Wegman Heartland update

John Mashey, in comments writes:

It has been a busy week or so, with more to come.

1) See Fakery, p.3 and p.12.
In ~2009, Heartland+SEPP+CSCDGC got ~$8M.
The other 9 on p.3 got ~$39M.The additional 36 501(c)(3) on p.12 added another $283M.

Now, only some of that is for climate disinformation, but some of it is for tobacco advocacy and other science disinformation, such as on environmental issues. In addition, these entities cross-support each other in various ways. One often finds them cross-quoting, cross-writing articles, signing petitions, together.

It is far cheaper to create confusion than to actually do science and improve understanding. Still, there's a $330M in 2009 for these folks.

2) Wegman.
In addition to the prime site where this all started over 2 years ago Deep Climate, where there have been recent updates, and USA Today, where story broke, but as gotten updates, there is:

Retraction Watch,

Chronicle of Higher Education



I can assure you that this story ... is only starting again.
It only took 709 days to reach this conclusion, and people might ponder this passage from Strange Inquiries at GMU (SIGMU), p.21, from GMU's policy:

'In conducting the investigation, the committee -
(a) Uses diligent efforts to ensure that the investigation is thorough and sufficiently documented and includes examination of all research records and evidence relevant to reaching a decision on the merits of the allegations;

(b) Interviews each respondent, complainant, and any other available person who has been reasonably identified as having information regarding any relevant aspects of the investigation, including witnesses identified by the respondent; and

(c) Pursues diligently all significant issues and leads discovered that are determined relevant to the investigation, including any evidence of additional instances of possible research misconduct, and continues the investigation to completion.'

Now, inquiring minds might want to know:

1) Was there any other information that a diligent committee might have found? Like Strange Scholarship?
Wegman certainly knew about it. Maybe the diligent commiteee somehow didn't notice it?

2) Did the committee ever check Deep Climate to see if anything else came up? Guess not.

3) Did the committee ever get anything like this graph of the various alleged plagiarisms with Wegman and students?

4) Are Roger Stough (VP Research), Peter Stearns (provost) and Alan Merton (GMU PResident) involved?

Anyway, main conversation is at Deep Climate for the latest news, but others should know.

Here's a theme.

More like this

The wheels continue to fall off the Wegman Report. "It kind of undermines the credibility of your work criticizing others' integrity when you don't conform to the basic rules of scholarship," Virginia Tech plagiarism expert Skip Garner says. Further down: Allegations under review "The matter is…
Deep Climate details how GMU has failed to follow its own policies in its investigation of Wegman: Perhaps, then, it's time to take the obvious next step - a formal complaint to the Office of Research Integrity. And not against Wegman and Said, but against George Mason University itself. In fact,…
Dan Vergano in USA Today reports: Officials at George Mason University confirmed Thursday that they are investigating plagiarism and misconduct charges made against a noted climate science critic. "I'm very well aware of the report, but I have been asked by the university not to comment until all…
[May 26th: Pulled to the top to update with the Nature editorial which, as well as noting the paper being pulled, also notes the mysteriously dilatory George Mason University investigation. June 3rd: And pulled again, since Science have a piece on the actual retraction, and again note the GMU lack…

It's all 'out of context' Tim. The context is that dangerous global warming - caused by anthropogenic CO2 is nonsense.
All that follows is therefore the same.

By Billy Bob Hall (not verified) on 26 Feb 2012 #permalink

Yes... being sloppy about the referencing,it was such a crime !

Now you know how the skeptic side feels with regard to the "whitewashes" after the climategate emails.

Such a shame for John Mashey, all those hours of research and documentation, then Gleick confesses to his crimes and steals the limelight.

Karen - he wasn't sloppy with references. He stole someone else's work.

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 26 Feb 2012 #permalink

Once again [XKCD has something to say](http://xkcd.com/1019/).

Tim, can we dump the trolls? They add nothing to the conversation.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 26 Feb 2012 #permalink

Richard Simons,

"In a statement to GMU faculty, provost Peter Stearns said that one investigation committee unanimously found that "no misconduct was involved" in the 2006 Congressional report. "Extensive paraphrasing of another work did occur, in a background section, but the work was repeatedly referenced and the committee found that the paraphrasing did not constitute misconduct," he said, in the statement.

A second university committee found unanimously, "that plagiarism occurred in contextual sections of the (CSDA) article, as a result of poor judgment for which Professor Wegman, as team leader, must bear responsibility." Wegman will receive an "official letter of reprimand", Stearns said, as sanction for the plagiarism."

( http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2012/2/24/wegman-slapped-on-wrist.html )

Bernard J, stop your bloody whining !!

To paraphrase, we have the three monkeys and Peter Stearns, hear no evil, see no evil, do no evil, evil. (tip of the ears to Bob Dole)

Karen = sunspot.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 27 Feb 2012 #permalink

Karen = sunspot.

Come come, Jesus still wants her for a sunbeam, Bernard.

By Ezzthetic (not verified) on 27 Feb 2012 #permalink

Karen = sunspot.

'Nuff said.

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 27 Feb 2012 #permalink

The perfect defense against plagiarism accusations:
"C'mon, prof, I didn't even copy that work word-for-word, I merely 'extensively paraphrased' it without attribution..."

To extensively paraphrase meself: BS.

There's an F. Scott Fitzgerald quote that says: âThe true test of a first-rate mind is the ability to hold two contradictory ideas at the same time.â

But then again he didn't live long enough to be aware of cognitive dissonance, Orwell's doublethink, or GMU investigations.

>Wrong again Bernard !

Sheesh you're stupid Foulspot.

In your very denial you leave one of your signatures as evidence. I pinged you on it once before - you have a habit of leaving a space before your exclamation marks - marks which often occur as pairs.

I tender as a very small sample the following:

  1. An interested third party can easily expand upon that list by finding "space" + "!". They could do the same for "space" + "?", because you make the same mistake in questions...

    Further, as in the first post on this thread, you sometimes forget that a comma is followed by a space:

    1. Oh, and you demonstrate as 'Karen' the excessive use of points in an elipsis, just as you do as Sunspot on the eponymous thread.

      Then there's the small fact that the first emergence of 'Karen' on Deltoid was to raise [Sunspot's vacuous issue from last year with my comment about global warming and the Queensland floods](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2012/02/february_2012_open_thread.php#c…).

      On which point, I notice a twist on the theme:

      >I repeat, you said that La nina [sic] cause's [sic] warming of the ocean, how could anything you say be trusted ? [sic]

      Perhaps it's not clear to someone who doesn't understand science, as is obviously one of your disabilities. [I said](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/01/andrew_bolt_vs_percentages.php#…):

      >This ongoing summer rain is mostly derived from the oceans warmed during the current La Niña event. To the extent that the oceans are warmer than in the past, the resulting additional consistency of rain events, driven by La Niña, will have exacerbated the flooding beyond what it might otherwise have been.

      Permit me to break this down for you.

      1) "...the oceans warmed during the current La Niña event" refers to the waters off eastern Australia that increase in temperature during the La Niña phase of ENSO.

      2) "To the extent that the oceans are warmer than in the past..." refers to the fact that contemporary human-caused global warming is warming the oceans, and to the extent that such additional warming has occurred, it will exacerbate the effect of La Niña.

      If you are trying to imput that I ascribe to La Niña the role as the actual source of the energy that warms the whole planet, and all its oceans, then you are playing Foulspot's usual mendacious game of misrepresenting facts.

      You're as stupid here in a dress, as you were when you originally made a hash of the subject.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 27 Feb 2012 #permalink

You're as stupid here in a dress, as you were when you originally made a hash of the subject.

"sunspot" isn't a gendered name, so there's no particular reason to think that the troll donned a dress by switching to "Karen". And I really don't think it's a good idea to use gender insults, even if they're commonly used as generic insults in your part of the English-speaking world -- the source of their pejorative connotation is rooted in misogynist attitudes.


Sunspot's history on Deltoid reflects a male personality. In addition he has been referred to as "he" countless times and has never denied it, and quite frankly it would be unusualy to encounter a female who would parade personal stupidity as willingly as many males are wont to do, and as sunspot does.

The reference to sunspot wearing a dress has nothing to do with mysogyny, and simply refers to his clumsy attempt to disguise himself as something that he is not. Parse my sentence carefully and you will note that I am not saying that he is stupid because he is 'wearing a dress'... The implication was simply that however he attempts to disguise himself, sunspot's stupidity remains ingrained and evident.

As someone with sisters and daughters for every day of the week, I am not ignorant matters of gender equity and I am careful to respect such matters. However there comes a point in adhering to political correctness when one can stretch things a little too fine...

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 27 Feb 2012 #permalink


By Bernard J. (not verified) on 27 Feb 2012 #permalink

Shouldn't play games!


By Bernard J. (not verified) on 27 Feb 2012 #permalink

Women wear trousers. Men wear skirts.

Where is the stigma? Only in the minds of those whose sexuality is jealously guarded, therefore insecure.

Women wear trousers. Men wear skirts.

Where is the stigma? Only in the minds of those whose sexuality is jealously guarded, therefore insecure.

Balderdash! Ain't that right Colonel Duff?

Good catch Bernard. Time to put sock puppets back into their drawers.

I just sent this off to the student newspaper at GMU:


I have been following the Wegman scandal since it first broke about two years ago. Considering that Dr. Wegman has been found guilty of committing extensive plagiarism in an article published in a peer reviewed journal and received nothing more than a reprimand and instructions to withdraw an article already withdrawn by the journal itself. I was wondering why the student newspaper has been covering this story with such a light touch?

I would have thought the double standard of how the Professor was treated as compared to what would have been the result if a undergraduate or graduated student had been found guilty of the same behavior would have induced indignation from a student newspaper.

Further the University in violation of its own stated policy of dealing with complaints of academic misconduct. I encourage you to consider why the investigation, findings and verdict that should have been completed in 90 days, has taken 708 days instead.

We also have the contradictory findings that the taxpayer funded report that Professor Wegman submitted to Congress and contained much of the same plagiarized materials was found to be in compliance.

What is also worrying is the other examples of misconduct that the inquiry never touched upon. If you had read John Mashey's "Strange Scholarship in the Wegman Report" you would have discovered that Dr. Wegman may have manipulated data to come to a predetermined conclusions and demonstratively ignored other peer reviewed articles in the scientific literature that reconfirmed Dr. Mann's findings.

By Trent1492 (not verified) on 29 Feb 2012 #permalink

Sunspot's history on Deltoid reflects a male personality.

This reminds me of when Robert Silverberg wrote in his foreword to a collection of stories by the mysterious and reclusive James Tiptree Jr. that those who had speculated that Tiptree might be a woman were foolish because the writing was "ineluctably male". But Silverberg turned out to be the fool.

quite frankly it would be unusualy to encounter a female who would parade personal stupidity as willingly as many males are wont to do

Yet it does happen and sunspot/Karen is just one person, so rarity isn't much of an argument.

The reference to sunspot wearing a dress has nothing to do with mysogyny

You're being a bit thick here. By "gender insults" I meant words like "trollop" and any other word that is disparaging of "loose" women, as well as words I've seen here that are references to female anatomy used to apply to unpleasant people ... Brits and Aussies often defend such language by noting how common they are, but common usage doesn't change the misogynist basis of the connotation.

However there comes a point in adhering to political correctness when one can stretch things a little too fine...

This is such a very common dodge of legitimate criticism of bigoted language and concepts ... methinks thou doth protest too much.

Ah, I found this citation for the Silverberg/Tiptree incident. It's a good read, and a caution for those who imagine that they know the bounds of women's personalities.

You're being a bit thick here.

Sorry, I take that back. Rereading my `#15`, I did not make it at all clear what I was talking about, and your inference was perfectly reasonable.


My use of 'trollop' is a hat tip to the use of the term for the evil female troll in Henson production - for children - of "The True Bride".

Perhaps it's a bit lateral for some, but the context should give a clue to its intended meaning.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 29 Feb 2012 #permalink

Now, can we please stay on topic and keep attention on Wegman, and on CMU's kid-gloving thereof.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 29 Feb 2012 #permalink

It's easy to stay on topic: just write something on topic. You can hardly blame anyone else for your own excursion into the fine details of stylistic analysis of Karen/sunspot's posts.

P.S. I'm not familiar with "The True Bride" and so of course did not recognize your use of that word as being a reference, context or no ... and what context? When I google "The trollop proves my point", the only hit I get is your own post here. Maybe the Henson troll's name is Karen, or sunspot, or that troll is a global warming denier? Just being evil doesn't seem quite enough of a "clue". Being American, I'm more inclined to associate the word with the balding John McCain (who is also an evil troll, but is not a denier -- rare in his party).

Oh dear ...

Was there any other information that a diligent committee might of {have} found?

Tidiness and all that,Tim.

*[OK, fixed]*

By Fran Barlow (not verified) on 01 Mar 2012 #permalink

Oddly enough, there was a poster of female name at a skeptic blog, and I couldn't believe that it really was female. Sure enough, they eventually outed themselves as male.

By John Brookes (not verified) on 03 Mar 2012 #permalink

Sure enough

Anecdotes aren't proof, and it wasn't sure, as Tiptree/Sheldon demonstrates (among many other women who have successfully passed as men over the ages, with men swearing up and down that they're sure they must be men).

Perhaps I'm a lurker, but not a troll. I keep trying to find out whether this Wegman plagiarism business bears on the theory and facts of global climate change. I mean, if Wegman was actually guilty of plagiarism, or entirely acquitted of it, would that change the findings, conclusions, etc., of the works involved, whether or not plagiarized?

Dave, plagiarism of an introduction/background is often a result of people being insufficiently proficient in the field to come with a description of their own. The fact that Wegman et al had to copy so much from textbooks (with minor changes, sometimes resulting in outright errors) shows they do not really know what they are doing.

It does not change the validity of the plagiarised work, but should make one extra skeptical about the work that contains the plagiarised text. Do a little bit of digging, and you indeed find the whole Wegman report to be a shoddy business, including the supposed critical evaluation of MBH98/99. What this shows is that the self-styled "skeptics" who point to the Wegman report as evidence of bad science by Mann, in reality are putting their support on a report that is itself bad science. They are not "skeptical" in the scientific science, but in the ideological sense.

re: 32
Very little of the Wegman Report was even correct, much less useful. If you think otherwise, read the PDF herehere and learn how bad it was. I'll happily listen to informed arguments or real errors.

In a year and half, none of Wegman, Scott, Said, Reeves, or Rigsby has refuted any of this, much less Deep Climate's discoveries on Replication and due diligence, Wegman-style.

All Wegman has been able to do was found in this and this, but make sure to read my comments on the latter.

In preparation for forthcoming evens, people might want to review:

Strange Inquiries at GMU

Strange Tales and Emails

and, perhaps, to get some hint of misrepresentation/falsification atop plagiarism.

Strange Falsifications in teh Wegman Report.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 10 Mar 2012 #permalink

[John Mashey](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2012/02/wegman_heartland_update.php#com…).

I'm very pleased to see that you've focussed scrutiny on the factual errors and misrepresentations in Wegman's et al material. It always bothered me that these hadn't been addressed, especially so as they form a part of an argument orchestrated to sway the US Congress away from acceptance of the fact of human-caused global warming, and of the urgency to act on the same.

It seems to me that the George Mason University adminstration made a tactical blunder in the kid-glove treatment meted to Wegman in their investigation of his plagiarism. The bureaucrats have shown themselves to be far more interested in institutional commerce than intellectual truth: any credible scrutiny of Wegman would not only have come down much more vigorously on his plagiarism, but it would have detected the poor factual scholarship therein.

Hindsight will not be kind to GMU. There will come a time when questions are asked about why the industrial nations of the world were so slow to act, and who was complicit in organised delay.

Kochroaches will be scuttling to all corners in order to avoid the light...

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 10 Mar 2012 #permalink

Dave @ 32

If you have not as yet read a copy of Mike Mann's The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines then find a copy and read Mann's easily understandable outline of Wegman's outrageous conduct, conduct exposed by his own ignorance.

My paper copy arrived only two days ago and I am now on my second read, this time taking in Notes and following up on URLs. Mann has produced an excellent primer for those confused by the manufactured, with utter dishonesty, hockey stick furore.

PS Bernard J 'Kochroaches' - love it, even more than Kochheads.

Thanks Marco, John, and Lionel. You've given me a lot of references to wade through. I will hope to do so and get back to you. Doubt that this conversation will have ended even by then.

"I keep trying to find out whether this Wegman plagiarism business bears on the theory and facts of global climate change"


Neither does Wegman's work even if it were scholarly.

This, however, doesn't stop the denialist trolls from trumpeting it from the parapet as yet another "final nail".

Therefore the craptitude of the work done and the contortions to retain it (especially compared to the witchhunts against Mann) is absolutely necessary to show to everyone who isn't partisan that the work is complete garbage and the fact that this is so highly touted displays the paucity of the denialist arguments.

You are very likely to be a denialist, Dave. You're at least partisan if you can post what you did and not just "Wegman's work was crap, why are the DENIALISTS using it?"

Wegman & Said wrote 2 massively-plagiarized and error-filled articles for the Wiley journal they edit.
We reported it to Wiley. The response was to quietly revise the articles.
See Deep Climate just this AM.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 16 Mar 2012 #permalink

Hello i am Darren Butt

I enjoy reading your articles

I am looking forward to read more..

By Darren Butt (not verified) on 04 Apr 2012 #permalink

> He stole someone else's work.

Actually not even that, Richard. He tried to steal, with limited success, the impression of having done his homework on decades-old textbook science.

By Martin Vermeer (not verified) on 07 Apr 2012 #permalink

I keep trying to find out whether this Wegman plagiarism business bears on the theory and facts of global climate change. I mean, if Wegman was actually guilty of plagiarism, or entirely acquitted of it, would that change the findings, conclusions, etc., of the works involved, whether or not plagiarized?

These are fundamentally wrongheaded questions. The existence of the entire denialsphere has no bearing on the theory and facts of global climate change, but that certainly doesn't mean it is irrelevant. One might just as well ask what bearing Galileo's trial had on the theory and facts of heliocentrism.

P.S. There's a confusion between your first sentence, which refers to the theory and facts of global climate change, and your second sentence, which refers to "the works involved", which were not about the theory and facts of global climate change.