Money more important to Penn State than the truth?
“It looks like Penn State deliberately covered up the current pedophile sex scandal involving the school’s athletic department for years,” says reader James Stoffaire. “Then what are we to make of Penn State’s investigation and exoneration of Michael Mann? Penn State investigators cleared Mann of charges of unethical behavior in his climate change research.”
“Penn State has lost all credibility, and clearly can’t be trusted to investigate itself or anyone connected to Penn State,” says Stoffaire. “The investigation of Michael Mann should be reopened by investigators independent of Penn State.”
Michael Mann, a meteorology professor at Pennsylvania State University, is best known as the author of the “hockey-stick” graph, which showed a rapid, recent rise in the Earth’s temperature and magically made the Medieval Warm Period disappear. This, in turn, made it appear that today’s temperatures are unprecedented. His work has long been under attack by global-warming skeptics.
The criticism became more heated after an e-mail exchange between scientists referring to a statistical “trick…to hide the decline” used in Mann’s research surfaced, an e-mail exchange known as Climategate.
Nevertheless, a Penn State investigative committee quickly cleared Mann of ethical misconduct, dismissing three of the Climategate allegations as not credible while supposedly continuing to examine whether Mann “seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research or other scholarly activities.” The committee soon concluded that he had not.
The Penn State ethics review was “designed as a whitewash,” said Myron Ebell, a global warming skeptic who directs Energy and Global Warming Policy for the Competitive Enterprise Institute. “To admit that Dr. Mann is a conman now would be extremely embarrassing for Penn State. But the scandal will not be contained no matter how many whitewash reports are issued. The evidence of manipulation of data is too obvious and too strong.”
Two days ago, icecap.us posted an opinion piece by Steve McIntyre, who originally blew the whistle on Mann’s deceptive hockey-stick graph.
McIntyre pointed out that Penn State President Graham Spanier had been fired from his $813,000/year job for failing to ensure that a proper investigation was carried out in respect to pedophilia allegations in the university’s hugely profitable football program.
That’s the same Spanier who failed to ensure proper investigation of Climategate emails, says McIntyre.
When speaking of the inquiry into Mann’s work, Spanier is quoted as saying: “I know they’ve taken the time and spent hundreds of hours studying documents and interviewing people and looking at issues from all sides.”
“Spanier’s claims were totally untrue,” says McIntyre.
“Not only did the Inquiry Committee fail to “look at issues from all sides,” says McIntyre, they didn’t even interview or take evidence from critics – as they were required to do under the applicable Penn State policy.”
“Contrary to Spaniers’ claim, they did not make the slightest effort to talk to any critic or even neutral observer.”
The Penn State inquiry exonerating Michael Mann held that his “level of success in proposing research, and obtaining funding to conduct it, clearly places Dr. Mann among the most respected scientists in his field. Such success would not have been possible had he not met or exceeded the highest standards of his profession for proposing research…”
In other words, the fact that Mann was good at obtaining grants showed that his work must therefore have been good.
McIntyre goes on to compare Penn State’s handling of the climategate affair with its willful blindness in respect to the far more profitable football program. “For example, they don’t appear to have bothered even identifying or interviewing the victims,” says McIntyre.
“This was not the only case in which Spanier failed to ensure proper investigation of misconduct allegations,” says McIntyre. ” As noted above, Spanier had falsely reported to the Penn State trustees and the public that the Penn State Inquiry Committee had properly interviewed critics and had examined the Climategate documents and issues “from all sides”.
I agree with James Stoffaire. The investigation of Michael Mann should be reopened by investigators independent of Penn State.
At this point, we can only assume that Penn State bigwigs were willing to overlook anything that threatened the continued flow of dollars into their sacrosanct programs.
See entire opinion piece by Steven McIntyre:
Also see McIntyre’s own website:
Also see “Penn State clears Mann in Climate-gate probe”