Can anyone in Colorado attend this tomorrow?

Reposted from Climate Audit.

William Brune, who acted as a “consultant” to the Penn State Inquiry Committee will be discussing the Mann misconduct “inquiry” in Boulder tomorrow Wednesday, October 5, 2:15 PM (Refreshments at 2:00 PM) at the David Skaggs Research Center, Room 2A305. Directions http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/about/visiting.html

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

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Please note: this special seminar will precede the usual CSD seminar.

There will be a 15 minute break in between the two.

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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.

Brune was a consultant to the first stage – the (preliminary) inquiry (report); the second stage report is here.

Some of the findings of the inquiry flew in the face of facts known to thousands – see tagged CA posts here.

Clive Crook elegantly summarized the Penn State process at Atlantic Monthly saying that the reports in which Brune participated would be “difficult to parody”:

The Penn State inquiry exonerating Michael Mann — the paleoclimatologist who came up with “the hockey stick” — would be difficult to parody.

Crook continues:

the report then says, in effect, that Mann is a distinguished scholar, a successful raiser of research funding, a man admired by his peers — so any allegation of academic impropriety must be false.

You think I exaggerate?

This level of success in proposing research, and obtaining funding to conduct it, clearly places Dr. Mann among the most respected scientists in his field. Such success would not have been possible had he not met or exceeded the highest standards of his profession for proposing research…

Had Dr. Mann’s conduct of his research been outside the range of accepted practices, it would have been impossible for him to receive so many awards and recognitions, which typically involve intense scrutiny from scientists who may or may not agree with his scientific conclusions…

Clearly, Dr. Mann’s reporting of his research has been successful and judged to be outstanding by his peers. This would have been impossible had his activities in reporting his work been outside of accepted practices in his field.

If any readers have an opportunity to attend this seminar, reports would be welcome.

Video especially.

46 thoughts on “Can anyone in Colorado attend this tomorrow?

  1. Off topic ish, but this latest statement by NSIDC is absolutely Wrong and Untruthful
    “Summer 2011: Arctic sea ice near record lows
    The summer sea ice melt season has ended in the Arctic. Arctic sea ice extent reached its low for the year, the second lowest in the satellite record, on September 9. The minimum extent was only slightly above 2007, the record low year”
    No No NO. It is actually the second lowest year since 1979 which is totally insignificant in the age of the Earth.

  2. Holy Sh…………! I wish i could attend, but I’m about to revert to Kurd Status. What amazes me the seemingly obvious allusion to (Shall I paraphrase) Mann’s ability to attract pal review and all of its accoutrements. Talk about blindered! “This would have been impossible had his activities in reporting his work been outside of accepted practices in his field” Oh really? I’d love to ask a few questions!

  3. With all due respect, I wouldn’t walk across the street to listen to Brune. (What might one expect to hear from the guy who hired Mann?)
    The Alice-in-Wonderland text of the conclusions reached by the Penn State “inquiry” was more than I could stomach. The fix was in from the beginning of that pathetic whitewash. It’s a shame that Brune (and the others who “investigated” Mann) are too biased by their own self-interest to understand the severe damage they’ve done to the reputation of Penn State.

  4. “With all due respect, I wouldn’t walk across the street to listen to Brune. (What might one expect to hear from the guy who hired Mann?)
    The Alice-in-Wonderland text of the conclusions reached by the Penn State “inquiry” was more than I could stomach. The fix was in from the beginning of that pathetic whitewash. It’s a shame that Brune (and the others who “investigated” Mann) are too biased by their own self-interest to understand the severe damage they’ve done to the reputation of Penn State.”
    Agreed, which is why I’m wondering if he’ll take meaningful questions. If not, it will just be another nauseating spectacle, a la the recent Gore-a-thon. I couldn’t watch a single second of that…

  5. By Brune’s reasoning I suppose it would have been impossible for Bernie Madoff to have committed any wrong doing? By his logic i suppose his inquiry into Mr. Madoff and Ponzi schemes would conclude the following…….
    Yes, of course, that sounds about right!

  6. If I could attend, I would. But I doubt I’d be able to sit silently and listen to this guy speak … I’d probably get thrown out for asking to many questions or for pointing out too many discomforting facts.

  7. By Brune’s reasoning I suppose it would have been impossible for Bernie Madoff to have committed any wrong doing?
    This level of success in attracting investors, and obtaining funding to conduct it, clearly places Bernie Madoff among the most respected fund managers in his field. Such success would not have been possible had he not met or exceeded the highest standards of his profession for investing peoples money….
    Had Bernie Madoff’s conduct of his research been outside the range of accepted practices, it would have been impossible for him to receive so much respect and recognition, which typically involve intense scrutiny from the SEC who may or may not agree with his investment practices…
    Clearly, Bernie Madoff’s reporting of his holdings has been successful and judged to be outstanding by the SEC. This would have been impossible had his activities in reporting his work been outside of accepted practices in his field.

  8. so like find someone that has no opinion to collect the data …surley someone has a better camera than a phone that could set up and push record ….peace

  9. I predict this will soon be “closed to the public” or some other method will be implemented to keep out inconvenient questions.

  10. W. Earl Allen says:
    October 4, 2011 at 2:10 pm
    I intend to attend, and could provide a quick report afterwards.
    —————-
    W. Earl Allen,
    If you are allowed only one question then what would it be?
    A suggested DRAFT question (I am sure this can be refined), “The transcripts and all supporting documents of the stage of inquiries that you were involved in were considered confidential and not released, is this in the spirit of open science, especially open climate science?”
    Again, that was an off-the-cuff question that I am sure can be improved upon.
    If you were allowed a second question then . . . .
    John

  11. I’m intrigued that some folks here, without actually coming out and saying
    it, seem to consider Mike Mann’s work on the “Hockey Stick” solution to be
    nothing more than part of the foundation and probably the corner stone of
    what’s turned into a giant, camouflaged scientific Ponzi scheme.
    Those emails from Mann’s time at the University of Virginia are still just
    hanging there, like a girl whose petticoats we’d like to count and get a peek
    at what’s underneath.
    Mann’s friends like William Brune of Penn State seem horrified that the
    crowd outside the Team’s clique might get a glimpse of stocking,
    The Climategate emails were just a tease…

  12. And I am sure Mr. Brune is not doing this for free… another one profiteering from giving talks about a non-problem.

  13. Here’s one for Mr B, hot off the Bishophill Press.
    Another review of Montford’s “Hockey Stick Illusion” has been published – this time in the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Here’s a couple of clips they put together.
    Clip 1:
    “The book provides a fascinating and engaging level of detail, which brings scientific, statistical and even political procedures vividly to life, a feature which elevates this book into an important source of historical insight”
    Clip 2:
    “This book is an impressive and important work, one that could be an eye-opener for students of statistics, but also an inspiration for them as they see the power of careful and conscientious attention to detail in pursuing complex data analyses… But more importantly, in the near future, the book should be an eye-opener for politicians, and an encouragement for them to insist on thorough and independent investigation of claims published in scientific journals when these are used to underpin extremely important policy decisions.”
    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/10/4/another-review.html#comments
    I await with pleasure the response of the above Mr B at Colorado almost as much as that from the worthies at RealClimate!

  14. I encourage everyone to read the emails themselves and not simply repeat what they’ve heard on this subject. It’s part of the practice of being skeptical. You can view the emails with or without comments at this website:
    http://www.assassinationscience.com/climategate/
    Reading the emails before attending a relevant talk would be most enlightening.

  15. Getting into the Boulder labs for a seminar can sometimes be a bit tricky. Once I waited at the guard gate for 45 minutes to get clearance, and by the time I did the talk was half over, so I left. Here’s some info from the ESRL web site:
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/csd/seminars/
    The Visitors Center and entrance to the Boulder Department of Commerce facilities are located on Broadway at Rayleigh Road. All seminar attendees, including pedestrians and bike riders, are required to check in at the Visitors Center at the Security Checkpoint to receive a visitor badge. Seminar attendees need to present a valid photo ID and mention the seminar title or the speaker’s name to obtain a visitor badge. If security personnel asks for a point of contact please list Ru-Shan Gao (x5431), Mary Gutierrez (x3429), or Jeanne Waters (x3134). If you are a foreign national without permanent residency, please contact Ru-Shan Gao or Owen Cooper so security can be notified in advance.
    As for me, I’m not sure I can get to Boulder tomorrow.

  16. If William Brune were to criticise Michael Mann to the extent that he should, William Brune would be bringing himself down. Each one of these duffers has to prop up the other or else their power-pyramid collapses.

  17. Madoff is an apt analogy for these hucksters. In 2009, I told a number of warmistas that CAGW would be exposed sooner or later, much like those financial cdo’s.

  18. Hey, folks, I *can’t* make it tomorrow, but I’d be very very interested in talking to you about it, probably for PJM. You can contact me at chasrmartin AT gmail in the usual TLD.

  19. In the Ivory Tower it is a game of scratching each other’s back. Especially since they sit on each other’s granting committees. Schmooze or lose.

  20. You think I exaggerate?

    Having worked many years as a researcher and dealing with institutional boards, I can tell you that the kind of flowery language that Brune uses here is pure political butt kissing prattle – not the sort of language used in any objective or factual institutional review report. The only thing Brune left out was his personal eye witness of Mann walking on water. Seriously, it’s so cheesy that it’s like he’s auditioning for Billy Mays’ replacement (remember Billy’s Oxyclean commercials?)

  21. @BigTenBob:
    What you should add to your econium of Madoff is that he had served as the head of NASDAQ. surely he could do no wrong (no wronger than Whitney, head of the NYSE, who went to jail in the 30s.)

  22. John Whitman says:
    October 4, 2011 at 3:33 pm
    A suggested DRAFT question (I am sure this can be refined), “The transcripts and all supporting documents of the stage of inquiries that you were involved in were considered confidential and not released, is this in the spirit of open science, especially open climate science?”

    Be careful, he may try to punch you out!

  23. RE: Toto says:
    October 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm
    “What did he see in Mann to bring him to Penn State?”
    From the man himself:
    “This level of success in . . . obtaining funding to conduct it, . . .”
    Follow the money . . . that’s what it’s about.
    -barn

  24. Does anybody know why this bloke has chosen to talk aboout this topic at this time? Is some other Mannian revelation waiting in the wings.?…And what on earth does it have to do with Chemical Sciences?
    Or will he just be passsing the hat for the increasingly expensive..and foredoomed… Mikey Defence Fund?

  25. I particularly like this passage, as it’s quite revealing:

    This level of success in proposing research, and obtaining funding to conduct it, clearly places Dr. Mann among the most respected scientists in his field.

    I don’t think he was supposed to say that!

  26. RE: More Soylent Green! says:
    October 5, 2011 at 6:06 am
    “I particularly like this passage, as it’s quite revealing:”
    Yes, indeed. Only 2 things place one ‘among the most “respected” scientists in field.’
    1) Proposals
    2) Money
    Altho I’m guessing the order isn’t right . . . too bad the level of ‘Results’ isn’t higher on the list, IE: Why wouldn’t ground-breaking discoveries be the top reason for gaining respect? I have some thots on that . . .
    -barn

  27. As the meeting is in Colorado there might be a report in the Vail Daily! I’d be interested to read Dr Hertzberg’s take on what’s said.

  28. Roy Jones says:
    October 5, 2011 at 11:57 am
    As the meeting is in Colorado there might be a report in the Vail Daily! I’d be interested to read Dr Hertzberg’s take on what’s said.

    The local newspaper would be the Boulder Camera. I don’t find an article regarding the meeting but there are a couple interesting stories on the science and environment page
    NOAA: Ozone hole will begin to close in the next decade
    http://www.dailycamera.com/science-environment/ci_19014507
    Boulder scientists: Climate’s ‘missing heat’ locked deep in the ocean
    (explaining context of controversial email)
    http://www.dailycamera.com/boulder-county-news/ci_18932226
    Larry

  29. W. Earl Allen says:
    October 5, 2011 at 1:10 pm
    I am @ the seminar, and the speaker has requested no recordings. Sigh.
    =============================================
    Taking notes???

  30. Yes, took notes. They are cryptic, and I must get to other responsibilities now, but they mutt be useful, so here they are:
    Bill Brune NOAA/Penn State
    Just the facts, Ma’am.
    Penn State Admin’s point of view.
    Coal is background Penn State
    Hired Mann 6 years ago
    Got barraged with emails, profanity calls about Mann
    Pressure
    How to handle accusation of fraud? Follow Penn State process.
    RA-10
    Admin inquiry. Bill Easterling, Dean.
    Whitewash? Follow process.
    Extract emails with Mann’s name.
    How to frame questions?
    Interview with MM in 2 hours.
    Read philos. Of Sci.
    “Very much the scientist.”
    Firing not “according to the process.”
    Initial value problem= both weather and climate.
    First 3Q’s invalid. No data falsification.
    Investigative committee. Will Castleman.
    Read blogs too. Focus on Academic Conduct.
    Easterling recused himself.
    Interviewed MM and Richard Lindzen.
    Pass on preprint? Not according to standards???—-irrelevant
    Committee limited to only 3rd Q.
    Summary: nothing to see here.
    Sharing of codes? Not 10 years ago. Still not? Move toward that standard.
    Nothing on reporting. Explicit permission.
    No substance to allegation.
    Proposing, conducting, reporting research were all OK. 
    NSF whitewashed. Nothing here to see.
    Mike on sabbatical. How to communicate climate science.
    Not just an extension of weather.
    Joe Bastardi denounced PS and dissolved ties.
    Sceptical scientists
    Nothing about belief… That’s religion
    “If you know Dick Lindzen… He can stand for any number of people..” (against Brune…)
    A very politicized environment.
    It’s where the money comes from.
    Emails been hacked.
    Chairman of meeting: “Went down very well this time.”

  31. Interviewed MM and Richard Lindzen.

    Brune was consultant to the Inquiry Committee which did not interview Lindzen. They interviewed Gerald North and Donald Kennedy (former editor of Science) about the emails. North has said elsewhere that he did not read the emails out of “professional courtesy” but did not view that as disqualifying him as an expert. It was the Inquiry Committee that decided not to pursue the major counts. The Investigation Committee did not investigate the major issues and told Lindzen that they were not talking to him about deletion of emails, the trick etc.
    As always, one has to watch the pea under the thimble with these guys.

  32. It appears that at least two people made the talk by Brune.
    (I had hoped to do so myself, but have had difficulty running the federal gauntlet of the Department of Commerce described by climatologist Richard Keen above. For instance, last July I attempted to attend Fred Singer’s talk on the same campus albeit at NIST, but failed.)
    In addition to Earl, it seems one “bouldersolar” also attended, as mentioned at the climateaudit thread:

    Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 5:46 PM | Permalink | Reply
Steve’s questions were handed out. Nobody asked them. One question that was asked was why didnt the committee contact mcIntire. Brune’s answer was that he was just a consultant and that should be asked of them. When he was then asked what his opinion is of whether Macintire should have been contacted, he appeared unconfortable and did not answer.

    http://climateaudit.org/2011/10/04/seminar-on-penn-state-inquiry/#comment-306301
    Hmmmm. “When Brune was then asked what his opinion is of whether Macintire should have been contacted, he appeared unconfortable.” Does this fit Earl’s observation? Does Brune’s discomfort and subsequent silence on the question speak volumes about his thoughts? Or is that reading too much into his talk?
    PS Dr. Keen’s wonderful colorful, topical, and synoptic book “Skywatch: Western Weather Guide” ought to be in every American weather watcher’s library.

  33. One wonders what overrides the conscience of some of these people.
    And for how long.
    ====================

  34. @OrenOlson, yes, Brune “appeared” a bit uncomfortable with the question about McIntyre, which bouldersolar got to ask. bouldersolar and myself had a bit of a conversation on the way into the meeting. We are both airplane pilots. bouldersolar was one of the few people who were allowed to ask two questions.
    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.

  35. @Steve McIntyre
    True, Lindzen was not a member of the Investigative Committee. But he was interviewed by the committee. My mistake to say he was “included.”
    Thanks for the references on the questions.

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