Climate researchers are in need of immediate legal assistance to prevent their private correspondence from being exposed to Chris Horner and the American Tradition Institute who are using Freedom of Information (FOI) to harass researchers. (For context please see: http://wapo.st/pQg0JC and http://wapo.st/oiua7V) The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has recently stated: “the sharing of research data is vastly different from unreasonable, excessive Freedom of Information Act requests for personal information and voluminous data that are then used to harass and intimidate scientists.” The complete AAAS statement is available at http://bit.ly/p04sIqand Eli notices this
A donation button has been set up at http://profmandia.wordpress.com/2011/09/09/donation/ So far we have collected almost $2000 of the $10,000 needed to file the legal papers. This fundraising will be an ongoing effort so the $10,000 is our immediate short-term goal. A gift of $25, $100, or more will go a long way to ensure that our top scientists can continue their important work without the constant harassment designed to slow them down.
Former University Environmental Sciences Prof. Michael Mann began legal procedures last Friday to intervene on the attempt of the American Tradition Institute to acquire documents of his research on global warming. . . .And then there is this
Mann, who now teaches at Pennsylvania State University, is challenging a protective order which requires the University to disclose information relating to Mann’s research to ATI, a conservative think tank. The only people who would then be able to access the research would be ATI and the presiding judge, according to a press release by the Union of Concerned Scientists.
“I clearly have the right to make sure that my interests are represented in any matters involving the release of my private emails,” Mann said in an email. “Apparently Mr. [Chris] Horner [director of litigation at ATI] wishes that were somehow not the case — which is really a statement about him, and his ethics and integrity, more than anything else.”
The union believes Mann’s research should not be disclosed to ATI to ensure scientific integrity.
“Dr. Mann is protecting scientists’ ability to communicate with one another without fear of harassment,” said Michael Halpern, program manager for the union’s Scientific Integrity Program. “ATI should not be given special privileges. It’s inappropriate for any outside group to have access to emails about student grades, research development and other privileged information.”
ATI disagrees. It might be tempting for Michael Mann to offer the schoolyard challenge to Chris Horner, you show me yours, and I'll show you mine. Given the right legal grounds discovery might be interesting.
Lawyers for Mr. Mann, however, argue the professor was not provided a copy of the protective order until after it was entered into the court, and that he wanted to intervene but lacked the money to do so.
But “recently, through a fundraising effort by the scientific community,” Mr. Mann was able to retain counsel, they wrote.
Indeed, Mr. Mann has been widely cleared of academic misconduct, including, most recently, by the U.S. National Science Foundation Office of the Inspector General.