Michael Mann Cleared Again

By The Intersection | August 24, 2011 1:17 pm

Michael MannBy Jon Winsor

Yet another organization, this time the National Science Foundation, has cleared climate scientist Michael Mann of wrongdoing (here is a pdf of the report closeout memorandum).

Finding no research misconduct or other matter raised by the various regulations and laws discussed above, this case is closed.

The NSF also studied the university emails related to “climategate” and found “nothing contained in them evidenced research misconduct within the definition in the NSF Research Misconduct Regulation.”

Penn State’s earlier investigation concluded (pdf available here):

“An Investigatory Committee of faculty members with impeccable credentials” has unanimously “determined that Dr. Michael E. Mann did not engage in, nor did he 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.”

His work “clearly places Dr. Mann among the most respected scientists in his field…. Dr. Mann’s work, from the beginning of his career, has been recognized as outstanding.“

Hmmm. The conspiracy spreads. Now, it’s not only Mann and his university who are in cahoots, but also the National Science Foundation?

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, Politics and Science

Comments (25)

Links to this Post

  1. Case Closed : Delaware Liberal | September 2, 2011
  1. Bob Swartz

    I’m going over the Watts to get some talking points for smearing Mann. Back soon.

  2. Hammer

    Exoneration only leads to proof of guilt for conspiracist’s.

  3. kirk

    Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.

  4. Nullius in Verba

    The report states a conclusion, but provides no evidence, or answers to questions. Why not?

  5. chance

    @ #4 … there are no questions among those not failing in logic. Your clearly a conservative that feels they did wrong doing that needs clarification or evidence to prove his innocence.

  6. Incredulous

    Good for for Michael Mann.

    He didn’t delete the emails that Jones told him to delete. The NSF policy regarding FOI requests was not violated by actions that happened in the UK at UEA and not under NSF jurisdiction anyway. (The requests which were found to be illegally denied by their investigation but the illegal denial had passed their statute of limitations.)

    Other than not implicating him, what does this have to do with anything?

  7. Nullius in Verba

    #5,

    “that feels they did wrong doing that needs clarification or evidence to prove his innocence.”

    Are you saying non-conservatives don’t need evidence to consider something proved?

    How do you do it, if you have no evidence?

  8. bad Jim

    File under “motivated reasoning” the accumulating evidence that this latest finding makes no difference.

  9. Incredulous

    #8 bad Jim

    “File under “motivated reasoning” the accumulating evidence that this latest finding makes no difference.”

    Ok, please explain how anything about Michael Mann not being implicated in any wrongdoing has anything to do with the events at UEA. The fact that he was not implicated does not wave the magic wand and make everything else go away. No matter how much you wish it to. The only real conspiracy is the concerted effort to play like Climategate did not seriously impact the credibility of the scientists involved.

  10. TTT

    @9: Nothing about Climategate is “serious.” The scientists involved had their credibility impacted, but frivolously so, due to a vendetta of slander and thoughtcrime persecution.

    All of the evidence is on their side and always was, and that doesn’t matter and never did. Creationists still b*tch about Piltdown Man to this day, equally convinced that it wins their side at least the moral high ground.

  11. Incredulous

    #10 TTT

    “Nothing about Climategate is “serious.” The scientists involved had their credibility impacted, but frivolously so, due to a vendetta of slander and thoughtcrime persecution.”

    While I have to admit there were some kooks in the vendetta and persecution group such as Inhofe and Cuccinelli, I have to disagree that nothing was serious. I find breaking the law to keep people from evaluating your research to be serious. The subsequent investigation had that opinion also. Are you going to say that the official investigations were frivolous and on a witch hunt as well? Are you going to say that attempting to subvert the peer review process was not serious? Whether they were successful or not is immaterial. Attempting wrongdoing and failing is not the same as being innocent.

    I honestly cannot understand how you can ignore what came out of that whole mess and still say we should trust them without prejudice. That kind of belief and trust has a lot more in common with religion than has in common with science.

  12. The Intersection

    Incredulous: The only real conspiracy is the concerted effort to play like Climategate did not seriously impact the credibility of the scientists involved.

    I’d point out that there are a number of other investigations that did the same thing with the other scientists involved. But somehow I don’t think that’s going to have any effect on your thinking.

  13. Incredulous

    Jon:

    “I’d point out that there are a number of other investigations that did the same thing with the other scientists involved.”

    Yes, and the investigation found that Jones had broken the law by denying the FOI requests but were unable to act on that because the statute of limitations had expired.

    “But somehow I don’t think that’s going to have any effect on your thinking.”

    That’s OK, I don’t think that anything would dispel your faith either.

  14. The Intersection

    Yes, I believe in the process (called the scientific method) that led all these scientific organizations to issue statements (keep scrolling), with none dissenting. None.

    As Jon Huntsman put it, call me crazy.

  15. Chris Mooney

    Incredulous, first and last warning for your tone.

  16. TTT

    @11: Are you going to say that attempting to subvert the peer review process was not serious? Whether they were successful or not is immaterial. Attempting wrongdoing and failing is not the same as being innocent.

    It would be serious if it had happened. It would have been semi-serious if anyone had “attempted wrongdoing.” But it never happened, and no one attempted it. You cannot show any evidence that it happened or was attempted. There IS no evidence that it happened or was attempted. People TALKED ABOUT IT AND THEN DID NOTHING. Quit cheering on the maniacs who persecute them for this.

  17. Incredulous

    #15 Chris Mooney

    Noted and sincere apologies. In retrospect, I agree. With your indulgence, I will try again with more civility.

    #14. Jon

    Climategate was about the behavior of some scientists who coincidentally happened to be studying climate science. The validity of the science could never disproved nor confirmed by the Climategate documents or the subsequent investigations. I will grant that there are some who took it as an avenue to further their own agendas to counter the science of these scientists in particular and the whole of climate science in general, but they are not inherently linked.

    I am just mystified that people who are clearly in favor of the scientific method are apparently not appalled by the behavior exhibited in the leaked documents and are able to overlook what I find to be egregious behavior on the part of these scientists.

  18. Nullius in Verba

    The process that led all these organisations of scientists to issue statements is called Argumentum ad Verecundiam. If you enquire into their reasons, in all the case I have examined it turns out they are themselves simply citing the consensus. Some people do call that “the scientific method”, but the definition isn’t universally accepted.

    “The first [sort of argument] is, to allege the Opinions of Men, whose Parts, Learning, Eminency, Power, or some other cause has gained a name, and settled their Reputation in the common esteem with some kind of Authority. When Men are established in any kind of Dignity, ‘tis thought a breach of Modesty for others to derogate any from it, and question the Authority of Men, who are in possession of it. This is apt to be censured, as carrying with it too much Pride, when a Man does not readily yield to the Determination of approved Authors, which is wont to be received with respect and submission by others: and ‘tis looked upon as insolence, for a Man to set up and adhere to his own Opinion against the current Stream of Antiquity; or to put it in the balance against that of some learned Doctor, or otherwise approved Writer. Whoever backs his Tenets with such Authorities, thinks he ought thereby to carry the Cause, and is ready to style it Impudence in any one who shall standout against them. This I think may be called Argumentum ad Verecundiam.”

    John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, 1690.

    Incredulous, I think you have just been styled “impudent”! ;-)

  19. TTT

    That’s just an Argument From Authority with Locke as the authority.

    Nice scam you’ve set up for yourself here, Nullius. Since you yourself have never conducted any of the investigations, you can liberally claim any of them that undercut your thesis are actually just the products of authorities or authoritarian thinking. Because at some stage in ANY data-gathering process there will ALWAYS be some external authority involved–some other scientist who did the tests or reviewed them or published them or compared them to something else in order to make them available to the current investigator, all the way down the chain to you as reader–and that’s the gap where your God lives.

  20. Nullius in Verba

    “you can liberally claim any of them that undercut your thesis…”

    The criterion was not whether they undercut my thesis, but whether they provide evidence.

    For example, in exonerations of Mann, the first thing I always look for is their response on the issue of the r-squared cross-validation statistics for the 1400 step. Do they comment on whether he did or did not calculate it prior to publication? Do they comment on whether and when it was reported? Do they discuss the fight over publication of the Jesus paper, and did it include the statistics before or after the publication date meeting the IPCC deadline? Do they comment on what constitutes a pass, and what constitutes failure to report adverse results? What new evidence do they present in support of their explanation?

    There are numerous others that could have been chosen, but it’s as good as any. I had a look at the linked report, and found no mention of it.

    The questions are out there, and are posing a problem for climate science’s credibility. I would have thought, therefore, that it was obviously to their benefit to make sure complete and proven answers were available. It would go a long way towards shutting the sceptics up. So why do we get enquiry after enquiry stating no evidence of wrongdoing was found, but without showing how this can be squared with what is already known?

    I can equally easily say I have conducted twenty or thirty enquiries myself, and found in each plenty of evidence of wrongdoing. If I did so, you would naturally ask me what evidence I had for that, wouldn’t you? Or would you take my word for it?

  21. Sean McCorkle

    Nullius@18 & 20

    I have a cognitive disconnect between this
    The process that led all these organisations of scientists to issue statements is called Argumentum ad Verecundiam.
    and this
    The questions are out there, and are posing a problem for climate science’s credibility.

    If Appeal to Authority is to be avoided, why should credibility be a concern? If no authority should be trusted, then no one’s credibility should be of value.

  22. Nullius in Verba

    #21,

    Have you clearly distinguished climate science, and climate scientists?

  23. Sean McCorkle

    @22

    Not sure how that’s possible, when talking of the credibility of a science. Isn’t “climate science” either the institution of climate scientists, or the body of knowledge assembled by climate scientists?

  24. Nullius in Verba

    I’d say it was the body of knowledge assembled about the climate.

    But I see now my use of the term was ambiguous. It could have been taken to refer to the institution. My apologies for any confusion.

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