Mann to be investigated by Penn State University review

This statement was released by Penn State here. Oddly, while mentioning the NAS report, there is no mention of the Congressional commissioned Wegman report, which you can see here full report (PDF). Or for a quick read the fact-sheet (PDF).

University Reviewing Recent Reports on Climate Information

Professor Michael Mann is a highly regarded member of the Penn State faculty conducting research on climate change. Professor Mann’s research papers have been published in well respected peer-reviewed scientific journals.

In November 2005, Representative Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) requested that the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) convene a panel of independent experts to investigate Professor Mann’s seminal 1999 reconstruction of the global surface temperature over the past 1,000 years. The resulting 2006 report of the NAS panel ( concluded that Mann’s results were sound and has been subsequently supported by an array of evidence that includes additional large-scale surface temperature reconstructions.

In recent days a lengthy file of emails has been made public. Some of the questions raised through those emails may have been addressed already by the NAS investigation but others may not have been considered. The University is looking into this matter further, following a well defined policy used in such cases. No public discussion of the matter will occur while the University is reviewing the concerns that have been raised.

h/t Joe D’Aleo

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Yeah yeah yeah, we know all about ‘investigations’. Get that bucket of white stuff out.

Paul Vaughan

“The University is looking into this matter further”
Translation: University administrators are thrilled at the opportunity to consolidate their power.

Pamela Gray

They meant to say, “A PEER-REVIEWED, POST-NORMAL” investigation. Geesh. Get the vernacular straight!

The resulting 2006 report of the NAS panel ( concluded that Mann’s results were sound…

I haven’t read the NAS report for a while, but my recollection is that it was more negative than that.

David S. McQueen

Why is it that every time an academic like Prof. Michael Mann gets in trouble, they are described as “highly regarded”? Penn State will stand by whatever Mann wants, protecting him until the end, because Penn State has a financial dog in this hunt.
The whole cabal of “scientists” should be investigated by the FBI or by some agency that DOESN’T have a financial stake in clearing Mann of all misconduct.


Translation: The university will not admit that Mann’s data is flawed or that AGW is being intentionally overplayed. They will, however, find some evidence of misconduct to slap Mann on the wrist with so they seem like they’re doing a good job to their very angry donors and alums.

Mark T

The resulting 2006 report of the NAS panel ( concluded that Mann’s results were sound

That’s nonsense. Unless you think that “sound for the last 400 years up through 1960, which we have temperature records for anyway” constitutes “sound.”

P Gosselin

I think they’re gonna try to whitewash.
What do the rest of you think?


Does anyone really believe anything will come of this? Doug Keenan didn’t get anywhere with his formal fraud complaint. It too was “investigated” by the University administrators. Outcome? Nothing.
This too will be brushed off I’m afraid.

mike s


Hey Anthony,
Have you already posted the full NAS report in this article? I just finished reading it and I am shocked! SHOCKED I SAY! WOW! I hope to see some of the scientist on WUWT weigh in on these conclusions.


I doubt they’ll find that pressuring journals, or being a victim of confirmation bias etc is any kind of actionable offence. If only it was their mail server that was hacked, i’m sure there’d be much more interesting material, which really would be ationable.


Another whitewash. What’s the betting he comes out squeaky clean?

Paul Coppin

“Why is it that every time an academic like Prof. Michael Mann gets in trouble, they are described as “highly regarded”?”
The same way the local perp who loses a gunfight with the police or his cronies is described by his familiars as “he was just getting his life turned around and back on track…”

Douglas DC

This may be O.t.,a bit but this is from Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s farewell address:
Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers. 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.
Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.
This came after the “Military /Industrial complex” part.-Could’ve been yesterday…

Phillip Bratby

“highly respected” “well regarded”. By whom?


“No public discussion of the matter will occur while the University is reviewing the concerns that have been raised.”
They mean that Penn State will have this blog closed? And all other blogs too? Newspapers will be shut down?. Also any TV outlets and twitter, etc …. Perhaps they could clarify their position on whether private discussions between up to two people are permitted and provide a list of registered venues where this is allowed.


Whereas university researchers (theoretically) do not get more salary when they bring in grants, there are increased personal perks. The university community thrives and grows overall…lots of admin and support staff rely on grants.
With the tens of millions involved in climate research at Penn State and other institutions, the money will dictate the outcome of this and as others have noted this will be whitewashed. A sad time in academia.
Ironically Wiki defines academia as .. the collective terms for the community of students and scholars engaged in higher education and research. Yet another reason to not believe Wiki. ☺


10 years too late.

Brian D

Maybe this has been mentioned before, or not, but I really think this scandalous behavior has done a lot for the field. Simply put, it has made more scientists (honest scientists, not political hacks) work all the harder to find out what is really going on with our climate, and is producing some very good science. And now that it has been brought to light, this should release the stranglehold to some degree, and allow the science to advance even further. How refreshing that would be.

tim maguire

IMO, this is them waiting to see what happens next. If it blows over, they’ll exonerate him, but if Penn State winds up with a black eye, then he’ll be left out on the clothes line to flap in the breeze.


They won’t do a damn thing…

Calvin Ball

Why is it that every time an academic like Prof. Michael Mann gets in trouble, they are described as “highly regarded”?

In court, that would be considered prejudicial. But this isn’t a court, in the sense we understand it to be.


“The University is looking into this matter further, following a well defined policy used in such cases. ”
…The “well defined policy” being not to find any wrongdoing, and carry on as before.
The answer is in the same statement as the question.
Talk about a waste of time.


They usually start cover-ups and whitewashing by finding a scapegoat. Maybe Mann is the scapegoat, maybe he isn’t … but I doubt our leftist controlled schools will be bastions of objectivity.


Penn State appears to be kicking the can down the road in order for somebody else to make a decision. The real issue here is whether or not people like Mann can make political hay out of scientific claims which are based upon secret data. It seems obvious that this is not warranted.

Arthur Glass

As long as Mann brings in the grant bucks, Behemoth University will back him up.

Kevin B.

Mistakes were made. The cause must go on.

Reed Coray

As I see it, the issue facing Penn State isn’t the validity/invalidity of AGW or the blessings/condemnations of government panels; but rather how Penn State deals with a member of its academic staff who may have “bent” the rules of academic ethics.
A university that retains on its scientific staff someone who (a) “fudges” data to “tell a story”, (b) fights tooth-and-nail to prevent the raw data on which he/she bases his/her conclusions from being made available to the general public, and/or (c) actively conspires to prevent opposing views to be published in the academic literature falls far short of being called a “Great University”.
Although I believe Dr. Mann to be guilty of one or more of these transgressions, I do not know that to be the case. If the recent hacked/leaked ClimateGate E-mails are legitimate, then there exists at least reason to suspect that Dr. Mann is guilty. I’m pleased to hear Penn State is looking into the matter. To not investigate would, in my opinion, be a sign that Penn State University stands more for “political correctness” than for truth and academic ethics. Time will tell.


Mann Made-up Global Warming !


i hope this investigation will obey peer reviewing standards !
that means somebody like honourable stefan rahmstorf shall lead the investigation and the results should be reviewed by honourable prof. phil jones and 2 other reviewers named by honourable prof. mann himself.


I think if they were actually serious about investigating Michael Mann, they would suspend him pending investigation. There’s way too much in the leaked emails and data not to. It really stinks.

Pamela Gray

If you boil this down between left and right, you miss the point and are destined to repeat the mistake. I am a liberal left-leaning voting citizens and have voted for human rights, women’s abortion rights, gay and lesbian rights, better health care, help for the downtrodden, etc. So how do you explain me? I am a reasoned, well-read, and intelligent skeptic who has written to all my representatives to inform them of my views opposing all legislation and efforts to address man-made climate change, with the warning that if they don’t follow suit, my votes in the future will be against them if they choose to seek re-election. Again, how do you explain me? To tell you the truth, I am getting sick and tired of the uninformed bloggers who continue to trot out this prejudicial remark.

Joe D'Aleo

Given that Dr Easterling came out of NCDC (and thus was an integral part of the data issues) and authored for the AMS, don’t expect anything to happen unless more emerges.

Internal investigations are inherently political. If Penn State wanted the truth, they would have appointed a credible outside investigator.
The only people who can hold Penn State’s feet to the fire are the alumni [and note that Michael Mann is not a Penn State alumnus].
If Penn alumni don’t really care that Mann wrote emails against other scientists and journals simply because they disagreed with Mann’s version of AGW, and that those proposed vindictive actions were taken to game the peer review system for the personal benefit of Mann and his pals, then nothing will be done.
But if the alumni get together and demand professional honesty and integrity from their school’s employees, then Mann will MoveOn.
It’s really up to the Penn State alumni — and whether they care about their school’s reputation being tarnished by Michael Mann’s reprehensible actions.
The alumni give the most money by far to their alma mater, far exceeding any grants that Mann pulls in. And future grants are sure to be closely scrutinized following the email exposure.

Steve S.

Can we get the e-mails with them discussing who will be on the “panel”?
Can PanelGate be avoided?
I had to put this here. It’s too rich.
.5 Calum says:
28 January 2009 at 4:32 AM
Quote: Retired senior NASA atmospheric scientist, Dr. John S. Theon, 15th Jan 2009,”My own belief concerning anthropogenic climate change is that the models do not realistically simulate the climate system because there are many very important sub-grid scale processes that the models either replicate poorly or completely omit. Furthermore, some scientists have manipulated the observed data to justify their model results. In doing so, they neither explain what they have modified in the observations, nor explain how they did it. They have resisted making their work transparent so that it can be replicated independently by other scientists. This is clearly contrary to how science should be done. Thus there is no rational justification for using climate model forecasts to determine public policy.”
Anyone at Real Climate care to comment?
[Response: Dr. Theon appears to have retired from NASA in 1994, some 15 years ago. Until yesterday I had never heard of him (despite working with and for NASA for the last 13 years). His insights into both modelling and publicity appear to date from then, rather than any recent events. He was not Hansen’s ‘boss’ (the director of GISS reports to the director of GSFC, who reports to the NASA Administrator). His “some scientists” quote is simply a smear – which scientists? where? what did they do? what data? what manipulation? This kind of thing plays well with Inhofe et al because it appears to add something to the ‘debate’, but in actual fact there is nothing here. Just vague, unsubstantiated accusations. – gavin]

Robert M.

I think that the results of this investigation are pretty much obvious to the casual observer. When they use words and phrases like “peer reviewed”, “highly regarded” and “well respected” it is pretty easy to parse to “We are riding the gravy train as well, don’t mess with our funding!


One hopes michael will Mann up to this instead of being a Mannequin. I mean, it isn’t like he had a Manndate to do what he did… actually I take that back, his politics made it Manndatory. This is what one can expect when people like this Mannage science. If he’s lucky he won’t be taken out in Mannacles for Manngling the data. No more Mannuevers for him! Maybe next time he’ll go into art and take up Mannga.
And for us, this is Manna from Heaven.
Fortunately I figure to stop while I am ahead.
Kick the bum out!

Robert Morris

If they use climate scientists or members of the PennState academic/alumni community then stand by for a White Wash.
If, however, they are really intent on an open investigation and use serious scientists from “real” science backgrounds then maybe there’s a chance of a proper examination of Mann.

DJ Meredith

Is this a good time to dig this one up from the WUWT archives??
I found most interesting the names of co-authors of Wang’s papers….. IPCC’s reviewers??

I’ve been trawling through youtube and this is damning – part 7/9.

Evan Jones

Something must be wrong here there can be no denying.
One of us is changing or maybe we just stopped trying.
And it’s too late, baby, now, it’s too late,
Though we really did try to make it.
Something inside has died
And I can’t hide and I just can’t fake it.


Does anyone know if Susan Mann- who also works at the Penn Uni- is Dr Mann’s wife?
A Susan Mann is quoted as one of the 2,500 scientists involved in the last TAR although her actual credentials seem to suggest she does not actually have a science degree-in common with many of those named in the TAR.

Arthur Glass

I fear that the relevance of the following meditation to the CRUdite scandal
may not be obvious.
Anyway, why are we wasting our time on these matters when what is truly important is why Tiger Woods was Escalading out of his driveway at 2:30 in the morning, pursued by a Valkyrie swinging a nine-iron?
The sociology of knowledge.
1. The project of natural science is to give a true and objective account of the workings of physical reality.
2. This project is, ultimately, undertaken by subjects, i.e. by real men and women, human beings of flesh and bone, passion and committment.
3. Existentially and historically, the project of natural science is grounded not only in the ideal of discernment of objective truth, but in the reality of the persons of the scientists who pursue that goal as they can, under the circumstances in which they work–circumstances certainly including the formation of social oranizations dedicated to the furtherance of the project of natural science: the foundation, for example, in the seventeenth century,of state-sponsored Academies in Western Europe.
4. But all human institutions, however glorious in their professed ideal, are subject to decay and corruption. St Francis and his cadre brought a culkture-changing deepening of the inner life to Western Europe in the 13th c. Two generations later, the Franciscan order was rife with the manifestations of human depravity (the Seven Deadlies).
5. Unlike natural person, ‘corporations’, i.e towns, businesses, universities, possess presumptive eternity. Guinness Brewers, for example, lives and prospers after 250+ circuits of the sun; the Royal Society was a century older.
6. Therefore, redemption and reformation is always at hand.
5. As I understand the phrase, ‘the sociology of knowledge’ is the study of the ways in which ‘knowledge’ is attained and transmitted within a given social formation


No public discussion of the matter will occur while the University is reviewing the concerns that have been raised.
Ponder this for a moment. Cool off the controversy? Delay it until Copenhagen?


Pamela Gray (11:04:59) :
I agree with your stated views as long as healthcare efforts are about lowering costs (legal/defensive medicine reform, insurance portability in exchange for dropping pre-existing barriers and 33% reduction in federal administration costs) and not federal involvement.
I’m sorry that the far left makes up the majority of those who allowed right thinking environmentalism to be hijacked by socialist progressives. I would say you’re an exception to those that surround you on the liberal left.
However, how do you explain that the liberal left has been totally complacent in allowing AGW to become the keystone to a “green” movement that is more red (socialist) than green ?
They have cost people, economies and businesses billions, maybe trillions. Not to mention brainwashing a whole generation of kids and young adults with a story based on fabricated data and faulty science. This is without a doubt the greatest scientific scandal of the modern era – spinning the natural warming/cooling cycles of the earth into a fairy tale of catastrophe climate alarmism to support their far left agenda.
Look at the left leaning MSM not even responding, reporting, investigating, etc. ? I think you need to re-evaluate the core philosophies that exist on the left that have allowed this tragedy to become a reality – how much effort (worldwide) has been wasted on this that could have been used to solve some real problems ? It sickens me…

Lazarus Long

“No public discussion of the matter will occur while the University is reviewing the concerns that have been raised.”
…however, private duscussions about how to sweep this under the rug will continue unabated….
[Joe, you wanna tweak up that server security a notch or two?}

AJ Abrams

Pamela Gray,
I’ve said the same thing on here a few times now. Now one seems to understand that there are many liberals that are just as appalled as everyone else at the actions of Mann et al.
I’m a Massachusetts independent environmentalist that has voted for gay rights, for social programs, cleaning up real air pollution etc. I’ve never bought into this nonsense and never will. My degree was also Environmental Engineering, so I have a good understanding of the issues and a strong skeptical mind..and a strong nose for BS.
Stop making this a right wing versus left wing issue. It isn’t.

Phil A

Curiously I was looking at the Wikipedia entry on this earlier – which basically does a hatchet job on Wegman and whitewashes Mann completely. Ah, to have gatekeepers on your side…