Experts say alleged PSU cover up of Mann misconduct "extremely unlikely"

On February 3, an official Pennsylvania State University (PSU) administration inquiry into four allegations of research misconduct against Dr. Michael Mann found that three of the four allegations were without merit. The fourth allegation was referred to a investigation committee because the administrators concluded that PSU faculty were more qualified to rule on the fourth allegation than were the administrators.

Shortly thereafter, PSU started being accused of risking its reputation by “whitewashing” the inquiry with a cover up designed to protect Dr. Mann. The accusations came in form of press releases from think tanks, blog posts from media pundits, as well as some traditional media outlets. A typical example was the Fox News report that Republican Represntative Darrell Issa had called for freezing all federal grants to PSU and Mann until PSU “settled all the charges” against Mann, suggesting that perhaps money was the reason that PSU was allegedly covering up Mann’s supposed research misconduct.

S&R decided to investigate the “whitewash” claims to determine if they had any substance. Here’s what we discovered. Continue reading

Three of four misconduct allegations against Michael Mann found to be without merit (updated)

Update: I’ve added a few more examples of spin and accusations of bias against PSU as well as some good reporting examples that were not posted as of last night.

After the CRU emails were released in November, 2009, there was widespread accusations of misconduct against most of the scientists mentioned in the emails. Today, the Penn State University (PSU) inquiry committee investigating accusations made against Dr. Michael Mann publicly released its findings. The committee found that, with respect to the most serious three accusations out of four, “there exists no credible evidence” that Mann had committed research misconduct. The inquiry committee empaneled an investigation committee to look into the last accusation – that Mann had “seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community” – because they could make a determination about this and because

Only with such a review will the academic community and other interested parties likely feel that Penn State has discharged its responsibility on this matter.

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It's Climategate 2.0! (…not)

In December, the Goddard Institute for Space Sciences (GISS) published over 200 pages of internal emails as required by a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). The emails involved how the GISS handled responding to a number of requests for information, data, and code from Steve McIntyre, founder of the climate disruption-denier website ClimateAudit.org. Clearly there was no metaphorical “smoking gun” in the emails, because the CEI didn’t crow about a likely Climategate 2.0 following the emails’ release.

However, today it appeared that Judicial Watch and number of large climate denier blogs didn’t get the memo. Continue reading