It seems that doing maneuvers to foil Freedom of Information Act requests has become the new contract sport of both sides of the pond. UEA and Sir Muir Russell have the British team, while Mann and UVA have the American team.
In England, we have revelelation from David Holland that appear to demonstrate that UEA and Sir Muir Russell’s “independent inquiry” wasn’t so independent after all, and that even though what looks like a solid basis for a contract, and thus FOI actionable due to public funds being used for the contract, got sidestepped by the magic of “appointment”. The emails that were not destroyed at the request of Muir Russell suggest otherwise.
Bishop Hill has the details here: http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/4/14/when-is-a-contract-not-a-contract.html
Meanwhile back in the USA, Mann and UVA are starting their own Foilball team, bringing in other team members such as:
Alliance for Justice
American Association of University Professors
American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia
Center for Inquiry
Climate Science Watch
Council of Environmental Deans and Directors
National Coalition Against Censorship
National Council for Science and the Environment
People For the American Way
Robert O’Neil, Director of the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression
The Ornithological Council
Union of Concerned Scientists
In a letter sent to UVA President Teresa Sullivan—during her inauguration week, no less—a group of civil liberties and science organizations urged UVA to preserve the academic freedom of its faculty while it deals with requests for former climate scientist Michael Mann’s e-mails and research. [Timeline here.]
The letter here: Letter-to-UVA-President-FOIA (pdf)
Let the games begin.