Thursday, July 01, 2010

Watt now? McIntyre will have a cow

The Penn State Faculty Committee of Inquiry on Michael Mann's conduct of research has issued its final investigative report about whether

"Dr. Michael Mann engage in, or 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?"
Bottom line first
The Investigatory Committee, after careful review of all available evidence, determined that there is no substance to the allegation against Dr. Michael E. Mann, Professor, Department of Meteorology, The Pennsylvania State University.

More specifically, the Investigatory Committee determined that Dr. Michael E. 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.

The decision of the Investigatory Committee was unanimous.
They first considered whether Mann had deviated from accepted practices in his proposals (oh yes Ken C you are gonna have a problem with that one). They concluded that Mann's record in light of stringent reviews meant that
This 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.
They next considered whether Mann deviated from accepted practices in the conduct of research
The Investigatory Committee established that Dr. Mann, in all of his published studies, precisely identified the source(s) of his raw data and, whenever possible, made the data and or links to the data available to other researchers.
Dr. Mann's actual practices with regard to making source codes and intermediate data readily available reflect, in all respects, evolving practices within his field
The Committee of Inquiry noted that Mann was held in high regard as shown by the many awards he has received, and finally they considered whether he had deviated from accepted practices in his reporting of research results.

The report includes a straightforward answer to Nigel Persaud
The next question for Dr. Mann was posed as follows: "What is your reply to the email statements of Dr. McIntyre (a) that he had been referred to an incorrect version of your data at your FTP site (b) that this incorrect version was posted prior to his request and was not formulated expressly for him and (c) that to date, no source code or other evidence has been provided to fully demonstrate that the that to date, no source code or other evidence has been provided to fully demonstrate that the incorrect version, now deleted, did not infect some of Mann's and Rutherford's other work?"

Dr. Mann responded by stating that neither he, nor many of his colleagues, put much reliability in the various accusations that Dr. McIntyre has made, and that, moreover, there is "no merit whatsoever to Mr. McIntyre's claims here." Specifically, Dr. Mann repeated that all data, as well as the source codes requested by Dr. McIntyre, were in fact made available to him. All data were listed on Dr. Mann's FTP site in 2000, and the source codes were made available to Dr. McIntyre about a year after his request was made, in spite of the fact that the National Science Foundation had ruled that scientists were not required to do so. The issue of an "incorrect version" of the data came about because Dr. McIntyre had requested the data (which were already available on the FTP site) in spreadsheet format, and Dr. Rutherford, early on, had unintentionally sent an incorrectly formatted spreadsheet.
Does any of that sound familiar? Eli finds some interesting points in there that Steve should discuss.

The Committee slapped Mann on the wrists for sharing without permission unpublished stuff with third parties as careless and inappropriate.

Richard Lindzen, who was also interviewed, as many have guessed, is not exactly a friend of Michael
When told that the first three allegations against Dr. Mann were dismissed at the inquiry stage of the RA-lO process, Dr. Lindzen's response was: "It's thoroughly amazing. I mean these are issues that he explicitly stated in the emails. I'm wondering what's going on?"
but Lindzen also told the Committee
The next question inquired whether, in Dr. Lindzen's view, climatologists normally make their codes (used in the analysis of data) available for other people to download. Dr. Lindzen responded by stating that "it depends."
RTFL. Comments?


Auld Perfesser said...

On the last question, Lindzen replied evasively "it depends."

If Lindzen had said, "All competent climate scientists always make their raw data and source code available to everyone", the next question might have been, "Dr. Lindzen, the committee hereby requests all of your data and all of your source code, to all of your published papers."

Not to mention all of his email correspondence with climate-change skeptics, propagandists, think thanks, and their financial supporters.

carrot eater said...

But look at his picture! I'm utterly incapable of saying what, but you just know he's guilty of something. Maybe he forgot to floss his teeth this morning.

David B. Benson said...

The tradition in scientific replication is that the published paper or report is to contain enough detail, but just that much, for other scientists to be able to replicate the work in their own lab (or go out in the field to hammer out their own rocks).

They are not invited to use the same lab or (sometimes) share rock samples.

Adam said...

Whitewash! Coverup!

The Hockey Team obviously controls all science departments at Penn State. Next? The English department. Oh, the humanities!

Anonymous said...

Convicted child-killer David Westerfield was bald and sported a goatee.

Michael Mann is bald and sports a goatee.

Coincidence? I think not.

Wow! I think that I may have scooped Faux News!

dan satterfield said...

As has been said before, the great thing about a conspiracy theory is one can always claim that the proof it's wrong, is just part of the conspiracy!
Huntsville bunny, Dan

n-g said...

I confess to being a bit confused about the first finding, regarding deviating from accepted practice in his proposals.

First off, I'd better make the disclaimer that there's no reason to think that Dr. Mann did deviate from accepted practice in his proposals.

The Committee's logic seems to be that Dr. Mann was very successful with his proposals in the face of extensive and careful review, and that therefore his success in obtaining funding is prima facie evidence that his proposals were of very high quality and did not deviate from accepted practice.


If someone were to commit scientific misconduct in the course of proposing research, I presume it would be done in order to try to increase the chances of the proposal getting funded. So why wouldn't lack of proposal success be prima facie evidence that proposals did not deviate from accepted practice?

Again, no problem with Dr. Mann here, just puzzled by the committee's logic.

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

There is a difference between bringing in a grant--which one could do by less than simon pure means--and maintaining an ongoing program over several years. The problem with fudging a grant is that eventually you have to deliver...

One mild incidence of misconduct occurred when a certain mathematical physicist (I won't name him, but this isn't an unknown story) would work out a problem, then apply for a grant to solve it, using the grant to fund the next problem he was working on. This worked out great until one of his proposals was rejected as impossible and, you guessed it, he showed them he'd already worked it out. Hijinks ensued.

carrot eater said...

David Benson:

Keep in mind that for much progress to occur in this sort of field, there has to be sharing of data. Mann himself depends on it, as he doesn't go out and collect samples himself; he puts together data collected by other people.

Anonymous said...


that is hilarious. I have sometimes proposed in jest to do just that, as it delivers what the funding agencies seem to be asking for...

Misconduct? Why? I would say, excessive due diligence ;-)


carrot eater said...

Dr. N-G:

I see your point, and it is somewhat circular reasoning. On that point, they're basically just saying that the system works.

To me, it does make more sense to look at the work and the papers, than the proposals. If the work is good, then the system does work.

thefordprefect said...

I find it interesting that McIntryre has effectively ceased auditing and is increasingly attacking opponents. Also He seems very peeved that He is not invited to speak/testify at events He considers that He should.
His blog is increasingly being taken over (what McIntyre means is....) by people like bender (Mr. Nasty), Mosher (Mr. Nice) and others.

Having looked at some of his live interviews his responses are very slow and his presentations are delivered at a slow pace (perhaps normal).

All this unfortunately looks a bit like a form of Alzheimer's so perhaps one should give him a bit of slack? This is a condition one would wish on no-one and it will be a sad day if a once worthy opponents is felled in this way :o(

bigcitylib said...

So he got dinged for being too OPEN with unpublished data/analysis? Now that drips of irony, doesn't it?

carrot eater said...

Well, it wasn't his material to share.

The irony actually goes back to McIntyre complaining that Briffa didn't give him some data.. when that data wasn't Briffa's to share. Briffa properly pointed McIntyre to the Russian originators of the data.

Friend of Bugs said...

Pardon my ignorance, but in what discipline does "Dr. McIntyre" hold a Ph.D.? I imagine that the general public assume from the shorthand references used this late in the process that he is a PhD. in a core climate field. If that perception is false, then I think his true background should be specified more often when referencing him. Maybe that implies argument, or inverse argument, from authority, but it's a pet peeve of this peeved pet.

Rattus Norvegicus said...

Don't click this while attempting to ingest liquids. Once again, Anthony's commenters prove to be a cut above the average Poe.

Anonymous said...

Brown rat, I can’t make my mind up, is the typo in the third line furtive or futile?

Rattus Norvegicus said...

Probably febrile.

Anonymous said...

Rattus... Here is Professor Gerald North's reaction to the latest outbreak of WUWT yahoodom (linky:

“Please correct the false impression left on your website. The item in the Texas A&M student newspaper was based on short interviews by phone. While there was no error in fact, the impression left is false. In the interview with me, I was referring to the temperature changes of our planet over the last century (about 0.7 deg C). The author switched abruptly to an interview with Professor Andrew Dessler who was not talking about the temperature over the LAST century but instead the IPCC prediction for temperature over the NEXT century (averaging over models about 3 deg C). I would not have known about this error except that my email box has been unusually loaded with hate mail today.
Gerald North”

Kinda tells you all you need to know about the denialist knuckle-draggers, doesn't it?

--caerbannog the anonybunny

crf said...

Message to thefordprefect:

Don't gossip about things that are none of your business.

Anonymous said...


- Anonymoo

David B. Benson said...

carrot eater --- I mentioned sharing actual rock samples for a further analysis.

Sharing data used to be done by having the published report actually containing the data.

Anonymous said...

Carrot eater: The irony actually goes back to McIntyre complaining that Briffa didn't give him some data.. when that data wasn't Briffa's to share. Briffa properly pointed McIntyre to the Russian originators of the data.

Don't forget, McIntyre had the data all along!

Pete Dunkelberg

carrot eater said...

Our menagerie is expanded by one moo-cow, I see. Do cows utter any other syllables? I'm an urban carrot eater, so I don't know these things.

David B. Benson said...

Jerseys, Guernseys, Holsteins and McIntyres?

John Mashey said...

No, McIntyre will not a cow.

Penn State does have (many) cows, and a terrific creamery from which Ben&Jerry got their start ($5 correspondence course, good investment).
The only restriction on the creamery is that if you get a 2-scoop cone, you can't mix flavors, unless you are the current US President. Bill Clinton did that years ago, but when he was back in 2008, sorry.

A grad student colleague was from NYC. His only office decoration was a NYC subway map and he knew food came from stores, but he liked chocolate milk... so we took him to the field that had the dark cows so he could see where it *really* came from. He wasn't sure we were kidding.

carrot eater said...

ah, Peachy Paterno was the fun flavor, wasn't it?

Anonymous said...

On the subject of cow breeds, there is, of course, the Canadienne!

Cymraeg llygoden

ChrisD said...

WUWT has posted North's complaint about the erroneous A&M article--at the very bottom of the post, and without comment. In other words, first you read hundreds of lines of text and six charts disputing what North never said ("Every fact and statistic quoted are [sic] suspect"), then, if you get that far, you read that he never said it.

Apparently there's something wrong with my web browser; it's not displaying the "Oops, never mind" section of the post.

Anonymous said...

Imagine how much more Michael Mann could have achieved if he he had not been so distracted by all these accusations over the last few years. If nothing else all these demands for information and inquiries must have been incredibly time consuming.

Even though he knew he was totally innocent, inquiries are very stressful.

Imagine how much better prepared we would be if the world had listened in 1998.

Little Mouse.

Horatio Algeranon said...

Conspiracies all the way down

Anonymous said...

Conspiracies - Bhanwara

John Mashey said...

Yes, Peachy Paterno is famous. We had some when we visited in 2008. Good.

Those having any more interest in this esoteric subject may read Wikipedia on the Creamery or see the list of flavors. It includes some names not usually found in a Baskin-Robbins, like:
Black Cow, Chocolate Pretzel Crunch, Goo Goo Cluster, Lion Tracks, Monster Mash (a fine name), Peachy Paterno, Sandusky Blitz.
(Jerry Sandusky was the Paterno's long-time assistant coach for defense, i.e., Linebacker U.)

This place can be seriously dangerous to the waistlin, and it actually sufficiently well-known that the first hit right now from:
Google: creamery
is this.

Rattus Norvegicus said...

In which I agree with Rodger Pielke, Jr.

David B. Benson said...

Our creamery is named Ferdinand's.

Known for its cheeses but the ice cream is also good & fattening.

EliRabett said...

Eli sees you and raises you Tropical Ice Cream

Soursop (Guanabana), Banana, Pineapple, Guava, Cocnut, Ginger, Lemon, Mangoberry, Wild Blueberry, Pina Colada, Mango, Passon Fruit, Lychee, Papaya, Mamey Sapote, Rum Raisen, Oreo, Grapenut, Coffee Chip, Guiness, Jal Fruit, Tamarind, Rambutan, Mangosteen, Pumpkin, and more.

Rattus Norvegicus said...

Ah you can't beat the Gilroy Garlic Festivals Garlic ice cream. Too weird for words. And this from someone who believes that there is no such thing as too much garlic.

amoeba said...

John Mashey said...

"No, McIntyre will not [be] a cow."

Well, he's certainly full of bull...

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

I may have a recipe that challenges your notion of "never too much garlic". Sri Lankan Garlic curry. First ingredient: 1 kg of garlic. It's awesome.

Anonymous said...

What the Mother Father is going on here! Stephen McIntyre does not have a PhD!

What I want to know is when McI and McKitrick et al. are going to be hauled before a very legitimate inquiry into their dodgy doings.


Re the comment about Lindzen: "Not to mention all of his email correspondence with climate-change skeptics, propagandists, think thanks, and their financial supporters."

Yes please. And here is a start.

In the above email. Lindzen is coaching Watts on how to avoid obtaining a stat. sig. warming trend in the SAT record. Tut, tut Dick. IMO, this email to Watts is grounds for an inquiry into scientific misconduct. Now could some bunnies in the USA please follow up on this?

Nick Barnes said...

On the subject of a notional "standard practice" of sharing all data, see this:

The Planck telescope project has got a bunch of data, eagerly anticipated by cosmologists around the world, some of whom are so keen that they are reverse-engineering data from press releases. The "fully prepared images" won't be released for another 2.5 years. There's no information on whether or when any raw data, intermediate datasets, or source code will be released.

EliRabett said...

Sounds to Eli as if a lot of that information is ticketed for the data morgue where the instrument team will bury it. Much prefer the NASA rule that you have one year from when the information comes down to earth and then it becomes public.

Nick Barnes said...

I guess my observation is that nobody is making any fuss about the Planck telescope team keeping their data secret, manipulating it, etc etc etc.

EliRabett said...

Nick, Eli would not be so sure, but what there is not is an organized and funded noise machine. OTOH there maybe a significant amount of lobbying among the cosmologists. One place to ask is ESA, as to what the rules for data sharing are.

Rattus Norvegicus said...

In other news, McIntyre is having a cow over the Muir-Russell Report. Apparently they didn't do anything really wrong, although they could have been more open.

And oh, yeah, they said mean things about him.

DarkSkywise said...

If McIntyre has a cow (EIEIO), maybe we could calculate an 11-year mooing average? :)