Penn State issued the findings of its inquiry into the conduct of Dr.Michael Mann in response to allegations raised by the CRU Email hack/leak.
The inquiry investigated four allegations:
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 for proposing, conducting, or reporting research or other scholarly activities?
Finding 1. After careful consideration of all the evidence and relevant materials, the inquiry committee finding is that there exists no credible evidence that Dr. Mann had or has ever engaged in, or participated in, directly or indirectly, any actions with an intent to suppress or to falsify data. While a perception has been created in the weeks after the CRU emails were made public that Dr. Mann has engaged in the suppression or falsification of data, there is no credible evidence that he ever did so, and certainly not while at Penn State. In fact to the contrary, in instances that have been focused upon by some as indicating falsification of data, for example in the use of a “trick” to manipulate the data, this is explained as a discussion among Dr. Jones and others including Dr. Mann about how best to put together a graph for a World Meteorological Organization (WMO) report. They were not falsifying data; they were trying to construct an understandable graph for those who were not experts in the field. The so-called “trick”1 was nothing more than a statistical method used to bring two or more different kinds of data sets together in a legitimate fashion by a technique that has been reviewed by a broad array of peers in the field.
Finding 2. After careful consideration of all the evidence and relevant materials, the inquiry committee finding is that there exists no credible evidence that Dr. Mann had ever engaged in, or participated in, directly or indirectly, any actions with intent to delete, conceal or otherwise destroy emails, information and/or data related to AR4, as suggested by Dr. Phil Jones. Dr. Mann has stated that he did not delete emails in response to Dr. Jones’ request. Further, Dr. Mann produced upon request a full archive of his emails in and around the time of the preparation of AR4. The archive contained e-mails related to AR4.
Finding 3. After careful consideration of all the evidence and relevant materials, the inquiry committee finding is that there exists no credible evidence that Dr. Mann had ever engaged in, or participated in, directly or indirectly, any misuse of privileged or confidential information available to him in his capacity as an academic scholar. In media reports and blogs about Dr. Mann and other paleoclimatologists, those who are named in the CRU email files are purported to have been engaged in conspiratorial discussions indicative of a misuse of privileged or confidential information. Although it is not clear where the exact accusation lies in this with respect to Dr. Mann, it is inferred that the emails prove the case. Those who have formed this view feel that, in their capacity as reviewers, Dr. Mann and his colleagues had early access to manuscripts from other authors with whom they disagreed, and that they could somehow act on those to reject them for publication. Actually, when one does due diligence on this matter, and asks about what papers were involved, one finds that enormous confusion has been caused by interpretations of the emails and their content. In some cases, the discussion and related debate centered on papers that were about to emerge which members of the purported conspiracy had written, but which were simply under embargo. In other cases, the discussion and related debate centered on papers that have emerged in otherwise notable scientific journals, which they deemed to have been published with a lower standard of scholarly and scientific scrutiny. The committee found no research misconduct in this. Science often involves different groups who have very different points of view, arguing for the intellectual dominance of their viewpoint, so that that viewpoint becomes the canonical one. We point to Kuhn2 as an authority on how science is done, before it is accepted as “settled.”
Finding 4. After careful consideration of all the evidence and relevant materials, the inquiry committee could not make a definitive finding whether there exists any evidence to substantiate that Dr. Mann did engage in, or participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions that deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research or other scholarly activities. It is the case that there has been a public outcry from some quarters that Dr. Mann and his colleagues did deviate from what some observers claim to be standard academic practice. All disciplines and scientific fields work within broad bounds of “accepted scientific” practice that apply to all researchers. However, within different disciplines of science there are additional elements of accepted practice that may be specific to those disciplines and therefore are different from those of other disciplines and fields. For example, accepted practices in a field of pure mathematics, such as number theory, may differ markedly from those in a field such as socio-biology. This is axiomatic. That said, the committee could not make a definitive finding on this allegation for reasons that follow.
Decision 4. 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, the inquiry committee believes an investigatory committee of faculty peers from diverse fields should be constituted under RA-10 to further consider this allegation.
In sum, the overriding sentiment of this committee, which is composed of University administrators, is that allegation #4 revolves around the question of accepted faculty conduct surrounding scientific discourse and thus merits a review by a committee of faculty scientists. 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.
So there is still more review that Penn State has decided to undertake in order to investigate the fourth allegation. This does not meant that the committee found evidence of wrongdoing, but that it felt it was not able to evaluate this itself.
Here is Mann’s response:
“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.
Three of the four allegations have been dismissed completely. Even though no evidence to substantiate the fourth allegation was found, the University administrators thought it best to convene a separate committee of distinguished scientists to resolve any remaining questions about academic procedures.
This is very much the vindication I expected since I am confident I have done nothing wrong.
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.“
Eli wants to get this out there because Morano and Co are already in full cry about the phase two inquiry. Remind everyone that on three of the four charges McIntyre, Morano, Myron Ebell and Co were shown to be pond scum.
In the endless – and senseless – assault on Michael Mann and his famous hockey stick graph, it is generally overlooked that the graph has withstood all of the criticism and, still today, stands as a perfectly accurate picture of climate over the past millennia.
As well, however, Mann’s conclusions were vindicated in two independent reviews, the second of which, by Edward Wegman, was particularly hostile in it conception, but ultimately exculpatory. Arie Brand covered this so well in a comment to the next post that I felt compelled to reproduce his note here, for the convenience of those who are too offended by the trolls to pick through all of the excellent comments buried among the mindless criticisms.
The right wing outlets who screamed bloody murder over “Climategate” just can’t seem to handle the outcome of the inquiry that found no evidence of the data tampering or interference with information requests that they hoped would emerge. They can’t tolerate the fact that Dr. Mann was vindicated. So they resort to spin.
Why am I not surprised?
CAUTION: Don’t be fooled by the Penn State media release. It gives the impression that PSU’s investigation into Mann will continue. But if you read the report, PSU has essentially already exonerated him. Moreover, PSU has changed the nature of the investigation away from Climategate being a scandal and toward Climategate being a public relations problem for global warming alarmism.
Michael Mann as innocent as OJ – possibly more so – finds internal Penn State investigation
Over at Climate Audit, Steve McIntyre is having none of it.
Readers should understand that I have limited expectations from this sort of inquiry. What I do expect is that the authors not make untrue statements that can be easily disproven. (At least make them hard to disprove.)
Point 1. Penn State President Spanier is quoted as saying:
“I know they’ve taken the time and spent hundreds of hours studying documents and interviewing people and looking at issues from all sides,” Spanier said.
The only interviews mentioned in the report are with Gerry North and Donald Kennedy, editor of Science. What does Donald Kennedy know about the matter? These two hardly constitute “looking at issues from all sides”. They didn’t even talk to Wegman. Contrary to Spanier’s claim, they did not make the slightest effort to talk to any critic or even neutral observer. [my emphasis]
How does McIntyre know this? Is this just more of his mind-reading psychic abilities he showed in his post on the Nature editorial and the FOI issue?
Why does his refusal to accept Penn’s finding not surprise me? Mann is a dirty word over there — public enemy number one.
There’s more of the usual whining and drivel, but I’ll leave it to you to read the rest.