CUCCINELLI v. MANN
Posted by Jeff Id on May 3, 2010
I first read about this at Tom Fullers blog and later at Climate Audit. Regulars here already know my opinion of Mannian hockeystickizatoin, and that won’t change. Ryan left this response in my email with a request to post here. Despite my dislike of the Mannian work and the shock at seeing it published again and again, I am in full agreement with Ryan on this one, prosecution for his bad work, deliberate or not, is a huge stretch and is probably about fame rather than truth.
Guest post Ryan O
I have to admit that I did not follow Climategate as closely as many. I did not follow the numerous inquiries, except to read little bits about them on CA and the mainstream media. Except at the very beginning of the incident, I found myself rather disinterested in them. So I must say I was quite surprised to find out that the Virginia Attorney General is apparently filing suit against Dr. Mann. Steve McIntyre is reporting on this here: (http://climateaudit.org/2010/05/02/cuccinelli-v-mann/). Apparently Cuccinelli’s justification is fraudulent use of NSF funds.
I will second Steve’s disgust at the actions of Cuccinelli.
This lawsuit – assuming it is allowed to proceed – sets a very dangerous precedent, wherein individual scientists can be held liable for publically funded research by a third party. This is tantamount to government censorship of science, topped off by a financial penalty. Such a misuse of our legal system could have far-reaching consequences, none of which are healthy for science.
Unless Dr. Mann took NSF funds and put them in his own pocket (which he did not), this is an entirely baseless accusation. The result of Dr. Mann’s research has been published in the peer-reviewed literature. Regardless of anyone’s opinions concerning peer review, that is the wicket for legitimate research. Adding an additional wicket that one must not later get sued by the government is despicable.
Some of you probably disagree with me, and I am sure you will post your disagreement. You will not change my mind. Cuccinelli is a glory-hunter who does not mind endangering the freedom of science for his own personal fame (and furthering his political career). Therefore, I do not mind expressing my opinion that I hope this backfires quite gloriously on him, and he finds himself out of office and faded into obscurity.
Steve had mentioned that he planned to send a comment expressing his disdain for Cuccinelli’s behavior. If he is looking for additional signatures, I will gladly sign.