Notes on the Brune talk on Mann-Climategate in Boulder

WUWT reader W. Earl Allen attended this talk and provided notes of his observations. First the talk summary:

The seminar is a Chemical Science Division seminar entitled “Climategate, Michael Mann, and Penn State’s investigation”:

*********************************************************************
Please note: this special seminar will precede the usual CSD seminar. There will be a 15 minute break in between the two.
*********************************************************************

The release of emails purloined from the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University inflamed the passion and politics that surround climate science. As one of the climate scientists whose emails were released, Professor Michael Mann, who I recruited to Penn State, became a focal point of this passion in the United States.

Intense pressure was put on Penn State to investigate Professor Mann, initiating a process that led to his exoneration eight months later. As Professor Mann’s department head, I was a participant in Penn State’s investigative process. At David Fahey’s request, I will tell what I can about Climategate, Michael Mann, and Penn State’s investigation.

W. Earl Allen writes of the event a few hours later:

The security gauntlet at a supposedly open scientific research center was daunting, surprising, and most unwelcome. Fortunately, I came about a half hour early so as to be there early enough to set up for recording, which turned out to be disallowed, so I was happy that I had time to run the gauntlet, which was pretty much exactly equivalent to the security imposed by the TSA. I’ve worked at federal facilities before, and this was far and away the most intrusive and unwelcome security I have ever experienced.

One possibly irrelevant note: the NOAA research center is named for former congressperson from Boulder, David Skaggs, who I ran against in 1996 as a Libertarian. On the way in, someone questioned the tastefulness of naming such a place for a still-living person. But I guess anyone who diverted so much Federal money to Boulder deserves his name on the building.

An overview: The room was packed SRO, which Brune appeared to be surprised about, since he expected a very small seminar with only a few interested scientists. Brune opened with a backgrounder about the history of Penn State and his department within Penn State. He noted that Pennsylvania was a coal-mining state. He described hiring Michael Mann 6 years ago. Brune was very annoyed to get a lot of offensive emails and phone calls about Michael Mann when Climategate revealed Mann to be one of the primary foci of the “hacked” emails.

Brune spent several minutes ruminating about the possible problems of using email for a “conversation”. I’m not sure this is just the opinion of someone brought up in the landline phone age or someone worried about revealing the internal “sausage” of science in the making. One of the questioners asked whether or not all emails between scientists should be encrypted. Brune thought that was a very good question, but didn’t necessarily agree that all emails should be encrypted.

Like all good academic bureaucrats, when faced with a messy political problem, Brune turned to “the process”, which at Penn State has a name: RA-10. He said that he decided to use that process to handle the problem. He noted that there was no *internal* request for inquiry from within Penn State itself, so they had to “construct” questions to put to Mann from inquiries from outside the University. He seemed a bit huffy that he had to deal with “outside” inquirers, as if the only “real” problems would surface from within Penn State itself, and any controversy imposed from outside was somehow just an annoyance. {/editorial on} Talk about Ivory Towers. Reminds me of the Falwlty ones. {/editorial off}

The first step was an Administrative Inquiry, led by Bill Easterling, the Dean. Brune himself, being department chair, and the guy who hired Mann, was considered only a “consultant” to this initial Administrative Inquiry. They constructed four questions for this inquiry, which they put to Mann himself. He was exonerated regarding the first three (sorry I didn’t get the details of those questions, but since Lindzen objected to Mann’s exoneration on those first three, they must be available somewhere). The only remaining question was whether Mann had somehow played fast and loose with a paper out for review in preprint, which seemed to me to be an entirely irrelevant question.

Brune emphasized that Mann was a great student of the Philosophy of Science, and that he was “very much the scientist.”

The second stage of RA-10, called an “Investigative Committee”, which included Will Castleman and token “denier”, Richard Lindzen, got to look at only the fourth question. Lindzen was nonplussed to note that the first three questions had been deemed non-questions, and was ignored subsequently. Brune made an interesting remark to a questioner about Richard Lindzen, asking the questioner, “Do you know Richard Lindzen?” The questioner said he didn’t. Brune said that “Richard Lindzen can stand for any number of people.” I took that to mean that he could stand for just about all the deniers “out there.” But I may have misunderstood Brune.

Brune emphasized that “in summary,” nothing was found against Michael Mann, and that the whole inquiry process wasted hundreds of hours of very productive academic time.

In closing his lecture, Brune noted that climate is not just an extension of the weather, and that people like Joe Bastardi, who insist on this point, have cut all ties with Penn State and excoriated Mann and Penn State for their bad behavior. Brune appeared to carry it as a badge of honor that Bastardi no longer supports Penn State. When someone asked whether donations to Penn State had dropped off because of the Mann inquiry, Brune said he wasn’t aware of any such decrease.

I enjoyed hearing Brune emphasize that scientists *should* be skeptics, and that they should never take anything on faith, since to do so would be “religion.” I wish some of his colleagues would take that admonition to heart.

Brune ruminated on the necessity for publicizing all code, noting that 10 years ago, this wouldn’t have been good practice, nor necessary. He said that it appears that the new standard in research is to reveal all your data for replication, and that code probably should also be revealed, although he waffled a bit on that one.

Brune agonized about the “politicized environment” that produced the whole controversy around Michael Mann, and then opened the floor for questions.

None of bouldersolar’s questions got asked. He appears to have gotten them from Steve McIntyre’s site, so I’ll let him post them here if he wishes. I got to ask one question: Since so much of science now relies on computer codes, isn’t the whole project of modeling a hypercomplex non-linear chaotic system in an attempt to make psychic prognostications 50 or 100 years out a bit hubristic? Brune’s answer was that I should take his course in climatology once it comes online. I said I would love to do so. There was a bit of a titter as I asked the question, but not much of a one for that answer.

I got to “dialog” with a “dynamics” modeler after the session who explained that there’s a difference between engineers like McIntyre and “scientists” doing modeling and other scientific work. Science is a lot less exact, while engineers expect perfection. I countered by asking him to state exactly what the measured human contribution to the current CO2 concentration was. He rambled on about how this can be done with isotopes. I said yes, that is one way. Tell me what the measured percentage is. He had no answer. I asked him about the 50X sink of CO2 in the oceans, and he said that had already been covered, and by implication, dismissed.

I left the room with the impression that nobody had asked the “elephant” question. Had the money that Mann brought to Penn State from Federal sources caused him to bend his research to fit the requirements of his Federal funders? To ask such a question on the grounds of a Federal research facility might have been a bit too brash.

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103 thoughts on “Notes on the Brune talk on Mann-Climategate in Boulder

  1. Can I ask what brand of whitewash Mr Brune uses. It seems to cover very well. It takes three coats of the British version to cover the same area. Maybe I could get the licence to import the American version and get rich. I could brand it “American Global Whitewash”

  2. Jay, those are “scuppers”, but the fish is still twisting. The whole ugly affair is in the precipitous stages of collapse.

  3. The question I would have to ask is; Why go to all this trouble to conduct a seminar/meeting that fails to address any new issues?
    Who paid for this?

  4. Thank you, Mr Allen for covering the event. Very interesting to hear that there was what I will interpret from your remarks as a degree of awkwardness on the part of the Penn State academics in talking about the Professor Mann controversy. Not so cocky these days. “Why won’t you all just believe us,” they seem to be pleading.

  5. Another fine dispatch from the world-wide cadre of WUWT reporters. Thank you, W. Earl Allen.-

    I wonder how many that were attending had read some of the Climategate e-mails?

  6. I’m amused by Brune’s report that Michael Mann is researching climate communications. He’s either been told he’s deficient in that regard or he’s trapped in the delusion that communicating the science is the problem. A win/win.
    ================

  7. Thanks for an excellent well-written report. We rarely get to hear directly from the belly of the beast!

    Brune’s overall attitude is typical of the consummate insider. He’s always lived in the fishtank, so he can’t answer questions about the stuff that fills the fishtank. To him it’s not water, it’s just Reality, thus can’t be further described. Nothing outside the tank exists.

  8. Mr. Allen writes:

    I got to “dialog” with a “dynamics” modeler after the session who explained that there’s a difference between engineers like McIntyre and “scientists” doing modeling and other scientific work. Science is a lot less exact, while engineers expect perfection.

    Well, I’ll be damned if that didn’t ring a bell.

    From Bert Rutan’s “An Engineer’s Critique of Global Warming ‘Science’” (version 4.3, January 2011):

    The Engineer vs. the Scientist

    Engineering Organization
    Development of a product, usually under strict certification rules.
    Responsible for the product‟s worth and safety.
    Selling the product‟s adequacy to Management
    Consequences if wrong (people die).

    Scientific Method
    Origin of new Theories (hypothesis).
    Strict process (The Scientific Method) to gain (or lose) confidence in the Theory.
    Not responsible for adequacy or value of product.
    Frequently being wrong is not a problem.

    Yep. “engineers expect perfection,” all right.

    That’s because – as Mr. Rutan observed – for the engineer there are “Consequences if wrong (people die).”

    Pardon the added emphasis.

    When the Climategate cabal decided to enter the realm of government policy advocacy, they departed the realm of “Science” both methodologically and practically, and for all purposes entered the engineering field.

    And now they’re surprised at being held to the standards of the engineering profession?

  9. W. Earl Allen writes of the event

    I got to “dialog” with a “dynamics” modeler after the session who explained that there’s a difference between engineers like McIntyre and “scientists” doing modeling and other scientific work. Science is a lot less exact, while engineers expect perfection.

    ————————-

    “Science is a lot less exact, while engineers expect perfection”. Time to replace the so-called climate scientists with engineers if we want any reasonable results to research. From an engineer’s perspective; if it don’t work, don’t try to sell it.

    Thank you for the investment of your time in attending this meeting and informing us with your post.

  10. From Disko Troop:

    “Can I ask what brand of whitewash Mr Brune uses. It seems to cover very well. It takes three coats of the British version to cover the same area. Maybe I could get the licence to import the American version and get rich. I could brand it “American Global Whitewash” ”

    Of course it’s obviously all meant in jest, but I’d say that statement is a bit brash coming from the land of Hadley Center (source of the Climategate leak, no less) and the whitewash investgations that make this presentation look like rank amateurism.

  11. DocWat says:
    October 6, 2011 at 2:02 am

    The Penn State ivory tower must have thick walls.

    ##################################################

    Is that really an ivory tower or is it whitewash………?

  12. Anthony – do you have anyone covering the Royal Society Meeting in London Oct 10 and 11 on `Warm climates of the past – a lesson for the future?`. Jim Hansen is down to speak on11 Oct. But none of the speakers have produced abstracts.

    REPLY:
    Bishop Hill may be going, not sure -A

  13. Thanks, very informative. I lived in Boulder and we called it The People’s Republic. From your description, it sounds as if the place hasn’t changed. Ironic that such environments, that purport to espouse transparency and independent spirit of inquiry, end up in a sterile defensive posture, imposing codes of correctness and squelching dissent. For the good of the movement, comrades.

  14. I liked the reference to wasting hundreds of hours of valuable academic time. To me that means these people could have better used that time writing proposals for more research grants.

  15. @Mike Bromley the Canucklehead
    Perhaps Jay is from the fens of East Anglia where early inhabitants lived by subsistence fishing and carried their catch in wide shallow baskets called “scuttles” In any case, the thoughts of fish and “climate science” are correlative.

  16. I would suggest that the question that didn’t get asked was: How can any person justify the utilization of an measuring device that fails to calibrate? Because that is what “Hide The Decline” is all about. Tree rings, as a measure of temperature failed to calibrate against the more accurate and precise instrument record. Thus they are not a suitable measuring device for temperture. If I were to hide something like this in a business presentation, particularly a mining presentation, I would go to jail. Can scientists be that far removed from the laboratory to have forgotten basic quality control?

  17. He (Brune) said that it appears that the new standard in research is to reveal all your data for replication, …

    Well, it’s new because no one ever thought of it before.

    /sarc

  18. “I got to ask one question: Since so much of science now relies on computer codes, isnt the whole project of modeling a hypercomplex non-linear chaotic system in an attempt to make psychic prognostications 50 or 100 years out a bit hubristic? Brunes answer was that I should take his course in climatology once it comes online.”

    What a nothing answer – typical climate science b.s. I wonder what it is in his course content that will show us all how ill-posed non-linear partial differential equations (if he can actually define them all along with appropriate boundary conditions) that will make this all so clear…I’m not holding my breath.

  19. Just a small aside here…….I find the phrase “…someone brought up in the landline phone age…” to be horribly depressing. I think I’ll go play games on my HP 41CV now.

  20. “I got to “dialog” with a “dynamics” modeler after the session who explained that there’s a difference between engineers like McIntyre and “scientists” doing modeling and other scientific work. Science is a lot less exact, while engineers expect perfection. ”

    No, there is not a difference. There is, however, a difference between constructing models and simulations that are tested against the real world and demonstrated to have measurable accuracy and precision in studying a system under varying conditions, and throwing together spaghetti code that boils down to “jump to the answer I want.” Been through this war already.

  21. “Jay, those are “scuppers”…”

    Yes, that’s true. However, “scuttle” seems to be an appropriate word to use when discussing the CAGW affair, and plans to wreck the world’s economy through a “return to darkness” green energy movement.

  22. I think it is a shame that science is in such a sad state. Ignoring questions is one thing refusing to answer on the grounds that the answer may incriminate is what happens in a law Court, it has no place in scientific reseach. I wonder if the “modeler” knew the defination of a trace gas. Hee.

    Well done.

  23. Jay, a fish ‘twisting in the scuttles’ – coal (carbon) scuttles. That’s a nice image, but it’s a shame to insult the fish. Mr. Allen, thanks for having the intestinal fortitude to sit through and report on this talk.

  24. I got to “dialog” with a “dynamics” modeler after the session who explained that there’s a difference between engineers like McIntyre and “scientists” doing modeling and other scientific work.

    Steve is not an engineer, though admittedly, he may expect the work produced by scientists, including his own, to live up to reasonable standards, often noting that engineering standards are much higher and would eliminate many of the problems he has faced over the years if such standards were applied to climate science.

    Mark

  25. Argh. Blew the blockquote… sorry. My bit starts with “Steve is not an engineer.”

    Mark

    REPLY: Fixed – Anthony

  26. Brune ruminated on the necessity for publicizing all code, noting that 10 years ago, this wouldn’t have been good practice, nor necessary. He said that it appears that the new standard in research is to reveal all your data for replication, and that code probably should also be revealed, although he waffled a bit on that one.

    It’s not a new standard. It has always been the standard to reveal all of your data if you want the public (or other scientists more specifically) to take your results as serious. His (Brune’s) problem is that 10 years ago (really 20) the work people like Mann and others were producing was not directly impacting the lives of billions of people. Nobody cares when it did not directly impact their freedom and/or livelihood. Applying the standard then did not make a difference because nobody was checking. Now they (we) are checking and the likes of Brune and Mann are so far behind in what constitutes legitimate science that they are having a hard time catching up.

    Mark

  27. If you really wanted to be difficult, you could start by asking what evidence shows the ClimateGage emails were ‘purloined.’

    And by difficult, I mean ignored or asked to leave.

  28. From this distance it is astonishing that the university cares so little about its medium to long term image, funding and future. Each ‘scientist’ or ‘professional’ who evades any meaningful investigation and supports this whitewash nonsense while claiming to be ‘doing justice’ publicly places themselves on a ‘do not hire’ list.

    If you can’t trust someone to properly investigate the obviously deviant among their own, how can they be trusted to advise students, mark exams, evaluate funding proposals or uphold the integrity of the university’s charter?

    What mysterious hold grips the throats of those who are called to the investigators bench? Who is it that threatens to slice off their academic gonads if they do not pevert the course of academic justice? Can all American academics be bought off or just some of them?

    Could the grip be something as base and common as mere money?

    Readers should seriously consider that those members of the climate science community involved in alarmist projections together with their administrative protectors, prostrate before Mammon, may never willingly convene a just panel. Get over it. Look elsewhere.

    Study of the Climategate papers, the claims, the cover-up and the consequences will surely be mandatory for all future first year academic ethics classes. Every possible violation of ethics is provided on a single storyline. Here we have reported another example.

  29. Does anyone have an idea why Brune participated in this non-event? All I can figure is that someone believes that additional coats of whitewash are inherently good.

  30. I have certainly ceased all giving I have made every year to Penn State since graduation and I made my reasons very clear to the university. Michael Mann was the main one.

  31. Science is a lot less exact, while engineers expect perfection.

    This I find especially funny. In my first week as an engineer, I was taught exactly the opposite.
    “Scientists have time to make it perfect, but engineers have to find real life solutions.”

  32. what is the measured human contribution to the current CO2 concentration?

    “Science is a lot less exact..” OK then do we really want to make huge sacrifices (cause that is AGW alarmists are asking for) in order to avert a projected threat that a lot of uncertainty around it.

  33. Some years ago I was consulting for an NSF science education program for which I had devised a new kind of sun photometer that used LEDs as spectrally selective photodiodes. While discussing a related idea by e-mail with an NSF program officer, she told me that an NSF proposal I was planning must be based on a global warming theme or it would not be given serious consideration. That’s when I first realized that global warming had been elevated from a parameter to a paradigm.

  34. If you’ve got the science on your side then you’ve got nothing to hide. And if Climatology wants to have a worldwide political influence it should be completely transparent – there should be no proprietary information – every inhabitant of the planet has the right to 100% unfettered information gained through any source of public funding and/or any charity tax empt endowments or foundations. Only self-funded businesses have a right to proprietary information through research.

  35. “None of bouldersolar’s questions got asked. He appears to have gotten them from Steve McIntyre’s site, so I’ll let him post them here if he wishes. I got to ask one question:”

    I am very interested in the dynamics in the room. Can you explain how they handled the Q&A? Where questions submitted in writing first? Was a microphone passed around? Did you have to push anyone down to get to the mic? Did anyone else ask a difficult or uncomfortable question? Did anyone seem familiar with the issue of the deleted emails? It does not sound like any evidence against Michael Mann was discussed at all. Is that accurate? Why was bouldersolar’s questions ignored?

  36. Earl: You are to be commended for your cool tackling of this project. Too bad you didn’t bring a strong flashlite to the event. It would have been interesting to see if a majority of the crowd would move as Periplaneta Americana and try to hide when you turned the light on.

    In a way, however, your response from the fellow here:

    “He rambled on about how this can be done with isotopes. I said yes, that is one way. Tell me what the measured percentage is. He had no answer. I asked him about the 50X sink of CO2 in the oceans, and he said that had already been covered, and by implication, dismissed.”

    IS the response mentioned above! (The equivalent of scurrying for cover.)

    Conclusion: The “climate scientists” are no longer objective, factual members of society. They have become “High Priests” of mumble-jumble. They resent people as us, pulling aside the curtain to reveal who really is the “Wizard”, and why he should be mocked rather than feared.

  37. If model code was published for scrutiny in just the same way as experimental methods are described, we’d never have got into this mess.

  38. This is pretty sad, but pretty typical of the University.

    I’ve offered the use of huge computing resources and modern database and analytics to two college professors and both turned me down. They preferred to stick with their flat files and excel programs.

    A big box retailer can tell you who bought what five years ago and what the trends are over time for that person. Or zip code. Or demographic. In a population of millions of registered shoppers.

    But academia cannot deal with a few thousand locations and a few million entries for them.

    LOL

    You think they’d want to use the latest tools.

  39. John Eggert says:
    October 6, 2011 at 5:08 am
    If I were to hide something like this in a business presentation, particularly a mining presentation, I would go to jail. Can scientists be that far removed from the laboratory to have forgotten basic quality control?

    No one “forgot”. It was done to hide the medieval warming period and little ice age. It was the scientific equivalent to the “piltdown man”, only with a lot more at stake. Like the “piltdown man”, people believed because it satisfied their preconceived ideas.

  40. So, basically, the speaker painted everything over, dismissing all complaints as bothersome and inconsequential. The ability to simply sift the questions to ask gives fine control of the investigation’s answers. How in heck did they spend 100s of hours on this? Having circle j**ks?

    Bearding the lion on its own property is fine in my book; it gives them the position of having to explain why they have what they have, which is evident by the venue.

  41. Beth Cooper says:
    October 6, 2011 at 4:46 am

    Is’ Penn’ short for ‘Penitentiary?’

    = = =

    Beth Cooper,

    Didn’t Prof Tim Ball use something like that to poke at a rattlesnake?

    John

  42. “He (Brune) said that it appears that the new standard in research is to reveal all your data for replication, …”

    Really? Since when did they add that silly ‘need for replication’ into the scientific method, that must be a new thing that will never catch on….

    /sarc

  43. Did they make you place your personal belongings and make you walk through the metal detector, only to then allow you to drive your unsearched car onto the campus?

  44. Engineering Organization. . .
    Consequences if wrong (people die).

    Scientific Method . . .
    Frequently being wrong is not a problem.

    Except that being wrong on climate IS a massive problem.
    The proposed redirection of $1,900,000,000,000,000 is bad stewardship, burying massive hard earned resources into the worst benefit/cost scheme of all major global projects proposed. It will directly bankrupt our economies that are already struggling.

    It will starve funds from essential humanitarian needs, causing malnutrition death to millions of children who would otherwise be cared for. See the Copenhagen Consensus 2008. Global warming alarmism misdirects attention from the critical issue of “peak oil” and rapidly declining net oil exports, and the urgent need to rapidly develop alternative fuels asap.

    Lets get back to common sense, restore the integrity of science, practice good stewardship, and have compassion on the poor,

  45. eyesonu says:
    October 6, 2011 at 3:20 am
    W. Earl Allen writes of the event

    I got to “dialog” with a “dynamics” modeler after the session who explained that there’s a difference between engineers like McIntyre and “scientists” doing modeling and other scientific work. Science is a lot less exact, while engineers expect perfection.

    ————————-

    “Science is a lot less exact, while engineers expect perfection”. Time to replace the so-called climate scientists with engineers if we want any reasonable results to research. From an engineer’s perspective; if it don’t work, don’t try to sell it.

    Thank you for the investment of your time in attending this meeting and informing us with your post.

    There is a new discipline for software development called Software Engineering. It’s an attempt to apply engineering principles to the process of designing, coding and testing software. The modelers could learn a lot from the software engineers, but I suspect that this would expose the entire climate modeling cabal as a bunch of frauds.

  46. Regarding CA’s post on the Brune seminar, CA commenter ‘Dave Bufalo, P.E.’ (@ Oct 5, 2011 at 9:49 PM) graciously gave his views on the seminar based on his attendance. Thanks ‘Dave Bufalo, P.E.’.

    In his CA comment Dave Bufalo (P.E.) wrote, “Bruen [Brune] went on to say that Mann is now on sabatical doing research into how to do climate research communications better.”

    Question for any long timers in the formal academic environment – What significance, if any, is there to the suggestion by Brune that Mann is on sabbatical for climate science communication research? Is that an academic code for being placed in hiatus pending some outcome of some other independent ongoing activity?

    Note: I also posted the above question at CA on the thread about Brune.

    John

  47. [..]noting that 10 years ago, this wouldn’t have been good practice, nor necessary.

    That gentleman can speak only for the researchers he recruits. AFAIK astronomers use publicly available repositories for their data reduction software long time ago. I checked this myself when working as an engineer for a telescope facility in Europe, more than two decades ago. Also, for the observational data itself, the facility or the site (i.e. the telescope or whatever, usually financed with public funds) where the researchers collects the data give the researchers a window of only 6 months to keep the data private. After that period the data itself has to be dumped in a public repository. Sigh!

  48. The inquiry should have been ..

    Are you Michael Mann?
    Are these your emails?
    Did you say delete in this one?
    Did you say ignore the FOIR in this one?
    Did you say “I will destroy the data rather than share”?
    Can you explain ‘Hide The Decline”?
    etc.

    Scientist my eye!

  49. Very nicely done; many thanks. One sentence grabbed my attention: ” Science is a lot less exact, while engineers expect perfection. ”

    Total ignorance. Engineers just don’t expect anything they build to fail under normal conditions because safety factors of 4:1 or 10:1 cover the inexactitude of conditions, materials, and methods. Where Science is inexact, it’s supposed to give us an estimate of how inexact it might be. The absence of that estimate seems to be a feature of Climate “Science.”

  50. Elmer! That was not fair! There wasn’t a “no liquids” warning before that and I think I lost a keyboard.

  51. “Brune emphasized that Mann was a great student of the Philosophy of Science, and that he was “very much the scientist.” “

    I just lost my lunch…..

  52. Earl,

    Thanks for attending. CU, with it’s numerous associations with climate change, is kind of the “belly of the beast”, isn’t it? Kudos for running the security gauntlet and stepping up to the microphone.

    I believe there were four allegations against Mann. To address them, the inquiry committee was allowed 15 questions with follow-ups. I don’t know if the transcript for the hearing is available, but here is a summary of the allegations and the committee’s decisions:

    On January 26, 2010, Dr. Foley convened the Inquiry Committee, along with University
    counsel, Mr. Wendell Courtney, Esq., in case issues of procedure arose.

    After a careful review of all written material, and information obtained from the
    purloined emails, the interview of Dr. Mann, the supplemental materials provided by Dr.
    Mann and all the information from other sources, the Inquiry Committee found as follows
    with respect to each allegation:

    Allegation 1: “Did you engage in, or participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions
    with the intent to suppress or falsify data? ”
    Decision 1: The Inquiry Committee determined there was no substance to this
    allegation and further investigation of this allegation was not warranted.

    Allegation 2: “Did you engage in, or participate 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?”
    Decision 2: The Inquiry Committee determined there was no substance to this
    allegation and further investigation of this allegation was not warranted.

    Allegation 3: “Did you engage in, or participate in, directly or indirectly, any misuse of
    privileged or confidential information available to you in your capacity as an academic
    scholar?”
    Decision 3: The Inquiry Committee determined there was no substance to this
    allegation and further investigation of this allegation was not warranted.

    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?”
    Decision 4: The Inquiry Committee determined that “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, an Investigatory Committee of faculty peers
    from diverse fields should be constituted under RA-I 0 to further consider this
    allegation.”

    An Investigatory Committee of faculty members with impeccable credentials was
    appointed and asked to present its findings and recommendations to Dr. Henry C. Foley
    within 120 days of being charged.

  53. I got to ask one question: Since so much of science now relies on computer codes, isn’t the whole project of modeling a hypercomplex non-linear chaotic system in an attempt to make psychic prognostications 50 or 100 years out a bit hubristic? Brune’s answer was that I should take his course in climatology once it comes online.

    Translation: You’re much too stupid to know what I know, so you should take a course in remedial math.

  54. (Brune) noted that there was no *internal* request for inquiry from within Penn State itself…

    From the RA-10 Final Investigation Report:

    Given the sheer volume of the communications to Penn State, the similarity of their
    content and the variety of sources, which included University alumni, federal and state
    politicians, and others, many of whom had had no relationship with Penn State, Dr. Eva J.
    Pell, then Senior Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School, was
    asked to examine the matter.

    There were plenty of complaints and demands for inquiries from alumni. Alumni are crucial to funding, so one might ask what he meant by “no internal requests”!

  55. “I got to ask one question: Since so much of science now relies on computer codes, isn’t the whole project of modeling a hypercomplex non-linear chaotic system in an attempt to make psychic prognostications 50 or 100 years out a bit hubristic? ”

    Huh? Not to be critical but the investigation found that Mann played no role in the destruction of mails. I wish you would have taken your time to ask how that finding squared with Wahls statements

  56. Science is a lot less exact, while engineers expect perfection.

    Hmm. In my experience scientists need exactitude while engineers are comfortable with estimates bounded by error quantification.

  57. @Mike Bromley the Canucklehead
    “Perhaps Jay is from the fens of East Anglia where early inhabitants lived by subsistence fishing and carried their catch in wide shallow baskets called “scuttles” ”

    According to T H White, there was a rumour the fen people had spotted bellies and their fingers were webbed. Perhaps sea level rise could border on desirable for some.

    IIRC from my school days, many years ago, UEA was not exactly demanding when it came to entrance qualifications.

  58. As for Mann and the climategate investigations…To this day, NONE of the “investigations” went in and in a forensic way tried to find the deleted emails. What was Jones et al so nervous about being found regarding the IPCC AR4?

    What was in those e-mails?

    That the “investigations” were concluded with no searching for the deleted e-mails is a travesty. Any competent investigation would have found these. There are always back-up tapes and back-ups of the back-ups, or even at recipient’s server.
    -Jay

  59. I would hold all scientists to the same standards to which engineers are held: get it right, or people die. My own background is in oil refineries, natural gas plants, petrochemical plants, basic chemical plants, and power plants. In those industries, one does not take chances, use bad data, use questionable measuring instruments, falsify data, manipulate data to obtain a pre-determined outcome, or any of the other myriad things revealed in the post-Climategate mess. Things blow up and people die.

    Therefore, I am a skeptic about climate science. At every turn, there is sloppy work, conclusions not supported by the data, very poor quality data, and agenda-driven work. My research and investigations show me that essentially none of the AGW claims are true, and will never be true. I am also very encouraged to see that many other engineers are speaking up and speaking out, using the internet.

    from: http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/when-engineers-are-wrong-people-die.html

  60. I have not cut all ties with Penn State, as I am active with our wrestling program helping out the senior members ( post graduate) with pursuit of the their Olympic dreams. I also have roundly praised the Penn State Ewall site and drive traffic to it because it is a great site for people to look at the weather. I also, whether Dr Brune, knows it or not emailed him twice on matters before hand, but had no response from him. A fellow PSU alum, Herb Stevens, 1975 simply had his bounce back.

    I have NEVER EXCORIATED Dr. Mann. I “cut my ties” as you say, when a professor of climate ethics, Donald Brown came out and called into question the ethics of people like me because of our stand on global warming. I dont believe for a second that is what a university should be about. I have stated many times, I have read Michael Manns work, and my only comment was that I can see why if that is the focus of your work, why you would believe it. Its not unlike me believing I will win everytime I compete in bodybuilding, because I have trained and prepared so hard . However when tested and challenged, that does not always happen. And that is my point to Dr. Brune and everyone who twists my words and meaning. SO DR. BRUNE IF YOU ARE LISTENING, HERE IS WHAT I WAS TRYING TO SAY TO YOU, what I have said countless times. Someone is right and someone is wrong. The forecast I have out is that the earth will cool, based on OBJECTIVELY MEASURED SATELLITE TEMPS, back to where it was at the start of the satellite era in the late 1970s, which is when the PDO turned warm , by the year 2030

    And it would figure that academia does not want to admit all this is is a big forecast, for it would force accountability. In the private sector, when wrong, you are fired. There is most certainly accountability Arguments that if I am wrong that the world is going to be worse off pale compare to the misery being caused by Utopian unproven ideas of a planetary calamity that is ruining the chance for millions to have a better life.. now. Unintended consequences of things we think we can control, but can not, have destroyed the lives of many. So 2 can play the ethics game and there is my point, and why that is the reason I got upset. It had nothing to do with Dr. Mann

    I realize it is a simplistic argument, and if correct, shoots down a lot of things, but that is how life is sometimes. What I dont expect is for you to twist what I say. I have never once brought up the emails, and frankly dont give a hoot, because people say things all the time, that they wish they did not say. In fact people on my side of the debate get mad at me for not digging into them. So stop it now and you should apologize for your comments. YOU ARE MISTAKEN as to why I cut my ties, it had NOTHING to do with Dr. Mann, everything to do with Donald Brown’ statement on “climate ethics” which pre supposes an answer to this matter and then calls into question the ethics of people that resist his ideas. That crosses the line, the demonization of people who stand for what they stand for because of what they have learned and worked at over the years, and much of it because of the outstanding teaching I had at
    Penn State! That is what is so amazing to me, we were taught the very methods that have many us calling into question this whole AGW argument. But never do I remember someone in a position of authority implying a counter opinion in science was unethical. When did this all start? I guess the bigger question is , how did it all start? Suppose in 20 years the earth has cooled, I would never say anyone that thought it would warm was unethical because they took that stand based on their ideas and research when it had to do with science. That to me seems like a matter of control of someones freedom, and that is when I said what I said.. not over Dr. Mann. I have been humbled enough by the majesty of the atmosphere to know that in any future event, there is a chance someone else may be right, not that its an open and shut case. But when someone starts using arguments such as “ethics” on these matters, that is in an effort to silence someone. What if I think its unethical for instance, for someone who’s salary is tied to the profits of others ( where do you think support for the university comes from, the moon?) to then try to eliminate or reduce the economic engine that was responsible for the ability of the university to charge what it charges, or get the grants it gets, in the first place, should I be saying that?. As Penn States tuition continues to sky rocket, just who is going to pay for all this if we are handcuffed over some future fear that is yet to be proven? Is that ethical?

    The PSU meteorology department when I went to school there was the number one meteorology department in the country, so much so even Joe Paterno would brag about us.
    My wife captained the womens gymnastic team when she was there, was the asst coach for 20 years. I bled on their wrestling mats along with EARNING my degree in meteorology. I would think I and my wife have proven our love and loyalty to PSU and to the doors that opened because of our paths through there. We were not taught to be blind sheep when we were in school, we were taught to be hungry for knowledge and to question and move forward without fear! At least that seemed to be the lesson when I was there.There is no room for silencing of peoples voice in debates over the future when a test looms in front of us that can shine more light on the answer. That is what this is all about, and I hope
    I have made myself clear. If Dr Mann is proven correct over the years, then so be it, and I will applaud him, for all I care about is getting the right answer, AND HAVING THE FREEDOM TO PURSUE IT WITHOUT SOMEONE IMPLYING I, or others that think the way we do, fall short in our ethics.

    I wish you the best
    JB

  61. charles nelson says @ October 6, 2011 at 2:24 am

    The question I would have to ask is; Why go to all this trouble to conduct a seminar/meeting that fails to address any new issues?

    The propaganda technique is called “Repetition”. If all available outlets are filled with a repeated story, then no other story gets out.

  62. Shame on me for not attending! I got out of my doctor appointment at 12:30, decided that while I had enough time to go through the security and had charged the battery in my camera the night before, I just didn’t feel well enough to go to NOAA. Furthermore, I expected recordings wouldn’t be permitted and Q&A would be very limited and suppressed. I’m familiar with these kinds of presentations, having worked many years for a scientific organization funded by NASA and NSF. I’m very sorry I wasn’t there to lend support, Earl. Many thanks for being there and reporting back.

    If I may make a suggestion, from my well used armchair, could we consider using different language and focus when posing questions to our opponents?

    “I got to ask one question: Since so much of science now relies on computer codes, isn’t the whole project of modeling a hypercomplex non-linear chaotic system in an attempt to make psychic prognostications 50 or 100 years out a bit hubristic?”

    It was my understanding that Dr. Brune was in Boulder to defend Dr. Mann’s response to the Climate-gate email event and subsequent investigations. May I suggest that trying to address CAGW studies in general took the focus off Dr. Mann’s immediate problems. Don’t ask a question that is really a statement of your point of view on a subject, for which you have few recognized credentials. The wave of the hand and suggestion of your need for education will always be the easy response. Perhaps you might have asked Dr. Brune to clarify Dr. Mann’s argument that FOI’d emails were his personal property. Arrange to have a companion ask a follow up question if your question is dodged. Baby steps. Keep it simple and precise.

    Further, we have adopted a number of buzz words such as “hubris” that weaken the impact of serious inquiry. It’s a mistake to respond in-kind to incivility. May I suggest that we refrain from using emotional language and rude euphemisms? Everyone knows what you mean. We should carefully review our comments for errors that make our ideas unclear, difficult to read and subject to ridicule for the odd misspellings and mistakes. Our comments aren’t memos about where to go to lunch. If we are to be taken seriously, we need to carefully express ourselves, to the best of our ability. Don’t give the opponents a way to avoid response to the issue in question.

    Again, I’m sorry I wasn’t there to lend support. I know that attending and reporting on this talk involved personal risk (think “Body Snatchers”), time and work. Thanks for doing it!

  63. Verity Jones says:
    October 6, 2011 at 11:00 am
    “Hmm. In my experience scientists need exactitude while engineers are comfortable with estimates bounded by error quantification.”

    Depends a lot on whether a feature is safety-critical or not.

  64. Joe B. if there are TWO things I ever learned early in life it was –

    1. Don’t irritate the college wrestler’s. It’s not worth it getting a “free” lesson in “catch as catch can”.

    2. Don’t irritate the college Hockey players. Although you can more readily tell them (random missing teeth), getting “checked” into a locker or a retaining wall, really hurts if you are not used to it.

    LAST, both types of personalities will FIGHT TO THE VERY END.

    Keep up the good work!

    Max

    PS: Married a GYMNAST?? You’re the MAN, you didn’t fool around with the “hippie chicks” !

  65. I read Bastardi comment. The comment has all of the hallmarks of an honest man and an honest professional. It was straight talk. The AGWers on the otherhand don’t talk this way– they probably don’t think this way. I am an adament sketic of ‘tipping point’ AGW — it is an extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary proof. They don’t even come close. Bastardi’s long-range forecasts are more persuasive to me because they are based on actual data and proven physical science. I am less skeptical about his claims, but as he admits himself, we all have to follow the data as it accumulates.

  66. W. Earl Allen,

    I appreciate your peek into the seminar.

    Thank you. I think I owe you a brew.

    John

  67. I must say, lately the posts have been reporting on such petulant men! Having been raised on a small, meat and potatoes ranch, even the black sheep of the family rise above these sniveling he-said-she-said whiny suits in white smocks.

  68. I got to “dialog” with a “dynamics” modeler after the session who explained that there’s a difference between engineers like McIntyre and “scientists” doing modeling and other scientific work. Science is a lot less exact, while engineers expect perfection.
    ***
    Yep. I think that that is admission that the science and the scientists have failed miserably in the field of climate. Time for universities and climate research centers to let the scientists go and start hiring engineers or at least scientists with engineering backgrounds. We could also do with shutting down the IPCC and other useless UN orgs, and putting engineers in charge of the data gathering, the analysis and the summary for policy makers.

    Or better yet, just defund it all and let’s get back to the real world and deal with the real problems that we face on this planet.

  69. Science is a lot less exact, while engineers expect perfection.
    —————————————————————————-
    My degree from the University of British Columbia says: Bachelor of APPLIED SCIENCE. In other words, it is a degree earned to apply science to real life situations. And therefore we need the science to be reasonably correct for practical purposes. But because we know that the “science” may not be totally accurate, we apply safety factors to the work which may vary depending on the application. We NEVER expect perfection, only appropriate functionality.

    “An engineer is a person who passes as an exciting technical expert on the basis of being able to turn out with prolific fortitude, infinite strings of comprehensive results calculated with microscopic precision from vague assumptions and debatable figures taken from inconclusive data obtained with recording devices of problematical accuracy by uninformed persons of doubtful reliability and questionable mentality under the influence of … .”

  70. Hum: “…Brune emphasized that Mann was a great student of the Philosophy of Science, and that he was “very much the scientist.” ” Perhaps Dr. Brune as well as Mann should reread Karl Popper. They could read any number of my essays on the subject too. Most important however is the concept of ethics in relation to science. The philosophy of science has nothing to say about ethics or morels. These are questions that other branches of philosophy have said much about.

  71. My stenographer mother would be proud of me. :-)
    Here is what Brune said about Bastardi:
    “Does any one know Joe Bastardi? Joe Bastardi is one of our alums. After all this (ed the investigation) on his european blog he was so disgusted with us he essentially denounced all his ties with us. He is now with fox news” (laughter)

    I have been posting other quotes of this talk on Climate Audit. Will post more when I have time.

  72. @Jay Currie, Luke Warm, H.R. & kim;) You’re Very Welcome.

    @RWS LOL!

    @Forrest M. Mims III Thanks for all those electronics projects! Your explanations are always clear and understandable.

    @Ron Cram The seminar was led by a senior chairman deciding whose questions got asked and wrapping up the meeting when the time came. He was quite willing to allow a couple of attendees, bouldersolar among them, to ask two questions. The questions that were ignored were on a printed sheet that bouldersolar handed out to many of the attendees.

    @Joe Bastardi Many thanks for explaining the background to the split between you and Brune and Penn State. Very enlightening.

    @Laurie Great suggestions regarding questioning. I’ll admit to being a bit over the top and wished I’d had someone with me to moderate my questions. bouldersolar sat in a different part of the room and I was unable to test questions with him. I did try to mold the question around the use of computer codes, which was much under discussion during the seminar.

    @John Whitman I’ll take you up on that any time you want. If you’re ever at the Boulder Airport, we could have one at the Free Bird.

  73. Dennis Nikols, P. Geo. says:
    October 6, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    [ . . . ] Most important however is the concept of ethics in relation to science. The philosophy of science has nothing to say about ethics or morels. These are questions that other branches of philosophy have said much about.

    —————-

    Dennis Nikols, P. Geo.,

    Yet I would think that for a rational man/woman (such as a physical scientist) to have integrity in the broadest sense then they need consistency across all branches of their own philosophy. If not then their ethics may not have an objective scientifically informed basis.

    And could a set of scientific virtues be possible without some basic sense of fairness and honesty deriving from some aspect of a moral base?

    Love this stuff.

    John

  74. The discussion on this topic has exceeded my expectations. There is a lot to digest here.

    For any newcomers to WUWT, I would suggest you wait a day or so and then reread this post and comments carefully up to this point. Then you make your own decision as to the viewers of WUWT. You will likely be here to stay. There is a lot to be learned here.

  75. John Whitman says:
    October 6, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Dennis Nikols, P. Geo. says:
    October 6, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    [ . . . ] Most important however is the concept of ethics in relation to science. The philosophy of science has nothing to say about ethics or morels [morals]. These are questions that other branches of philosophy have said much about.

    —————-

    O’Reily?
    Feynman might disagree. So would Judea Pearl.

  76. More Soylent Green! says:
    October 6, 2011 at 8:32 am

    There is a new discipline for software development called Software Engineering.

    New Disipline????? I had a course in that 20 years ago.

  77. ” Science is a lot less exact, while engineers expect perfection.”

    This is bizarre. I am a nuclear engineer, and although we do need to strive for perfection, because, as someone else noted, people will die if we don’t, we have the ability to include safety margins in our designs to take care of the uncertainties. Some of the uncertainties come from our designs and the difficulty of predicting all of the crazy things that might happen to the stuff that we design, but some also comes from the uncertainty associated with the fundamental scientific principles and quantities that we use that come from “science”. I think that the scientists need to be even more perfect that the engineers, because the rest of the society depends on the information/knowledge that they provide to come up with useful products and policies.

    As we have seen recently from CERN, some REAL scientists are concerned about time differences on the order of nanoseconds, with respect to their effect on our understanding of some very basic, and important scientific principles. Those physicists are quite skeptical about what they discovered, and have made ALL of their data and methods available to EVERYONE, in an attempt to get the rest of the world to try to shoot it down. They don’t consider the science to be settled, and they invite scrutiny of their results. Unlike some “scientists” at Penn State…

  78. Brian H says:
    October 6, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    O’Reily?
    Feynman might disagree. So would Judea Pearl.

    —————–

    Brian H,

    Thanks for the comment.

    I think in Feynman you see a very strict set of scientific virtues that I think do reflect his moral attitude about ‘bending over backwards’ in support of fairness and honesty.

    I would need to check on O’Reily and Judea Pearl. Thanks for the references.

    John

  79. Forrest M. Mims III says:
    “While discussing a related idea by e-mail with an NSF program officer, she told me that an NSF proposal I was planning must be based on a global warming theme or it would not be given serious consideration. ”

    wow.
    Forrest Mims is one of the digital electronics wizards of the age in case anybody didn’t know.
    Super inventive and totally practical, is he.

  80. What was Brune thinking? Did he feel left out, that he wasn’t getting his share of the blame for the mess at Penn State? With his cheap shot at Joe Bastardi he places himself in the stereotype of “used car salesman”. And they ask why we do not trust climate scientists.

  81. Thank you Mr. Bastardi for your reply and efforts to straighten out your stand.

    I too have found it disappointing to see my school (Purdue Univ.) become more “Political” since I left to work in industry as a chemist. As others have said if you mess up in the real world people can die or be badly hurt. I have seen it happen more than once during my career as a result of “shoddy work” or cost cutting.

    How others can sleep at night knowing they have intentionally put others lives at risk just for a few bucks in their paycheck has always been beyond me.

  82. W. Earl Allen says:
    October 6, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    @Forrest M. Mims III Thanks for all those electronics projects! Your explanations are always clear and understandable.

    I grew up with his project books! I still have the blue one with the projects on graph paper laying around as a reference 35 years later. Glad to know he is still alive :) Thanks for the curiosity you instilled so many years ago.

  83. Neo says:
    October 6, 2011 at 6:39 am

    Science is a lot less exact, while engineers expect perfection.

    This I find especially funny. In my first week as an engineer, I was taught exactly the opposite.
    “Scientists have time to make it perfect, but engineers have to find real life solutions.”

    If engineering were exact, we wouldn’t need safety margins.

    Also, there would be the one best way of doing something. As student computer programmers make the transition to software engineers, one important lesson is that what starts out as binary balck and white ceases to apply in all but the simplest of systems.

  84. Format note:
    Anthony, please moderate your use of asterisk strings (or other unspaced spacers, etc.) At the resolution I use, it blows the word wrap on my email client! And I have a wide-format 19″ screen.

    REPLY: No idea what you are talking about – A

  85. Anthony:
    This:
    *********************************************************************
    Please note: this special seminar will precede the usual CSD seminar. There will be a 15 minute break in between the two.
    *********************************************************************

    Unbroken character strings can’t be word-wrapped. In some screens, those asterisk strings, e.g., are wider than the display area. They thus force the display to be scrolled.

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