Not Guilty

Jake de Grazia
Posted on Thursday 4th February 2010

Climate scientist Micheal Mann has always been confident that he didn't do anything wrong.

It looks like his university, Penn State, which just released the results of the first phase of an investigation into his research conduct, is almost ready to officially agree.

Dr. Mann is one of a handful of researchers recently accused of "tricking" people into believing that human activity is causing climate change.

The accusations stem from the capture of more than 1000 emails from the servers of East Anglia University in England, home to an influential climate research team. Dr. Mann is involved in more than 300 of those emails, and his use of the word "trick" in correspondence has led some to suspect that he and his colleagues have manipulated data.

Penn State's investigatory committee, consisting of five tenured full professor faculty members, read all the emails, looked closely at Mann's use of the word "trick," and determined that he did nothing deceptive. Apparently, many scientists and mathematicians use the word "trick" to refer to a not-immediately-obvious problem solving technique, and, according to the first phase of Penn State's investigation, Dr. Mann had no intention of tricking (deceiving) anyone.

A second phase of inquiry will follow, but, according to a statement Dr. Mann released on Wednesday, phase two will be just a formality.

I am very pleased that, after a thorough review, the independent Penn State committee found no evidence to support any of the allegations against me.

Three of the four allegations have been dismissed completely. Even though no evidence to substantiate the fourth allegation was found, the University administrators thought it best to convene a separate committee of distinguished scientists to resolve any remaining questions about academic procedures.

This is very much the vindication I expected since I am confident I have done nothing wrong.

I fully support the additional inquiry which may be the best way to remove any lingering doubts. I intend to cooperate fully in this matter – as I have since the beginning of the process.

Looks like "Climategate" might not live up to its name. The hard core climate skeptics disagree, of course. But, regardless, it will be fun to watch this story continue to unfold.

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