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Begin februari rondde Pennsylvania State University haar interne onderzoek af naar het gedrag van Michael Mann. De uitspraak was vrijspraak. Marcel wijdde er dit artikel aan. Daarmee is de zaak echter niet definitief afgedaan. Niet als het ligt aan de conservatieve studenten van deze universiteit die via het online platform psu.campusreform.org zich hebben verenigd om de universiteit van de door hen geconstateerde linksigheid te bevrijden.

Vandaag om 12 uur eastern time is er op de campus een demonstratie gepland tegen het slappe ‘witwas’-onderzoek tegen Michael Mann georganiseerd door de PSU-afdeling van de Young Americans for Freedom. Hoe argumenteren de studenten, die ook bijvoorbeeld collegedictaten screenen op linkse verdraaiingen, hun rally for academic integrity waarin zij een nieuw onafhankelijk extern onderzoek eisen?

First, the university’s internal review consisted of three Penn State employees who have strong incentives to protect the school’s reputation and the millions of dollars it receives from global warming research grants. There was no external oversight.

Second, the review consisted of looking at a mere 47 emails (out of thousands in question), interviewing Mann, analyzing materials he submitted, and asking only two biased sources about his credibility. Penn State hardly conducted a “thorough investigation” of alleged wrongdoing by Mann.

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In short, Mann’s own claim of innocence is taken as proof of his innocence. Moreover, parts of the report are almost fawning in their description of Mann (e.g. “All were impressed by Dr. Mann’s composure and his forthright responses”). “This type of language would be more appropriate in a letter of recommendation than in a serious investigation,” commented Penn State sophomore, and YAF chair, Samuel Settle.

Third, Penn State’s internal review ignored key passages in the emails under scrutiny. While the committee examined the use of the word “trick” in correspondence between Mann and colleague Phil Jones, it failed to explore the purpose of Mann’s “trick” to “hide the decline [in global temperatures],” which clearly suggests a manipulation of the data.

“Iedereen was onder de indruk van Dr. Mann’s stevige houding en zijn gevatte antwoorden”. Gaap! En hun afsluitende derde punt sluit aan bij Marcel’s analyse dat het niet aangaat dat Steve McIntyre niet is geïnterviewd door de onderzoekers.  Zal het de studenten lukken om een nieuw onderzoek af te dwingen?

Hieronder de complete argumentatie van YAF:

Background:

Penn State’s internal inquiry into Michael Mann’s alleged scientific misconduct concluded with the virtual exoneration of his behavior, and ignored key evidence in the Climategate scandal. As feared, this inquiry was little more than a whitewash—an assault on academic integrity.

First, the university’s internal review consisted of three Penn State employees who have strong incentives to protect the school’s reputation and the millions of dollars it receives from global warming research grants. There was no external oversight.

Second, the review consisted of looking at a mere 47 emails (out of thousands in question), interviewing Mann, analyzing materials he submitted, and asking only two biased sources about his credibility. Penn State hardly conducted a “thorough investigation” of alleged wrongdoing by Mann.

Consider the following extract:
“•He [Mann] explained that he had never falsified any data, nor had he had ever manipulated data to serve a given predetermined outcome;
“•He explained that he never used inappropriate influence in reviewing papers by other scientists who disagreed with the conclusions of his science;
“•He explained that he never deleted emails at the behest of any other scientist, specifically including Dr. Phil Jones, and that he never withheld data with the intention of obstructing science; and
“•He explained that he never engaged in activities or behaviors that were inconsistent with accepted academic practices.”

In short, Mann’s own claim of innocence is taken as proof of his innocence. Moreover, parts of the report are almost fawning in their description of Mann (e.g. “All were impressed by Dr. Mann’s composure and his forthright responses”). “This type of language would be more appropriate in a letter of recommendation than in a serious investigation,” commented Penn State sophomore, and YAF chair, Samuel Settle.

Third, Penn State’s internal review ignored key passages in the emails under scrutiny. While the committee examined the use of the word “trick” in correspondence between Mann and colleague Phil Jones, it failed to explore the purpose of Mann’s “trick” to “hide the decline [in global temperatures],” which clearly suggests a manipulation of the data.

Penn State’s internal review of a few emails by vested interests inspires no confidence that Mann did not engage in scientific misconduct—which is precisely why an independent and external investigation of Michael Mann and Climategate is essential in order to reach a credible conclusion.

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