November 13, 2011

The other Penn State investigation

An interesting post on the other Penn State investigation that happened in 2009-10
From Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit:

Penn State President Fired
On the same day that Nature published yet another editorial repudiating public examination of the conduct of academic institutions, Penn State President Graham Spanier was fired from his $813,000/year job for failing to ensure that a proper investigation was carried out in respect to pedophilia allegations in Penn State’s hugely profitable football program. The story is receiving massive coverage in North America because the iconic Penn State football coach, Joe Paterno, was also fired today.

CA readers are aware of Spanier’s failure to ensure proper investigation of Climategate emails and his untrue puffs about the ineffective Penn State Inquiry Committee, reported at CA here and by the the Penn State Collegian as follows:
Graham Spanier addressed the inquiry and the panel’s work during the Board of Trustees meeting on Jan. 22. Penn State President Spanier is quoted as saying:

“I know they’ve taken the time and spent hundreds of hours studying documents and interviewing people and looking at issues from all sides,” Spanier said.
Spanier’s claims were totally untrue. Not only did the Inquiry Committee fail to “look at issues from all sides”, they didn’t even interview or take evidence from critics – as they were required to do under the applicable Penn State policy. As I reported at CA at the time:
The only interviews mentioned in the report (aside from Mann) are with Gerry North and Donald Kennedy, editor of Science. [Since they are required to provide a transcript or summary of all interviews, I presume that the Inquiry did not carry out any other interviews.] What does Donald Kennedy know about the matter? These two hardly constitute “looking at issues from all sides”. [A CA reader observed below that “North [at a Rice University event] admitted that he had not read any of the EAU e-mails and did not even know that software files were included in the release.”] They didn’t even talk to Wegman. Contrary to Spanier’s claim, they did not make the slightest effort to talk to any critic or even neutral observer.
Although State Senator Piccola had written to Penn State President Spanier asking him to ensure that “the university must deploy its fullest resources to conduct an investigation of this case”, the Inquiry Committee decided that the investigation committee should not investigate three of the four charges “synthesized” by the inquiry committee and, as a result, despite the request of Piccola and others, no investigation was ever carried out Penn State on any of the key issues e.g the “trick… to hide the decline”, Mann’s role in the email deletion enterprise organised by Phil Jones or the failure to report adverse data which the House Energy and Commerce Committee had asked about (but not investigated by the NAS panel, whose terms of reference were sabotaged by Ralph Cicerone, President of NAS).

Much more at the site — it will be interesting to see if the Freedom of Information Act requests will be acted on now that Mann's guard-dog is gone. Requests for Mann's hockey-stick data were being stonewalled, even though Mann's research was publicly funded and therefore available by law to anyone who wants it.

The next year or so will be interesting for quite a few reasons…

Posted by DaveH at November 13, 2011 01:37 PM
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