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Climategate And The Accountability Of Universities

Rand Simberg looks at the aftermath of the Sandusky affair at Penn State University and considers what it means for public perceptions of the investigation of Michael Mann.

Michael Mann, like Joe Paterno (and to a lesser degree, Jerry Sandusky) was a rock star in the context of Penn State University, bringing in millions in research funding. The same university president who resigned in the wake of the Sandusky scandal was also the president when Mann was being whitewashed investigated. We saw what the university administration was willing to do to cover up heinous crimes, and even let them continue, rather than expose them. Should we suppose, in light of what we now know, they would do any less to hide academic and scientific misconduct, with so much at stake?

It’s time for a fresh, truly independent investigation.

I’m not sure why Simberg has used strikethrough style on the word “whitewashed”. That the Climategate “inquiries” were devoid of any integrity is beyond question.

Simberg’s hope for a meaningful inquiry will undoubtedly turn out to be forlorn. Universities do not investigate their own. They are accountable to nobody and, as Edward Acton showed during the CRU investigations, the vice-chancellors can thumb their noses at politicians with complete impunity.

The question is, why then should the public pay for them?