Memorandum submitted by John F Kelly (CRU
1.1 The Peer Review of Scientific Publications
is the bedrock of scientific integrity and any corruption of the
process does untold damage to science. The revelations of the
CRU and other "e" mails identify that the manipulation
of Peer Reviews can take many forms and have a corrosive effect
on the particular profession as a whole. The perpetuation of such
practises by senior scientists within an academic institution,
and so called leaders in their particular field, is a doubly damaging
example to students and newly qualified professionals. Unfortunately,
the practice is not new and the academic institutions have appeared
to have had no appetite to grasp this long running problem.
1.2 What is particularly alarming is that
this is not the first time that this charge has been levelled
at UEA/CRU staff with regard to Climate Science. When the Wegman
Committee reported in 2006 on the charges brought against Dr M
Mann (Penn State), regarding wrongly manipulated data, relevant
to the infamous "Hockey Stick" air temperature presentation,
which incidentally was almost a logo for the IPCC and Mr Al Gore,
a very strong conclusion was that a classical social network existed,
resulting in well defined cliques, one of which included Dr M
Mann (Penn State), Professor P Jones (UEA/CRU), Professor K R
Briffa (UEA/CRU) and Dr T Osbourne (UEA/CRU).
1.3 The effect of these "cliques"
can be readily seen in published papers by Mann, Jones and Briffa
and suggests that the "independent reconstructions"
of air temperature profiles for example are not as independent
as one might conclude. Wegman reported that in twelve major air
temperature reconstruction papers the same proxy data was used.
It is therefore not surprising that the papers would obtain similar
results and cannot really claim to be independent verifications.
This then leads on to the highly undesirable practice of authors
of policy related documents, like the IPCC report, being the same
people that constructed the academic papers referred to.
1.4 It is quite obvious from the disclosed
"e" mails that a high proportion of the contentions
regarding the "fudging" of results, and the "cherry
picking" of proxy data, is centred on analytical manipulation
of the raw paleoclimatological data, particularly where very low
signal to noise ratios are dealt with. The Wegman Committee, with
regard to their investigation involving Dr M Mann, concluded that
... "As Statisticians, we were struck by the isolation of
the paleoclimate community that rely heavily on statistical methods,
yet do not seem to be reacting with the mainstream statistical
community. The public policy implications of this debate are financially
staggering and yet apparently no independent statistical expertise
is ever sought".
1.5 The politicization of academic endeavour,
particularly in areas where very substantial amounts of public
funding, and risk to human lives is at stake, necessitates the
utmost level of scrutiny for formal publications. The majority
of paleoclimate academic publications involve a high degree of
complex statistical analysis, and it is suggested therefore that
the Peer Review process should always include a Professional Statistician.
1.6 It appears to be common practice for
associate editors of academic journals to select referees from
the list of references in the submitted paper. If authors are
in a tightly coupled group, errors can continue to be propagated
or in fact reinforced.