Pennsylvania State University recently released a report summarizing its final “investigation” into whether one of its employees had committed scientific misconduct. The report exonerated Dr. Michael Mann of all charges, although he did receive a tap on the wrist – for sharing unpublished manuscripts with third parties without first getting the authors’ permission!
The result was hardly unexpected. Most experts who question climate disaster claims had assumed Penn State would produce a whitewash. PSU stood to lose significantly in reputation and dollars if it found that Dr. Mann had cheated on research and engaged in other conduct unbecoming of a university professor. What was surprising is the reason it gave for its “not guilty” finding.
Dr. Mann could not possibly be guilty, the report averred, because his “level of success in proposing research and obtaining funding” was possible only because he had “met or exceeded the highest standards of his profession.” Indeed, his research was consistently “judged to be outstanding by his peers.”
Mann’s innocence was further proven, said Penn State, by the awards and recognition he has received. For example, his “hockey stick” temperature graph for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change played a significant role in the IPCC receiving the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Had his “conduct been outside the range of accepted practices, it would have been impossible for him to receive so many awards and recognitions,” the report argued.
Such a circular tautology would earn an “F” in introductory college reasoning courses. It is eerily similar to views taken by starry-eyed investors and SEC officials before they realized Bernie had Madoff with billions in client money. The Penn State report is akin to what Mrs. Madoff might issue following her “investigation” of his conduct, “investment” strategies, “standards,” accolades and awards.
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