The scientific-fraud scandal first revealed in emails and computer code leaked from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit has claimed its first scalp: the CRU’s director, Dr. Phil Jones has temporarily stepped down pending an investigation:
The head of the British research unit at the center of a controversy over the disclosure of thousands of e-mail messages among climate-change scientists has stepped down pending the outcome of an investigation.
Phil Jones, the director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England, said that he would leave his post while the university conducted a review of the release of the e-mail messages. The university has called the release and publication of the messages a “criminal breach” of the school’s computer systems.
The e-mail exchanges among several prominent American and British climate-change scientists appear to reveal efforts to keep the work of skeptical scientists out of major journals and the possible hoarding and manipulation of data to overstate the case for human-caused climate change.
They forgot the part where he says he’s “leaving to spend more time with his family.” That’s de rigeur in scandals these days.
I don’t know whether this is the beginnings of a faux-investigation that will whitewash the scandal, or if Jones is being prepped as the sacrificial victim for the greater good of CRU and the AGW Cause, or if it’s the start of a genuine housecleaning and a move toward transparency climate science. I hope for the latter, but I suspect there’s strong pressure for one of the first two options.
And this isn’t the first investigation started in the wake of Climategate: the article also mentions that Michael Mann, author of one of the infamous and debunked hockey stick graphs, in now under investigation by his employers, the University of Pennsylvania. I bet these won’t be the last, either.
RELATED: The consequences are spreading outside the realms of science and academia, as the Australian Senate defeated a government measure to impose a destructive cap and trade scheme on the country by a vote of 41-33. Climategate was a certain contributor to this. Under Australian rules, this could lead to a dissolution of both houses of Parliament and a general election in early 2010. Let’s hope that Australia’s is just the first among many governments to come to their senses. More at Hot Air.