The Oxburgh Report stated: “The eleven representative publications that the Panel considered in detail are listed in Appendix B. The papers cover a period of more than twenty years and were selected on the advice of the Royal Society.”
This statement has been questioned ever since the publication of the Oxburgh Report. That the Royal Society did not select the papers has been clear for some time.
In Oxburgh’s testimony to the Parliamentary Committee, Oxburgh stated:
Q – Right. Can you tell us how did you choose the 11 publications?
Ox- We didn’t choose the 11 publications. They were basically what… We needed something that would be provide a pretty good introduction to work of the unit as it had evolved over the years. The publications were suggested to us came via the university and by the royal society, I believe. We feel ..let me just emphasize..they were just a start… because all of us were novices in this area, we all felt that they were a very good introduction – we moved on. We looked at other publications… we asked for raw materials, things of that kind. The press made quite a meal out of the choice of publications. For anyone on the panel, this all seems over the top. It didn’t have that significance.
Q – there are two things that arise out of that. It was a small unit. Are you saying that Jones, the subject of the investigation, chose the papers that were to be investigated… and that it wasn’t the panel or royal Society?
Ox – No suggestion Jones chose them,
Q – Where did they come from?
Ox- I believe they came … I suspect that that the […] involved was Professor Liss who was acting head of the unit who’d been brought in from outside the unit…he’s been an chemical oceanographer who is broadly interested in area. he in consultation with people with royal society and maybe others outside the unit who had some familiarity.
Q -So the list did not come from the unit – you’Re absolutely categorical ?
Ox – Well I cant
Q – So the list did not come from CRU?
Ox – I can’t prove a negative. There’s absolutely no indication that it did.
Q – Your publicity said that it came from Royal Society. The Panel given list before Royal Society asked.
Ox – I… Not as far as I know. You Might be right but I don’t believe so. No certainly I don’t think that can be true.
In a recent post, I observed that the list of eleven publications was sent out as early as March 4 – well before a perfunctory email from Trevor Davies to Martin Rees and Brian Hoskins of the Royal Society on March 12 saying that Oxburgh wanted to be able to say that the list had been chosen “in consultation with the Royal Society”, even though the list had already been sent out.
I recently noticed that Lisa Williams of the UEA Registrar’s Office was shown as the author of the list version sent to panelists – thereby offering a lead towards solving the authorship of the list, which was accompanied by the statement:
“These key publications have been selected because of their pertinence to the specific criticisms which have been levelled against CRU’s research findings as a result of the theft of emails.”
Today – after almost six months – the riddle of who prepared the list is resolved.
Lisa Williams wrote:
Dear Mr McIntyre
In response to your recent enquiry I can provide the following information.
I understand that the list of 11 papers for the Oxburgh review was collated by Prof Trevor Davies, in consultation with others. He was also the author of the statement at the bottom of the list.
So the list was not selected by the Royal Society after all, but by Trevor Davies, the pro-VC of the University and former director of CRU. In consultation with “others”. Dare one hypothesize that these mysterious “others” will turn out to be Jones and Briffa after all?