The Sciences

Cuccinelli Fishing Expedition Makes the Washington Post

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyMay 4, 2010 7:32 PM


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See here. I am glad this story is being covered and that people are starting to denounce the investigation in suitable terms:

Rachel Levinson, senior counsel with the American Association of University Professors, said Cuccinelli's request had "echoes of McCarthyism."

"It would be incredibly chilling to anyone else practicing in either the same area or in any politically sensitive area," she said.

Cuccinelli's "civil investigative demand" sent to the University of Virginia can be found here

in PDF, so you can see just how extensive it is. In the space of a month, the idea seems to be that UVA must vomit up pretty much anything in any way related to Mann's science, including all his emails with fellow scientists, his computer codes, data, "structured or unstructured information," etc. Cuccinelli's defense of what he's doing, to the Post, doesn't remotely cut it:

"In light of the Climategate e-mails, there does seem to at least be an argument to be made that a course was undertaken by some of the individuals involved, including potentially Michael Mann, where they were steering a course to reach a conclusion," he said. "Our act, frankly, just requires honesty."

It doesn't merely require honesty, it also requires massive stress, work, and legal advice. And in light of the Climategate emails, no such argument holds up. Moreover, if we were going to have such an inquiry into everyone ever suspected or accused of "steering a course to reach a conclusion"....well, that would be the end of research, I would think. P.S.: The Union of Concerned Scientists has more


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