SciBlogs

Posts Tagged Pennsylvania State University

’Climategate’ smears found false — Mann cleared Ken Perrott Jul 02

No Comments

The final investigation of Dr Michael Mann by the Pennsylvania State Unviersity has now reported. It has unanimously found that ’after careful review of all available evidence, there is no substance to the allegation against Dr. Michael E. Mann, Professor, Department of Meteorology, The Pennsylvania State University.’ (You can download the full report here – Final_Investigation_Report).

No surprise to anyone who has followed this whole “climategate” beat up with an objective eye. In this video interview from Climate Science Watch Mann gives his reactions and thoughts on the “climategate” campaign (from Interview with Michael Mann on the Penn State Final Report and the war on climate scientists).

Interview with Michael Mann on the Penn State Final Report and the war on climate scientists.

Its worth quoting from dean of the Graduate school, Henry C. Folley’s, letter reporting the findings:

  • Dr. Mann had not seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for conducting research or other scholarly activities. The committee concluded that ’the manner in which Dr. Mann used and shared source codes has been well within the range of accepted practices in his field.’ They also state that the many prestigious awards and recognitions that Dr. Mann has won ’serve as evidence that his scientific work, especially the conduct of his research, has from the beginning of his career been judged to be outstanding by a broad spectrum of scientists.’ The committee noted that had his conduct 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.’
  • Dr. Mann had not engaged in any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for reporting research or other scholarly activities. They considered his scholarly record and concluded that ’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.’
  • On the issue of whether Dr. Mann distributed privileged information to others to gain some advantage for his interpretation of climate change the committee considered ’Dr. Mann’s actions in sharing unpublished manuscripts with third parties, without first having received express consent from the authors of such manuscripts, to be careless and inappropriate.’
  • In sum, the Investigatory Committee found that ’after careful review of all available evidence, there is no substance to the allegation against Dr. Michael E. Mann, Professor, Department of Meteorology, The Pennsylvania State University.’ They note in the report that the decision to find Dr. Mann not guilty of the allegation of research misconduct was reached unanimously.

Final UK inquiry reports next week

Meanwhile – the final scientific  inquiry into  “climategate” is expected to report next week.  This is the Independent Climate Change Email Review.

This has been looking at details of how freedom of information applications were handled. As such, I think this will be the only inquiry which will possible report finding any unethical behaviour. This is an area where scientific institutes have been finding their way on the vexed problem of making data and methodologies fully available. So I expect there will be some useful findings which will help clarify approaches to this problem.

But what about all those conservative newspaper and blogs which uncritically participated in the climategate beat up? Will they now apologise and factually report these findings?

And what about those New Zealand bloggers who participated in this little charade? Who viciously attacked people like Mann, and our own climate scientists?

Sadly, I don’t think they will apologise. I predict they will either ignore this or deliver a spin about “whitewashing.”

Here are some of the initial reports of the news of Mann’s complete and final exoneration.

Mann Cleared in Final Inquiry by Penn State – Dot Earth Blog – NYTimes.com
Climategate’s death rattle | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine
Penn State Completely Exonerates Climate Scientist Michael Mann On Bogus Climategate Accusations
Penn State clears Mann in Climate-gate probe
Climate Scientist Michael Mann Fully Exonerated of Misconduct by University
Climategate Scientist Cleared in Inquiry, Again: Scientific American
Will media that advanced “Climategate” smear now report on investigation clearing scientist? | Media Matters for America
Penn State Completely Exonerates Climate Scientist Michael Mann On Bogus Climategate Accusations
Investigation of climate scientist at Penn State complete – Penn State University
Interview with Michael Mann on the Penn State Final Report and the war on climate scientists
Penn State Live – Investigation of climate scientist at Penn State complete
Climate Scientist Michael Mann Fully Exonerated of Misconduct by University
Mann exonerated by PSU inquiry: ’No substance to the allegation’ « Deep Climate
Much-vindicated Michael Mann and Hockey Stick get final exoneration from Penn State – time for some major media apologies and retractions
An End to Climategate? Penn State Clears Michael Mann
Climategate Continues to Crumble – Ecocentric – TIME.com
Climate Scientist Cleared of Altering Data – NYT
Panel Clears Dr. Michael Mann in ’Climategate’ – Onward State
Penn State clears Michael Mann of all charges… now, will Climategate please go away?

Permalink

Similar articles

Enhanced by Zemanta

Share

Truth getting it’s boots on! Ken Perrott Jun 27

No Comments

Sharon Begley introduced her Newsweek article Newspapers Retract ‘Climategate’ Claims, but Damage Still Done with:

‘A lie can get halfway around the world while the truth is still putting its boots on, as Mark Twain said (or ’before the truth gets a chance to put its pants on,’ in Winston Churchill’s version), and nowhere has that been more true than in “climategate.”‘

Yes, reaction to the “climategate” scandal and resulting climate denial offensive has been slow coming. Inevitable, I guess, becuase it has required investigation and reporting. We had the Pennsylvania State University inquiry which cleared Michael Mann (see Spinning exoneration of Dr. Michael Mann Into ’Whitewash’) and the UK parliamentary and independent Royal Society inquiries which cleared Phil Jones and the Cimatic Research Unit at University of East Anglia (see Climate scientist Phil Jones exonerated and Officially a fake scandal from science perspective).

Now some of the main stream media newspapers are withdrawing articles they previously published misrepresenting the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), climate scientists and climate science in general. The UK Sunday Times published a correction acknowledging they had misreported the “Amazongate” story, had misreported Dr Simon Lewis, a Royal Society research fellow at the University of Leeds and leading specialist in tropical forest ecology. They had in fact changed their story after it had been checked by Lewis and admit their changes “did not give a fair or accurate account of his views.”

Similarly the German Frankfurter Rundschau has withdrawn a story attacking the IPCC over “Africagate.” What is the moral of all this – don’t trust any “climategate” story?

Lies sometimes survive exposure

However, these retractions haven’t come easily. They were the result of shoddy, if not completely biased, journalism and/or editing (see ’AmazonGate’: how the denial lobby and a dishonest journalist created a fake scandal and Sunday Times admits ‘Amazongate’ story was rubbish. But who’s to blame?). The Sunday Times retraction only came after Dr Lewis made a complaint to the Press Council which was upheld. And the retractions have taken months to occur. As Sharon Begley says it is just simply psychology that people will often continue to believe a lie even after the truth has arrived.

Well – I guess it helps that these newspapers have published retractions and apologies. But what about all those blogs (including several New Zealand ones) and conservative newspapers and websites throughout the world who faithfully repeated the lie – but remain silent now?

That’s not ethical.

See also:

British Newspaper Apologizes to Climate Scientist – NYTimes.com

Permalink

Similar articles

Enhanced by Zemanta

Share

Officially a fake scandal from science perspective Ken Perrott Apr 15

2 Comments

Well, the latest report from inquiries into the “climategate” affair confirm that the scientific conclusions of climate scientists at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU), University of East Anglia stand on “solid ground.”

The report is clear – relatively short and well worth reading. (Download Report of the International Panel set up by the University of East Anglia to
examine the research of the Climatic Research Unit
).
Here are the conclusions:

  1. ” We saw no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit and had it been there we believe that it is likely that we would have detected it. Rather we found a small group of dedicated if slightly disorganised researchers who were ill-prepared for being the focus of public attention. As with many small research groups their internal procedures were rather informal.
  2. We cannot help remarking that it is very surprising that research in an area that depends so heavily on statistical methods has not been carried out in close collaboration with professional statisticians. Indeed there would be mutual benefit if there were closer collaboration and interaction between CRU and a much wider scientific group outside the relatively small international circle of temperature specialists.
  3. It was not the immediate concern of the Panel, but we observed that there were important and unresolved questions that related to the availability of environmental data sets. It was pointed out that since UK government adopted a policy that resulted in charging for access to data sets collected by government agencies, other countries have followed suit impeding the flow of processed and raw data to and between researchers. This is  unfortunate and seems inconsistent with policies of open access to data promoted elsewhere in government.
  4. A host of important unresolved questions also arises from the application of Freedom of Information legislation in an academic context. We agree with the CRU view that the authority for releasing unpublished raw data to third parties should stay with those who collected it.”

On the CRU’s tree-ring work the report says:

“we are satisfied that the CRU tree-ring work has been carried out with integrity, and that allegations of deliberate misrepresentation and unjustified selection of data are not valid.”

And on the criticisms made of the CRU:

“From our perspective it seems that the CRU sins were of omission rather than commission. Although we deplore the tone of much of the criticism that has been directed at CRU, we believe that this questioning of the methods and data used in dendroclimatology will ultimately have a beneficial effect and improve working practices”

Points for action

Reviews like this can be very useful for science groups. After all, cases of scientific fraud are very rare but there are always procedures and habits that can be exposed and therefore corerected. After all, scientists are human, aren’t they.

In this case archival and record keeping procedures may have been understandably rather informal and this has probably been largely attended to. The comment on use of professional statisticians is, I think, worthwhile. In my career I was lucky to have statisticians on hand and always found their uinput valuable. But I often reviewed papers where authors handled statistical analyses themselves and sometimes the papers suffered for it.

The UEA, in their response to the panels criticisms, welcomed the report and undertook to consider how they could improve the use of professional statisticians. This could well involve some financial investment and should be welcomed by CRU staff.

Two other inquiries, by British members of parliament and Pennsylvania State University, have also cleared the scientists of misconduct. Two further inquiries, one led by former British civil servant Muir Russell and the other conducted by British police, are still under way.

The Russell inquiry (reports next month) is basically into issues around how the UEA carried out their responsibilities under freedom of information (FoI) legislation.  I suspect their report will be the most critical of  the CRU and UEA. It may even recommend, or result in, disciplinary actions. Hopefully though it’s recommendations will enable development of policies to improve compliance and even make a step towards demanding some responsibility on the part of those making FoI applications.

The police inquiry is ongoing. I really hope this one has a success. If they do this could be even more damning for denier organisaytions and could well lead to legal actions.

So – as any objective observer would have already concluded, the scientific integrity of climate scientists remains intact. There may yet be findings indicating inappropriate atitusded towards FoI requests. BGut there is still the criminal activity behind the hacking and release of the climategate emails.

I think that the real story lies there. And if it is finally exposed it could be big.

See also:
CRU cleared of scientific malpractice — so much for ’climategate’
Jones cleared of charges of scientific malpractice: there goes deniers claims of fraud
Scientists cleared of malpractice in UEA’s hacked emails inquiry | Environment | guardian.co.uk.
Lord Oxburgh panel clears CRU of malpractice but calls for better data practices
Climategate’ inquiry clears scientists of malpractice
Panel rules out malpractice by climate scientists
Lord Oxburgh Inquiry Clears UEA Scientists of Malpractice
Response by the University of East Anglia to the Report by Lord Oxburgh’s Science Assessment Panel
Climategate: Officially a Fake Scandal
Climategate scientists chastised over statistics
Experts respond: Climate researchers were ’dedicated if slightly disorganised’

Permalink

Similar articles

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Share

Chris Mooney interviews Michael Mann on ’climategate’ Ken Perrott Mar 12

No Comments

This is an interesting interview (download MP3). Michael Mann has been vilified by climate change deniers. His work on the so-called “hockey stick” graph  is still being misrepresented despite being validated by the US National research council and other researchers.

He’s a bit of a lone voice at the moment but really worth listening to. Point of Inquiry recently interviewed him and describe the interview this way:

“In response to growing public skepticism–and a wave of dramatic attacks on individual researchers–the scientific community is now bucking up to more strongly defend its knowledge. Leading the charge is one of the most frequently attacked researchers of them all–Pennsylvania State University climatologist Michael Mann.

In this interview with host Chris Mooney, Mann pulls no punches. He defends the fundamental scientific consensus on climate change, and explains why those who attack it consistently miss the target. He also answers critics of his ’hockey stick’ study, and explains why the charges that have arisen in ’ClimateGate’ seem much more smoke than fire.

Dr. Michael E. Mann is a member of the Pennsylvania State University faculty, and director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center. His research focuses on the application of statistical techniques to understanding climate variability and change, and he was a Lead Author on the ’Observed Climate Variability and Change’ chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Scientific Assessment Report. Among many other distinguished scientific activities, editorships, and awards, Mann is author of more than 120 peer-reviewed and edited publications. That includes, most famously, the 1998 study that introduced the so called ’hockey stick,’ a graph showing that modern temperatures appear to be much higher than anything seen in at least the last thousand years. With his colleague Lee Kump, Mann also recently authored the book Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming. Finally, he is one of the founders and contributors to the prominent global warming blog, RealClimate.org.”

via Michael Mann – Unprecedented Attacks on Climate Research | Point of Inquiry.

Download MP3

See also:
Spinning exoneration of Dr. Michael Mann Into ’Whitewash’
Climate change deniers’ tawdry manipulation of ’hockey sticks’
Freedom of information and responsibility

Permalink

Similar articles

Share

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Spinning exoneration of Dr. Michael Mann Into ’Whitewash’ Ken Perrott Feb 09

No Comments

Dr Michael Mann, Penn State University

I have read the full report of this inquiry Concerning the Allegations of Research Misconduct Against Dr. Michael E. Mann and find the whole business interesting. Here are my reasons – quotes are from the report:

1: No specific charges for Mann to confront

Instead the University had received:

“numerous communications (emails, phone calls and letters) accusing Dr. Michael E. Mann of having engaged in acts that included manipulating data, destroying records and colluding to hamper the progress of scientific discourse around the issue of anthropogenic global warming from approximately 1998. These accusations were based on perceptions of the content of the widely reported theft of emails from a server at the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in Great Britain.”

So, all sorts of wild claims were being made as part of the hysterical fall out from “climategate” – the illegal release of emails in the UK. This was promoted by conservative bloggers and media outlets, by the deniersphere’s echo chamber.

“….. no formal allegations accusing Dr. Mann of research misconduct were submitted to any University official …the emails and other communications were reviewed [and] synthesized [into] the following four formal allegations.  …. The four synthesized allegations were as follows:”

1. Did you engage in, or participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions with the intent to suppress or falsify data?

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?
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?
4. Did you engage in, or participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community.

So – no formal charges or accusations. This forced the inquiry to synthesis their own from implied accusations from the deluge of hysterical emails and comments. They were not accusations of the inquiry or the University themselves!

2: No evidence to substantiate allegations

None at all. Not for any of the four allegations! The report discusses each accusation and detail and gives it’s clear finding that “there is no substance for this allegation.”

Naturally Dr Mann expressed pleasure at the result:

“I am very pleased that, after a thorough review, the independent Penn State committee found no evidence to support any of the allegations against me.  …. This is very much the vindication I expected since I am confident I have done nothing wrong.”

This does sort of expose the hysterical “climategate” beat up for what it was, doesn’t it. We can seriously discuss deficiencies in the way scientists at the University of East Anglia handled freedom of information requests, how they should be disciplined for this, etc.,  because there are specific charges and evidence. But the witch hunt against individuals like Dr Mann is exposed as hysterical hot air.

3: Further investigation by peers required

This was jumped on by some of the most biased commenters to claim a denier victory. Locally, conspiracy theorist Ian Wishart, claimed the inquiry was “widening “(Hockey-stick’s Michael Mann under deeper investigation). Blogger Poneke claimed Hockey stick fabricator Michael Mann to face further scrutiny in the wake of Climategate emails leak. Similar headlines appeared overseas and in the twittersphere.

However, this was simply a result of the inquiry committee finding itself unable to make a definitive finding on accusation 4 (deviation from accepted practices within the academic community for research). The decided this requited a “review by a committee of faculty scientists.” Clearly they saw that anything short of this would be seen as a whitewash saying: “Only with such a review will the academic community and other interested parties likely feel that Penn State has discharged it responsibility on this matter.”

Consequently an investigatory committee of five faculty members “with impeccable credentials” was set up and will report back within 120 days.

This will of course add extra reliability to Mann’s vindication. He commented “I fully support the additional inquiry which may be the best way to remove any lingering doubts. I intend to cooperate fully in this matter — as I have since the beginning of the process.

You can find the full report of the inquiry panel here: Concerning the Allegations of Research Misconduct Against Dr. Michael E. Mann

See also:
Climate change deniers’ tawdry manipulation of ’hockey sticks’
Breaking: Penn State inquiry finds no evidence for allegations against Michael Mann
Brendan Demelle | Climate Skeptics Try To Spin Penn State Exoneration of Dr. Michael Mann Into ’Whitewash’.
Michael Mann updates the world on the latest climate science and responds to the illegally hacked emails
Sorry deniers, hockey stick gets longer, stronger: Earth hotter now than in past 2,000 years
Human-caused Arctic warming overtakes 2,000 years of natural cooling, ’seminal’ study finds
Abandoning all journalistic standards, CBS libels Michael Mann based on a YouTube video – while reporting his exoneration!

Permalink

Similar articles

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Share

Network-wide options by YD - Freelance Wordpress Developer