Beddington and the Oxburgh Inquiry

The UK government has provided an incomplete response to Andrew Montford’s FOI request for copies of “correspondence or documentation” related to “the appointment of the [Oxburgh} panel or its deliberations”. However, even the incomplete information so far shows that UK government Chief Scientist John Beddington played a critical role. In addition, it contains the remarkable information that US National Academy of Sciences President Ralph Cicerone was charged with contacting (“warming up”) the American panelists and UK National Academy of Sciences President Martin Rees with contacting(“warming up”) the UK panelists. Here is the correspondence obtained so far (attachments are mentioned and not provided and the existence of other correspondence is certainly implied). Original documents are here.

Here is Andrew Montford’s request of 20 April 2010:

Dear Department for Business, Innovation and Skills,

I am interested in the appointment of Lord Oxburgh’s panel, which
inquired into the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.

Did the government chief scientist, Professor Beddington, play any part in the appointment of the panel or its deliberations?

If so please provide copies of related correspondence or documentation.

Yours faithfully,

Andrew Montford

Here is covering letter to their response (which contained two attachments):

Ref: FOI 10/0744

Dear Mr Montford

Thank you for your email of 20 April regarding the appointment of Lord
Oxburgh’s panel, which considered key science publications from the
University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit.

The appointment process and selection conducted by UEA was informed by advice from the Royal Society, to ensure appropriate rigour, expertise and objectivity.

As part of proper practice, in putting together a high quality panel the
UEA leadership also took soundings on potential members, including
candidates for the role of chair, from senior figures in the scientific
community. As the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor
Beddington was one of those consulted. Professor Beddington offered two names of possible candidates to lead the Review, one of which was Lord Oxburgh.

He also proposed the inclusion of Prof David Hands, President of the Royal Statistical Society, as someone well qualified to contribute.

In addition, at UEA’s subsequent request, Prof Beddington provided his
good offices to encourage these candidates to give positive consideration
to an approach by UEA.

Copies of two email exchanges are enclosed, related to these points.

<> <>

Professor Beddington had no further involvement in the review, its
decisions or its outcomes. Indeed, he first read about the outcome of the
review when it was reported in the press.

[boilerplate]

Yours sincerely

Information Rights Unit

On March 1, 2010, leaving the hearings of the Parliamentary Committee, UEA Vice Chancellor made the following statement:

I shall be announcing later this week the chair of scientific appraisal panel to take a look at the key work of CRU and reaffirm the surefire [?] quality of the science.

The language in the release was somewhat different stating as follows:

“I hope to announce the name of the chair of the scientific appraisal panel, about which we have been consulting with the Royal Society, later this week.

The first email provided in the FOI response was an email from Trevor Davies of UEA to John Beddington, UK Chief Scientist dated three days later (March 4, 2010 transcribed from photo pdf):

From Trevor Davies
To: Beddington
Re CRU Science Assessment Panel

Dear John
As you know Ron Oxburgh has agreed to do this. Thank you for the intial suggestion! He has cleared April 6/7/8 in his diary for a 2-day session at UEA, and anticipates writing the report on the last day.

We have a list of 12/13 names, approved by the Royal Soc, covering a range of interests and “attitudes” toward global warming. Ron has decided the first we should approach for his panel of 6-7 are (xxxxxx- expurgated- xxxxx

Michael Kelly; Herbert Huppert mathematician Cambridge, David Hand FBA Imperial; Kerry Emanual meteorologist MIT, Huw Davies ETH Zurich; Lisa Graumluich, tre ring analyst Univ Arizona

Ron is keen that they are “warmed up” by influential people rather than us inviting them cold. Martin Rees is asking Ralph Cicerone (President NAS) to approach the Americans, Brian Hoskins will approach Huw Davies, Ron himself is talking to Kelly and Huppert.

I wonder if you would be prepared to “warm up” David Hand – on the basis that you know him and you suggested him!

We are most keen, if at all possible, that we can hit the April 6/7/8 window and I’m sure you will be very persuasive in convincing him that this is an important job for science, etc.

For background I attach 1) a draft letter which will be sent to David by Ron 2) a list of the papers we anticipate will be examined

David’s contact details are :xxxx
If you are able to help, I will be very grateful.
Best, Trevor

There was one more email in the tranche that I hadn’t noticed previously – it sheds light on the meaning of “warmed up” – which is to be in “agreement” with the suggestions of the UK Government Chief Scientist.

[Update- May 26, 2010] I just noticed this email that I had not previously noted:

March 9, 2010
To – Trevor Davies; John Beddington
From DELETED
Cc: Nick Grout BIS GO – Science

Following your phone conversation last night, John wanted to let you know that he has spoken to David Hand, who was in agreement with John’s suggestions (and therefore has been “warmed up”)
DELETED
Private Secretary to John Beddington, Chief Scientific Adviser

[End Update]

The Oxburgh panel was announced on March 22, 2010 by CRU here here, in which they stated:

“We are grateful to the Royal Society for helping us to identify such a strong panel and to the members for dedicating their time to this important matter.”

The second email included in the FOI response was from Beddington to Davies on March 23, 2010, the day after this announcement.

Trevor, thanks for the information on the announcements, which all looks to be going well. As it happens, I met Ron Oxburgh last night and he duly moaned at me putting his name into the frame, but my distinct impression was that he was rather pleased. Knowing him, he will certainly make it work.

You may know that I also talked to Michael Kelly who was very positive and understood the absolute need for objectivity particularly given his known stance.

I hope this is going to work out, but we have the right team so it should have every opportunity,

Best wishes, John

The report of the Oxburgh panel was dated April 12, 2010 and stated:

The Panel was set up by the University in consultation with the Royal Society to assess the integrity of the research published by the Climatic Research Unit in the light of various external assertions.

The papers cover a period of more than twenty years and were selected on the advice of the Royal Society. All had been published in international scientific journals and had been through a process of peer review. CRU agreed that they were a fair sample of the work of the Unit.

Obviously, these emails raise a number of issues.

The emails obviously contain an amusing malapropism. (Surely Kerry Emanuel didn’t need any “warming up” :) ). However, I find the procedures disquieting.

The Oxburgh report did not disclose the role of the UK government in nominating and contacting Oxburgh or other panelists. If this was “proper practice”, as the government now claims, then why didn’t the university and the Oxburgh panel disclose this information in the first place, instead of having to glean the information through the FOI process.

To the extent that the Oxburgh panel was supposed to be providing an independent appraisal, the idea that panel members were contacted (“warmed up”) by presidents of their respective National Academies is, to say the least, disquieting. In most walks of life, expressions of concern by influential people to judges, jurors and commissioners is viewed very adversely.

Second, the FOI response appears to have omitted key parts of the correspondence. The covering email stated “Professor Beddington offered two names of possible candidates to lead the Review, one of which was Lord Oxburgh.” Presumably there was an email or other document in which this was done, but this was not provided. There are other indications of omitted correspondence.

Third, the flimsiness of the cursory Oxburgh inquiry has been obvious to readers. The emails show that this was built-in. Oxburgh planned to spend two days at UEA and write the report in one day. The report shows no evidence of its writing extending into a second day. Has there ever been a flimsier inquiry report?

I have an outstanding FOI request to the university of East Anglia for their correspondence with the Royal Society on the selection of papers. The Oxburgh report said that the papers were selected on the “advice of the Royal Society”, but the Royal Society has refused to disclose the name of the person at the Royal Society who provided the advice or what criteria the Royal Society used to select the papers. The claim in the Oxburgh report seems to be untrue, but neither the Royal Society nor the Oxburgh panel have taken any steps to correct the seemingly false statement. Yesterday, the UEA acknowledged that they were overdue on responding to my FOI request and indicated their intent to respond by the end of the week.

32 Comments

  1. Hector M.
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 2:46 PM | Permalink

    There is a repetition/mistake in the first paragraph, where “warming up” is repeated.

    • SimonH
      Posted May 19, 2010 at 3:48 PM | Permalink

      I think it distinguishes UK and US scientists.

      • Luther Blissett
        Posted May 20, 2010 at 2:06 PM | Permalink

        I believe Hector is being ironic.

        • Posted May 21, 2010 at 6:18 AM | Permalink

          I believe I need to ditch this decaffeinated coffee :)

  2. Chuck
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 4:24 PM | Permalink

    I don’t read “warmed up” as at all disquieting. Rather, they wanted a respected american to call the targets and give them a heads-up. Busy people get a lot of demands on their time and can quickly say no to strangers. So, having the president of NAS call ahead makes sense.

    Chuck

    • Geoff Sherrington
      Posted May 23, 2010 at 11:47 PM | Permalink

      I don’t mind the warming up either. It indicates an upcoming argument from a position of weakness that Ralph could beef up.

  3. Pat Frank
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 4:44 PM | Permalink

    Given that English colloquialisms are different from Canadian or USAsian, I’d interpret “warming up” in context as merely making contact through a known colleague to inform the candidate of interest that s/he will be addressed by the panel organizers.

    On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be any hint that the up-warming implied giving private advice to the candidate, to find one way during deliberations rather than another way.

    Using Academy presidents to do the contacting is certainly a way to flatter the candidate, no doubt of that. But unless some native British English-speaker informs us differently about the meaning, one is a little pressed to find anything sinister about “warming up,” as used by Trevor Davies.

    I’m much more bothered by the clear acceptance that various panelists do have partisan views on the cause of climate warming, where partisan clearly includes a subjective component. This produced the acceptance of a bizarre and contradictory “absolute need for objectivity particularly given his known stance.” More than one panelist had this need.

    There is no mystery about climate science; most especially of the physics and statistics. Mathematically competent people can read climatological tea leaves without needing any ritual initiation to the mysteries. The panel should have been composed of people with no climatological ax at all to grind. No Kerry Emanuels, no Richard Lindzens, none of the people we all know.

    A panel composed of competent engineers and physicists, given free investigatory rein, would have made short work of the Nature trick and the hiding of declines. There’d be no more questions. An honest appraisal would have moved into transparency right from the start.

    It doesn’t take much understanding to know that an impartial investigation is most assured through disinterested and professionally competent appraisal. The organizers would know this, and despite all proceeded to consciously appoint a panel with direct interests in the outcome. From the very first, therefore, even before Oxburgh was approached, the Oxburgh investigation was directed toward incompetence.

    In the event, the actual outcome, as usual in climatology, proved worse than we thought. :-)

  4. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 4:56 PM | Permalink

    I thought that it was clear from my post that I was amused by them using the term “warming up”. It invites ridicule. I used the term “malapropism” for the use of the term – it’s not exactly a malapropism but the term conveys the nuance. My criticism on this point was based on the common use of the term “warming up” – e.g. UK Chief Scientist Beddington calling up Hand and telling him that the government has an interest in this inquiry, is watching the outcome and wants Hand to be on the panel. Not quite an offer that he can’t refuse, but there’s some pressure.

    As to Oxburgh’s appointment, while he may have been an eminent scientist at one stage of his career, at this point of his life, he seems to be more of a professional lobbyist than a scientist. Any lobbyist would be very glad to be asked by the UK government chief scientist to do a favor for the government.

  5. Arthur Dent
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 4:56 PM | Permalink

    The “warming-up” issue is a complete red herring, especially in the context phrase which follows. i.e. Davies, quite reasonably, did not want to approach the candidates cold, i.e. out of the blue.

  6. ZT
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 5:01 PM | Permalink

    To me ‘warmed up’ has connotations of being prepared, sounded out, coached, that type of thing. As Steve says, not the type of activity that one would normally suspect independent experts would tolerate, no matter how grateful their handlers might be.

  7. Grumbler
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 5:02 PM | Permalink

    As an Englishman I can assure you that we use ‘warm-up’ to mean prepare someone for something as in warming up a team to meet the opposition. I used it recently to prepare my colleagues for an audit. I have no doubt in this context it means something disquieting.

    • Duster
      Posted May 21, 2010 at 11:38 AM | Permalink

      It is used in the same manner in the US. A lawyer might use the term “prep” instead, usually in the context of getting a witness ready to testify and having him ready for the tactics of the opposition lawyer.

  8. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 5:15 PM | Permalink

    Since readers have had trouble reading past the title of the thread to consider the actual content of the post, I changed the title from “Warming Up the Oxburgh Inquiry” to “Beddington and the Oxburgh Inquiry”. As I said above, I interpeted ‘warming up” in its obvious sense and did not view the use of the term “warming up” as more than a malapropism – but surely it is an amusing enough malapropism to deserve a smile.

    Since some readers seemed to have trouble with a slightly ironic turn of phrase, I’ve edited the post slightly to be a little less ironic. The idea that the UK government had a role in the selection and “warming up” of panelists was not previously reported and deserves to be carefully assessed. The idea that American panelists were all pre-approached by Ralph Cicerone was also not mentioned in the Oxburgh report or terms or reference.

    Under the circumstances, one would like to know exactly what Cicerone, Rees and Beddington said to the various panelists in the “warm up”.

    • Pat Frank
      Posted May 19, 2010 at 6:47 PM | Permalink

      Steve, “one would like to know exactly what Cicerone, Rees and Beddington said to the various panelists in the “warm up”., with that, I entirely agree.

      Given that Ralph Cicerone personally undertook to review James Hanson’s paleotemperature ‘warmest in a million years‘ splice, prior to manuscript publication in PNAS, i.e., first line in the acknowledgments: “We thank Ralph Cicerone for reviewing our submitted paper;,” one might surmise that Dr. Cicerone had a vested interest in the proper Oxburgh outcome.

  9. Garry
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 5:20 PM | Permalink

    Here’s what the OED 2nd ed. 1989 has to say on “warm-up” (I’ve removed those referring to “heat”):

    3. a. The act or process of ‘warming up’ for a contest, etc., by light exercise or practice. See sense 9c of the vb.
    1915 Baseball Mag. Dec. 116/2 Alex, after a short warm-up, vanished from the foreground. 1949 SHURR & YOCOM Mod. Dance iii. 31 The transition is used only when use of next warm-up is desired. 1951 Publ. Amer. Dial. Soc. XVI. 68 Some horses run better after a stiff warm up, others just tire. 1975 New Yorker 28 Apr. 32/1 Her second serve was good, was well returned by Jill, and then was driven by Sylvia to Jill’s backhand in a way that left her frozen, as it had in the warmup. 1984 Times 22 Sept. 3/3 Warm-ups should be taken slowly, as sweating does not mean that muscles are sufficiently stretched for exercises.

    b. transf. and fig.
    1943 Daily Progress (Charlottesville, Va.) 18 Aug. 1/8 Allied guns boomed in a duel with heavy Axis batteries across the Messina Strait today in a warm-up against the European fortress. 1945 Sun (Baltimore) 11 July 9-0/6 Polynesian was running in the Shevlin as a ‘warm-up’ for Saturday’s $50,000 Dwyer. 1958 Times 17 Oct. 20/1 It was a slow warm-up that Keenan could scarcely afford. 1976 D. HEFFRON Crusty Crossed xiv. 101 A party in the afternoon, a kind of warm-up to the night’s dark devilry.

    c. attrib.
    1943 Sun (Baltimore) 22 May 1/7 The bombing of Nauru, Tarawa and other islands in the central Pacific, were warmup attacks. 1945 Ibid. 12 Mar. 7-0/2 One of Mexico’s leading matadors..sharpens his skill with a ‘warm-up’ workout..an hour before a..performance. 1958 [see HOUSE n.1 4h]. 1968 C. DRUMMOND Death & Leaping Ladies v. 120 They arrived at Mexico City to play a warm-up match. 1978 L. PRYOR Viper (1979) viii. 152 The field of cars was allowed one warm-up lap.

    5. a. The ‘warming up’ of an audience into a receptive mood, esp. before a broadcast programme is recorded or transmitted. See sense 2b of the vb.
    1958 New Statesman 15 Mar. 333/1 So that spontaneity shall not degenerate into chaos, the programme is preceded by a half-hour closed-circuit ‘warm-up’, in which those taking part get to know each others’ names and voices. 1970 Guardian 14 Feb. 8/4 For this particular show there is an audience..and they arrive at 7.30 p.m. and are given a ‘warm-up’ to get them in the mood for the show. 1983 Oxford Diocesan Mag. Aug. 10/2 For pre~service warm-ups, say{em}a [tape or record of a] full orchestra playing Beethoven’s Fifth for Harvest Festival, [etc.].

    b. attrib., esp. as warm-up man.
    1959 R. G. STERN in N. Mailer Advts. for Myself (1961) 319 There was no warm-up session except thirty seconds of irrelevant talk which we used for volume control. 1966 Observer 30 Oct. 23/4 The warm-up man (an assistant producer) jumps on to the platform. 1974 P. DE VRIES Glory of Hummingbird xii. 159 Falconer regaling..spectators..with some intendedly relaxing ‘warmup’ chatter. 1979 S. BRETT Comedian Dies xvi. 149 The audience..were greeted by..a little-known comedian who had been booked for the occasion as a warm-up man.

    • Rattus Norvegicus
      Posted May 19, 2010 at 9:07 PM | Permalink

      I think 5a is the reasonable attribution here. Would Steve have objected to the use of the more American “heads up”?

      Steve: my sense is that there’s more going on here than we’ve been told or that we’ve seen yet. The UK government seems to have played in a role in the formation of the panel – this was not disclosed. Should have been. Oxburgh falsely stated that the articles were chosen on the “advice of the Royal Society”. It wasn’t.

      It increasingly looked like the Royal Society presidents twisted the arms of people to be on the panel; that Oxburgh wrote the report pretty much single handedly in a day; that none of the panelists wanted to offend the Royal Society presidents and acquiesced in Oxburgh’s report like bumps on a log. I don’t know this, but doesn’t it look like it?

  10. RoyFOMR
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 6:24 PM | Permalink

    Warm up= get them on side, receptive and malleable.
    AKA, now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party!

  11. Dave L.
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 6:48 PM | Permalink

    I think that Climategate convinced people that e-mails impart a paper trail (of evidence) that can be recovered rather easily. In contrast, personal communications via cell phones and private meetings are seldom recorded unless covertly (“official” telephone calls or networked conference calls would be a different matter). So it doesn’t surprise me that little in the way of documented information would be turned up by FOIAs in this particular instance.

    As I have mentioned before, if you have not read “Overheard” at Bishop Hill, then it is a treat regarding these inquiries.

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/4/17/overheard.html

  12. TGSG
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 7:23 PM | Permalink

    I wonder if Trevor knew the implication (seems so) in his “warming up” comment. Seems even in an offhand way a sense of humor shows through the mists of obfuscation.

  13. Margaret
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 11:18 PM | Permalink

    Grumbler has indicated the English meaning of “warm up”. I would add that in New Zealand the term also would mean “put pressure on someone to say yes to this job” rather than the more ominous “tell him to ensure the right outcome”.

    Often when a job is important, but somewhat controversial, as this one would be, it can be difficult to get good people to go onto the panel — so some peer pressure is needed in the background.

  14. Ian B
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 4:05 AM | Permalink

    It’s an interesting choice of language – not necessarily anything sinister but not how I think most English people would have phrased it.

    I think most of us would have described this sort of first contact as ‘sounding out’, just to check that the nominated people were available and interested. ‘Warming up’ is a less neutral phrase, and suggests more active encouragement to get involved (sort of not taking no for an answer).

    Anyway, anyone who knows anything about British enquiries knows Sir Humphrey was right – you never hold a public enquiry unless you know beforehand the answer that will be reached.

  15. JC
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 4:15 AM | Permalink

    Regardless of how people here might interpret “warm up”, I rate it as incredibly bad judgment to use such a term when approaching experts on such a sensitive issue.

    These people *had* to know there was a good chance of their emails being requested and yet still they used such ambiguous language. The whole thing smells of members of an exclusive club getting together to fend off a takeover of the bar facility.. all in the nicest possible way, of course.

    JC

  16. Mac
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 5:26 AM | Permalink

    There are two different connotations in the UK for the use of the term “warming up”

    1. There is the sporting connotation: to prepare and make ready for competition by the build up of physical exercise.

    2. There is also a business connotation: a sharing of ideas based on a background knowledge of the topic.

    It can’t be 1. so was it 2?

    It is obvious that Ralph Cicerone and Martin Rees were enlisted as authority figures to share their background knowledge of the issues with Oxburgh panelists. Considering the panelists backgrounds that equates to not an equal sharing of ideas, it was simply one way traffic. You can construe that the Presidents of these National Academies saw their job as to “lean on” (to exert influence or pressure on in order to gain cooperation) the panelists.

    I think in this instance we can say with some certitude that UEA, The Royal Society and the UK government were at one – the much vaunted independence of the Oxburgh panel was to be a veneer. They could not afford any one of the panelists to act independently.

  17. mpaul
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 11:20 AM | Permalink

    Steve wrote: “my sense is that there’s more going on here than we’ve been told or that we’ve seen yet. The UK government seems to have played in a role in the formation of the panel – this was not disclosed. Should have been. Oxburgh falsely stated that the articles were chosen on the “advice of the Royal Society”. It wasn’t.

    It increasingly looked like the Royal Society presidents twisted the arms of people to be on the panel; that Oxburgh wrote the report pretty much single handedly in a day; that none of the panelists wanted to offend the Royal Society presidents and acquiesced in Oxburgh’s report like bumps on a log. I don’t know this, but doesn’t it look like it?”

    And, the report was rushed out just days before the general election.

  18. Solomon Green
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 1:44 PM | Permalink

    On 10 December 2009 the Met Office issued the following statement. “We, members of the UK science community, have the utmost confidence in the observational evidence for global warming and the scientific basis for concluding that it is due primarily to human activities. The evidence and the science are deep and extensive. They come from decades of painstaking and meticulous research, by many thousands of scientists across the world who adhere to the highest levels of professional integrity. That research has been subject to peer review and publication, providing traceability of the evidence and support for the scientific method.

    The science of climate change draws on fundamental research from an increasing number of disciplines, many of which are represented here. As professional scientists, from students to senior professors, we uphold the findings of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, which concludes that ‘Warming of the climate system is unequivocal’ and that ‘Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations’.”

    Among the signatories was P.C.M Kelly of Cambridge University,apparently the same Professor Michael Kelly of whom Beddington wrote “You may know that I also talked to Michael Kelly who was very positive and understood the absolute need for objectivity particularly given his known stance.”

    Is it possible that all members of Oxburgh’s inquiry were carefully selected to ensure that they so firmly believed in climatechange/globalwarming that the findings were a foregone conclusion? After all this is was reported in the Daily Mail after climategate broke: “Professor John Beddington said climate researchers should be less hostile to sceptics who question their predictions.
    But he added that the underlying physics of climate change – that carbon dioxide released by burning fossil fuels warms the planet – was ‘unchallengeable’.”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1246404/Top-climate-change-adviser-John-Beddington-calls-honesty-scientists-global-warming-debate.html#ixzz0oUq3uAQX

  19. Solomon Green
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

    My apologies. Especially to Professor Michael Kelly. PCM Kelly is a totally different individual who works at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

    Professor Kelly was not a signatory of the Met Office letter.

  20. Brooks Hurd
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 4:29 PM | Permalink

    This FOI reply leaves not the tinyest doubt in my mind that the resulting exoneration of the CRU was the goal from the start of the process.

  21. Posted May 21, 2010 at 5:23 AM | Permalink

    ‘Warmed up’ as in ‘rather than inviting them cold’ sounds fine. But warmed up by ‘influential people’ ???

    I would think it was just to make sure they did not refuse.

    Nobody wants to be on these committees and panels, especially potentially controversial ones.

    David Hand might have been the one who put in the ‘poor statistical practices’ in the report, right? What poor statistics did they find in the papers they did examine?

  22. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted May 24, 2010 at 11:18 PM | Permalink

    “Warmed up” = “foreplay”.

    Oz method of foreplay: “Are you awake, dear?”

    • curious
      Posted May 25, 2010 at 6:00 AM | Permalink

      !What happened to “Brace yerself Sheila”? Has Oz gone PC? :)

      • Geoff Sherrington
        Posted May 25, 2010 at 8:14 PM | Permalink

        My quote was chosen to relate to Steve’s thread.

  23. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 26, 2010 at 3:18 PM | Permalink

    There was one more email in the tranche that I hadn’t noticed previously – it sheds light on the meaning of “warmed up” – which is to be in “agreement” with the suggestions of the UK Government Chief Scientist.

    March 9, 2010
    To – Trevor Davies; John Beddington
    From DELETED
    Cc: Nick Grout BIS GO – Science

    Following your phone conversation last night, John wanted to let you know that he has spoken to David Hand, who was in agreement with John’s suggestions (and therefore has been “warmed up”)
    DELETED
    Private Secretary to John Beddington, Chief Scientific Adviser

One Trackback

  1. By Top Posts — WordPress.com on May 20, 2010 at 7:15 PM

    [...] Beddington and the Oxburgh Inquiry The UK government has provided an incomplete response to Andrew Montford’s FOI request for copies of [...] [...]

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,329 other followers

%d bloggers like this: