For those of you following the Climategate scandal (and if you haven’t bought our book on the subject yet, you can do so by clicking here: Climategate: The CRUtape Letters), this may be of some interest.
The Select Committee on Science and Technology will be investigating Climategate. They have three areas of focus, as explained below. What implications does the scandal have for the integrity of scientific research, is the previously announced review likely to be adequate and most importantly, how independent are the other two international data sets?
Unlike many UK investigations, this one might be fruitful, as it is not looking for someone to blame–it’s looking for ways of fixing a system.
They are inviting your submissions. See below for details.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE
Select Committee Announcement
22 January 2010
THE DISCLOSURE OF CLIMATE DATA FROM THE CLIMATIC RESEARCH UNIT AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF EAST ANGLIA
The Science and Technology Committee today announces an inquiry into the
unauthorised publication of data, emails and documents relating to the
work of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East
Anglia (UEA). The Committee has agreed to examine and invite written
submissions on three questions:
– What are the implications of the disclosures for the
integrity of scientific research?
– Are the terms of reference and scope of the Independent
Review announced on 3 December 2009 by UEA adequate (see below)?
– How independent are the other two international data
sets? (footnote 1)
The Committee intends to hold an oral evidence session in March 2010.
On 1 December 2009 Phil Willis, Chairman of the Science and Technology
Committee, wrote to Professor Edward Acton, Vice-Chancellor of UEA
following the considerable press coverage of the data, emails and
documents relating to the work of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU). The
coverage alleged that data may have been manipulated or deleted in order
to produce evidence on global warming. On 3 December the UEA announced
an Independent Review into the allegations to be headed by Sir Muir
The Independent Review will:
1. Examine the hacked e-mail exchanges, other relevant e-mail exchanges
and any other information held at CRU to determine whether there is any
evidence of the manipulation or suppression of data which is at odds
with acceptable scientific practice and may therefore call into question
any of the research outcomes.
2. Review CRU’s policies and practices for acquiring, assembling,
subjecting to peer review and disseminating data and research findings,
and their compliance or otherwise with best scientific practice.
3. Review CRU’s compliance or otherwise with the University’s policies
and practices regarding requests under the Freedom of Information Act
(‘the FOIA’) and the Environmental Information Regulations (‘the EIR’)
for the release of data.
4. Review and make recommendations as to the appropriate management,
governance and security structures for CRU and the security, integrity
and release of the data it holds. (footnote 2)
The Committee invites written submissions from interested parties on the
three questions set out above by noon on Wednesday 10 February:
Each submission should:
a) be no more than 3,000 words in length
b) be in Word format (no later than 2003) with as little use of
colour or logos as possible
c) have numbered paragraphs
d) include a declaration of interests.
A copy of the submission should be sent by e-mail to
[email protected] and marked “Climatic Research Unit”. An
additional paper copy should be sent to:
Science and Technology Committee House of Commons
London SW1P 3JA
It would be helpful, for Data Protection purposes, if individuals
submitting written evidence send their contact details separately in a
covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in
which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information
to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations
under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.