Climate Scientist Absolved of Distorting Research
WASHINGTON — An academic board of inquiry has largely cleared a noted Pennsylvania State University climatologist of scientific misconduct, but a second panel will convene to determine whether his behavior undermined public faith in the science of climate change, the university said Wednesday.
The scientist, Dr. Michael E. Mann, has been at the center of a roiling dispute arising from the unauthorized release of more than 1,000 e-mail messages from the servers of the University of East Anglia in England, home to one of the world’s premier climate research units.
While the Penn State inquiry, conducted by three senior faculty members and administrators, absolved Dr. Mann of the most serious charges against him, it is not likely to silence the continuing controversy over climate science. New questions about the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to which Dr. Mann was a significant contributor, have arisen since the hacked e-mail messages surfaced last November.
That faculty board did not look into the science of climate change itself, the university said in announcing its results. That, it said, is “a matter more appropriately left to the profession.”