Ten references to “stolen” zero references to “leaked”.
Also, from Lindzen:
Before the Investigatory Committee’s questioning began, Dr. Lindzen was given some
general background information regarding the process of inquiry and investigation into allegations concerning Dr. Mann, with a focus on the particular allegation that is the subject of the current review by the Investigatory Committee. Dr. Lindzen then requested, and was provided with, a brief summary of the three allegations previously reviewed. When told that the first three allegations against Dr. Mann were dismissed at the inquiry stage of the RA-lO process, Dr. Lindzen’s response was: “It’s thoroughly amazing. I mean these are issues that he explicitly stated in the emails. I’m wondering what’s going on?”
Exactly, Dr Lindzen
If I may quote from WUWT something I have been saying all along – it is ILLEGALLY (criminally) obtained emails (my emphasis added):
You are correct the emails are not stolen. However a google on the British computer misuse act shows that they have been obtained illegally and the people releasing the data are criminals:
1 Unauthorised access to computer material
(1) A person is guilty of an offence if—
(a) he causes a computer to perform any function with intent to secure access to any program or data held in any computer;
(b) the access he intends to secure is unauthorised; and
(c) he knows at the time when he causes the computer to perform the function that that is the case.
(2) The intent a person has to have to commit an offence under this section need not be directed at—
(a)any particular program or data;
(b) a program or data of any particular kind; or
(c) a program or data held in any particular computer.
(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or to both
17 Interpretation (1)
The following provisions of this section apply for the interpretation of this Act.
(2) A person secures access to any program or data held in a computer if by causing a computer to perform any function he—
(a) alters or erases the program or data;
(b) copies or moves it to any storage medium other than that in which it is held or to a different location in the storage medium in which it is held;
(c) uses it; or
(d) has it output from the computer in which it is held (whether by having it displayed or in any other manner);
There is no provision for whistle blowing in this act. Unless the owners of the data gave permission for their release this is an illegal act.
Stolen emails is the wrong term but it is a lot shorter than “emails obtained by an unauthorised access offence”
It seems quite possible that the e-mails were leaked by someone who had perfectly legal access to the system, say an IT person or a concerned scientist. Would the act deny all authorized persons access to the system, unless each specific act were authorized in advance by a superior?
Has it ever been established that “FOIA” was not an insider? If the offense is as serious as the PSU inquiry believes, has every effort been made by the police to apprehend the insider, if there is one?
In fact, given the particular e-mails that were selected, it seems possible that the file was being compiled in response to an arguably legitimate FOI request that the university was attempting to drag its heels on. Has it been established that there was no such request pending? If the request were legitimate, would it be illegal of UEA not to comply, so that the leaker was merely bringing UEA into legality?
Officials naturally do not want to approve release of evidence of any wrongdoing they may be guilty of — the recent MP expense scandal comes to mind. Does UK law expressly prohibit subordinates from whistleblowing if they have been expressly instructed not to do so by their supervisors, when the evidence in any way involves a computer (eg a word processed document or e-mail)? Have the police caught the perpetrators of the MP scandal, or were no computer-stored documents involved?
The email may be owned by the UEA or by UEA IT department. However if they released their owned data then there would be many people in the know and documents would exist authorising the release – no document – illegal!
seem to give immunity in section 43b:
Disclosures qualifying for protection
(1) In this Part a “qualifying disclosure” means any disclosure of information which, in the reasonable belief of the worker making the disclosure, tends to show one or more of the following—
(a) that a criminal offence has been committed, is being committed or is likely to be committed,
(b) that a person has failed, is failing or is likely to fail to comply with any legal obligation to which he is subject,
Unfortunately this is then wiped out by 43b (3)
(3) A disclosure of information is not a qualifying disclosure if the person making the disclosure commits an offence by making it.
That’s fine, that’s UK law, it’s not applicable in the US.
Wrong – please read the act:
tpf, you may also want to look at s43(G)-
(2) The conditions referred to in subsection (1)(d) are—
(a) that, at the time he makes the disclosure, the worker reasonably believes that he will be subjected to a detriment by his employer if he makes a disclosure to his employer or in accordance with section 43F,
(b) that, in a case where no person is prescribed for the purposes of section 43F in relation to the relevant failure, the worker reasonably believes that it is likely that evidence relating to the relevant failure will be concealed or destroyed if he makes a disclosure to his employer, or
(c) that the worker has previously made a disclosure of substantially the same information—
(i) to his employer, or
(ii) in accordance with section 43F
So assume that FOIA was a CRU insider, tasked with collecting information to support the 105 FOI requests we know about. Collection would be legal as they were had the authority to do so. If CRU/UEA refused to release the FOI data, I think 43(G) would apply. Don’t forget we also had statements from the ICO that they would have prosecuted if not for being statute barred.
What are Norfolk Police and NDET reporting after 8 months of investigation ?
Whether they were stolen or leaked is relevant only to the individuals involved, not the issues.
They are the residual emails of a batch which had already been *sanitized* from the CRU systems, in order to illegally prepare an incomplete response to FOIA request.
Theory: These are deleted emails from a sanitized batch which were foolishly or purposely archived and/or discovered by an insider or whistleblower (perhaps the sanitizer himself). The insider then had pangs of conscience or an axe to grind and released them surreptitiously.
If it was an insider, the “victim” (CRU), does not want him uncovered, for he knows too much.
Hopefully this means that the myriad untrue and unfounded allegations against Dr. Mann will cease. I suspect this will not be the case, but it’s a shame that a scientists reputation has to be put on the line through blog wars rather than through the accomplishments he has achieved within the institutions of science (the peer-reviewed literature, professorship, scholarly conferences, etc).
Wow, did they miss the point. I wondered what was going on here until I started to count the number of times they said ‘stolen emails’.
They said ‘purloined’ too.
Your loyalty to Mann might be considered commendable in some quarters.
But it is painfully clear that they did not ask any hard and serious questions and did not let Lindzen address the first three points.
They also do not seem to understand that ‘internal investigations’ are no longer acceptable to the public at large who generally recognise when the professions are ‘protecting their own’.
All this proves is that the conspiracy is deeper than we thought, am I right?
Yes, the conspiracy is deeper than we thought. It goes all the way through a whole college trying to protect its one saleable asset: Reputation.
[snipping] imagine that.
Buffoon, it goes deeper than that! It goes all the way through the entire world’s political and scientific communities!
In fact, you and I may be the only ones not involved!
And I’m not sure about you!
Thanks for the giggle!
Forget the blogs. Sure accept this report that Mann didn’t intentionally do anything wrong but also accept the Wegman report which said he was still wrong anyway. If you don’t accept both reports then you are as biased as anyone else.
The Investigatory Committe’s work is a farce. It made the following question:
1) Dr. Mann, have you been a naughty boy?
2) Dr. Mann, have you been missbehaving a little?
2) Dr. Mann, are you a nice and obedient boy?
It makes me sick how low science is getting lately.
From the report:
“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.”
I think the same could be said for Mr. Madoff.
It also makes you wonder what the Jan Hendrik Schön controversy was all about. A researcher with so many prizes must surely be a model scientist, so what’s the problem?
I thought the same thing also.
He sure brought them a pile of stimulous money.
Shoulda asked Ian Joliffe.
Garbage. The committee only investigated the released emails from East Anglia instead of using that as a springboard to look through all of his emails.
Mann was asked to delete certain East Anglia emails and was able to produce the contents via a zip file. Could you not remove them from the server and still not have a backed up version that is off of the public servers?
Because the committee didn’t ask for all of Mann’s emails, they couldn’t verify whether or not he followed through by contacting the others on the list to delete various emails to shield them from FOI requests.
Lastly, the committee’s conclusion that Mann must be a correctly functioning, ethical scientist is based off of number of publications and volume of awards he won without respect to the old boy network and peer pressure to rubber stamp papers.
After skimming much of the report and reading the hi-lighted portions in their entirety:
Their contention is that everyone in his field did it and he was one of the best at it so it’s okay. How sad for science.
The “investigation” was carefully crafted to miss what he did. If you dont ask the right questions, you can’t get the right answers. But that’s OK, the truth will eventually crush him.
In reading it, that was my thoughts exactly. Any findings of misconduct would not only impugn Mann, but the University itself, so they basically crafted a snipe hunt and to the surprise of few, found none.
The yellow highlighted sections are great. Several of them seem to argue that Mr. Mann is clearly so well-loved that he couldn’t possibly have been “outside of accepted practices in his field”: exoneration by popularity.
“In practical terms, this means that literally dozens of the most highly
qualified scientists in the world scrutinized and examined every detail of the scientific
work done by Dr. Mann and his colleagues and judged it to meet the high standards
necessary for publication. Moreover, Dr. Mann’s work on the Third Assessment Report
(2001) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change received recognition (along
with several hundred other scientists) by being awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.”
That’s what happens when the grilling is done by fanboys.
I got as far as this:
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.
Yes, that sounds like an accurate description of what went on. Except for the words, which are all wrong.
Your move, Dr. McIntyre.
Not sure if the consistent referrals to “Dr McIntyre” are to be interpreted as a sign of respect or sloppiness. It would of course have given a bit more confidence if the panel had actually contacted “Dr McIntyre” to hear his side of the story.
From the report:
“Before the Investigatory Committee’s questioning began…..Dr. Lindzen…was provided with a brief summary of the three allegations previously reviewed When told that the first three allegations against Dr. Mann were dismissed at the inquiry stage of the RA-lO process, Dr. Lindzen’s response was: “It’s thoroughly amazing. I mean these are issues that he explicitly stated in the emails. I’m wondering what’s going on?” The Investigatory Committee members did not respond to Dr. Lindzen’s statement.”
Neither did the committee bother asking probing questions in any of the interviews. Like Mann’s hockey stick work…a conclusion was formulated…then the research was conducted to arrive at the conclusion.
In terms of (internal) process and documentation, this report scores much higher than the UK reports. But the internal committee probably won’t satisfy people in the state of PA, we’ll see. In any event, in terms of formal research misconduct as defined by Penn State (which is a fairly common definition), I don’t think Mann is guilty, particularly during the time period he has been at Penn State (which is relatively short). Issues related to standards of ethics and professional behavior can be discussed, but I am not seeing evidence of any formal research misconduct. Back to a point i’ve made earlier, the real issue is the shenanigans that took place in the preparation and response to reviewers in the IPCC reports. IMO, the blame is on the system and people higher up in that food chain than Mann.
I agree with your post, but that is what is most damning. The fact that Dr Mann is not guilty of formal research misconduct based on a definition that is fairly common is astounding. How can academia have such meaningless standards of conduct such that if everyone is doing it (e.g. not sharing data and code) it is somehow okay? This is the argument put forth in the report. This has not improved my opinion of Dr. Mann, it has damaged my opinion of academic research.
BINGO! I have questions for Dr. Curry. Penn State has told us that we should expect no integrity and little in quality standards from academic research.
1) How does she feel about Penn State’s assertion that academic research has such low standards for quality and integrity? Does she feel personally impugned by Penn St?
2) If Dr. Mann satisfies general academic standards, then academic standards are clearly not sufficient to inform public policy. How can the public raise the bar so that it can get better quality science for its money? Do we need another level for research suitable for public policy reliance? (I’m not being flip. If garbage suffices for the academy generally, how can we get the garbage screened out? E.g. beyond peer review, should a study be actually replicated? An unrelated replicator puts his personal reputation on the line by vouching for the accuracy of the data, code, stats, etc.?)
This is a serious matter. Penn St has told us that we would be very foolish to rely on what passes for academic research. If the academy is inadequate for the task of insuring quality and integrity, how does the public protect itself?
You’re missing the huge grey area between ‘conducted himself well’ and ‘committed misconduct’. It is possible to do research badly with honest intentions. That is not misconduct, it’s just sloppy work.
So Dave, you agree that Dr Mann was simply blatantly WRONG.
Are you talking in his work, or his conduct? I find that Steve Mcintyre has done a lot towards showing that Mann’s work has (very) little value. I also find that there is little to show that Mann is anything other than incompetent to the extent that he cannot do valid science.
Really, I have seen absolutely nothing to suggest that Mann understands to this day that his scientific integrity was compromised. As such, his personal integrity seems to be intact, in that he didn’t deliberately decide to compromise his scientific integrity for personal gain.
It’s like the difference between someone who goes out intending to steal the belongings of other people because they don’t care about stealing, and someone who takes things because they cannot understand the concepts of ‘mine’ and ‘someone else’s’: one is a thief, the other a sociopath. In this case, it’s the difference between a crook and an idiot.
Just as there is a huge grey area between a jury finding of not guilty and a defendant being innocent. However, in the case of Dr. Mann, we have the opportunity to evaluate a great deal of the evidence for ourselves. I think the evidence compels a guilty verdict. It doesn’t fall anywhere close to the grey area.
Moreover, given the public policy implications, the question has to be raised — knowing the stakes (trillions in costs, billions of lives affected) does a scientist not have a professional responsibility, even a moral responsibility, to go beyond the barest minimum of academic standards to insure accuracy in his work? Especially when the scientist becomes a strident advocate?
The biggest problem I have with climate scientists is their moral blindness. They advocate for draconian measures, but don’t make even the most basic efforts to assure accuracy and quality control. I expect an architect to put more effort into quality control when building a skyscraper than when building an outhouse, more effort from a lawyer defending a capital case than a misdemeanor, more effort from a doctor in a life or death case than bandaging a scratch. These professions do too. Why shouldn’t we demand more than the barest minimum effort toward quality control from scientists who are demanding that the world change based on their work? (Not that they meet even that pathetic standard for quality.)
When you consider the stakes, Penn St is endorsing a remarkably negligent standard of professionalism.
I’m really not sure what you’re alleging he’s ‘guilty’ of. If it’s one thing, I might agree with you, another I might disagree – you’re not very clear.
“Hiding the decline” was not “sloppy work”. Tricks are “clever solutions” to complex problems. There is no slop.
In terms of (internal) process and documentation, this report scores much higher than the UK reports.
It has to be admitted we didn’t set the bar very high for the good people of Penn State to be able to clear it.
… in terms of formal research misconduct as defined by Penn State (which is a fairly common definition), I don’t think Mann is guilty … IMO, the blame is on the system and people higher up in that food chain than Mann.
Yet Mann benefited greatly from that food chain, played it to perfection, given its need to get rid of the Medieval Optimum for propaganda purposes, and swiftly moved up it. And Mann has never said to any inquiry or to anyone what Phil Jones did to Oxburgh, to his credit (strangely unrecorded till today): that it is “probably impossible to do these [1000-year temperature] reconstructions with any accuracy”.
What is needed is an inquiry into the whole nexus, from IPCC process and lead authorship through to the detailed way McIntyre and McKitrick were treated on the individual papers, through to the leaked emails. It seems the elephant is the room isn’t the hockey stick – it’s science itself. Phil Jones at least wants out of the most grubby aspects of the corruption.
“But the internal committee probably won’t satisfy people in the state of PA, ”
Particularly political operatives from the Commonwealth Foundation.
I don’t think Mann is guilty, particularly during the time period he has been at Penn State (which is relatively short).
So you think it was possible he committed misconduct at Virginia? The committee certainly examined things back to 2000. Your statement here is sort of weaselly. You get to insinuate that Mann might still be guilty without the inconvenience of providing evidence or constructing a coherent argument.
I agree with Doug. So they found him not guilty based on how popular he is (read: how much grant money he brings to Penn State), and worse, based on “a definition that is fairly common”. That leaves me to conclude that they’re saying his conduct is just fine because everyone does it. That’s an argument your kids use when trying to get out of trouble or when they want something! It’s fallacious–argumentum ad populum AKA appeal to consensus, which is what the entire AGW house of cards is based on.
Not very stringent codes of conduct then. In other words, they can pretty much do whatever they want and still get away with it.
This is why Mann’s actions at UVA need to be investigated. Most of the really nefarious stuff with the hockey stick took place when he was at UVA and even UMass. He got to Penn State when he was already at the top of the food chain.
After reading the report, I am astounded that the committee wouldn’t allow Lindzen to comment on the first three points, nor does it appear they even bothered to talk to Steve McIntyre. That tells you all you need to know.
And you’re quite right–this won’t satisfy the people of Pennsylvania, many of whom are Penn State grads. We don’t like closed door sessions–not after the state legislature voted itself a 34% pay raise a few years ago in the middle of the night. We also don’t like being played for fools, nor do we like our tax dollars going to fund people like Mann just so he can get rich.
Mann will get his eventually. What goes around comes around. He may think he’s untouchable, but reality has a way of shattering egomaniacal delusions of grandeur.
Wow, I didnt know Mann was capable of jedi-mind tricks.
Or did I miss the part where instead of taking all of Manns ‘you dont need to see his identification’s at face value, they actually did their homework and checked the facts?
OK, that’s three ‘wow’s so far. I think the shock is at how poorly the committee hides its ignorance or disingenuousness.
Documents available to the Investigatory Committee:
“376 files containing emails stolen from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia and originally reviewed by the Inquiry Committee.”
So does this mean that only “selected” Climategate e-mails were reviewed by the Committee? If so, which ones?
I like the backhanded way in which the hockey stick is defended. ‘Widely used principal components’, and that his research has been validated in subsequent studies. Nobody mentioned ‘strip bark bristlecones’ in that room, or if they had it would have gone right over their heads.
The twist of all enquiries so far is that whatever these scientists (including CRU) did for IPCC is off limits for scrutiny. So who is authorized to examine the IPCC work–only the IPCC governing board or committee?
On November 24, 2009 Dr. Pell intiiated the process in RA-10
On November 29, 2009-they meet with Dr. Mann and give him a heads up.
On November 30, 2009 they send him a letter which formally starts the inquiry.
From the Policy
(2)Upon receipt of the written allegation(s) of research misconduct, the Vice President for Research, the Director of the Office for Research Protections, and the Budget Executive of the area in which the accused individual is primarily employed, in consultation with the Budget Administrator of the area in which the accused individual is primarily employed, shall immediately conduct an inquiry and shall take all necessary steps to protect government or industrial research funds and insure that the purpose of the Federal and industrial support are being carried out. If an emergency situation arises (e.g., illness, out of the country, etc.) that prevents the Budget Executive or Budget Administrator to participate in all or part of the inquiry, the Vice President for Research shall appoint an appropriate replacement. Relevant research records, documents, and/or materials shall be immediately sequestered. If the person(s) designated to conduct the inquiry does not have the necessary and appropriate technical expertise or background in the field of question, technical consultants (from within the University whenever possible) should also be appointed to assist in the inquiry. The inquiry must be completed within 60 calendar days of its initiation unless circumstances clearly warrant a longer period (up to 30 additional days). The Vice President for Research shall provide written notice to the accused individual that an inquiry shall be conducted as to specified allegation(s) of research misconduct. Precautions against real or apparent conflict of interest shall be taken, including, if necessary, referral by the Vice President for Research to another University officer or third party.
On January 15, 2010 they ask Dr. Mann to produce only emails for AR4. Dr. Mann provides a zip archive.
Obviously they did not follow the rules. Below are a few more policies that are relevant!!
8 The investigation normally will include examination of all documentation, including but not necessarily limited to relevant research data and proposals, publications, correspondence, and memoranda of telephone calls. Whenever possible, interviews should be conducted of all individuals involved, including the accused and the accuser(s), as well as other individuals who might have information regarding key aspects of the allegations; complete summaries of these interviews should be prepared, provided to the interviewed party for comment or revision, and included as part of the investigatory record.
I. DATA MANAGEMENT AND DATA INTEGRITY:
Data integrity depends on the proper and ethical collection, representation, and retention of data. Falsification or fabrication of one’s own data and unacknowledged use of data generated by others are unacceptable behaviors and constitute misconduct. The University maintains ownership of all data collected from research conducted at the University, under the auspices of the University, or with University resources, subject to restrictions stipulated in University-approved agreements with sponsors and other third parties.
1. Accept primary responsibility for data collection, proper attribution, recording, storage, retention, and disposal or transfer to University Archives, as appropriate.
2. Scrupulously record data in a form that is easily accessible for analysis and review and, if the research is supported by external funding, readily identifiable with and traceable to the sponsored project.
3. Maintain the privacy of data as required by confidentiality agreements and regulations.
4. Make data immediately available to scientific supervisors and collaborators, as confidentiality agreements permit.
5. Post-publication, share data with other interested researchers who seek to verify and/or complement existing research.
6. Maintain research data intact, preferably in original form, in accordance with University or sponsor’s retention requirements or for a sufficient amount of time to allow for analysis of published results by other researchers, optimally a minimum of five years after publication.
V. PEER REVIEW:
Peer review is an essential part of the research process. Peer review helps ensure that research has been carried out in an effective manner and will make a significant, timely contribution to the field. Researchers of all fields may find themselves in the position to offer peer review, and the obligation should be thought of as an additional way to contribute to the profession. The review process must be conducted according to the highest professional standards to ensure continuing widespread confidence in the peer review system.
1. Review only manuscripts and grant applications on a subject matter of personal expertise and return a thoughtful review.
2. Disclose real or perceived conflicts of interest. Identification of a conflict of interest may require a decision to remove oneself from the review process.
3. Base a review objectively within the context of published information. Offer positively constructive comments rather than confrontational remarks.
4. Retain the confidentiality of all manuscript and grant application contents, as both contain privileged information.
A comment on one piece of disinformation in the report:
‘Moreover, because he developed his source codes using a specific programming language
(FORTRAN 77), these codes were not likely to compile and run on computer systems different from the
ones on which they were developed (e.g., different processor makes/models, different
operating systems, different compilers, different compiler optimizations).’
This is nonsense.
Scientific fortran 77 programs are portable – hence people publish
books like ‘Numerical Recipes in Fortran-77’ http://www.nrbook.com/a/bookfpdf.php
If Fortran-77 were not portable to all manner of computer/compiler/os combinations
such books would be worthless.
This is just one example of the smokescreens/excuses deployed in the ‘report’.
“Scientific fortran 77 programs are portable”
Indeed, in http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/310408.310410 (“Is Fortran Portability a Myth”), authors state that “In the old days of Fortran 77, there was no question: standard-conforming Fortran programs were the most portable – more so than C programs […] With the transition from Fortran 77 to Fortran 90, the language has lost substantially in portability. This loss didn’t occur at the level of individual routines, which are still reasonably portable, but at the level of projects.”
I should admit to being a professional programmer, although it was 20-odd years ago that I dabbled with Fortran in school. The above information was the result of 30 seconds of googling.
The issue of portability shouldn’t impact code release.
That said, it wouldn’t surprise me if Mann has notice an issue like this. I had the problem with Java code running substantially different depending on the compiler being used. The problem was solved by everyone just using the Unix system.
I’m confused. Are you attempting to dispute the assertion that FORTRAN-77 is portable by quoting a statement that FORTRAN-90 is not portable but FORTRAN-77 was?
“Are you attempting to dispute the assertion that FORTRAN-77 is portable[…]?”
Apologies – I thought I clearly indicated (e.g. by starting with “indeed”) support for the notion that Fortran-77 is portable. Later versions of Fortran are a bit less so, if you make extensive use of project-related extensions, which are not supported equally in all environments.
Actually, I was trying to make two points: (1) Fortran-77 is considered eminently portable, and (2) you don’t even have to be a programmer to easily check this claim; google will serve you the answer in no time at all. One could argue that an investigation that doesn’t bother to do even that level of fact checking loses a bit of credibility.
You have a point that they are wrong, but the bigger idea, the fact that they will not share source code because its not portable is retarded too.
If you can’t see what they are doing, how can you be sure what they are doing? Take their word for it? Just a sloppy investigation..
This is a very weak argument indeed. Regardless of “running” the code and getting the exact same answer, FORTRAN 77 is very basic and the code can be transcribed quickly in R for instance. The point wasn’t to get the 7th significant digit correct but to figure out the logic and accuracy of the underlying statistics and math.
Much of the old meteorology code exists in FORTRAN 77, written 3-decades ago and can be complied and run without any changes whatsoever. James Hansen at NASA must have had similar qualms about providing his source code…
Being a BSc pure and PhD in Comp Sci; this ‘none portable’ argument wrt FORTRAN 77 stuck out a mile – anybody who has been around and coded in a variety of languages knows the issues with data representation and how to address portability. The only logical conclusion is that this is more an admission of Mann’s lack of knowledge in the field than a problem with the languages used – therefore the FORTRAN 77 code should be made available with the data it generated, then any issues with data representation can be tested and resolved.
Probably they mention this because Mann told them?
I know nothing about programming language so this may be a naive question. Why would Mann use FORTRAN77 to develop source codes for papers he was writing in 1998/99?
snip – no Fortran debates PLEASE.
Why would someone use Word 2003 to edit a document in 2010? (No snide Microsoft comments, please! 🙂 )
… because you have it and you know how to use it. There is usually no substantial improvement in many products which forces one to use a later version when what you have can do the job and you are comfortable with it.
Great Question. I doubt Mann was trained in Fortran. I doubt there are any courses offered in Fortran any more – nor have been for a very long time. My guess would be he was reusing code first written by someone else. This is not to say that Mann couldn’t figure out Fortran coding on his own but he also could have redone the work from scratch in some more current and advanced language. This reflects on workmanship. It smacks of shortcuts. Sure Fortran is a fully capable language but is it what they were teaching at University of California in the late 80’s when Mann was an undergraduate? I hope not. Legacy code is not cool even in a physics department. What would you think if the carpenter working on your house would only use the tools he’d inherited from his grandfather?
Steve; No more Fortran discussion PLEASE.
Comment moved elsewhere. Computer language discussion do take on a life of their own. It seems reasonable to wonder if Mann may have been using legacy code as a shortcut. It’s a question I’d like to hear Mann answer. No one will ever get the opportunity, I’m afraid, but maybe they shouldn’t. Personally I tend to offer deference to educators. The problem is we have this darn Endangerment Finding that the EPA threw together.
In my experience, doing FORTRAN since 1970 to mid 90s, non-portability only comes from the parts of code that interacts with the OS. Almost all implementations of any language tend to add some sugar (syntactic or otherwise) to make the language live and play well in the environment. If portability is a goal one tries to isolate these interactions (though I would not expect Dr. Mann to do that since that would not have been his goal). Changing these parts of the source could be some work but not huge depending on its dispersion through the source.
To contend, that optimizations and processor types can change scientific conclusions would seem to argue even more to keep all this open and available rather than hide it.
IMO this is just another smoke screen, much like Bill Gates’ contention in the lawsuit brought by the Govt. , that the Internet Explorer was an integral part of the OS and could not be separated out. It has enough of whiff of technology to get intelligent non-practioners nodding in agreement.
Steve will have fun deconstructing this:
The next question for Dr. Mann was posed as follows: “What is your reply to the email statements of Dr. McIntyre (a) that he had been referred to an incorrect version of your data at your FTP site (b) that this incorrect version was posted prior to his request and was not formulated expressly for him and (c) that to date, no source code or other evidence has been provided to fully demonstrate that the incorrect version, now deleted, did not infect some of Mann’s and Rutherford’s other work?” Dr. Mann responded by stating that neither he, nor many of his colleagues, put much reliability in the various accusations that Dr. McIntyre has made, and that, moreover, there is “no merit whatsoever to Mr. McIntyre’s claims here.” 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 section really caught my eye as well. People unfamiliar with some of the earlier correspondence can find a full list of the e-mails sent at this location:
Basically, Mann presented a pack of lies and the investigation swallowed it hook, line and sinker.
Steve: Spence, you’ve been following this for a long time. I’m surprised both that the 2003 requests emerged again and that Mann once again made untruthful claims about them.
Who would have guessed it? The principle complaints dismissed out of hand despite prima facie evidence from the emails. One complaint is deemed worthy of further investigation. Of the issues raised in that, the most trivial is found to have been breached.
Is there a more perfect example of a bureaucratic stitch-up “enquiry”?
Maybe a courtroom is the only place where the truth has a chance of coming out.
A minor point, but why are the pdfs from enquiries like this and foi requests always in a scanned non text based format? Are they trying to make it hard to text search? Or is it complete incompetence in creating pdfs?
Steve: I was able to extract text from this. In other cases, it seems overwhelmingly likely that they are trying to make it hard to text search and to copy text.
ah sorry – can search this one – please delete
Great investigation. This was an internal investigation. Had they not found in favor of Mann, the cash cow of grant money was at great risk. CPA’s are independent third party auditors. They call this conflict of interest.
Enron insiders also found nothing wrong to report.
The results of this report is that the investigators remained loyal to the team. Mr McIntyre is still waiting to see if they will call to check with him?
It’s worse than we thought.
Its me sky? Are you still falling?
I can’t say I’m surprised at this, but I can’t help but still feel a little ill at how narrow the investigation really was.
“are you guilty?”
“ok, we’re done here”
The reality is the peer review process and the realm around university driven climate science policy has been called into question by the work of climatologists like mann in the last 5-10 years. They will never admit this however, and it was paramount that confidence in themselves remain in tact. A real investigation would have revisited all of Mann’s work going back to 1998, but that would have also dragged many other people (such as reviewers) and their related organizations into the fold. Where would it have ended? There could have been no other outcome than what we see here.
“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?”
This is a succinct illustration of seriously deviated Mannian scholarly activities:
Mann to Phil:
“OK–thanks, I’ll just go w/ the H=62. That is an impressive number and
almost certainly higher than the vast majority of AGU Fellows.”
Phil had just told Mann that the H=62 score was inaccurate and high.
What matters truth when there are grants to be won and causes to pursue?
Um, how about a typo? 5 and 6 are right next to each other on the keyboard after all.
Brilliant. The “typo” defense. You’re a genius, Rat.
Mann managed to convey his much vaunted ethics with the other words around the possible “typo” by saying that he would ‘just’ go with the earlier wrong figure and not try to get the correct (lower) figure.
But, you are right, I suppose that ‘..to hide the decline…’ could be a long typo, and the accidental splicing of proxy and instrument data for the WMO-99 report could be a slip of the mouse. The processed CRU temperature data too could be a typo – we don’t have a raw data and the processing method to rule out the presence of typos, do we? (yet).
(Funny how all those possible typos seem to point in one direction!)
In this particular case, I guess that the AGU who received the application for the Jones Fellowship know the facts, and could provide clarity. I have asked them – and so far – no response…
Not sure if this was covered before, but this is a link to the first part of the report releases in February 2010. The link to the PDF no longer works, but there is a text archive version which I copied part of it below.
http://www.research.psu.edu/orp/Findings_Mann_Inquiry.pdf – 2010-02-03 – Text Version
Allegation 1: Did you engage in, or participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions with
the intent to suppress or falsify data?
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.
Decision 1. As there is no substance to this allegation, there is no basis for further
examination of this allegation in the context of an investigation in the second phase of
Allegation 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?
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
1 The word trick as used in this email has stirred some suspicion. However, trick is often used in context to describe a mathematical insight that solves the problem. For example, see in a classic text on quantum mechanics by David Parks: “The foregoing explanation of the velocity paradox involves no new assumptions; the basic trick, the representation of a modulated wave as the superposition of two (or more) unmodulated ones, has already been used to explain interference phenomena…” pg. 21, Introduction to Quantum Theory, David Parks, Third Edition, Dover 1992
Decision 2. As there is no substance to this allegation, there is no basis for further
examination of this allegation in the context of an investigation in the second phase of
Allegation 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
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 Kuhn 2 as an authority on how science is done, before it is accepted as “settled.”
Decision 3. As there is no substance to this allegation, there is no basis for further
examination of this allegation in the context of an investigation in the second phase of
2 Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1962
Has anyone ever verified what number Mann actually presented? With all the inquiries surely someone somewhere somehow is fact checking something. As for me, I’ll know that a real inquiry is underway when “Harry” is cross examined. Until then it’s just noise. White noise.
So what exactly would a professor have to do to receive a reprimand? Barbecue his students and eat their flesh?
I’m amazed that Mann gave his BS story about “excel files” to Penn State. I was amazed at the untruthfulness at the time – not just that it was untruthful, but that it was untruthful on something that could be readily demonstrated by producing the original email that didn’t ask for excel files (but an FTP location.) Even Tim Osborn of CRU (see Climategate Letters) knew Mann’s excel story was BS.
Why would Mann tempt fortune by telling this untrue story one more time to an academic misconduct inquiry? Insane. Of course, the inquiry look like total fools for accepting the untrue story.
Steve, why would he do it?
Simple, the result of the inquiry was predetermined. Mann knows that the press will remain on his side, as will his friends in academia and supporters in the alarmist community at large. Its not what you know, its who you know.
As far as they are concerned, you are the problem, and you are the liar. And really, why do you persist in standing in their way from trying to save the world? (sarcasm, I don’t believe they can or are trying to save the world)
I am a believer in science and scientific principles but have been very saddened to see how much it has become a religion in the last 10-20 years.
Why would you be amazed? The jury was stacked from the get-go.
It is revealing Mann would needlessly put himself at risk by telling impeachable lies. This probably indicates how deeply disoriented he is and incapable of presenting facts simply and honestly, even on his own behalf.
Skeptics have been granting the benefit of good faith to CAGW promoters for far too long.
The success of openly covering up climategate is breathtaking.
It is astonishing. The true story – that the data weren’t available, that they did try to collate the data but made errors in doing so – doesn’t look good in terms of presenting a “diligent scientist” image, but isn’t exactly unethical behaviour.
But then to lie to an investigation about it – an act which is a serious breach of ethics itself – is a remarkable way to respond. It turns a defensible act into an indefensible one.
What are the options now to appeal this? The State Legislature? The state atty generals office? Did they ask you to testify and respond to Mann’s claims?
You should read what they are saying at RC. Very revealing
Defamation? I’m not an expert on US law, but if Mann doesn’t have something akin to parliamentary immunity when testifying to the Penn State inquiry, then various of the claims he made are potentially actionable. I doubt you want to put your own money into pursuing it – it would never pay off, even if you won – but I’d hope you could find a lawyer willing to take the case pro bono.
“Why would Mann tempt fortune by telling this untrue story one more time to an academic misconduct inquiry?”
An interesting question – albeit somewhat difficult to answer without moving into the realm of “motivations”. But if I may be permitted to speculate … it seems to me that the repeated ‘telling of untrue stories’ is a hallmark of far too many the arguments presented by those who adhere to the “tenets” [cf the recent PNAS “study”] of AGW.
Because society at large (and possibly the MSM in particular) holds an unwarranted presumption that a scientist would not tell an untrue story, he has been able to perpetuate a self-serving myth. Over the years, this myth appears to have become a “reality” for him.
In his recent presentation to the 2010 Freshwater Summit, Dr. Norman Yan concluded with a quote from the late Richard Outram (a Canadian poet):
“The cardinal human values are
HUMILITY and HOPE”
If there is one thing of which Michael Mann cannot be accused, it is that humility is one of his values (cardinal or otherwise). Perhaps it is this absence of humility that enables Mann to continue to tempt fate by repeating this untrue story.
It’s really unfortunate that Eisenhower has been forgotten.
Basically, YOU WILL NOT DISRUPT OUR BIAS AND ESPECIALLY OUR INCOME STREAM!!
Yeah, I’m sure PSU is shaking in its boots at the thought of losing that.
“According to a list of grants at The Free Republic, Mann has brought in a total of $4.2 million since he joined PSU in 2006, with a significant portion of that money to be spent over the next several years. From 2006 to 2009, Mann’s grants totaled about $1.8 million. In that same period, PSU’s total research income was $2.8 billion ($2,804 million). As a percentage, Mann’s grants represented 0.06% of the total research money that PSU was granted between 2006 and 2009. Clearly, as White pointed out, “[i]t makes no sense that [Mann’s] grants could corrupt the whole system.””
I can see no meaning with trying to find justice in the University world in this case. First, this is a close-knit world where colleagues at the university investigates each other; and they are of course also more loyal to the reputation of the University than to facts. This is only human nature. Investigations like this leads very rarely to serious criticism, and when the criticism are stronger, it is still lame.
Second, when you try this way, and justice is not made, its only hurt your own case. You should ignore all this, and instead focus on publishing your opinion in media, blogs, homepages and so on. And from the beginning declare that you dont believe the investigations are serious, and explain why…
Keep this in mind now when IPCC is investigated. Of course that is going to be a whitewash to!
I should add that they did also send a message by chastising Richard Lindzen before he could even say a word. When he voiced his concerns, they were ignored. Some effort went into documenting this exchange and the message is clear.
Closer to home in canada, look what happens when the RCMP investigates itself. I know thats off topic but when you think about it for a moment, it’s common sense that you don’t let friends investigate friends even if they have “impeccable credentials”. Again, deliberate language there.
This might not go over well, but I think the investigation by Cuccinelli needs to happen. Only an outsider can be trusted at this point.
David, I don’t read that exchange with Lindzen the same way.
This was a quasi-legal context, and the (first) Inquiry Commitee dismissed the first three allegations. [See page 5 of the report.] The (second) Investigatory Committee was convened with only the charge to look into the fourth allegation (see page 6). While I sympathize with Lindzen’s reaction when informed of the truncated scope, the panelists had no option but to remind him that they were obliged to remain within the confines of their given charge.
When I saw Lindzen’s comments, I wondered if they were included by a second writer, coming from the Investigatory Committee, with an implied criticism of the dismissal of the first allegations by the Inquiry Committee. There was no need to include the exchange in the report, so its presence hints at a purpose.
Good point. Either that or incompetence would explain it.
I was wondering whether Mann should have reported the request to delete emails and the “H=62” issues, not from a scientific requirement but purely on moral grounds.
As he is attempting to sound virtuous lately by decrying the importance placed on the hockey-stick, this would carry more weight had he exposed the attempted skullduggery in the past, as revealed by the CRU emails.
If the report confirms anything, it is that science policy at Penn State is seriously flawed, and not that Mann is innocent of wrongdoing.
Look you lot, Dr Mann brings in lots and lots of lovely money so he must be good and honest. So there
AH! Folks, simply science corruption at its finest! Starving academics need their money~why aren’t we all glad for their put-up job?
The Mannomatic strikes again,
I got censored at real climate for asking this simple question in regards to this investigation:
“So they didn’t talk to McIntyre? Am I the only one that find that very odd?”
I think its a non offensive question that is relevant so I have a hard time understanding why it got censored.
In climate “science”, asking unconvenient IS offensive.
Alex you need to make comments at RC such as those by Chris Colose above. He is a welcome contributor at RC.
I find this a completely bizarre statement:
“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.”
By that same reasoning. Bernie Madoff must have met or exceeded the highest standards of his profession for investing other peoples money.
No, No, No, Gekko
Madoff met the highest standards of his profession for ASKING for his clients’ money.
The inclusion of this paragraph makes me wonder if it might be a poison pill meant to alert the careful reader that the rest of the report is not to be taken seriously.
It’s subtle, the kind of thing that flew under the radar of the lesser lights that comprised this committee, yet to me at least and likely you, it says clearly
“Here be nonsense”
Yes yes yes.
To appraise someones standards by their ability to raise funds is erroneous in the extreme. Madoff was good at raising funds from people who clearly were lax in their due diligence. Mann has been good at raising funds too.
You need to prove Mann was successful for the same reason. You can’t turn the question around and claim Mann’s standards are proven by his success at raising funds.
maybe re-read what I said above. I thought his skill at raising funds an absurd measure of the quality of his science, but likely something dear to the heart of his university.
I still think this observation is so bizarre in the context of the report that it intentionally signals that the investigation was a bogus process.
ie. “Here be nonsense”
“And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.
And what might Bismarck have said?
‘Michael ist der Mann!’
Actually, while it looks like Mann has got off on this, his reputation is in tatters, and all except the most ardent “friends” he has had protecting him from criticism over the years are likely to go quiet and just drop him from their Christmas card list.
Like Judith Curry, I do not think he is guilty of the kind of misconduct that is under investigation here. He has been guilty of sloppy research, unsubstantiated claims and over-hyping, but those are all things that can happen not because someone is intentionally misleading the world, but because they have deluded themselves that any means to an end is OK.
Yes this kind of research should in theory be weeding out by peer review — but the academic world has tended to let research that is not immediately obviously wrong get published — and then let it stand or fall on its own merits over time.
That is one of the great misunderstanding of this debate. Peer-reviewed was never meant to mean “right” — it was only “this is good enough for us to publish so that others can consider it”. The real peer-review is whether the findings stand up to subsequent scrutiny — and that is why the gate-keeping to stop the critical analysis of the Teams work was so anti-intellectual and anti-scientific.
I can’t say I agree Margare.
He was guilty of sloppiness up to the point that he chose to hide and protect his work against the discovery of the resulting and his willingness to engage the close and influential network of like minded activist scientist to aid him in that.
My first post to you got lost so, I said well done, you hit the nail precisely. An excellent piece.
My prediction is that no one would drop Dr.M2 from the Christmas cards as well as from the funding distribution lists. Note that the NSF Program Director who funded M2 is standing behind him. The academic system is lead by the corrupt leaders. These leaders were raised during Post-WWII huge increase of Government funding of sciences and engineering in the atmosphere when in majority of cases in order to obtain funding you should promise to mitigate some threat (imaginary if the real threat is nonexistent). As far as self-correction of science is concerned, you are correct the peer reviewers should weed out obviously erroneous papers and let the rest be judged by history. However, in reality it doesn’t work like that. The corrupt leaders have great weight in creating the dominating scientific opinions. Next they use their gravitas in making peer reviewers to be extra zealous in “reviewing” opposite to the dominating opinions and very flexible in reviewing the works that support dominating opinion. Same is with “peer reviews” in NSF and hand full of other funding organizations. Young scientists and engineers while in academia learn very quickly not to fight this system. Those who ignore it or fight it get thrown out.
Your Point – “Actually, while it looks like Mann has got off on this, his reputation is in tatters, and all except the most ardent “friends” he has had protecting him from criticism over the years are likely to go quiet and just drop him from their Christmas card list.”
My response is I think he has been tainted, but also that the taint will not immediately or in near future impact him . . . only impact him in a longer term ‘historical’ scenario.
Another of Your Points – “That is one of the great misunderstanding of this debate. Peer-reviewed was never meant to mean “right” — it was only “this is good enough for us to publish so that others can consider it”. The real peer-review is whether the findings stand up to subsequent scrutiny — and that is why the gate-keeping to stop the critical analysis of the Teams work was so anti-intellectual and anti-scientific.”
My response is that you have offered a good idea for discussing ‘peer review’ from a practical standpoint of keeping science discussion ongoing even when some paper isn’t perfect, but, when there is a potential professional ethics question regarding an author shouldn’t that be a show stopper for publishing a paper?
Personally, I don’t see the problems being with the peer review system, so much as with treating peer-review as a gold standard for truth. The scientific method works, but it only works reliably in the long-term (over generations). Consensus view can be wrong for quite a while without being challenged.
As Margaret says, all peer-review says of something is whether it is obviously deeply flawed. The mistake is thinking that peer-review needs to be changed, rather than our opinion of what it tells us.
Peer review is not considered as a gold standard for truth. It is rather a first filter to keep absolute garbage out. Whether a result is correct or not is measured by the results of subsequent research spawned by a paper. It is as stated at RC “necessary, but not sufficient”.
But yes, bad theories can be overturned by time, as new discoveries are made and new theories are developed. Being wrong within an as yet to be developed new analytical framework does not make you a bad scientist or a corrupt scientist, just one who is insufficiently imaginative.
However Mann’s work, despite all the controversy surrounding it outside of the scientific community and the admitted methodological error in the early papers, seems to have held up pretty well. If it hadn’t, he would not have been granted a tenured position at PSU in 2005. Part of being a great scientist is the willingness to take risks in your research, even at the risk of being wrong. Being wrong isn’t a sin, especially if your work inspires others — but if you are wrong, they have to prove you wrong. Unfortunately for the acolytes of the proprietor of this blog, that has not happened.
Since Mann’s work was and appears to continue to be he impetus for the seminal contributions of Steve McIntyre then one must agree with you. McIntyre’s contribution has reinforced the necessity of both scientifc and mathematical rigour. As well, it has pointed out that vacuity of relying on “consensus” as an alternative to rigour.
Scientific rigour can only be established if experiments are in practice replicable. Jones’ answer that no reviewer ever asked for data or code is a clear example that rigour was not a prime focus of scientific researchers. Consensus can be just another word for comfortable group think if true rigour is not enforced. If the journals and granting agencies are not going to enforce rigour then who or what else will? Perhaps this can be done by researchers of quality of McIntyre who can pierce the comfortable assumptions of group think. Imagine someone actually examining if the data actually satisfies the requirements for the statistics that were used!
Your thoughts on what the real issue here are quite right. Peer review is only a garbage filter. The real test is if research results can be replicated. When Mann refused to release data and code he made replication OR refutation impossible. So all we’re left with is: trust me, I’m a scientist. And my friends all agree!
As a non-academic, though with a hard science degree a while back, what exactly should I believe that the peer review process is telling me?
The general impression given out by the Warmists is that once a paper has been peer reviewed and published (or sometimes before either of these have been done), it becomes the authorised scientific truth, and can therefore be used without any reservations as a building block for further work (viz citations process and their importance to academic careers). It also seems to suggest that the peer review process is itself good enough to handle the hurdles of replication and reproducability. Hence their historic insouciance about being unwilling to make the internal workings of their papers easily accessible.
And until a few months ago, as an educated layman, I too imagined that all this was true. That peer reviewers had access to all the steps involved, that they sat down with the reviewee in a spirit of constructive improvement and the result was a line by line checked paper honed to the finest peak of rigour achievable.
But then I heard Phil Jones say ‘they never asked’. In all his academic career, no reviewer had ever wanted to see his calculations (or I guess understand his methods). Jones is in his mid 50s and has published at least 52 papers. If the bever asked to see ‘the engine room’ of his work, what guarantee is there that there was any true ‘review’ of the papers ever carried out? Mr Madoff’s fraudulent scheme would have escaped criticsm for many years if the review only went as far as to say ‘How y’all doing Bernie?’ ‘Great thanks Mr Reviewer’
Is there anywhere written down a serious set of guidelines for peer review? That is paid some real attention by those conducting the review. Or is it just a big game of ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’. Which makes the process of negligible worth as an audit of correctness.
And if there isn’t should there be? Who and how should such guidelines be drawn up? By academics only and to academic standards..or with input too from the wider world where more stringent ‘aduits’ have long been commonplace?
“Is there anywhere written down a serious set of guidelines for peer review? That is paid some real attention by those conducting the review. Or is it just a big game of ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’. Which makes the process of negligible worth as an audit of correctness.”
Having participated on some review committees, and knowing some very experienced and respected reviewers, I would say that it varies greatly, even in the absence of nepotism or political pressure. Many conferences and workshops use the EasyChair (http://www.easychair.org) system, and its many configuration options reflect the fact that there is no single good way to arrange a review process.
My own experience, from the Computer Science field, is that reviewers generally take their work very seriously, but often end up compromising either because there are simply not enough high-quality submissions, or because the reviewers themselves do not have time to go to the bottom of each submission.
For the most prestigious conferences and publications, some of the brightest minds tend to set aside significant time for review, and really perform a thorough job. I recall comments from reviewers that they had spent days painstakingly trying to reproduce a complex mathematical proof, only to find that a tiny mistake in the paper invalidated the entire approach! But my impression has always been that, on average, people who serve on review boards do not do this; many would not be capable of it in the first place, and those who are, typically limit themselves to doing it once or twice each year.
In most other cases, a reviewer might be expected to spend some hours on a paper, comment on style and obvious errors, discuss the main assumptions and claims based on their experience and intuition, and possibly recommend for publication even if they are not personally 100% convinced that the work is correct. Even possibly incorrect papers may be interesting and stimulate valuable discussion. Also, a paper may contain accurate and original findings, and still draw wrong, or partly wrong conclusions from them. This is the sort of thing that will hopefully emerge from future work.
What a review definitely should do is to ensure that authors have taken the appropriate precautions; if they introduce some new algorithm under the assumption that it is better than existing (possibly proven) algorithms, they should present an analysis that is at least similar to the ones that exist for established alternatives – if nothing else so that they show clearly that they understand the implications of departing from established approaches.
Well said! Mann and the AGW community, as well as the academic world, will sputter on apparently unscathed by this incident, but the fact is that there has been a great deal of scathing which will have very lasting impact far beyond the field of climatology in the years ahead. Mann and The Penn State Investigation will be barely a footnote in future. The impact of what has transpired, however, will be seen in every field of research; perhaps sooner than most here would imagine. This report exonerated no one and condemned the present way we do business in science to the trash heap of history. Today is, indeed, another day. Sometimes we learn as much from a Mann as from a Bell; sometimes.
PS As well as a shortage of Christmas Cards, I think Mann is also likely to find getting research funding significantly more challenging in the future!
Although all indications are that he will continue to receive funds from those that need the answers he provides
I don’t know about that, his work has been under attack for more than a decade (don’t think Steve was the first) and he hasn’t found any problem finding funding. Scientists and science administrators seem to think that he does good work.
I’m sure that CA replicated Mann’s work years ago and are not at all surprised now.
So, what does this mean going forward? Anyone in the climate research community knows that Mann is damaged goods (typo – gods!), but technically this may mean only that journal editors can’t dismiss future submissions out of hand.
Does this set a new standard of research quality at Penn State? While much of Mann’s questionable work occurred before reaching Penn State, the report had plenty they could criticize but didn’t. Now that it’s certified that Mann’s work meets Penn’s quality standard, will future research by others be held to the same low standard? Will Penn State research be tainted by the possibility it may be sloppy – or wrong?
Finally, what does this mean for the future of review panels, from misconduct reviews to prepublication peer review? While another chapter on climate research has ended, new ones covering all science are getting sketched out.
I am afraid that what Mann is guilty of (hiding raw data & code, power politics with the journals, creative graphics, refusing to correct the rain in Spain) does not rise anywhere close to the level where academia sees guilt. You have to kill research subjects, abscond personally with $100,000 grant money, or completely make up data to get their attention.
I am so happy about the quality of “Dr” Mann’s work that i feel that all of his previous “peer” reviewed articles must be verified and that all previous research projects must be verified. Until this is completed my state university should get no federal grants.
““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”
To me this reads he is respected for his ability to obtain funding not for the proposed research. If he proposed research and didn’t obtain funding would that lessen his level of respect? How many scientists fall into the latter category simply because they do not have the right connections.
Penn State would have been much better served had they used an independent review committee. Mann has received millions in grants, a considerable portion of which go to the University. Penn State has a vested financial interest in Mann’s integrity and should have recused themselves from the investigation. This certainly would have increased the perception of an honest and impartial review.
I wonder when the public (typically referred to in the Real Climate blog as “uneducated trolls”) will finally make a logical leap to the only one possible conclusion that all the system for funding the sciences is rigged. Asking committee comprised of academics, this is like asking a peer reviewers selected from the mafia if this particular drug dealer’s activity was in the range of typically accepted practices. Of course, it was from their point of view! All Mr.Mann’s activities were exactly what is accepted and required for generating funding, making publications and receiving tenure. Now, if you ask outside of the mafia, i.e. among layman, then you might get a different answer. However, fist, someone should really explain to the public in all the details of how carriers in modern academia are made. My favorite choice for such alternative review panel comprised of “ordinary” public would be Leo Szilard… Oh shoot, he’s dead! May be Richard Feynman… Also dead! Ok, how about Jerome Ravetz and more people like him. May be then the public will become aware of the fact of how our sciences and engineering academia is misusing enormous amount of funding coming from our tax dollars and of how the education of American students is ignored and of how they are substituted with the students from “third world” who are much more complaint. Well, may be you, Mr. McIntyre, should create a think tank for the sake of public education in this matter. I’ll be willing to help you.
So, let’s review:
Skeptics are still skeptical. Advocates are still self-righteous.
I’d read someone’s opinion before that Cucinelli’s witch hunt prosecution was bad for science.
Seeing the poor quality of investigation performed here toward protecting the scientific method, I’m now quite sure I disagree. Recipients of public grant money or advisors to public policy MUST be held accountable for their quality of work against transparent universal standards.
The Cucinellis of the world will help evolve those standards..
This mockery does nothing.
Agree. However, how to implement the adherence to the standards? How to verify that the standards are met? And, what are the standards? Regarding the last question – Penn State report clearly demonstrates that academia has somewhat different understanding of standards as compared to a layman. My solution would be to get away with domination of government funding of sciences and engineering. Send all the fellows in academia older than 45 to the retirement and return to the taxpayers money saved from the government research funding. That is – to lower the taxes. Science needed to support industry advances can be done by a small number of scientists. Let the business choose these few brightest people, as it was before WWII. Make the academia do what they are hired for – teach our kids sciences instead of doing phony research, and no tenure.
I think academia plays a role in scientific advancements for industry and medicine that I would not choose to remove.
Conflict of interest in finance and policy should never mix with science. In industry it is clear that the scientist works toward creating value. When academics are contracted or sponsored by industry, they are held to standards to produce value.
When academics are sponsored by the public, they are no longer necessarily producing value. That is the specific area which must be controlled: The standards to which policy-influencing or publicly-sponsored work is being held to. I would look to FDA drug testing as an example of attempting to remove conflicts from concerned parties through replication and comparison.. Not perfect, but much better than this crapshoot.
“…. producing value ….” – Eisenhower’s words again echo… In this case, Mann-ics are producing value to the politicians who patronize them – Edwards, Gore et al, along with puppeteers like Soros. Value to the public? Not part of the equation. Penn State and UEA have simply sold their souls in this area to the instigators of “economomic and political” climate change. Sigh.
Producing “value” in this case refers to “that thing which satisfies the profit motive.” In the case of contracted science for industry/med/commerc or in-house science by company, the profit motive is clear and value is produced (or not.)
Publicly-sponsored or policy-influencing science does not necessarily produce value (as their output is not measurable in terms of satisfying a profit motive.)
Therefore it needs to occur within a framework of accountability, with built-in replication, which is transparent to the source of funding (the public,) which can assist in guaranteeing the quality and removing bias.
The FDA does drug research along these lines for this very reason. The exception would be defense research by academics, which would fall into some gray area.
Read Crichton essays: He is far more eloquent than I.
You may have missed the point of my jab – it is a question of *whose* profit motive is being satisfied. Did Gore not profit from Mann’s hockey stick? Are there none whose profit derives from carbon trading? As I suggest, academic research, like economics, has made (in at least climate research) the transition from producing value for the public good, to producing value for the manipulators.
As one wag stated it much more crudely than I, messing with the mind in order to mess with the pocketbook. On a slightly different tack, a heading begging for a comment might be “Whose Oxbrough is being Gored?”
I agreed with your jab, I think. (Good show) The policy/public science should be separated from profit motive very, very clearly.
Before WWII the academia was sponsored primarily by the private sources (philanthropists) and the industrial applied science funded within the companies existed. This privately funded academia that produced value for the public was relatively small. With the Government funding the research academia grew and became fraudulent since it is relatively easy for people like Mann, Hansen, Schmidt, etc. to trick Program Managers and their peer review committees. During almost 70 years such system became so inefficient that its role in (forget industry) society advancement is very small. Let’s take physics, look at the Solvay conference, there were 30 – 40 physicists attending. Now this is the number of faculty in just a regular department of an average university. All of them want tenure and, finally, receive it. If you are familiar with the Academic Promotion and Tenure requirement, all those who received tenure are either geniuses or slightly less than. Thus, just in the US we have more than 2,000 genius physicists. Add to that Chemistry, Biology, all sorts of Engineering, etc… You get the picture. Reality is that may be just 100 physicists are really contributing. The rest 1,900 are peer reviewing, chairing conferences and committees, working as program managers distributing funding, etc. This is a Prti dish to breed faud.
This report doesn’t tell us anything about Mann or his integrity. It does however, speak volumes about the standards for quality and integrity in academic circles. What Penn State is saying in this report is that academic research is not expected to satisfy any serious standard for quality or integrity. Important public policy should not be crafted in reliance on the garbage that they put out.
This is all about quality standards and integrity. Either they are lowering the bar dramatically in order to be able to drag Mann over, or they are confessing a very dirty secret — that academic research in general has no integrity or quality standards. Neither reflects well on the university or academia.
Five stars on the sidewalk of scientific shame.
Wow. I find the following absolutely jaw dropping – From Dr. Easterling’s testimony
by stating that much of what we know about climate change is the result of a combination
of observation and numerical modeling, making the classic idea of falsification of a
hypothesis, which may be applicable to a laboratory science, of limited applicability in
the study of climate change. Thus, even though there are a number of highly
sophisticated, physically sound models that are used to analyze and predict various
features of the earth’s climate system, human judgments are invariably involved, and a
certain amount of subjectivity is introduced.
To me this translates as being along the lines of “if the data is confusing enough, feel free to make things up, that’s ok!”
If Mann and Penn are what pass for successful science, on which we spend billions in taxpayer dollars, we are all doomed.
I suppose they succeeded in tarring all of climate science by arguing that Mann fell within the norms.
The problem for you is that he falls within the highest norms of the discipline. Since the attacks began around 1999 – 2000 Mann has been more than open about both his methods and data. If he wasn’t you fools would not have been able to attack him on the inclusion of the Tiljander proxies, since he made his reasons for including them perfectly clear and open to attack.
Re: Rattus Norvegicus (Jul 3 22:18),
Rattus, pro-AGW Consensus blogger Arthur Smith has an active comment section on the most recent of his two posts on the use of the Tiljander proxies by Mann08. I’m participating and thus presumably one of the “fools” you are referring to.
Please go over there — should be friendly territory, given the general alignment of your views and Arthur’s — and point out the weaknesses in the arguments I have made.
Spoiler alert: here’s the key question I have asked, followed by my answer. This answer is rejected by the authors of Mann08 and by the paper’s defenders.
Are the Tiljander proxies calibratable to the instrumental record, 1850-1995? No.
Yes I am a psychologist in addition to accomplished in several other fields.
My kid is graduating with highest distinction in engineering and was in sports at the NCAA championship level.
I see two words to summarize the report.
Team Spirit. It is so obvious.
Order your Nittany Lyins goodies here;
I will not take time to do a break down of the encoded defense mechanisms displayed in the report.
You all can do it yourself here;
If you don’t have good science, you can cry like a baby and get sympathy.
(I remember James hansen calling 2 requests under FOIA laws as if they were attacks and harassment)
Don’t ever dump or rat on a fellow team member.
We can rest assured that one topic the investigators discussed among themselves was the effect their findings would have on the Cucinelli fraud probe.
The investigators had, essentially, two options: exonerate Mann, or pronounce him guilty and provide justification for Cucinelli’s probe.
With that in mind, consider that Mann lied to the investigators about the Excel data. That in itself could easily become part of the Cucinelli probe.
It amazes me that people pay so much attention to this thread and relatively little to Oxburgh’s handling of Jones’ admission.
Once again, if your comment is “piling on” or venting angriness, I’d prefer that you don’t.
I’m going to be on and offline for a few days.
Although I’ve not commented on that thread my substantive comment here was designed to draw people’s attention away from the by-now-very-uninteresting man from Penn State and back to Phil Jones, his remarkable statement to Oxburgh and the even more remarkable fact that the good Lord entrusted with some kind of review of CRU saw fit neither to publish nor even to confirm or deny that statement when challenged by Steve. An own goal doesn’t even begin to do justice to this. It’s a gaping wound, it’s perhaps the very crack leading to the fires of Mt Doom itself. We can but look forward to Steve’s adventures in the UK from next weekend, where Jones, Oxburgh, Kelly, Rees, Hoskins, Davies and Beddington could all have him over for nice pot of afternoon tea on successive days. And so many others.
The link to the first report, which Steve provided at <a href = "https://climateaudit.org/2010/02/03/the-mann-report/"https://climateaudit.org/2010/02/03/the-mann-report/ is dead. Is there an updated URL?
(The URL provided was http://www.research.psu.edu/orp/Findings_Mann_Inquiry.pdf.)
Joe Romm writes about the Mann exoneration/vindication and says that “bit player” Judy Curry owes Mann an apology for her comments in an interview.
Any ideas on what she should apologize for?
Here’s the Discover Magazine interview with Dr. Curry for a refresher … Link
It happens I had just finished reading the bits about whether or not a spreadsheet had been requested in Montford’s book, so what Spence says leapt out at me, too.
Perhaps Mann recalls it that way and was not deliberately telling an untruth, but a question that presented to him McIntyre’s original requests would have elicited a different answer.
The inquiry badly needed a lawyer with litigation experience on it.
Quality … we ain’t got no quality … we don’t need no stinkin’ quality!
(We are, after all, a university!)
The Office of the Inspector General of the NSF had opened an investigation of Penn State regarding it’s involvement in Climategate. They suspended the investigation at the request of Penn State pending Penn State’s own internal review. If people have issues with the manner in which the Penn State investigation was conducted, they should write the the IG of the NSF. http://www.nsf.gov/oig/ Anyone who writes should focus on matters of fact and procedure, IMHO. It serves no useful purpose to write to simply vent.
The first thing that struck me as odd about the report was the list of four “allegations” on p. 3, “synthesized” from e-mails and other communications by Dr. Eva Pell, Senior VP for Research and Dean of the Graduate School at Penn State. Pell was not herself on the Investigatory Committee, but apparently convened it and defined its scope.
In fact, none of the four purported “allegations” is remotely an allegation. Each is in fact a query about whether a general category of misbehavior has taken place.
And even odder, each query is addressed in the second person to the subject of the inquiry (Michael Mann), and not to the Investigatory Committee.
Understandably, the first task of the Committee might have been to establish what exactly was Mann supposed to have done wrong. But in fact, the committee was set up to ask Mann what he did wrong. He answered “nothing” on all 4 points, and so the case was closed.
As they used to say, even back in the days of FORTRAN 77, “Garbage In, Garbage Out.”
It might have helped if someone of your stature had made a formal compliant. In lieu of any formal complaint, they did the best the could by developing synthesized charges, which seemed to encompass the charges leveled on blogs and through emails.
HU, I think you’ve made a very valid point. The committee was not responding to specific allegations, rather, it was more like “We’ve heard that you may have been involved in dirty dealings… what say you?” That really does amount to an injustice both to Dr. Mann and to the rest of us as well. The University was willing to subject him to an inquiry it had no business initiating without a specific complaint in order to cover its own ****. The real investigation belongs in the hands of Congress or a Special Prosecutor from the Justice Department. Dr. Mann’s contributions are but one thread in a tapestry…. and examing one thread without reference to the others, by different investigators, is no way to reach the truth.
If there is anyone who really thinks that this string of exonerations and studied indifference by the authorities is anything OTHER than collusion, let him step forward.
I read the Penn State report twice, once for comic value and a second time for real content. I didn’t get much out of the second read. They didn’t even ask relevant questions.
Too bad I don’t any longer live in PA, where I could contact my state representative about the pressing need to reduce research funding at Penn State.
Steve Keep up the great work—-I never miss your posts
penn state alumni
ps Do something about the “TIPS-JAR” Pay pal not friendly to USA address
A very interesting thing to come out of this “inquiry” is the statement by Wm. Curry of Wood Hole on p. 11 to the effect that the NSF “allows a two-year window during which he has exclusive rights to his data. After that period he must make it available to others.”
It’s not clear whether this is two years from when the data is collected or two years after the end of the grant period (usually 1, 2, or 3 years).
This policy is particularly relevant to Lonnie Thompson’s ice core data, much of which has never been archived for public consumption.
Latimer Alter sez: ” ‘Mr Madoff’s fraudulent scheme would have escaped criticsm for many years if the review only went as far as to say ‘How y’all doing Bernie?’ ‘Great thanks Mr Reviewer’ ”
In fact, it did escape criticism for many years for just that reason.
It is instructive, in the context of McIntyre’s quest for data and code, that with Madoff, it was never necessary to understand his methods to have discovered his fraud. Since he wasn’t doing trades, all an auditor had to do was ask, ‘Let me see one of your original trade tickets.’
I have read ‘Hockey Stick Illusion’ and Harry Markolpolos’s ‘No One Would Listen,’ and the parallels are so close they are spooky.
Arno, my impression is that what warps the peer review system is political interference. Corrupt science has plenty of telling signs. We need to become
more adept at detecting them early. Full disclosure and actively encouraging
attempts to reproduce or refute your work go a long way towards protecting
ones reputation as an honest scientist.
I invited everyone to write a letter to the Penn State trustees complimenting them for the fine investigative work of their university administration. See http://www.psu.edu/trustees/membership.html
I don’t see why Congress or the US Justice Dept. should be involved. The principal issues involving Mann and arising out of Climategate were “Hide the Decline” and “Mike’s Nature Trick”. These might constitute academic misconduct, but certaintly are not Federal offenses.
The committees should have asked Mann what Jones meant by “Mike’s Nature Trick,” and how in fact the MBH98 (in Nature) smoother was endpadded.
Or was Jones mixing up MBH98 and MBH99 (in GRL), whose longer 1000-yr construction is the famous HS that appeared in TAR (which Mann co-authored)? If so, how was this smoother endpadded?
Also did Mann have a hand in the construction of the smoother of Briffa’s MXD series in TAR? And whoever did it, how was this constructed under his watch? Who made the decision to truncate the unsmoothed series in 1960, before the decline?
There may be other Mann-related issues Steve or Mosh are aware of that should have been raised as well.
But, since Mann did not apprise them of these issues and they didn’t bother to ask anyone who might have, they never came up.
The US court system could sure save a lot of money if every defendant who pleads “not guilty” is automatically acquitted! Not to mention what we could save on police and prosecutors if defendants could investigate their own crimes and write the charges against themselves as well!
(The above was in reply to Robert E. Phelan
Posted Jul 4, 2010 at 2:42 PM, above, but got misplaced.)
The essential question is always, is the work correct? The name and reputation of the author are minor, trying to ascribe motives is pointless. If the work is correct, it will usually be repeatable or can be re-run on the same data.
Do try to allocate your effort to the professional aspects of science and math. I know, mea culpa sometimes. We all have human emotions.
This is nothing new. Researchers around the world work this way, because the only thing that is of importance are grants. It is even more pronounced in the EU, where you can get grants not only from national science programs, but also from the EU. EU grant application processes are so cumbersome that scientists often get a private enterprise to word the research applications, because writing the application would mean half a year of work.
It’s the incentives in the system that are wrong and that will continue to wreak havoc in it. So for young scientists who don’t want to participate in this scam, they will have to find work in the private sector.
You don’t think they know his side of the story? It’s right here in in full colour every day.
Steve, I am quite amazed at the vitriol being posted on RC blog in articles pertaining to the Penn State report. Here’s a real doozy:
“It is time scientists realised that they are in a war. There are no rules in love and war. The sceptics know that. So long as they can get away with their lies and false accusations scot-free, then the battle for the future of the planet will be lost.”
…as an award-winning scientist with international reputation, I find this language to be repellent in the extreme! Scientists serve humanity, not the other way around.
[…] don’t have a lot to say about this, but I would suggest reading the comments over at the Climate Audit thread on the […]
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[…] not unexpected) developments, a few days ago, Penn State released the final results of its “enquiry” into Michael Mann’s “alleged misconduct”. About the best that can be said […]
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