Skip to comments.Mann Freed of FOIA
Posted on 09/19/2012 1:22:42 PM PDT by eagleye85
Professor Michael Mann is perhaps best known among climate change skeptics for his appropriately dubbed nature trick, as described by Phil Jones in the ClimateGate emails. An advocacy group, the American Tradition Institute (ATI), lost a court battle this Monday to look into Professor Manns conduct at the University of Virginia.
Michael Mann will have his emails exempted from a Freedom Of Information Act request made by the American Tradition Institute, reports Lizzy Turner for the University of Virginias Cavalier Daily today. ATI had submitted a FOIA request asking for access to Manns emails following the Climategate scandal.
Should the ruling stand, it could set a precedent that researchers in public institutions do not have to disclose to the public proprietary documents relating to their research, writes Turner.
Monday, retired Arlington Circuit Court Judge Paul Sheridan ruled Manns correspondence was public, but could be exempted from release by a specific exclusion that absolves proprietary information collected by faculty members at public universities, she reports.
Professor Mann, who currently teaches at Pennsylvania State University, wrote an email to Turner asserting that Fossil fuel industry front groups like the one (ATI) behind this latest lawsuit, seek to intimidate and harass climate scientists whose findings are inconvenient to well-heeled vested interests whose bidding these groups are doing.
ATI sought to provide the supposedly missing context to the Climategate scandal that, all are told, would explain away as non-problematic the revelations of hide the decline, Mikes Nature (Magazine) trick, recruiting journalists to go after opponents, have journal editors dismissed and challengers suffer professionally, [sic] states the groups website.
Although Michael Mann considered the ruling a victory for his cause, the judge rejected all arguments by Intervenor Michael Mann whose intervention, the Court said from the bench, unnecessarily complicated matters, and without impact, notes ATI.
The court did not accept any academic freedom or First Amendment arguments. Its ruling was purely grounded in the meaning of the term proprietary in the Virginia statute, and the reading of that provision the Court suggests means that public universities can hide from the taxpayer even what the Telegraphs Christopher Booker called the greatest scientific scandal of our generation, writes ATI. ATI is troubled by this implication, as should be all Virginia taxpayers and supporters of transparency in government, science and public policy. ATI called the ruling a seemingly broad reading of Virginias exemption 4.
In 2010, following the ClimateGate scandal, I wrote a special report for Accuracy in Academia outlining obstacles to a fair Pennsylvania State University investigation into the actions of Professor Michael Mann and his infamous hockey stick graph; this can be read at www.academia.org/Mann-Overboard. However, several parts of the committees initial inquiry lend themselves to the conclusion that the Penn State investigation will likely remain toothless, I wrote at the time. Naturally, in the investigation did not question the science behind Professor Manns research but only his professional conduct. Had Dr. Manns conduct of his research been outside the range of accepted practices, it would have been impossible for him to receive so many awards and recognitions, which typically involve intense scrutiny from scientists who may or may not agree with his scientific conclusions, states the Universitys report (pdf). In other words, they believe that praise by his fellow researchers and the grants which he has received are sufficient cause to ensure that Dr. Mann has acted in a professionally acceptable, if not laudable, manner.
The unanimous decision of the Investigatory Committee at Pennsylvania State University was that Dr. 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.
Someone needs to sic the folks from 4chan or Anonymous on this so they can do to Mann what they did to the University of East Anglia.
When this email crap broke, I wrote an email to the PENN State public affairs office and demanded they investigate him for academic misdoing.
The email I got back was addressed to “Dear Citizen of the Globe....” Guess how that turned out.
This man is an academic FRAUD and a rabid ideologue with credentials created by his own academic misdeeds. Peer review? Ha! Any review of his work was by co-conspirators in the fraud he is still trying to perpetrate on the world.
This latest FOIA stuff is symptomatic of a University, or system of Universities hell-bent on trying to keep the light of day shining on their faculty’s criminal behavior.
Seems to me if PENN would do this, what else have they done, or not done, ala Sandusky et al....I hope they get their financial clock cleaned by his victims.
:: could be exempted from release by a specific exclusion that absolves proprietary information ::
Really? The future demise of all mankind and physical destruction of the Earth as we know it is “proprietary”; the sole intellectual property of the scientists studying the phenomena?
Well, we know how well Penn State “investigates” claims of wrongdoing against their employees.
I’m worried about how much other information is going to be considered “proprietary” since the judge defined that as interchanges between professors regarding their research.
This is total nonsense. If a state school is owned by the state, any data it owns is in turned owned by the state. If a professor starts refusing to turn said data over, he should be censured and his funds cut off. Period.
“researchers in public institutions do not have to disclose to the public proprietary documents relating to their research,
In other words, real science isn’t happening, we have Stalinesque “Approved Science” where certain subjects are forbidden, and discredited theories are chased down doggedly under orders of the Supreme Soviet.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.