Minutes after the Team announced its members, with Team captain Muir Russell emphasizing their impartiality, a commenter at Bishop Hill posted up an interview between Team member Philip Campbell, editor of Nature, in which he told Chinese radio that there was nothing to see here and people should just move along.
INTERVIEWER: I think you must have heard of the Climategate scandal recently. Some renowned global warming proponents showed a conspiracy to produce fraudulent data to support the global warming scenario. How do you see this scandal? Some say that this breaking couldn’t come at a worse time because of the upcoming Copenhagen conference. What’s your opinion.
CAMPBELL: It’s true that it comes at a bad time but it is not true that it is a scandal. The scientists have not hidden the data. If you look at the emails there is one or two bits of language that are jargon used between professionals that suggest something to outsiders that is wrong. In fact the only problem there has been is some official restriction on their ability to disseminate their data. Otherwise they have behaved as researchers should.
INTERVIEWER: So you think there has been some misunderstanding between the scientists and the outsiders?
CAMPBELL: Absolutely, absolutely.
Update: Nature blog reports that the Team defended their “independence”, even though Philip Campbell’s presence on the Team was already in question. I guess Nature didn’t get the memo yet.
Head of climate-gate inquiry defends independence – February 11, 2010
The team reviewing allegations of poor scientific practice at the University of East Anglia set out its stall today, and immediately faced questions about its own independence….
Review head Muir Russell staunchly defended the independent nature of the review when questioned about the fact that it is funded by the university itself. Russell, the former vice-chancellor of the University of Glasgow, also faced questions about the inclusion of Nature’s editor in chief Philip Campbell on the review team, as some of the questions to be answered concern research and researchers published in the journal.
“We are completely independent,” Russell told reporters. “We’re free to reach any conclusions that we wish. We are free to follow questions wherever they take us.”
Campbell added that he would be happy to excuse himself from any discussions that concern Nature. “Either you accept that the process is being as open as it can be, or you accuse us of covering up,” he added.
Russell’s ‘Independent Climate Change Email Review’ is now one of five separate inquiries into the climate-gate emails
Full disclosure: Daniel Cressey is an employee of Nature and is ultimately answerable to Philip Campbell.