all the while discussing strategies in which the group might be able to successfully rebut the articles and attack the credibility of the authors and editors. Decorum prevents me from characterizing this section.

    Tom’s email should have elicited a warning from Mike regarding such conduct. It did not. Instead Mike willingly joined and participated in the group, offering advice and instruction (marching orders?) to anyone on the CC list.

    As I said; if the RA10 jury can swallow this one email without puking, it’s a whitewash indeed. I don’t know how they could honestly do that with any credibility whatsoever.

    By the way, here’s the (redacted) distribution list (WOW, it’s an all star who’s who in the climate change industry!);

    From: “Michael E. Mann”
    TO: mark.eakin@BLANK.BLANK
    Cc: Tom Wigley ,Phil
    Jones,Mike Hulme m.hulme@BLANK.BLANK.uk>, Keith Briffa , James Hansen , Danny Harvey , Ben Santer <santer1@BLANK.BLANK,
    Kevin Trenberth , Robert wilby , Tom Karl, Steve Schneider , Tom Crowley, jto , “simon.shackley” , “tim.carter”, “p.martens” , “peter.whetton” , “c.goodess”c.goodess@BLANK.BLANK.uk>,”a.minns”>a.minns@BLANK.BLANK.uk>,WolfgangCramer,”j.salinger”j.salinger@BLANK.BLANK.nz>,”simon.torok” , Scott Rutherford , Neville Nicholls ,RayBradley, MikeMacCracken,BarriePittock, Ellen Mosley-Thompson ,
    “pachauri@BLANK.BLANK.in” , “Greg.Ayers” ,wuebbles@BLANK.BLANK.edu,christopher.d.miller@BLANK.BLANK, mann@BLANK.BLANK

    note; the email itself contains an admonition to update contacts with corrected email addresses. Clearly, there was a lot of collusion involved in the ‘independent and anonymous’ peer review process.

  102. Ray says:

    Wouldn’t this be about time that all raw “Earth Data” be gathered by a truly independent international organization to assure their safety and integrity?

  103. Bob Kutz says:

    Wow, it didn’t hit me till I posted that that he’s safe because THAT happened at Virginia!!!

    Unbelievable!

  104. TEXinDFW says:

    Hmmm… i think i hear the paint shaker getting the whitewash ready to roll over the allegations and make them disappear. Sad day for science, indeed.

    Keep your kids out of Penn. Their science is all suspect when tenured peers make a judgement on another tenured peer, and i’m betting we can all predict with some degree of accuracy – today – what their findings will be in about 3 months.

    Friends don’t let friends send their kids to the Penn.

  105. Gail Combs says:

    mandolinjon (11:36:26) :

    “…Maybe a lawsuit filed against the University based on a racist claim would work, viz., the false scientific claims by Dr. Mann used by the world governments to limit fossil fuel use will ultimately cause people in Africa to starve to death as a result of a lack of energy needed to escape from their bondage of poverty reaped on them by cap and trade. Barring this extreme political case, the University administration will hide behind their decision, and say, the faculty have spoken. Perhaps I have spent too much time in faculty meeting, but I really hope I am wrong!”

    Actually that is not a bad idea. Cap and Trade will adversely effect the cost of food, heat, and transportation, three out of the six big costs of living for the poor/elderly. The other three are housing, health care and clothing. You can cut the cost of clothing by buying used or patching but the other five are a lot harder to cut without ending up homeless.

  106. davidmhoffer says:

    Who decided what the questions should be?

    EXACTLY! questions so carefully worded, so long, and so complicated are the sign not of an investigation, but of a negotiation in advance to arrive at a process the gives the perception of being thorough with out actually looking at the issue.

    How about “Dr Mann, have you seen any data that would contradict any of your scientific conclusions?” That’s a yes or no answer. the complexity of the question is a diversion, as is the complexity of the analysis.

    One cannot help but be impressed. Law schools should be paying attention.

  107. dr kill says:

    I read the entire ruling, too. I believe it to be the only outcome possible from a sympathetic, home team investigation. I am offended by the committee describing the emails as purloined, and by the big pat on the head Mann gets– ‘ were impressed by Dr. Mann’s composure and his forthright responses to all of the queries that were asked of him.’

    But to expect any more from PSU is naive. They are just kicking the can down the road. Why, it’s almost like they are government employees.

  108. rbateman says:

    “Once they have you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about the answers” – Slothrup’s Third Proverb

    If they go that route, they will end up driving around in a whitewashed beater.
    A ‘beater’ is a car that has been in a crackup, never fixed, sports crumpled body parts, cheap grey-spraypaint, taped windows & headlights, and a “Temporary Operating Permit” red sticker on the rear window.
    Everybody knows what it is.
    At some point, Penn State might decide they are beyond the red sticker in the window, and get to the body shop.
    Or not. Penn State has other problems besides this.

  109. danbo says:

    I have little doubt this is a white wash. And Penn State should be ashamed of itself. I feel there needs to be a major change in administration.

    However, I have to point out. A lot of the reason I’m a skeptic is my undergraduate degree in anthropology. It’s been a while; but, some of us actually had to get dirty studying strata. Some of us had to try to divine past climate through things as pollen samples, charcoal, bones, the way the strata formed. Even tree rings.

    Plus if we’re honest, we should remember our own fraud. Piltdown. We bought that BS for a long time.

  110. Richard Saumarez says:

    Hooray!
    I had thought that they would conclude that there had been a few questionable acts, but nothing serious.

    My confidence in the academic process is being restored

  111. Sharon says:

    Alright, stop harshing on the anthropologists! Do I need to start with my enginerding jokes?

    Re Penn State: about what I expected. I’m not sure why folks here thought that PSU’s investigation of Mann would become the Scopes trial of AGW. For a university to start pronouncing on the validity of faculty research is a very difficult and dangerous thing to do. There would have to be clear and convincing evidence presented to the university for it to even consider opening such an inquiry. Obviously, most faculty would oppose such an investigation on principle, with the result being that Mann, despite being an über-d*ckhead (IMO), would garner incredible support

    This investigation is, correctly IMO, about Mann’s behavior. Did he violate accepted codes of conduct? These are partly spelled out in faculty handbooks, but there are unwritten codes too. For this reason, I think it’s a good thing that there are anthropologists on the committee. They might bring a more critical awareness of the academic sub-culture in which Mann et. al. have been allowed to play fast and loose with those codes.

  112. davidmhoffer says:

    Defense lawyer – did you knowingly at any time, engage in any actions intentional or otherwise, while residing at your current residence, and during the period of day x to day y, cause acceleration to an object of any sort, with a mass sufficient to be consistent with the medical report published on day x by investigator y, that could have resulted in the victim’s alleged deterioration in health that occured in a coincidental time period?

    Defendent – No.

    Judge – Prosecutor, you may cross examine.

    Prosecutor – thank you your honor. Defendent, did you hit the victim with a brick?

    Defense lawyer – your honour, a pre-existing agreement between the defendent and the prosecution in regard to an unrelated criminal matter in which my client is testifying prohibits the asking of that question. Please have it stricken from the record.

  113. Gary P says:

    Hmmm. Two anthropologists on the board. It might be a good time to have discussions about the Piltdown Man. I like this title from Google:

    “The Piltdown Man, a notorious anthropological hoax – Crime Library …”

    A fun little story about the most famous scientific hoax that discredited an entire field of science. Now that at least the British press is interested, maybe an article here asking, “What do you think is the most notorious scientific fraud, the Piltdown Man, or climategate?”

    It might remind a couple of people how damaging scientific fraud can be.

  114. Charles says:

    I’m surprised no-one in the US has invoked proceedings under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). I believe using manipulated data would be illegal under this act.

  115. Henry chance says:

    Penn State Admin policies

    III.As researchers/scholars, professors recognize that their goal is to discover, develop, and communicate new understanding. This goal is rarely achieved without making use of knowledge gained from others. Researchers must always exercise gracious and appropriate recognition of published work in the literature, conversations with colleagues, and the efforts of students who work under the researchers’ guidance. They must be scrupulous in presentation of their own data; it must be verifiable as a result of the highest standards in data gathering techniques. They must be extremely careful in the use of data reported by others, especially if used in the formation of broad comparative or contradictory hypotheses, since they may not know of any compromising circumstances in such data gathering. They must be comprehensive in consideration of work with human subjects; they must have thoroughly researched all procedures, must have informed individuals involved of all aspects of their cooperation, and must report all responses accurately, both positive and negative results. As open-minded researchers, when evaluating the work of others, they must recognize the responsibility to allow publication of theories or experiments that may contradict their own findings, as only by free inquiry and dissemination of all facts will the fruits of the labor of the whole community be allowed to mature.

    IV.As colleagues, professors have obligations that derive from common membership in the community of scholars. They respect and defend the free inquiry of their associates. In the exchange of criticism and ideas they show due respect for the opinions of others. They acknowledge their academic debts and strive to be objective in their professional judgment of colleagues. They accept their share of faculty responsibilities for the governance of their institution.

  116. Henry chance says:

    Kay (14:48:07) :

    Not to nitpick at anyone, but it’s Penn State, not Penn. They’re two completely different schools. Penn State is a state school. Penn is Ivy League and in Philadelphia

    Yeppers. He belongs at the State Pen
    Not at Penn State!!

    State Pen Ivy? Not so much.

  117. b.poli says:

    Very simple: Penn state does not have the scientific ressources necessary to see the hidden decline. Either they don’t have scientists with the qualifications necessary, or those did not want to participate.

  118. danbo says:

    Being we’ve been advised : it’s ok and acceptable scientific practice to simplify for everyone, making a chart where you sandwich together two different types of data.

    Should we make a chart utilizing station data from say 1900-1960; then tacking on temps derived from tree rings?

    Would anyone have the ability to do this easily?

    It should be as accurate as Mr. Mann’s chart.

  119. Kay says:

    @ Henry chance (15:54:37) : Yeppers. He belongs at the State Pen
    Not at Penn State!!

    There’s plenty of room at Western Pen…there are lots of river rats there. Big ones. He’ll feel right at home.

  120. yonason says:

    Let the whitewash begin.
    http://greenhellblog.com/2010/02/03/penn-state-primes-for-the-climategate-whitewash/

    But you do have to admit that he is Ivy league material. Maybe if we just treat the whole problem with calamine lotion, we can clear it up?

  121. yonason says:

    @dr kill (15:18:33) :

    “Why, it’s almost like they are government employees.”

    Fortunately, I swallowed that last sip of soda just in time, right before I read that.

  122. Jerry says:

    Interesting they would make the ratio 2:3 soft science:hard science (anthropology:chemistry/biology). Why not 5 from chemistry, physics, biology, geology, and meteorology? My guess is that was done guarantee that the objectivity so necessary in the hard sciences and so lacking in the soft sciences will be watered down. The anthropologists will be hard-pressed even to understand the issues at stake, and I think they want it that way.

  123. davidmhoffer says:

    The anthropoligists will understand EXACTLY the issues. Knowledge is power if you believe it, it doesn’t have to be right. The shaman said the spirits were angry and so shared power with the chief. The shaman became a church that said the sun circled the earth and shared power with the government. The scientist is now the third source of knowledge based power in the world, and is fighting for control with both church and government. Incorrect knowledge is just as powerfull as correct knowledge if it can’t be challenged. Can you prove that the spirits are not angry? That the sun does not circle the earth? That AGW does not exist? No? then those things are true and the masses must be governed accordingly. The anthropologists will no more offend an emerging power than would anyone else. This is about power, not accuracy of knowledge.

  124. Leon Brozyna says:

    Penn State didn’t have the … ahh … equipment to pull off a whitewash. It’ll end up being a beigewash, then business as usual.

  125. DocMartyn says:

    Academic courtmartials can be quite bloody. They will have the ability to examine all his emails, backed up on tape, question his post-doc’s and Ph.D students, examine his data files, raw and ‘value added’.
    Think of it this way. If they clear him, and at some point in the future something nasty crawls out of the woodwork, Penn looks very bad, reputation damaged and these five people are on the hook for giving a clean bill of health.
    Five people, over three months, can look at a lot of work. Again, they will be able to see his work product; all his Penn State addressed emails.

  126. Pete says:

    “Dr. Mann’s research conduct and that of his colleagues as a PROXY”

    A bad choice of words or someone with a sense of humour at Penn State?

  127. Pamela Gray says:

    Fred!!! Stage left!!!

    ROTFLMAO!!!!

  128. Pamela Gray says:

    Reminds me of parents who think their thieven shoplifting foulmouthed offspring can do no wrong. “Let me ask little Suzy if she took the lipstick from your store,”…pause…[muffled cry from said teenager who is oh so innocent]…”She says no and how dare you accuse my sweet little Suzy Cue!”

  129. Eli Rabett says:

    Go read the report. First of all, whoever posted, conveniently left out the first three decisions that COMPLETELY cleared Mann. The committee found NO CREDIBLE EVIDENCE THAT MANN

    1. engaged in, or participated in, directly or indirectly, any actions with the intent to suppress or falsify data

    2. engaged in, or participated in, directly or indirectly, any actions with the intent to delete, conceal or otherwise destroy emails, information and/or data, related to AR4, as suggested by Phil Jones

    3. engaged in, or participated in, directly or indirectly, any misuse of privileged or confidential information in his capacity as an academic scholar?

    Somehow that went down the memory hole here. Alack On the fourth issue the committee said that a) they could find NO EVIDENCE that Prof. Mann had deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research or other scholarly activities, but that they thought the issue should be decided b

    REPLY: Oh puhleeeze Josh. I’m sick of your telling other people to read when you can’t read yourself. Note this line:

    Excerpts from the report are below, where they considered 4 allegations. They say only one had merit. That will be the subject of the upcoming investigation.

    Key phrase there is: “… they considered 4 allegations. They say only one had merit.” The full report was posted for anyone to read, as you are so very fond of saying to others in your demeaning way: RTFR!

    Back to your rabett hole, troll – A

  130. Rathtyen says:

    By conducting an in-house review, and apparently uncritically taking Mann at his word without checking with external parties, starting with Steve McIntyre, who can explain in objective detail what was done, Penn State has guaranteed the inquiry will be labelled a whitewash. Even if they find evidence of wrongdoing by Mann, it will be reasonable to presume they have minimised the misdeed.

    In the past, this might have worked, but its too big now. This is an international issue, and a whitewash will be short-term gain for more longer term pain. The blogosphere can holler all it likes, and the university could bluff through it, if it weren’t for the fact this is also a political issue.

    Notice how Fox and the conservative media are now regularly covering these issues? Even the MSM are starting to. Three months ago this was almost unheard of in the press. That gives it a growing degree of public awareness, and the whole global warming debate is switching from being a political disaster for conservatives to being a political winner.

    Does Penn State think the Republicans are really going to allow this to die away quietly, and Senators and Congressmen do have a degree of real power.

  131. Smokey says:

    Eli Rabett (20:06:07):

    “No evidence” that Mann ‘engaged in, or participated in, directly or indirectly, any actions with the intent to delete, conceal or otherwise destroy emails, information and/or data, related to AR4, as suggested by Phil Jones…’

    So the vermin who throw their pal Phil Jones under the bus to save their own hides are A-OK. Tell us about Phil Jones, bunnyboi.

  132. Jan says:

    It looks like it will be not Penn State who will stick back the hokey thing to the manns ribs. But honestly, who would expect it. After all that tea-bagging will there be a hokeysticking?

  133. Roger Knights says:

    Here is Steve McIntyre’s comment on the Penn State findings:

    http://climateaudit.org/2010/02/03/the-mann-report/

  134. Timothy C. says:

    Has anybody contacted the National Domestic Extremism Team about this report? It seems the PSU Professional Ethics committee has information – perhaps from Dr. Mann – regarding the theft of Climategate emails from the CRU at East Anglia. Why else would they use the word “purloined?”

  135. Manfred says:

    I would extend this case with an inquiry against of Gerry North, who again caused institutional and system failure.

    He is the one who really has to explain himself, while Michael Mann doesn’t have to, everything is already known and documented.

  136. Not Amused says:

    Each and every of these guys are going to walk away free and clear.

    I’m willing to bet my bottom dollar.

    There is no way in H-E-double-hockeysticks (pun intended) any committee of any kind, in any country, is going to flip an entire industry (climate science et al) onto its head.

    It just isn’t going to happen.

  137. Ed says:

    Surely reading the Wegmman report should have been enough to close down Mann’s career. That was now several years ago.

    http://republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/108/home/07142006_Wegman_Report.pdf

  138. Jeremy 2 says:

    I just ran the following Google search: Penn+state+michael+mann+whitewash and scored 3,280,000 hits – this within 24hours of the announcement of the result of the inquiry. Admittedly some of the hits were written before the result came out, but that just shows what a prescient lot we sceptics are.

  139. Henry chance says:

    From: “Michael E. Mann”
    To: Tim Osborn
    Subject: Re: reconstruction errors
    Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2003

    Tim,
    Attached are the calibration residual series for experiments. In any case, the incremental changes are modest after 1600–its pretty clear that key
    predictors drop out before AD 1600, hence the redness of the residuals, and the notably
    larger uncertainties farther back…
    p.s. I know I probably don’t need to mention this, but just to insure absolutely clarify on
    this, I’m providing these for your own personal use, since you’re a trusted colleague. So
    please don’t pass this along to others without checking w/ me first. This is the sort of
    “dirty laundry” one doesn’t want to fall into the hands of those who might potentially try
    to distort things…

    This comes back from the laundramat. It is now on the spin cycle.

  140. Ron Cram says:

    No one can expect Penn State to turn on one of its own, especially one so good at shaking the federal dollar tree.

    The investigation of Michael Mann’s wrongdoings should be headed by the local district attorney. If, for political reasons, the DA is disinclined to investigate, the good people of PA (or VA for that matter) can call their own grand jury to investigate.

    Many people do not realize citizens can call a grand jury, but it is one of our constitutional rights. Presentments must then be made to a proper court, of course, but it is a viable action. The grand jury will need good legal counsel from an attorney familiar with the laws of the state, but I’m sure a team of them could be found.

    Anthony, email me if you want to know more.

  141. Ornithophobe says:

    Hey now- if the anthropologists are properly trained, they may well hang him. My “Statistics of Anthropology” professor would’ve laughed Mike’s Nature Trick right out of his classroom.

    BIas is discussed ad nauseum in anthropology. Much of Postmodern anth is about recognizing observer bias; it’s pretty much accepted that everyone has a viewpoint that will, to some degree, bias their results; the important thing is to identify and isolate those biases, so as to understand their impact on results. Plus, as was said upthread- anth is not without its famous scandals; everyone involved is likely to be sensitive to accusations of Piltdowning in this mess.

    Of course, I may be biased in favor of anthropologists. I am one.

  142. Steve Keohane says:

    We are aware that some may seek to use the debate over Dr. Mann’s research conduct and that of his colleagues as a proxy for the larger and more substantive debate over the science of anthropogenic global warming and its societal (political and economic) ramifications. We have kept the two debates separate by only considering Dr. Mann’s conduct.”
    Reads to me like:
    IF A=B AND B=C, THEN A≠B
    I’m glad I was leaving grade school as the ‘new’ math came in. It hurts to try to think like that.

  143. stephen richards says:

    So, from whitewash on to greywash.

  144. Henry chance says:

    Accuweather founder gave Penn State 2 million September ’09.

    This may dry up some other sources over time. How much money is Penn State wasting on legal and investigation expenses now? Pawned!!!

    Joel Myers “pledged” the money. It is odd how troubles at schools sometimes find pledges do not turn into real dollars.
    Ask T Boone Pickens.

    He scaled back on windmills and on Oklahoma State University

  145. Kay says:

    I don’t know if anyone’s mentioned this, but Penn State is claiming they’re exempt from Freedom of Information Act requests and Pennsylvania’s Right to Know Law:

    http://johncostella.webs.com/penn-state-foia-loopholes.pdf

    However, according to http://www.climategate.com/federal-preemption-law-forbids-penn-state-from-hiding-behind-foia-exemption , the Supremacy Clause trumps them; federal law supersedes state law in FOIA request matters.

    “This means that any federal law—including Freedom of Information laws – trumps any conflicting state law.

    Under U..S. constitutional law it turns out that a legal technicality known as the ‘Preemption Doctrine’ forbids any shabby attempt by institutions at state level from undermining the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) laws. According to the Supremacy Clause, anyone filing a federal FOIA request at the university will have the full weight of the federal government behind them in rooting for evidence in cracking the great climate con nut.

    It turns out that the state of Pennsylvania is no stranger to getting its hand slapped by the feds for trying to circumvent the rights of citizens. Federal ‘occupation of the field’ stamped itself on Pennsylvanians in the case of Pennsylvania v Nelson (1956).”

  146. Indiana Bones says:

    Not Amused (00:25:36) :

    There is no way in H-E-double-hockeysticks (pun intended) any committee of any kind, in any country, is going to flip an entire industry (climate science et al) onto its head.

    Correct. No committee is going to do that. Good, honest people will.

  147. andrew adams says:

    Key phrase there is: “… they considered 4 allegations. They say only one had merit.” The full report was posted for anyone to read, as you are so very fond of saying to others in your demeaning way: RTFR!

    Given the seriousness of the allegations which have been made against Mann it would seem to me to be in the interests of fairness to make clear exactly which allegations had been found to have no merit rather than dwell on just the one which is subject of further investigations. Otherwise it just gives the impression of being an ungratious loser.

  148. Phil. says:

    Scott B (11:52:34) :
    Do quotes such as these (limited to PSU e-mails) not constitute engaging in actions with the intent to suppress data?

    “hi tim. personally, I don’t see why you should make any concessions for this moron. By the way, our supplementary site (now on scott’s computer) doesn’t block any ip#s. another lie.. Mike”

    “The last thing you want to do is help them by feeding the fire. Best thing is to ignore them completely. They no longer have their friends in power here in the U.S., and the media has become entirely unsympathetic to the rants of the contrarians at least in the U.S.–the Wall Street Journal editorial page are about the only place they can broadcast their disinformation. So in other words, for contrarians the environment appears to have become very unfavorable for development. I would advise Wang the same way.”

    “I don’t read E&E, gives me indigestion–I don’t even consider it peer-reviewed science, and in my view we should treat it that way. i.e., don’t cite, and if journalists ask us about a paper, simply explain its not peer-reviewed science, and Sonja B-C, the editor, has even admitted to an anti-Kyoto agenda!”

    “Seems to me that CRU should charge him a fee for the service. He shouldn’t be under the assumption that he has the right to demand reports be scanned in for him on a whim. CRU should require reasonable monetary compensation for the labor, effort (and postage!). It this were a colleague acting in good faith, I’d say do it at no cost. But of, course, he’s not.”

    “I never acknowledge emails from people I don’t know, about topics that are in any way sensitive. this is a perfect example of something that goes right to the trash bin,”

    I don’t see anything there about suppressing data!

  149. Phil. says:

    GeneDoc (14:20:36) :
    In this case, the allegations are rather broad and in a sense all encompassing. Since they were “synthesized” by the Dean of the Graduate School, they lack adequate specificity. It’s curious that they did not treat the numerous “emails, phone calls, and letters” as formal allegations of misconduct.

    Because if they’re anything like most of the accusations on here they’re general ‘I hate Mann’ rants, and treat anything involving AGW as a crime. Most on here are advocating a McCarthyite approach, some are even following McI’s ramblings about the ‘hide the decline’ which was Briffa not Mann! There is a major attack on academic freedom being mounted for political reasons here.

  150. Steve Goddard says:

    They had to terminate the investigation early in order to prepare for the record snowstorm. The weather does not yet fully understand the important science behind the Hockey Stick.

    Penn State is hoping to hide the decline in their academic standards.

  151. Bill H says:

    I wonder if their investigation skills are as low of standard that a rookie cop could out do them without classroom instruction..

    withe-wash, rug sweep, etc…

    I wonder if these investigating persons were just proxy’s?

  152. Phil. says:

    Steve Goddard (15:18:04) :
    They had to terminate the investigation early in order to prepare for the record snowstorm. The weather does not yet fully understand the important science behind the Hockey Stick.

    Well fortunately it wasn’t much of a snowstorm!

  153. Christoffer Bugge Harder says:

    Mr. Watts,

    you may not be a fan of anonymous lagomorphs, but I cannot see how you can escape the fact that your wording

    “They say only one had merit”.

    is a twisting of the actual findings of the committee. Any dictionary reads that describing an accusation as “having merit” equals saying that it “deserves approval/has justification etc.”. The committee made no such statement.

    They state quite clearly that the allegations are of such a nature as to “merit a review by a committee of faculty scientists. Only with such a review will the academic community and other interested parties likely feel that Penn State has discharged it responsibility on this matter”.

    Thus, they made no judgement upon whether the fourth allegation (of scientific misconduct) had merit or not, only that the nature of the dispute merited (required) a qualified review from Mann´s peers from the natural sciences to lay the issue to rest to (possibly not everyone´s) satisfaction. Indeed, they explicitly stated that they were unable to assess “whether there exists any evidence” to support the allegation.

    Englisch may not be my native language, but it seems quite clear that even to native speakes, you make it appear is if the committee did make a statement about the accusation of scientific misconduct (#4) as having merit. This is not the case.

  154. Sharpshooter says:

    If this was an ANTI-government action, it would be the biggest RICO enforcement evah! So goes the elite political class.

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