In February, Penn State issued a report clearing climatologist Michael Mann of 3 charges of academic misconduct arising from the theft of emails from a server at a British university. More recently, a British parliamentary report dismissed claims that climate scientists had behaved improperly. And now, the fourth charge against Mann has been dismissed as well.
Penn State’s press release explains: “A panel of leading scholars has cleared a well-known Penn State climate scientist of research misconduct, following a four-month internal investigation by the University.” The first charges were dismissed because the evidence was readily evaluated on its merits. Mann had not falsified data, he did not delete, conceal, or destroy email, information, or data related to the IPCC report on climate change, nor did he misuse confidential information. No information in the stolen emails indicated otherwise, nor did any evidence obtained in the course of the internal investigation indicate such misbehavior.
The last charge was harder for a panel of non-scientists to evaluate, because it centered around whether Mann’s “actions … seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community.” That question was deferred to a committee of scientists who could evaluate the research and its relationship to broader academic standards. A panel of well-known and widely-respected scientists reviewed the evidence and found no significant deviation from accepted academic standards. The worst they found was that Mann shared unpublished manuscripts with his colleagues based on implied consent, rather than obtaining explicit permission.
The committee unanimously concluded that there is no substance to the charges against Mann.