Contact: Joe Sterns 717.671.1901 | [email protected]
Commonwealth Foundation calls for independent investigation of
Penn State professor in eye of Climategate storm
HARRISBURG, PA — The Commonwealth Foundation today called for the General Assembly to launch an external and independent investigation of potential scientific misconduct by Penn State University (PSU) professor Michael Mann, a central figure in the ongoing "Climategate" scandal.
Mann, a professor in PSU’s Department of Meteorology, is alleged to have manipulated scientific research and data that is being used to support state, federal and international climate-change policies.
The allegation was born in late-November 2009, when more than a thousand emails were released containing candid correspondence between Mann and other scientists involved in the work of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The correspondences indicate that Mann might have intentionally manipulated data, withheld research methods and results from peers, and retaliated against those who publicly challenged his findings.
PSU has called for an internal investigation, but Commonwealth Foundation president and CEO Matthew Brouillette believes the school has a conflict of interest and that an external, independent investigation by the General Assembly is warranted.
"While PSU is to be commended for recognizing that Climategate is a serious matter and that an investigation into Michael Mann’s conduct is merited, the investigation constitutes a conflict of interest for the university," Brouillette said. "Mann’s climate work brings enough visibility, prestige, and revenue to PSU to legitimately call into question the school’s ability to do a thorough and unbiased investigation.
"To avoid this glaring conflict of interest and ensure that the investigation of Mann is thorough and credible, the Pennsylvania General Assembly should commission an external and independent investigation into Mann’s potential scientific misconduct."
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EDITOR’S NOTE: The Commonwealth Foundation’s policy brief, Climategate & Penn State: The Case for an Independent Investigation, is available at CommonwealthFoundation.org and by calling 717.671.1901.
The Commonwealth Foundation (CommonwealthFoundation.org) is an independent, non-profit public policy research and educational institute based in Harrisburg, PA.