The fraudulent Nobel Laureate
Oct 28, 2012 at 12:22 am
Over at National Review, we've been having some sport with Dr Michael Mann's attempt to pass himself off as a "Nobel prize recipient", notwithstanding that the Nobel committee says he isn't.
Missing the point as is his wont, The New York Times' Andrew Revkin thinks it's all about some crappy photocopied commemorative thank-you certificate the IPCC mailed out to 2,000 contributors. It's not. Of those 2,000 thank-you-note recipients, only one (as far as we know) has claimed to be a Nobel laureate in an actual Superior Court legal complaint - no fewer than three times (paragraphs 2, 5 and 17).
When a man sues for damage to his reputation and grossly inflates that reputation in the very court filings, that says something about his credibility. Unlike the obtuse groupie Revkin, Professor Roger Pielke Jr of the University of Colorado, in a post on "embellishing science", grasps the significance of Dr Mann's fraudulent Nobel claim:
Mann's embellishment has placed him in a situation where his claims are being countered by the Nobel organization itself. Mann's claim, rather than boosting his credibility actually risks having the opposite effect, a situation that was entirely avoidable and one which Mann brought upon himself by making the embellishment in the first place. The embellishment is only an issue because Mann has invoked it as a source of authority is a legal dispute. It would seem common sense that having such an embellishment within a complaint predicated on alleged misrepresentations may not sit well with a judge or jury.
This situation provides a nice illustration of what is wrong with a some aspects of climate science today -- a few scientists motivated by a desire to influence political debates over climate change have embellished claims, such as related to disasters, which then risks credibility when the claims are exposed as embellishments.
In other words, it's part of a pattern of behavior:
In the suit against his detractors, Michael Mann claims to have won the Nobel Peace Prize. He has not in fact won the Nobel Peace Prize, but has merely been associated with an organization that won it. That he didn't say it this way, but instead said that he himself had won it, tells us a couple things about him.
First, it shows that he's not very good with details. One would expect scientists, especially scientists who want to have an enormous effect on the lives of everyone on earth, to be rather good with details, but apparently Mann is not.
Second, the way that he is not very good with details is that he exaggerates things.
Penn State University, whose willingness to police its own is what my original Corner post was actually about, has an official faculty policy on such things:
Academic integrity includes a commitment by all members of the University community not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation or deception. Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the University community and compromise the worth of work completed by others.
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences also has something to say on the subject of "falsification of credentials":
Although falsification of credentials is not unique to the scientific community, ORI [the Office of Research Integrity] and NSF [National Science Foundation] hold that when researchers lie about their credentials, such conduct constitutes scientific misconduct.
Hmm. What about committing "scientific misconduct" in a legal complaint complaining that you've been falsely accused of committing "scientific misconduct"?
The ever insecure Dr Mann is still busy deleting comments from "deniers" over on his Facebook page, but Mann-crush fans weary of the stultifying homogeneity over there are welcome to comment at my Facebook page, or at The Corner.
Meanwhile, in the latest blow to Dr Mann's tree-ring circus, the Medieval Warm Period is back:
The new MXD and TRW chronologies now present a largely consistent picture of long-timescale changes in past summer temperature in this region over their full length, indicating similar levels of summer warmth in the medieval period (MWP, c. CE 900â€“1100) and the latter half of the 20th century.
In layman's language: Not a hockey stick in sight*.
Finally, Professor Judith Curry weighs in with a warning to Dr Mann:
I suspect that this is not going to turn out well for you.
[*UPDATE: Or, as this headline puts it, Mann's Hockey Stick Disappears:
Whoo boy, I suspect this paper will be called in the Mann -vs- Steyn trial (if it ever makes it that far, the judge may through it out because the legal pleading makes a false claim by Mann)...
I have to wonder if this is some sort of attempt to "come clean" on the issue. Mann must be furious at the timing. There's no hint of a hockey stick, and no need to splice on the instrumental surface temperature record or play "hide the decline" tricks in this data...
I suspect there will be a flurry of papers trying to counter this to save Mann's Hockey Stick.
Good luck with that.]