Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Heads start to roll... but not very far

The CRU has just announced that Prof Phil Jones is stepping down until after the Independent Review. So, nearly two weeks after his position became untenable, he's been put on Gardening Leave.

Before anyone gets too excited, though, that link also contains Prof Trevor Davies' (Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at UEA) description of the Review - it:
will address the issue of data security, an assessment of how we responded to a deluge of Freedom of Information requests, and any other relevant issues which the independent reviewer advises should be addressed
That isn't good enough.

Prof Jones stands accused of blatant academic fraud, conspiracy to withhold data, deleting data subject to FoI requests, and generally falling below the standards of conduct expected of a scientist... yet those terms of reference would allow the review to "exonerate" him based on nothing more than an INFOSEC policy review.

The Review needs to be beyond reproach and truly independent: no IPCC or UEA connections, probably no climate scientists at all, given Prof Wegman's social network analysis of the field. There are plenty of respected academics from fields such as physics, engineering, chemistry and mathematics. They can, and must, provide sound analysis of the data handling at the CRU and whether - as some have claimed - (allegedly) faking results and smearing rivals is "business as usual".

- KoW

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