5 Moving forward at UEA
94. The ICCER's main recommendations to UEA were:
- Risk management processes should be directed
to ensuring top management engagement in areas which have the
potential to impact the reputation of the university.
- Compliance with FoIA/EIR is the responsibility
of UEA faculty leadership and ultimately the Vice-Chancellor.
Where there is an organisation and documented system in place
to handle information requests, this needs to be owned, supported
and reinforced by University leadership.
- CRU should make available sufficient information,
concurrent with any publications, to enable others to replicate
95. UEA outlined what it was doing to address these
recommendations in its formal response to the ICCER.
In evidence to us, Professor Acton highlighted some of UEA's work
moving forward from the leaked e-mails incident:
In terms of restoring confidence, the critical thing
is to have review after review after review to establish that
they have found no shred of evidence that should shake confidence
in their science. In terms of their [CRU's] integration, we have
drawn them rather closer into the rest of the School of Environmental
Sciences to ensure that all processes are run as they should be,
notably FoI ones, that, were there any kind of repeat of that,
they are dealt with absolutely as they should be and that there
are none of the errors either of commission or omission that may
have happened in the past. On the front of statistics, we are
encouraging that they draw more closely on some of our professional
statisticians and we may well also be investing in further posts
in that area.
96. Professor Davies added: "We are also investing
in posts to help CRU ensure that its data archive is efficientthat
all of the previous versions of data series are in a readily accessible
form so that when requests do come through for data series or
for meta data as supporting data they will be more readily accessible
and available than they have been hitherto."
97. Professor Sir John Beddington outlined the importance
of transparency and openness: "climate science could, with
merit, be more transparent, that data, where it is freely available,
should be made available for people to look at it because it is
such an important issue for policy".
He highlighted the Government Office for Science's website on
climate science, which we hope will prove a useful resource for
those with an interest in the science of climate change.
98. The disclosure of data from the Climatic Research
Unit has been a traumatic and challenging experience for all involved
and to the wider world of science. Much rests on the accuracy
and integrity of climate science. This is an area where strong
and opposing views are held. It is, however, important to bear
in mind the considered view of the Government Chief Scientific
Adviser, Professor Sir John Beddington, that "the general
issues on overall global temperature, on sea level and so on,
are all pretty unequivocal".
While we do have some reservations about the way in which UEA
operated, the SAP review and the ICCER set out clear and sensible
recommendations. In our view it is time to make the changes and
improvements recommended and with greater openness and transparency
126 ICCER, section 1.4 Back
Ev 28 Back
Q 124 Back
Q 124 Back
HC (2010-11) 546-i, Q 25 Back
Oral evidence taken on 27 October 2010, The Government Office
for Science Annual Review 2009, HC (2010-11), 546-i, Q 25 Back