Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Hole Widens

The first rule is when in a hole, stop digging. Ed Wegman could use instruction. As John Mashey pointed out in the comments, Ed gave Dan Vergano some additional information.

For example

A 2007 presentation at GMU by one of the report's authors, Yasmin Said, says that an energy committee staffer, Peter Spencer, sent the report authors, "daunting amount of material" over the nine months of its composition.

Wegman says that Said's presentation description is "not true" and that Spencer only sent 11 scientific studies, two chapters of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports and a PowerPoint presentation by climate statistics critics Stephen McIntyre and economist Ross McKitrick of Canada's University of Guelph.
Eli cannot resist the continuation
Unlike universities, Congress does not appear to to have particular ethical standards . . .
. . . .for scholars submitting reports to its committees, such as the Wegman report's 2006 release. "I don't see any reason why the standards for Congress would be lower than those for an academic institution," says Liz Wager of the London-based Committee on Publication Ethics, which acts as a global forum for editors and publishers to maintain ethical standards in scientific publications.
Eli expects some comments on that last one. But, is John Mashey Ed Wegman's Steve McIntyre? Is Deep Climate Ross McKitrick's elder brother? All named individuals recoil at the thoughts.

22 comments:

Horatio Algeranon said...

Thanks for the update.

As a result, for accuracy, Horatio has had to correct one of his poems:

from "Go Ask Said" to "Don't Ask Said"

Anonymous said...

Some of the non-mainstream media seem to be taking up the story.

http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/11/22/plagiarized_climate_report_joe_barton/

Will it break into the Wall Street Journal? Maybe that would be expecting too much!

Toby

Belette said...

Hmm, interesting that the MSM is (very slowly) starting to notice. And yet: they must have noticed. Clearly they are nervous: they don't want to splash this about until it is clearly safe (legally? politically?) to do so.

Anonymous said...

IIRC, it took a bit of time for the MSM to pick up the SwiftHack ball and run with it... (and run with it they did).

The problem with this "DenierGate" scandal is that the juiciest bits are a bit technical. As far as the Faux News viewership is concerned, you may as well pitch this story to a bunch of barnyard animals.

--caerbannog the anonybunny

Anonymous said...

The Daily [spit!] Mail have picked it up. Haven't got the link. Comments from Peiser, Lawson and Monckton next?

Cymraeg llygoden

Anonymous said...

Ah, the DM link, courtesy of lord_sidcup over at Deltoid. Should 'ave gone there first!

Cymraeg llygoden

John Farley said...

The world should be grateful to John Mashey, for an **incredible** amount of work.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the only post-Climategate investigation that could end with formal charges is Wegman's case.

Talk about irony...

Neven said...

Influential climate change report 'was copied from Wikipedia'

Them Daily Mail boys sure know how to make a juicy headline, don't they?

Neven said...

Some DM commenters haven't quite grasped yet what this is all about:

"Most of the information on Climate "Science" on Wikipedia is biased propaganda in the first place. Like everything on Wikipedia, and everything to do with Climate, all information proffered has to be considered biased and taken with an huge pinch of salt.

It's quite possible that this has come full circle with both the article and the report authored by the same person."

Great stuff.

Andy S said...

"Influential climate change report 'was copied from Wikipedia'"
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER

Goes the headline, beyond which the average reader probably won't venture, probably concluding incorrectly that this is yet another yet another scandal perpetrated by climate scientists. Certainly, some of the early DM comments seem to reflect that.

For example: "Future government policy decided by info from Wikipedia! Is anyone surprised?" says "Roger" getting plenty of approval, whereas "Paul A"'s sensible comment ("Alleged plagiarism is only one of the problems with the Wegman Report. His statistical analysis is highly dubious...") is not so well received by DM readers.

John Mashey said...

John Farley:
Thanks, but first you have to thank DC even more, as I'd stopped thinking about the Wegman Report years ago. DC found the hard 10 pages of plagiarism, I added the easy 25. DC also first found the wonderful Said(2007), or in annotated from SSWR, A.11 - Modified and Disappeared Files.

That's the file DC found almost a year agor, gave me a hint or two, and I found shortly thereafter. Various people made copies/archived it and I checked it every week ... since I could nto belevie anyone had ever done this and left it on an open webserver.

Voila! sometime between August 16 and August 23 it disappeared, and its existence was edited out of the GMU seminar record ~08/20 ... like 1984's unpersons, it had become an untalk... but the Internet never forgets...

08/21/10
(Saturday) Wegman wrote on his Facebook wall, open to anyone there:
“Edward J. Wegman Want to know a bad week? All in the same week. 1) accused of plagiarism, felony, anti-science, misleading Congress because of your climate science testimony, 2) have a rule made up, which only applied to you, that blocks you from mentoring graduate students, 3) have a friend tell you he was not happy with you because you were awarded a patent.
August 21 at 4:17pm”

For reasons that will become clear sometime, the timing of this sequence is quite interesting.

Andy S said...

"Yasmin Said, says that an energy committee staffer, Peter Spencer, sent the report authors, "daunting amount of material" over the nine months of its composition.

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

In her 2007 presentation, linked to by John Mashey above, Said said:
"We agreed to serve Pro Bono.
...snip...
– To avoid being coerced into a schedule that would be inconsistent with our other duties."

On the other hand, according to USA Today: "Wegman said he and his report co-authors felt "some pressure" from a House committee to complete the report "faster than we might like."

Dr Said would be well advised to avoid getting between Dr Wegman and the wheels of a bus.

Anonymous said...

Looka-here, WaPo reports on it (on the Higher Education blog, go big WaPo!):

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/college-inc/2010/11/report_gmu_scholar_plagiarized.html

Tamsie

EliRabett said...

Eli suspects Dr. Said might be packing for an extended foreign vacation, but then he is but a gossipy bunny.

Anonymous said...

Will she still be Dr?

Cymraeg llygoden

Anonymous said...

The Wegman affair is a classic example of what is known as a "CLM" (Career-Limiting Move).

Not for Wegman himself, mind you -- the worst case for him is a comfortable retirement in academic exile. And as for the best case? Well, the sky's the limit for him at this point. Fox News is always looking for technical talent; in addition, the GOP loon takeover in the House is going to open many doors for him. And should there be a President Palin in 2013, that will be like manna from Heaven. Science adviser to the President, perhaps??

But for Said? -- she's too young and her name sounds to furrin to get one of those cushy thinktank jobs. (If it weren't for 9/11, her name would be less of a handicap). Wegman has done to her career what GW Bush did to Alberto Gonzales'. Her career options look pretty limited -- bus tire inspector, perhaps?

Hank Roberts said...

http://cds.gmu.edu/content/professor-ed-wegman-and-dr-yasmin-said-awarded-patent "Policy Analysis and Action Decision Tool"

Martin Vermeer said...

> But for Said? --

No powerful protectors... I almost feel sorry for her.

Ted Kirkpatrick said...

Hank, you left out the best part of the patent description: "The basic idea is to model the distribution of acute outcomes based on a hybrid directed graph/social network."

John Mashey said...

Ted: as noted earlier:
08/21/10
(Saturday) Wegman wrote on his Facebook wall, open to anyone there:

“Edward J. Wegman Want to know a bad week? All in the same week. 1) accused of plagiarism, felony, anti-science, misleading Congress because of your climate science testimony, 2) have a rule made up, which only applied to you, that blocks you from mentoring graduate students, 3) have a friend tell you he was not happy with you because you were awarded a patent.
August 21 at 4:17pm”

The patent thing seems unconnected, but it is fascinating that some friend was unhappy about it.

Patrick Mouse said...

"The first rule when you're in a hole..."

Wasn't it Will Rogers who said that?