Seminar on Penn State “Inquiry”

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”:

*********************************************************************
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.


101 Comments

  1. bouldersolar
    Posted Oct 4, 2011 at 4:08 PM | Permalink

    I will attend.

  2. Posted Oct 4, 2011 at 4:18 PM | Permalink

    I’d like someone to ask about how carefully they checked the information Mann provided them. For instance, the Penn State report said

    Specifically, Dr. Mann repeated that all data, as well as the source codes requested by Dr. McIntyre, were in fact made available to him. All data were listed on Dr. Mann’s FTP site in 2000, and the source codes were made available to Dr. McIntyre about a year after his request was made, in spite of the fact that the National Science Foundation had ruled that scientists were not required to do so. The issue of an “incorrect version” of the data came about because Dr. McIntyre had requested the data (which were already available on the FTP site) in spreadsheet format, and Dr. Rutherford, early on, had unintentionally sent an incorrectly formatted spreadsheet.

    This claim about Steve asking for an excel spreadsheet was always untrue: we never asked for an excel spreadsheet and they never provided one. Tim Osborne picked up on this at the time (1067596623.txt, dated 31 October 2003):

    [Mann’s] mention of ftp sites and excel files is contradicted by their email record on their website, which shows no mention of excel files (they say an ASCII file was sent) and also no record that they knew the ftp address. This doesn’t matter really, since the reason for them using a corrupted data file is not relevant – the relevant thing is that it was corrupt and had you been involved in reviewing the paper then it could have been found prior to publication. But they will use the email record if the ftp sites and excel files are mentioned.

    And then 2 weeks later (1068652882.txt, Nov 12 2003)

    I do wish Mike had not rushed around sending out preliminary and incorrect early responses – the waters are really muddied now. He would have done better to have taken things slowly and worked out a final response before publicising this stuff. Excel files, other files being created early or now deleted is really confusing things!

    So my question to Brune is, what steps did the inquiry take to cross-examine the information Mann gave them? Did they talk to McIntyre at any point, or examine whether his statements were contradicted by the documentary record?

    • Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 2:43 AM | Permalink

      So my question to Brune is, what steps did the inquiry take to cross-examine the information Mann gave them? Did they talk to McIntyre at any point, or examine whether his statements were contradicted by the documentary record?

      Thanks Ross for laying out, again, what the Penn State inquiry left out: proper cross-examination of Mann and direct involvement of McIntyre.

      McIntyre and McKitrick had to be intimately involved in all the Climategate inquiries for them to be credible, as I said that from the first day the UK Parliamentary select committee inquiry was announced (initially in an email that was never acknowledged). Once it was clear that this was not going to be the case in any UK inquiry, I felt that total non-cooperation would be the best option. I still feel that a boycott of that kind would have sent the most appropriate signal.

      But, as I come back to this, it raises something in the history of jurisprudence of which I know I’m ignorant. The UK, and following us (if I dare) the US, employ an adversarial system for arriving at the truth in our courts, with the calling of witnesses on both sides of an argument, questioned by advocates for both sides. It is not assumed to be enough to have written statements from key protagonists – it is considered essential for them to be closely questioned and cross-examined by the two sets of lawyers in front of a impartial judge and jury.

      When did this approach start? Shouldn’t we be banging this most fundamental of drums, as the mass media parrots the “five independent inquiries can’t be wrong” line? I know I’m too ignorant to bang the drum well but I’m sure help will be at hand.

    • Bernie
      Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 7:57 AM | Permalink

      Ross:
      Excellent synopsis and questions. Methinks they did not ask you and Steve because they were deathly afraid of the answers they knew that you would give and that these answers would be “on the record”. Asking Mann would likely have been a fruitless exercise.

  3. SCP
    Posted Oct 4, 2011 at 4:19 PM | Permalink

    They should be looking for the people pulling the strings behind Climategate.

    Do a web search for “common purpose and climategate”.

  4. mpaul
    Posted Oct 4, 2011 at 4:20 PM | Permalink

    …Professor Michael Mann, who I recruited to Penn State

    Boy, these conflict of interest thingies are always so hard to determine — so many shades of grey. Could this be a conflict of interest? Its just so hard to say. Hmmm, lets see, I guess not… well maybe … this ones really hard. I guess had the inquiry found problems, that might look bad for Brune, but I can’t imagine that would influence him any way. Yeah, I think its ok-dokey.

  5. bouldersolar
    Posted Oct 4, 2011 at 4:52 PM | Permalink

    Steve,

    I will be happy to pay your expenses to come out here and show up for this seminar. For that matter I will be happy to pay the expenses of someone you think would be very useful to be there. Its short notice but let me know

    • mhummer
      Posted Oct 4, 2011 at 8:36 PM | Permalink

      What a fantastic offer bouldersolar, I hope Steve takes you up on it.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Oct 4, 2011 at 9:30 PM | Permalink

      thanks for the kind offer, but it makes more sense for someone from COlorado to go.

      • steven mosher
        Posted Oct 4, 2011 at 10:25 PM | Permalink

        perhaps a list of questions to ask

      • Salamano
        Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 7:02 AM | Permalink

        Any of the Pielke’s around..?

  6. R.S.Brown
    Posted Oct 4, 2011 at 5:06 PM | Permalink

    This is another example of Mike Mann’s public relations efforts preempt the personal and
    professional tar ball coming his way if his emails while at the University of
    Virginia are released this October under the Commonwealth’s FOIA laws.

    Mpaul has covered half of William Brune’s conflict of interest.

    If there are nasty professional surprises in Mann’s e-mails that the Penn State Inquiry
    Committee missed, never could find, were never told about, or saw and ignored then that
    “exoneration” would make Penn State (Brune included) appear to be totally incompetent.

    These Mann-at-Virginia emails will not be undercut or minimized with such demeaning catch
    phrases as purloined, hacked, stolen, unauthorized, or out-of-context. These
    and more are used by Team/Mann supporters to describe the Climategate emails.

    I’m not sure how William Brume can encapsulate the Climategate history, reactions to it,
    and the Penn State’s self-limited misconduct investigation of Mike Mann all in a 15
    minute pre-conference presentation.

    Good luck on getting someone in that lecture hall and reporting back here.

  7. kim
    Posted Oct 4, 2011 at 5:30 PM | Permalink

    Brune in the kettle
    Clouds hot with obfuscation.
    Tiljander tea leaves.
    =========

    • Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 7:35 AM | Permalink

      Kim —

      sevael aet — gotta love them.
      :-)

  8. Speed
    Posted Oct 4, 2011 at 5:37 PM | Permalink

    “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… ”

    At one point, Madoff Securities was the largest market maker at the NASDAQ and in 2008 was the sixth largest market maker on Wall Street.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Madoff

    • P. Solar
      Posted Oct 7, 2011 at 11:33 PM | Permalink

      Watch the pea: “had he not met or exceeded the highest standards of his profession for proposing research… ”

      You have to read it twice and pay attention to every word. They are not saying “had he not met or exceeded the highest standards of his profession for DOING AND REPORTING research… ”

      What he was , apparently, very good at was getting money for Penn State. This makes him a “respected scientist”??

      Sound more like an accolade for a very effective salesman.

  9. kim
    Posted Oct 4, 2011 at 6:13 PM | Permalink

    Why should we expect
    Regrets at genuflection
    To the Gods of grants?
    ==============

    • David S
      Posted Oct 4, 2011 at 6:21 PM | Permalink

      Fantastic Kim – possibly your best yet.

  10. DocMartyn
    Posted Oct 4, 2011 at 6:28 PM | Permalink

    Bernie Madoff is obviously innocent, he would not have been able to attract so many intelligent investors if he had not got a system that always beat the market.

  11. Posted Oct 4, 2011 at 7:45 PM | Permalink

    “purloined”

    Really?? Do we know that YET??!!??

  12. David Anderson
    Posted Oct 4, 2011 at 8:18 PM | Permalink

    I’m going to have to remember this entry for the next occasion someone claims multiple inquiries into Climategate found no proof of misconduct. This is, as they say in the classics, a doozie.

  13. Steve Fitzpatrick
    Posted Oct 4, 2011 at 8:41 PM | Permalink

    If I went I fear I would become ill.

  14. justbeau
    Posted Oct 4, 2011 at 9:11 PM | Permalink

    Here is Professor Brune: http://www.met.psu.edu/people/whb2
    Brune must have been a “consultant” because he hired Mann.
    snip

  15. James J. Hill
    Posted Oct 4, 2011 at 9:18 PM | Permalink

    In short:

    “Dr. Mann has many traits we admire

    therefore

    any allegations against him are false.”

    As Stephen Crane wrote:

    “The stars are displaced by this towering wisdom.”

  16. theduke
    Posted Oct 4, 2011 at 9:56 PM | Permalink

    Any one who has ever served on any kind of board of inquiry has to be recoiling in disgust at Brune’s statements.

    I’m surprised that this kind of behavior is being countenanced at PSU.

    • stan
      Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 3:44 AM | Permalink

      I sometimes wonder if the failure of logic doesn’t end up doing more damage than the failure of ethics. The statement of exoneration is self-refuting. Anyone reading it knows that it is patent nonsense without having to know anything else about the facts.

      It’s pretty hard to damage one’s credibility more quickly or more completely than to put out a statement like that. Every person who embraces the obvious foolishness tarnishes his own credibility as well. Not your average run-of-the-mill level incompetence, this is rare and special stuff.

  17. Vachon
    Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 5:39 AM | Permalink

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

    Had Mr. Capone’s conduct of his business 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 businesspeople who may or may not agree with his business practices…

    Clearly, Mr. Capone’s reporting of his business 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 exoneration of Mr. Al Capone, falsely accused of business misconduct)

  18. rpielke
    Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 7:31 AM | Permalink

    Salamano – Unfortunately, both Pielkes are not currently in Colorado. Roger Sr.

    • Salamano
      Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 8:26 AM | Permalink

      Perhaps Dr. Gray and/or Klotzbach? Actually, Perhaps it doesn’t take a heavyweight in the field to ask these sorts of questions…only that someone does ask. Who knows, they may have been asked these questions a few times already (privately, or in preparation for a talk like this).

  19. Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 7:32 AM | Permalink

    Here’s another couple of questions for Dr. Brune. The Inquiry report says

    [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” 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.

    With regard to the WMO report graph, the Muir Russell inquiry concluded that Jones’ graph was “misleading”, but the Penn State Committee commended it. Did the Penn State inquiry actually reconstruct the method and ascertain exactly what had been done? Do you, personally, recommend your students handle data in this way, especially when preparing graphs for government reports?

    If you are not familiar enough with the details to answer such a question, how thorough was your investigation?

    Also, why did your inquiry talk about Jones’ WMO report, not the IPCC report section where Mann was the lead author? Was the inquiry aware that there is a difference between what Jones did in the WMO Report and what Mann did in the IPCC Report? Did the inquiry actually reconstruct the graph that appeared in Mann’s IPCC section with and without the deleted data?

    And again, how would you respond if one of your students submitted a lab report and you later discovered that data contradicting the theory had been deleted in the same way?

    Finally, how is it that the data deletion in the IPCC Report was reviewed by a “broad array of peers” when it was only discovered about 8 years after the report was published, by a blogger? Who is this “broad array of peers”, and where have they written about this method?

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 8:14 AM | Permalink

      More and/or rephrased questions:

      1. Mann and his co-authors deleted adverse tree ring data in an important graphic in the IPCC Third Assessment Report. In the emails, Mann said that he did not want to be the one to “give fodder to sceptics”. In business, deleting adverse data would violate securities laws. , but in your report you stated:

      The so-called “trick” 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.

      Can you identify any of the statistical or other references that you relied on in finding that the deletion of adverse data was both a “legitimate” method and had been “reviewed by a broad array of peers in the field”?

      2. Phil Jones asked Mann to contact Eugene Wahl and ask him to delete his emails with Keith Briffa about the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report. Mann undertook to Jones to contact Wahl and did so. Earlier this year, Wahl admitted to the NOAA Office of the Inspector General that he deleted these emails after being contacted by Mann. In your report, you stated:

      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

      Did you ever contact Eugene Wahl and ask him about deleting emails? Given Wahl’s admission, do you still maintain that Mann did not participate in Jones’ scheme to delete emails?

      3. The Investigation Committee reported Mann’s assertion that:

      McIntyre had requested the data (which were already available on the FTP site) in spreadsheet format, and Dr. Rutherford, early on, had unintentionally sent an incorrectly formatted spreadsheet.

      McIntyre has published his correspondence with Mann and this correspondence shows that he did not ask for the data in “spreadsheet format” but asked for a FTP location for the data. McIntyre has also shown that he retrieved data from the FTP location given to him by Dr Rutherford, that the data was dated long before his request and that Mann deleted the so-called wrong data when controversy arose in 2003. The untruthfulness of Mann’s statements on these events is widely known. Did Penn State take any steps to verify that these assertions were true?

      4. In the 1998 article that prompted much of the present controversy, Mann reported verification r2 results in the AD1820 step in which these results were favourable, but withheld the results for other steps in which this statistic was adverse. In one of the emails, Mann described the residuals from his reconstructions as his “dirty laundry”, telling CRU that they were being sent the dirty laundry only because they were ‘trusted colleagues”. In 2006, in evidence to the NRC panel, Mann untruthfully told them that he had not calculated verification r2 results as that would have been a “foolish and incorrect thing to do”. Why did your panel take no exception to the behaviour evidenced in the “dirty laundry” email or the untruthful testimony to the NRC panel?

      • Salamano
        Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 8:29 AM | Permalink

        Methinks there’s not going to be a whole lot of time for questions here :)

        • stan
          Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 9:03 AM | Permalink

          Someone should send them on to William Brune and the other responsible parties at Penn St. And the school newspaper. And the state legislature. Having agreed to speak in public about the inquiry, he and they can hardly claim now that they are somehow constrained from responding (even if he were to cancel later today).

          And putting the questions in writing makes it much more difficult to deflect them than to have asked them orally at a seminar. If he’s asked them today by a member of the audience, he’ll likely answer like a politician. Those answers, when written, look paltry and non-responsive. Put them in writing.

        • Bob Moss
          Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 10:37 AM | Permalink

          An effective approach would be to put these questions in writing and hand them out before the seminar to everyone in attendance including the speaker.

        • JonasM
          Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 10:03 AM | Permalink

          If I had to choose just one question, I’d pick #2 above (Mann’s participation in email deletion). It’s simple and to the point that the inquiry just accepted at Mann’s statements at face value – statements that are explicitly contradicted by the record. It’s also the accusation that the general public is probably most familiar with.

  20. stan
    Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 8:55 AM | Permalink

    The walls of the cocoon must be pretty thick. Impermeable even. I think it’s really curious that William Brune would want to speak in public about the Penn St inquiry. I’m trying to imagine what kind of cheerleading/water cooler analysis would have to take place in the cocoon for someone to be part of what Penn St did and later want to puff his chest out about it in a public forum. How many pats on the back and attaboys would it take from team supporters until one eventually came to believe one’s own spin?

    It’s a looking glass world and Humpty Dumpty is leading the pack.

    • Bernie
      Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 9:08 AM | Permalink

      stan:
      There are none so blind …

  21. Matt Skaggs
    Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 9:18 AM | Permalink

    One wonders why someone like Dr. David Fahey, a distinguished ozone guy and not a team insider, would want his name associated with something like this. There needs to be a reckoning for the PSU administrators who thought that their citadel could not be scaled by the uncredentialed, and I would think that Fahey would see that and want to stand clear of the mess. What could he possibly have been thinking? This quote about him in the Washington Post may become ironic:

    “Dave is a visionary. He can see the end from the beginning. He knows what it takes to make a success out of something,” [NASA pilot Dee] Porter said.

    I second Salamano’s prediction. Brune will be made aware of this blog and will not take questions. There is also the possibility that he will “pull up lame” (as Bill Cosby put it) and not show up.

  22. Hoi Polloi
    Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 10:10 AM | Permalink

    So my question to Brune is, what steps did the inquiry take to cross-examine the information Mann gave them?

    Cross-examination minutes:

    Penn State Inquiry Committee: “Dr.Mann, are any of your statements contradicted by the documentary record?”
    Dr.Mann: “No, there are not”
    Penn State Inquiry Committee: “Thank you, no further questions”.

  23. Jim T
    Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 10:15 AM | Permalink

    My suggested question:

    Posit an investigation of Dr Mann that could be best characterized as a ‘whitewash’. What distinguishes your investigation from said whitewash?

    Then you could maybe state a few examples that would distinguish an actual investigation from a whitewash:

    1. Questioning Mr. McIntyre and doing at least some bare modicum of investigation into his concerns
    2. Seeing through the easily demonstrated falseness of Dr. Mann’s claims in re the spreadsheet request and the corrupted file

  24. Craig Loehle
    Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 10:15 AM | Permalink

    Universities put on the mantle of nobility and disinterested science, but to become a big cheese there you must get big grants, be on editorial boards, get publicity for your school, etc. Ironically, if one is clever and efficient and can get research done with no money, that is bad.
    To be censured at a univ requires gross and simple misconduct such as making up patients in a clinical trial or fabricating samples in a cloning study. Sloppiness, incompetence, advocacy, statistical errors etc are everywhere and are to be overlooked. Failure to ever admit error (rain in Maine, Tiljander upside down, Yamal outliers) is not considered criminal…

  25. Joe Bastardi
    Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 11:07 AM | Permalink

    For the record, over 2 years ago, Herb Stevens, PSU meteo 75 and I emailed Dr Brune on these matters we felt ran counter to the tradition and mission of the PSU meteo dept. When we went to PSU, our department was acknowledged as the number one meteorology school in the nation, graduating 2/3rds of the worlds meteorologists. Even Joe Paterno would brag about our meteorology school. Herb and I wrote because what looked to us to be an agenda driven situation in the department looked like it would eventually prove detrimental to the department, and to our university.. after all there is a line in our alma mater.. “may not act of ours bring shame..”” Then again Herb and I are graduates of PSU, perhaps that is relaxed in the case of outside influences. But there are many of my age and older ( I dont know any of my profs that have publicly come out agreeing with the premise of AGW, though I have not asked all of them, and there are some that I did not have in class) that feel that the PSU meteo dept is not what it used to be. We wrote concerning these matters, and the possible adverse affect to the tradition of the university and department this would cause.

    I, nor to my knowledge, Herb, have ever received anything back on the matters we wrote about. Perhaps he did not see it, or was too busy. But in terms of the matter at hand. no matter how its ignored, it is not going away.

  26. Bob7
    Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 11:58 AM | Permalink

    Academics almost never police their own. I or anyone else could have written that report. These kinds of investigations are foreign matter, difficult to place in a taxonomy of collegial relations that allows a tenured faculty member to do virtually anything short of “buggering the bursar” (my favorite line from the movie “Educating Rita”) without repercussion. If Mann didn’t bring in money or if his behavior tarnished the PSU brand to the point that fundrasing was affected I have no doubt that members of the investigating committee would have had its delicate sensibilities violated, being the ethicists that they are.

    • Posted Oct 8, 2011 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

      Bob,

      I agree, academics, like all institution keepers, never police their own unless forced to do so, or unless it is to their institutional advantage to do so, and it is never in the institutions advantage to do so unless it is to either secure more money or uphold the institutional orthodoxy. This seems to be a biological law of some kind. Institutions behave remarkably like little children in these situations.

  27. William Larson
    Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 12:27 PM | Permalink

    “Professor Michael Mann, who I recruited to Penn State…” OUCH! I’ve never met the man (William Brune), but I could never trust any academic who does not know when to use “who” and when to use “whom”. Is this reflective of higher education today?

    • Mark T
      Posted Oct 6, 2011 at 7:55 AM | Permalink

      No, it’s just a very common misuse of the word. Not unlike using “it’s” in the possessive (the grocers’ apostrophe) or irregardless instead of irrespective/regardless.

      Mark

  28. Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 1:02 PM | Permalink

    A short question. One of the PSU inquiry findings was:

    ‘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.;

    Given Wahl’s comment here:

    ‘Q. Did you ever receive a request by either Michael Mann or any others to delete any emails?
    A. I did receive that email. That’s the last one on your list here. I did receive that.’

    How did the PSU inquiry, which had access to Mann’s email, reach the finding above?

    • Ron Cram
      Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 1:31 PM | Permalink

      ZT, great find! Who asked the question of Wahl exactly?

      Steve: see http://climateaudit.org/2011/03/08/wahl-transcript-excerpt/

    • Ironargonaut
      Posted Oct 7, 2011 at 2:06 PM | Permalink

      Hmmm… Somedays I wish I was rich. I would purchase billboard space on or near Penn State and post those quotes and questions and a simple website linking to the sources for both.

      it would be interesting to see how Penn State students and faculty would react to such an obvious truth.

  29. Solomon Green
    Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 1:41 PM | Permalink

    This may be off-message but in view of the fact that for climatologists “the science is settled” I thought that the following extracts from an interview with the latest Nobel prize winner for Chemistry might be relevant.

    ‘Since the birth of modern crystallography in 1912, when x-rays were diffracted from a crystal for the first time, until that moment 70 years later, this branch of science had relied on an unchallengeable basic tenet: the atoms in crystalline solids – such as metals, rocks or ceramic materials – are arranged in periodic order. The periodic pattern repeats itself throughout the crystal, as in a chessboard or a honeycomb hexagon. The regularity of the pattern dictates another important quality: crystals are composed of “tiles” possessing rotational symmetry….
    Crystallographers determined that there were only five possible rotational symmetries: single symmetry (there is only one way to rotate the tile so it will look the same ), double (two stages of rotation ), triangular, quadruple and hexagonal. The scientists concluded that there can be no pentagonal symmetry in crystals, since they cannot create periodic order… –
    But on that April day in 1982, when Shechtman looked at the pattern of points created by the crystal of the alloy he had prepared in the lab from aluminum and manganese, he saw a structure that contradicted both rules: the 10 points that appeared through the microscope attested to the existence of pentagonal symmetry; and the immediate conclusion was that the crystal did not possess a periodic structure.
    Within days, his peculiar ideas generated suspicion and ridicule, to which he would be subjected for some time….
    In the months that followed, he tried to persuade his colleagues in the lab that what they were looking at was a previously unknown crystal. But in vain. “I knew my observations were in order. I couldn’t explain the phenomenon, but I knew it was material that no one had seen before me, impossible material according to the laws of crystallography,” he says. The incessant criticism sent him back to the microscope repeatedly in order to reexamine the alloy, but his initial insight remained intact.
    One day, the administrative director of his research group approached him. “He gave a sheepish smile, placed a textbook on my desk and said, ‘Please read what’s written here.’ I told him that I taught my students from the book, but that I also knew that we’re dealing with something that exceeded the book’s understanding,” Shechtman says. The director returned 24 hours later and asked him to leave the research group, because he was “bringing disgrace” on the members…
    In the first years following the discovery, Shechtman’s support came primarily from physicists and mathematicians. But crystallographers had a serious problem with the findings: Shechtman had used an electron microscope, whereas their main tool was the x-ray. “It’s as though a mechanical engineer were to explain to a heart surgeon how to perform an operation,” Shechtman says. “From their point of view, I was not a crystallographer, because I had used a tool they considered imprecise and illegitimate.”
    It was not easy to repeat the successful experiment with the use of x-rays, which produce more accurate results than a microscope but demand larger single quasi-periodic crystals. However, in 1987, friends of Shechtman’s from France and Japan succeeded in growing quasi-periodic crystals large enough for x-rays to repeat and verify what he had discovered with the electron microscope: the existence of pentagonal symmetry.
    That summer of 1987, Shechtman presented the photographs at a large conference of crystallographers in Perth, Australia. This brought about the turning point he had been anticipating for the past five years. “Suddenly people told me, ‘Now you’re talking,'” he recalls. After the Perth conference, recognition of Shechtman’s achievement began to trickle down into the ranks of the scientists. Linus Pauling, however, persisted in his opposition until his final day.
    “In the forefront of science there is not much difference between religion and science,” Shechtman says. “People harbor beliefs. That’s what happens when people believe something religiously. The argument with Linus Pauling was almost theological.”‘

    The full inteview is here: http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/magazine/clear-as-crystal-1.353504.

    Keep it up Steve. It took Shechtman five years to convince a majority of crystallographers that the “science was not settled” and even then the double Nobel prize winner who specialised in the area went to his grave as a disbeliever.

  30. Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 2:17 PM | Permalink

    What struck me as most irregular about the Penn State “inquiry” was that Dr. Eva Pell’s mandate to the committee was to determine the answers to questions addressed in the second person directly to Mann:

    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 for proposing, conducting, or reporting research or other scholarly activities?

    (see http://www.research.psu.edu/orp/Findings_Mann_Inquiry.pdf)

    In other words, the committee was not directed to determine independently if there were specific alleged violations of the specified rules and then to adjucate them by interviewing Mann and others, but rather just to ask Mann if there were any violations. He said “no”, and so the case was closed.

    • Matt Skaggs
      Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 4:38 PM | Permalink

      Good point, Hu. That is the answer to ZT’s question. They asked Mann if he deleted E-mails in response to Jones’ request, he said “no,” and they closed the case on that allegation.

      • Hoi Polloi
        Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 4:59 PM | Permalink

        Judge: “Defendant, do you plead Guilty or Not Guilty”
        Defendant: “Not Guilty, your honor”
        Judge: “In that case I hereby declare you Not Guilty”

      • Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 6:04 PM | Permalink

        The PSU report states that Mann provided the inquiry with a zip archive of all emails related to the fourth IPCC report (“AR4”). Given Wahl’s comments to the NOAA Inspector General, it is very hard to see how the PSU inquiry came up with:

        ‘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’

        • John M
          Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 6:20 PM | Permalink

          The PSU report states that Mann provided the inquiry with a zip archive of all emails related to the fourth IPCC report (“AR4”). Given Wahl’s comments to the NOAA Inspector General, it is very hard to see how the PSU inquiry came up with:

          Just because they were given the zip archive doesn’t mean they opened it and read anything in it.

        • Craig Loehle
          Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 6:31 PM | Permalink

          Zip is such a difficult format to read…too much trouble…

        • Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 6:38 PM | Permalink

          Yes, the Herculean zip extraction effort would surely have overwhelmed the lofty mightiness of Penn State’s best and brightest. Silly me.

        • ChE
          Posted Oct 7, 2011 at 4:43 PM | Permalink

          Suppose a tarball might be easier?

        • Eric Barnes
          Posted Oct 7, 2011 at 9:07 PM | Permalink

          I’m sure their preference is teflon balls.

  31. bouldersolar
    Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 5:46 PM | Permalink

    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.

    • Squanto McButterpants
      Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 6:10 PM | Permalink

      Did anyone videotape this talk?

    • thisisnotgoodtogo
      Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 10:57 PM | Permalink

      Just a consultant…

  32. Dave Bufalo, P.E.
    Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 9:49 PM | Permalink

    I attended this talk by Professor Bruen. The talk was basically a recap of the procedures outlined in the inquiry report and the investigative report as outlined in PSU’s AR-10 protocal.

    The session was prefaced with the statement that audio recording, video taping and photographs were specifically prohibited.

    Bruen noted that PSU was founded on coal research and the engineering related to developing coal resources.

    Bruen stated that no one person brought forth any specific accusation of wrongdoing by Professor Mann. However, PSU received pressure from the press, and alums “to do something”. Feeling this pressure, PSU felt the need to undertake an investigation. The inquiry was to determine if an investigation was warranted and what items were to be investigated. The inquiry limited the investigation to only the fourth item “…did the research deviate from accepted research practices?” Bruen noted that Professor Lindzen of MIT was interviewed on standard research practice. As noted in the conclusions of the investigation report, Mann was absolved on any serious misconduct.

    Bruen talked at some length about how te casual use of emails to communicate left out the give and take nuances of direct one on one communications and therefore an after the fact reading of the CRU emails could not necessarily convey the originally intended meaning. In other words, citations from the emails were taken out of context. Hence, PSU believes that Mann was just doing good science. Bruen went on to say that Mann is now on sabatical doing research into how to do climate research communications better.

    I estimate that there were between 100 and 150 people in attendence.

    I have tried to present a factual accounting of Professor Bruen’s presentation, now here’s a few personal opinions and speculations not based on any factual data. I had a sense that most attendees were either academics, several from foreign contries, and / or direst employees of NOAA. Based on just a few questions from the audience and overheard hallway cnversations, I felt that there was concern about how climate researchers could protect themselves from accusations similar to Mann’s situation. I also felt that most of teh attendees were already in the warmest camp trying to further their point of view rather than undertaking objective non biased research. At one time, Bruen noted that Bastardi is now with Fox news, which prompted laughter from the audience.

    Bruen noted that Joe Bastardi is a PSU alum and had strongly denounced PSU over Mann’s alledged conduct.

    Bruen stated that the IPCC has directed all of its principal authors and reviewers to NOT use email in communicating among themselves.

    • Bruce
      Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 10:35 PM | Permalink

      “Bruen stated that the IPCC has directed all of its principal authors and reviewers to NOT use email in communicating among themselves.”

      No audit trail.

      “rule number two in the mafia is never write anything down”

      http://bryan.myweb.uga.edu/papers/mafia.html

    • Jimmy Haigh
      Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 11:08 PM | Permalink

      ‘Bruen noted that PSU was founded on coal research and the engineering related to developing coal resources. ”

      How can they sleep at nights?

    • Tom Ganley
      Posted Oct 6, 2011 at 4:48 PM | Permalink

      Nice report Dave, thanks.

  33. bouldersolar
    Posted Oct 6, 2011 at 12:56 AM | Permalink

    Question that was asked by the moderator (he called himself chair) who was apparently the senior guy in charge (can anybody tell me who he was?)

    “Did Mike ever reveal to you whether he would of done things differently? I say this as I am a student of these emails and the sense I get from them is that the scientists were baited by the deniers into seeking their own level. If you look at a plot with an outlier point the scientist would know why its there and I dont need to make a new graph and use a trick to make it go away. But the scientists were incrementally baited into making their plots perfect or the deniers won’t believe it. Thats the trap they found themselves in”

    Brune’s reply: “no, never”

    I am disappointed the term “denier” flows so easily out of these scientists’ mouths. While I was seated before the seminar started I overheard one organizer warn Brune that there were “deniers” in the audience.

    • Posted Oct 6, 2011 at 10:37 AM | Permalink

      Wow, this short report really needs to sink in. But thanks for it, for the earlier one about the McIntyre question and thanks too to Dave Bufalo.

      In fifteen minutes it seems to me two valuable things happened. Brune was embarrassed by the McIntyre question, when pressed for his opinion about whether Steve should have been contacted. Well done whoever it was that embarrassed him with the follow-up.

      And, despite the grievous flaws in the framing, the question you describe from the moderator was tiptoeing into the real minefield: why did Mann (and his fellow scientists) do what they did to those graphs. The tacit assumption being that no decent scientist should have.

      “Denier” is extremely offensive but it is also prejudicial and that is the key thing here. It’s very valuable to know how pervasive such terminology is among those who should be doing their utmost to show the watching world that they are completely free from prejudice.

  34. John Whitman
    Posted Oct 6, 2011 at 9:44 AM | Permalink

    Dave Bufalo, P.E.
    Posted Oct 5, 2011 at 9:49 PM

    Bruen [Brune] went on to say that Mann is now on sabatical doing research into how to do climate research communications better.

    ——————

    Dave Bufalo, P.E.,

    Thank you for the info about the seminar based on your attendance.

    Question for any long timers in the formal academic environment – What significance, if any, is there to the suggestion by Brune that Mann is on sabbatical for climate science communication research? Is that an academic code for being placed in hiatus pending some outcome of some other independent ongoing activity?

    John

    Steve: sabbaticals are a perq of academic life. No interpretation should be placed on Mann’s sabbatical other than academics get a lot of free time.

    • theduke
      Posted Oct 6, 2011 at 10:20 AM | Permalink

      snip – overeditorializing

      • MikeN
        Posted Oct 6, 2011 at 5:42 PM | Permalink

        Not a pure vacation either. He gave a talk at MIT, and described some of the things he is currently working on. I didn’t hear communicating climate change anywhere in there.

    • Pat Frank
      Posted Oct 6, 2011 at 6:44 PM | Permalink

      … academics get a lot of free time

      No they don’t. Especially not faculty at public colleges and universities. I speak from observational experience (never faculty myself).

      • Posted Oct 7, 2011 at 4:43 AM | Permalink

        We feel that pain.

        It is a pain, in a wider sense, that Mann enjoys this privilege for ‘climate science communication research’. Based on his recent output, communication means intemperate ad-hominen attacks on anyone who dares to criticise him or the hockey stick, such bully-boy ‘research’ underwritten in effect by whomever continues to honour him as faculty, as Professor, as whatever.

        Still, the fact Penn State felt it had to put on this short event and within it the one question from the chair about fudging those graphs tells me that, even with all the free time for propagandizing that the system can buy, after a farce of an inquiry, they know it isn’t working. Dead Mann walking.

        • steven mosher
          Posted Oct 7, 2011 at 3:01 PM | Permalink

          climate science communications research is code for

          1. his new twitter
          2. his blogging
          3. letters to editors

          Mann previewed all of this at his address at AGU. his answer is to hit back hard, hit back low, and hit back often. the gift that keeps on giving. He wants to fight on our battle field

        • Speed
          Posted Oct 8, 2011 at 5:58 AM | Permalink

          climate science communications research is code for

          4. Organizing seminars about “purloined” emails.

        • Biddyb
          Posted Oct 14, 2011 at 6:13 PM | Permalink

          And his new book, of course……….

    • Bob Koss
      Posted Oct 6, 2011 at 10:02 PM | Permalink

      Mann, a professor of meteorology and director of Penn State’s Earth System Science Center, is on sabbatical from Penn State. He is spending half his year writing a book and the other half advising Environmental Health Sciences, publisher of the DailyClimate.org and EHN.org, on climate science.

      http://wwwp.dailyclimate.org/tdc-newsroom/2011/08/feds-clear-climategate-scientist

      Daily Climate is the website where Trenberth, Abraham, and Gleick quickly got that screed published against Spencer and Christy last month.

      I wouldn’t be surprised to learn Mikey greased the skids for them.

  35. Philh
    Posted Oct 6, 2011 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

    “Did Mike ever reveal to you whether he would of done things differently? I say this as I am a student of these emails and the sense I get from them is that the scientists were baited by the deniers into seeking their own level. If you look at a plot with an outlier point the scientist would know why its there and I dont need to make a new graph and use a trick to make it go away. But the scientists were incrementally baited into making their plots perfect or the deniers won’t believe it. Thats the trap they found themselves in”

    This an outrageous statement by an academic. Steve McIntyre and Ross “baited” these guys to falsify and hide their results? This is simply stupid.

    • Tom Ganley
      Posted Oct 6, 2011 at 5:36 PM | Permalink

      The interesting thing is that it’s an admission of wrongdoing. They’re not saying the action was justified for some scientific or mathematical reason, they’re saying yes, we did something wrong, but we had to becasue somebody else made us do it.

      It’s an act of desperation, used when there are no other arguments left to make.

      • stan
        Posted Oct 8, 2011 at 8:44 AM | Permalink

        This isn’t new. Other apologists for the unethical behavior revealed in the e-mails have taken this tack. It’s an interesting combination of slander and rationalization. The first part is the ugly assertion that Steve was behaving in a dishonest way. The second, that the hockey team had no choice but to respond to the ‘dishonesty’ with unethical behavior of their own. Apparently this passes for a rational exercise of logical thinking in the looking glass world of climate science.

        I find the slander to be even more objectionable than the ridiculous rationalization.

  36. Posted Oct 6, 2011 at 11:33 AM | Permalink

    See WUWT post

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/06/notes-on-the-brune-talk-on-mann-climategate-in-boulder/

    for a report on the seminar from W Earl Allen.

  37. Paul Penrose
    Posted Oct 6, 2011 at 12:18 PM | Permalink

    “If you look at a plot with an outlier point the scientist would know why its there…”

    And therein lies the real problem. They didn’t know why the reconstructed temperatures were declining when the instrumental record was rising. That is why they deleted the data. Not because they were “baited” into a “trap” by those crafty deniers, but because they had no good explanation for the deviation and they knew they would get beat up over it. It is really that simple.

    • Pat Frank
      Posted Oct 6, 2011 at 6:46 PM | Permalink

      Dead on right, Paul. They saw the danger of their inference being refuted by their data. So they eliminated the data.

  38. chuckr
    Posted Oct 6, 2011 at 2:28 PM | Permalink

    I have a question that I think should be asked each time the denier term is used. Especially when the discussion involves SM, Lucia, Jeff ID etc. What is your definition of a denier and what exactly have the individuals being discussed denied.

  39. steven mosher
    Posted Oct 7, 2011 at 12:22 AM | Permalink

    somewhat OT

    http://blog.revolutionanalytics.com/2011/09/why-you-should-care-about-reproducible-research.html

  40. hunter
    Posted Oct 7, 2011 at 1:50 PM | Permalink

    Brune is simply in effect trying to raionalilze why he committed a crime against ethics and science.
    The sad fact is that it is AGW, not the skeptics, who are waging war on science.
    This cheap shoddy whitewsah, and the pitiful ratinoalizations Brune and others deploy to justify it only lower the credibility of al scientists.
    Until large numnbers of ethical and professional scientists stand against, clearly and firmly, this cliamtegate/Manniac cover-up, people will be jsutified in wondering how much of science is tainted by this sort of corruption.

  41. Posted Oct 10, 2011 at 1:55 PM | Permalink

    http://www.nationalcenter.org/PR-Michael_Mann_Money_011410.html

    Can anyone confirm this $500.000 +
    I have long ago stopped donating to P.S.

  42. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Oct 10, 2011 at 8:04 PM | Permalink

    There is a valuable lesson that the defenders of the PSU “inquiry” need to learn: “When you are already in a hole, stop digging!”

    You have the man who hired Mann at PSU is the one to put on a seminar discussing the actions of the PSU exoneration committee. You simply can not makes these things up.

  43. Casper Dik
    Posted Oct 12, 2011 at 5:18 AM | Permalink

    As an example for someone who was “a successful raiser of research funding, a man admired by his peers”, I’d like to point you all to:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diederik_Stapel

    Not wanting to give out his data at first, he was suspended after admitting he used faked data. They’re now looking at all his publications.

  44. DaveJR
    Posted Oct 13, 2011 at 6:02 PM | Permalink

    Offtopic,

    I believe the Paleoclimate Reconstruction Challenge has finished. The original website is 404, but it seems the results can be found on the NOAA website. Any chance of an update?

  45. MrPete
    Posted Oct 14, 2011 at 9:50 AM | Permalink

    Funny that the assumption that observations are uniformly applicable anywhere in the universe shows up here. A non-provable assertion… which in the case of dendro measurements is demonstrably false over the space of a few centimeters in some cases. The last few years here at CA have taught me to be way more humble about my assumptions than I used to be! :-D

  46. Pat Frank
    Posted Oct 16, 2011 at 3:40 PM | Permalink

    Agreed, Pete. There’s always lots more to be learned. And if we’re really lucky, there always will be a lot more to be learned. :-)

  47. John Tillman
    Posted Nov 7, 2011 at 8:34 AM | Permalink

    It would appear that Penn State investigated charges of child sex abuse in Paterno’s iconic football program with the same assiduousness as it did statistical abuse in Mann’s iconic hockey stick graph.

  48. Ripantuck
    Posted Nov 9, 2011 at 7:46 PM | Permalink

    If anyone has seen the sports news today in the U.S., the top story concerns the resignations of Penn State’s President and Athletic Director over another cover up concerning the behavior of a former Assistant Coach.

    Perhaps the new administration will be more likely to revisit this farce of an inquiry on Dr. Mann’s conduct. It may be a good idea to send a letter to the new President, after giving him/her an opportunity to get oriented in his/her new position, asking that this inquiry be revisited based on a new standard of responsibility, rather than being based soley on the amount of money a staffer brings to the University.

    It seems that both the football program and the climate studies area have both been untouchable-until today!

    Rip

  49. kim
    Posted Oct 12, 2011 at 9:43 AM | Permalink

    Tell you about that,
    Gonna take a little while.
    Boom! Shanka-La!-La?
    ==============

  50. Hu McCulloch
    Posted Oct 13, 2011 at 9:33 AM | Permalink

    This discussion is getting way off topic. Please stick to Brune’s comments on the Penn State inquiry, per blog policy.

    If Lubos is interested in Polkinghorne, feel free to continue this discussion on his site.

  51. Posted Oct 15, 2011 at 2:36 AM | Permalink

    Apologies to Pat Frank that in a busy week I didn’t check back on Climate Audit until now. That’s quite some hare you got running!

    I’m responding to Pat below by the way. Thank you for the perspective on why 26-28 (or thereabouts) was so extraordinarily creative. I certainly agree that it wasn’t just about experimental data. Planck opened the door but the quality of other men – not least Dirac – was I believe critical. Iron sharpens iron. Polkinghorne’s first-hand report from Dirac, as he taught undergraduates the maths of quantum physics in the late 70s, left a deep impression.

    I won’t comment on the program of Enlightenment rationality part, much though I’m interested in the positives and negatives (like Isaiah Berlin) of the Big E. Because my focus really wasn’t at all on Polkinghorne as priest but as reporter of Dirac’s testimony in the 50s, in the light of the fascinating point you made about Poincare (with which I fully agreed).

    Indeed, I hesitated to mention Michael Polanyi’s conversion to Catholicism but it seemed necessary somehow in the light of the shocking sequel at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute. Here’s another Jewish witness who as far as I know didn’t see fit to convert, the pathologist Miklos Nyiszli:

    Thus I learned that the experiments performed here were checked by the highest medical authorities at one of the most famous scientific institutes in the world.

    That’s from Edwin Black’s War Against the Week, p360. Only published 2003, it should be required reading for any of us considering how science (or the pretense of science) might also be going wrong in our own generation.

  52. MrPete
    Posted Oct 16, 2011 at 5:54 AM | Permalink

    There are quite a few related frontier topics, made more difficult by the fact that on a galactic scale we only have ~one observation point. Sure, everything looks fine from a single observation point.

    Then we send out our first deep-space probes…and discover they are being affected in ways that don’t fit the math particularly well. And thus we discover that there’s always a lot more to be learned :) :)

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