Monday, November 22, 2010

Ed Wegman Sends a Dispatch

Dan Vergano has shaken loose a response from Edward Wegman.

Reality sucks - E Wegman
Well that's Eli's version but it is obvious that pressure is building. Here is part of what Wegman said, more or less
"these attacks are unprecedented in my 42 years as an academic and scholar."
and

"We are not the bad guys. … We have never intended that our Congressional testimony was intended to take intellectual credit" for other scholars' work.

Wegman said he and his report co-authors felt "some pressure" from a House committee to complete the report "faster than we might like." But he denied that there was any attempt to tilt the influential climate report politically.

This is getting close to the bone.

32 comments:

John Mashey said...

Sad to say, Wegman appears not to understand plagiarism in he same way as the quoted plagiarism experts.

Unattributed near-verbatim text = plagiarism.

One of the most common forms is not to take credit for original research, but to simulate expertise.

rab said...

Thar clever Wegman! A double intendre.

Sou said...

I understand the pressure to complete the report 'faster than we might like'. He could have said 'No'.

I also understand that some people are more willing than others to succumb to that pressure by cheating. And some are willing to succumb to political pressure by giving the answers their masters have demanded, even if it means making stuff up and twisting the work of others back to front.

As an academic and scholar of 42 years, surely Wegman should have valued his academic freedom and intellectual integrity more, rather than selling himself for short term political ends. There aren't too many politicians that last as politicians for 42 years.

I don't care how long he's been around. I do think that maybe his work of the past 42 years is now up for question.

Phil. said...

In my experience of investigation of student plagiarism it is nearly always in response to time pressure, likewise it was an excuse used by Stephen Ambrose and Doris Kearns Goodwin in their defense of plagiarism charges against them.

CapitalClimate said...

Shorter version of "these attacks are unprecedented . . . ":
"I've never been caught before."

Links to more coverage (Hello, WaPo, can you hear now?):

Wegman's: A Supermarket of Denialism

Douglas Watts said...

There are these things on keyboards next to the "L" key that are called quote marks. And there are these other things called "References Cited." Those are the keyboard commands you use when you are not writing your own stuff.

Anonymous said...

As John alludes to, one mustn't let them get away with stating that the only problem with plagiarism is that of due credit. Some of our cerebrally commenters have implied that the problem can be fixed by 'a couple of annotations'... eh, no it can't.

Anonymous said...

"these attacks are unprecedented in my 42 years as an academic and scholar."

Says the author of a political attack.

"He said the committee "wanted our opinion as to the correctness of the mathematics" used in two climate studies."

Then why the "social network" crapola that took up half the report?

Anon(1)

Anonymous said...

Regarding Phil's comment (22/11/10 9:16 PM) about students and time pressure, I find that my good students always manage to properly reference their work, and that it's the lazy, less-able, and/or unscrupulous ones who plagiarise in order to 'beef up' their work.

If Wegman et al were my students, I would give them a fail.

Even if their grandmothers had died.


Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII

Anonymous said...

"...We have never intended that our Congressional testimony was intended to take intellectual credit"

That indeed seems to be a tacit admission of "guilty as charged" on the plagiarism accusation. But he should know that, whether it was Congressional or any other type of testimony, that does not absolve an academic from the requirements of good, acceptable academic conduct.

Every one of his papers and books should now be fed through the plagiarism detectors.

Now I know DC is doing a good job in blogland on the substance of the WR, but it's perhaps a shame that the substance of the WR probably won't move well to the MSM, because the timing would be right for a classic pincer movement.

And then ...zugzwang!

I don't supppose any science journal would be interested in raking over the embers of the WR would they?

Cymraeg llygoden

BillD said...

On the other hand, Wegman attempted a vicious and arrogant attack on research that he did not make the effort to understand. Scientists routinely criticize each others research and publications, but generally do so from a constructive and fair perspecitive. Shoddy criticism merits a critical rebuke.

Thomas said...

"We are not the bad guys". Isn't that like Nixon's infamous "I'm not a crook"?

Besides the plagiarism is at this point the smaller charge. The way M&M faked their "random" data and Wegman ran along with it is far more serious IMHO.

Anonymous said...

"I don't supppose any science journal would be interested in raking over the embers of the WR would they?"

I agree that is absolutely what is required - a peer reviewed examination of WR (particularly his statistical methods). The irony is that the so called "sceptics" allege that peer review has been corrupted, yet the Wegman used Congress to bypass peer review and to get highly dubious scholarship into the public arena. It just serves to highlight the importance of peer review.

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Again to emphasize John Mashey's post above: The motivation for the plagiarism is the real story here. Wegman was being touted as an "independent" expert, but he was clearly looking at matters far outside his expertise.

The Answer: Juice up his book report with some prose from real experts. Unfortunately, the experts didn't support him in his little narrative of fraud and incompetence. No matter. Make some tiny little changes so that the prose seems to support his case.


The is in the end the most damning tidbit--the changes he made to the text he cited. It shows he knew what he was saying wasn't true, making him not just a plagiarist, but also a liar.

Anonymous said...

Can Wegman salvage any credibility after this? Time to retire and start trout fishing.

Little Mouse would like to go fishing. His employer lost the contract and now mouse has to apply for his job with the new company. Contracting out sucks whatever field you are in.

Anonymous said...

"Unprecedented"? Hardly. Go talk to Michael Mann or Phil Jones.

Toby

Horatio Algeranon said...

"I will say that there is a lot of speculation and conspiracy theory in [the] analysis which is simply not true,"

"these attacks are unprecedented in my 42 years as an academic and scholar."



Has Wegman plagiarized the complaints of climate scientist Raymond Bradley?

Anonymous said...

"It shows he knew what he was saying wasn't true, making him not just a plagiarist, but also a liar."

But when a_ray_in_dilbert_space says something that isn't true, and is easily debunked, he's not willing to admit that he's either 1) a liar or 2) an incompetent physicist.

Neven said...

But when a_ray_in_dilbert_space says something that isn't true, and is easily debunked, he's not willing to admit that he's either 1) a liar or 2) an incompetent physicist.

So when did a_ray_in_dilbert_space write a shoddy scientific report for Congress?

pwnd (or something like it)

Anonymous said...

When he claimed that he gave technical advice to Michael Griffin and his faudulent ESAS committee, and then further claimed that Michael Griffin and his fraudulent ESAS committee were not responsible for the debacle and utter waste of five years and ten billion dollars on the Ares I launch vehicle, a program that set US human space flight back ten years. I can point you to the forum were he made this utterly ridiculous claim, and then failed to acknowledge his part in the failure, and indeed failed to acknowledge the failure itself, instead claiming falsely that Michael Griffin, NASA administrator, had nothing to do with the failure of the design, and further that Michael Griffin himself was not responsible for the failed design.

a_ray_in_dilbert_space has ZERO physics or scientific credibility.

Neven said...

Yes, very comparable to the Wegman Report and AGW. Thanks for the laugh, anonymouse. Maybe take your off-topic elsewhere now?

Anonymous said...

And you know right up front I can save you a little trouble, because the next thing you're going to ask is what does this have to do with Wegman and Barton. When Michael Griffin and his ESAS committee asked a_ray_in_dilbert_space technical questions, they knew what answers they wanted to hear beforehand, and a_ray_dilbert_space gave them precisely the answers they wanted to hear. Just as when Joe Barton asked Wegman questions. He knew what he wanted to hear, and Wegman conveniently gave him that answers he wanted to hear.

We now know how Constellation and the Wegman Report turned out. Five years and ten billion dollars down the drain, and no post shuttle US space flight capability to a $100 billion dollar orbiting national laboratory, and four years of no US action on climate change.

And get this, a_ray_in_dilbert_space brags about his contribution to failure, and lies about failure. Just like the esteemed Dr. Wegman.

Anonymous said...

More US vs Them from bunnyland. Thanks for the lol this morning. Wegman plagiarized a palgiarizer by not given attribution that passes the "bunny attribution" test. LMAO Pure gold comedy on what y'all spend your time on!



Celery Eater

John Mashey said...

Wegman digs deeper.

Anonymous said...

You mean aray_in_Dilberts blah blah is a dishonest braggert mostly concerned with himself? No way! Never saw that in reading his comments here! ;-) Ah more hilarity from bunnyland.



Celery Eater

EliRabett said...

Delicious veggies.

Neven said...

Wegman says that Said's presentation description is "not true"

Interesting. Said gets thrown under the bus a bit.

When will other newspapers pick this up? It's quite an interesting story, I think.

Anonymous said...

"Dear Plagiarist" ... a text that (with the correct attribution mind you) can be used as a pro forma to write to any possibly-soon-to-be-discraced professors, post-grads or whoever expressing why the reasons they've committed plagiarism have all been heard of before and cut no ice.

Actually, this "pro forma" doesn't mention the "pushed for time" excuse, but we've heard that one before too, and it also cuts no ice.

Perhaps certain persons would like to join this common interest user group on Facebook.


Cymraeg llygoden

Anonymous said...

“I filed a complaint with George Mason University (where Wegman is a Professor) & they have set up a committee to investigate my complaint. I[A] recent letter from their Vice-Chancellor indicates that they expect the committee to report their findings by the end of September.
That’s the long & short of it. I have told the University that I am prepared to drop this matter if Wegman makes a request to have his report withdrawn from the Congressional Record. No response on that.
Thanks
Ray [Bradley]”

A class act...



Celery Eater

Anonymous said...

Doh! "possibly-soon-to-be-discraced". Tut, tut. But you know what I meant.

Cymraeg llygoden

Keisha said...

"We are not the bad guys". Isn't that like Nixon's infamous "I'm not a crook"? Besides the plagiarism is at this point the smaller charge. The way M&M faked their "random" data and Wegman ran along with it is far more serious IMHO.

Nikki Marks said...

"It shows he knew what he was saying wasn't true, making him not just a plagiarist, but also a liar." But when a_ray_in_dilbert_space says something that isn't true, and is easily debunked, he's not willing to admit that he's either 1) a liar or 2) an incompetent physicist.