Saturday, December 11, 2010

George Mason University Investigates "Wegman Report" Author for Research Misconduct

"[P]aleoclimatology researcher Michael Mann said the authors of “Ad Hoc Committee Report on the ‘Hockey Stick’ Global Climate Reconstruction,” commonly known as the Wegman report (PDF), could soon face more serious allegations, including of political bias and misleading Congress."---The American Independent (12-9-10)

Last October, the Washington Post (10-8-10) reported:

A leading skeptic of climate change science whose work was cited last week by Virginia Attorney Gen. Ken Cuccinelli is himself under investigation on charges that his work contained plagiarism and inaccuracies, a George Mason University spokesman confirmed Friday.

The investigation was first reported by USA Today, which quoted GMU statistics professor Edward Wegman as saying he knew of the investigation but he had been asked not to comment about it by the university.

Wegman headed up a 2006 congressional committee that reported problems with scientific research that showed the earth has experience rapid, recent warming, notably a 1999 paper by then-University of Virginia professor Michael Mann.

The Wegman Report was cited repeatedly in the civil subpoena filed last week by Cuccinelli's office to the University of Virginia seeking e-mails and documents related to Mann. The citations came in an attachment to the subpoena intended to show that there was reason to believe that Mann might have committed fraud as he sought state money for research. [See full text.]

The American Independent (12-9-10) is now reporting:

George Mason University continues to scrutinize charges of plagiarism against a 2006 congressional panel commissioned by U.S. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), then-chair of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, that questioned scientific evidence of climate change.

But paleoclimatology researcher Michael Mann said the authors of “Ad Hoc Committee Report on the ‘Hockey Stick’ Global Climate Reconstruction,” commonly known as the
Wegman report (PDF), could soon face more serious allegations, including of political bias and misleading Congress.

The Wegman report, written by a three-member panel including George Mason University (GMU) statistics professor Edward Wegman, criticized Mann’s work in reconstructing temperature records and his extensive connections to other scientists in his field.

In a parallel assessment, the National Research Council (NRC) largely substantiated Mann’s work.

“My understanding is that plagiarism is the least of the problems with the report, it was just the easiest to document,” wrote Mann in an e-mail. He said there is “solid evidence” that the Wegman report was highly influenced by Barton’s office.

Mann cited an independent analysis done by an anonymous Canadian blogger and a private-sector computer analyst. The
independent report lays out a series of more-serious allegations, potentially arising to felony-level misrepresentation of information to Congress. [See the full text.]

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