The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Elliott Negin,Media Director,

Final University of East Anglia Report Clears Scientists

So-called Scandal is Over, Science Group Says


The so-called "Climategate" scandal is over, according to the Union of
Concerned Scientists (UCS), and it really wasn't a scandal after all.
The British University of East Anglia's (UEA) final independent inquiry, headed
by Muir Russel, a former British government official, found that the
"rigour and honesty" of the scientists whose emails were stolen "are not
in doubt."

Brenda Ekwurzel, a UCS climate scientist, said the
manufactured scandal over the stolen emails has been an unwelcome
distraction for her colleagues. "Scientists now can get back to doing
science," she said. "This report should lay these unwarranted
accusations against climate scientists to rest once and for all. The
politicians and pundits who attacked these scientists and dragged their
names through the mud owe them an apology."

The University of
East Anglia's latest investigation comes on the heels of one in the
United States that exonerated an American scientist caught up in the
hacked email scrum. On July 1, Penn State University independently
concluded that Michael Mann, whose emails were among those stolen
from UEA, also committed no offense. Virginia Attorney General Ken
Cuccinelli is demanding that Mann's former employer, the University of
Virginia, provide his office with emails and data related to Mann's time
at the school. A close reading of the emails shows that Cuccinelli has erroneously
cited the stolen emails, which he says justify his investigation,
according to UCS.

Russel's report does criticize the University
of East Anglia for inadequately addressing freedom of information
requests and advises that reconstructions of the Earth's past
temperatures be clearly labeled to avoid confusion over how they were

Francesca Grifo, the director of UCS's Scientific
Integrity Program, said the Russel report's findings emphasize the need
for openness in scientific fields that have public policy implications.

learned from the stolen email case that scientists have to agree on
standards for how and when research results should be released," Grifo
said. "They also should arrive at some kind of a consensus on what data
and analyses should be made public ahead of publication.

"It's a
new world, and scientists should plan on being subject to increased
scrutiny," she added. "Until scientists can agree on what transparency
means, the door will remain open for more allegations that they've
misused the scientific process."

The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.