Friday, July 02, 2010

Man oh Mann

Well, this should put the last nail in the coffin of the whole CRU Hack incident. If you recall two investigations in the UK and one by Penn State revealed that there was no indication of wrongdoing contained in the stolen e-mails. However the investigation by Penn State did decide that since the committee was comprised of mostly administrators, they were not equipped to judge whether Dr. Mann had violated best practices issues. From that initial report:

Decision 4: The Inquiry Committee determined that "given that information emerged in the form of the emails purloined from CRU in November 2009, which have raised questions in the public's mind about Dr. Mann's conduct of his research activity, given that this may be undermining confidence in his findings as a scientist, and given that it may be undermining public trust in science in general and climate science specifically, an Investigatory Committee of faculty peers from diverse fields should be constituted under RA-I 0 to further consider this allegation."
Well, the committee of peers has finished its work and while I expected Dr. Mann to be cleared this turned out to not be the case. While he was exonerated on most issues (and commended for his research) they did find criticism, specifically:

The Investigatory Committee considers Dr. Mann's actions in sharing unpublished manuscripts with third parties, without first having received express consent from the authors of such manuscripts, to be careless and inappropriate. While sharing an unpublished manuscript on the basis of the author's implied consent may be an acceptable practice in the judgment of some individuals, the Investigatory Committee believes the best practice in this regard is to obtain express consent from the author before sharing an unpublished manuscript with third parties.
So in fact the criticism with Dr. Mann is that he is too open with sharing information. I wonder how this will be spun!

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