The Reviews into the University of East Anglia's Climatic research Unit's E-mails - Science and Technology Committee Contents

Supplementary Memorandum Submitted by David Holland (UEA Reviews 01B)



  I regret the need to write again to your Committee with a further and far more serious allegation of deliberate misconduct by the Review Team looking into the leaked UEA emails chaired by Sir Muir Russell. This arises from what was released by UEA on 19 November 2010 in response to a Freedom of Information request that I had made on 22 October 2010, shortly before your last evidence hearing at which Sir Muir claimed, in relation to my submission:

    "But I think the substance of the issues has all been dealt with. The team went into that pretty carefully."

  With my letter to the Committee of 3 September 2010, I had provided a copy of the letter of complaint, which I had sent to Sir Muir Russell. His Review had refused to publish my submission to it, citing legal concerns, which they refused to detail beyond, "as it makes references to, and comments upon, a large number of individuals". The review also refused to publish an alternate summary letter because I would not allow it to redact the two paragraphs which, without mentioning any names, summarised my allegations.

  Sir Muir responded on 6 September 2010 indicating that he would reply to my letter on return from his holiday—but has not. In my letter to Sir Muir I had pointed out that despite his Review insisting that, "there would be a significant risk of legal action if your submission is published in whole or in part on the Review website", a speciously edited part of it was indeed published at the Review website as the Annex to the reply of Professor Briffa and Dr Osborn (B&O) to a letter from Professor Boulton dated 6 May 2010. B&O's reply is available here: May Briffa Osborn response.pdf

  My original submission is available here:


  Although the recent release from UEA shows that B&O's reply to Boulton was emailed to Russell, Boulton and Hardie on 19 May 2007, the "properties" of the pdf file at the Review website indicate that it was modified 10 minutes before midday on 7 July 2010 and was, therefore, unlikely to have been published before the Review Report. B&O's evidence is incorrectly referenced in the Report of the Review and in its byzantine evidence pages. I only came across it by accident.

  Less than a quarter of my submission is shown in B&O's Annex. The background context and evidence is almost wholly omitted effectively leaving only the bare allegations, to which unsurprisingly B&O's rebuttal seems reasonable to the uninformed. In doing so B&O make a significant statement relating to my submission which is false and which, if they had access to my original submission—as Sir Muir Russell told your Committee they did—they would know was false. They say of a reference in my paragraph 45 to a sentence "put in parentheses above", that my statement "it is in error". It is not in error. The error—if that is what it is—is that my previous paragraph is omitted as anyone could see from the paragraph numbers. Clearly the "rigour and honesty" of B&O, as the Review Report puts it, is in considerable doubt.


  If B&O's Annex casts doubt on the rigour and honesty of its authors what does this say for the Review itself? I watched and heard Sir Muir tell you "the team went into that pretty carefully". I also emailed my concerns to the two Review Team members, who are Fellows of the Institution to which I have belonged for nearly 50 years, and are bound by a Rule of Conduct to "exemplify professional behaviour generally and specifically in their relationships with the Institution, its employees and their fellow members." The only response I have elicited is:

    "I can confirm that all submissions were read by all the Review Team's members."

  Clearly if we are to believe the Review Team they would know how comprehensive my submission to them was, and how inconsequential were those parts of it to which B&O responded. Had all of them read both the original and the emasculated version in B&O's Annex, as it is claimed, could they all have failed to notice that Paragraph 44 was missing from B&O's version and that B&O's response to paragraph 45 was untrue and grossly unfair to me?

UEA FOI_10-122; EIR_10-16

  There were obviously unanswered questions and having had little success with the Review team I asked a number of questions of the University of East Anglia, who I am pleased to say now seem to be handling information requests in accordance with best practice even if they do not always release all that I think they should. The request and their responses are available here:


  Among other things, I asked UEA to tell me who at the University had access to the submission that I had made to the Russell Review. You will recall that Sir Muir Russell told you:

    "Yes, and you will see that Mr Holland's recent comments do acknowledge that in fact Briffa and colleagues saw his submission and commented on it."

  From this one might have concluded, as one would indeed have expected, that the Russell Review would have sent it to the UEA individuals named, Briffa 43 times, Jones 32 times, and Osborn 7 times. I would also have expect the Vice Chancellor to have insisted upon seeing exactly what his staff were being accused of.

  Initially UEA responded:

    "The University never received directly a copy of your submission to the Russell Review. We only had access to the information included with Prof. Boulton's letter to Keith Briffa."


  I had also requested a copy of the of the Annex that had been sent by Professor Boulton for Briffa to answer. UEA disclosed it and it is available here:

  Although Boulton's Annex contained exactly the same text character as the B&O's Annex, it did not contain any of my paragraph numbers or references, whereas in B&O's Annex, all the references and, with one minor error, all the paragraph numbers were correctly shown. This alone meant that it was impossible for B&O not to have had access to my submission and, no doubt after noticing the Internet discussions on the matter, UEA issued a correction:

    "This is incorrect due to a misunderstanding on my part. While the University itself did not receive a copy of your submission from Muir Russell, Professor Keith Briffa acquired a full copy of your submission by way of a request made to you by a third party."


  Thus, and assuming that Boulton's letter to Briffa was copied to his fellow team members, the entire Russell Review team were aware of and acquiesced in the emasculation of my submission. Recall that the Review had told me that it might face legal action if my "submission is published in whole or in part on the Review website". Recall also that Sir Muir had told you:

    "The only issue, I think, turns on whether the full submission was appropriate to publish, given some elements of the terms in which it was written."

  It may of course be that the Review had promised someone that my submission would not be published and indeed if you examine Boulton's Annex it does not look remotely like mine. In addition to the most important evidence being missing, being less than a quarter in length, and stripped of paragraph numbers and references, in Boulton's Annex seven of my paragraph breaks had been removed and one, not in my original submission, had been added. This could not conceivably be accidental and I can not think of a proper reason for having done this or for the other team members to have agreed to it. It is no exaggeration to say that it is scandalous.


  A question of some importance is whether B&O added into Boulton's Annex the paragraph numbers and references that had been stripped out and put back the paragraph breaks to where they originally were—or removed from my original submission exactly what Boulton had. Of the two approaches I think the latter is easier, and would also answer the other question of why on earth would they want to do it, given the "get out of jail free card" that Boulton's Annex was. The first paragraph of page 2 of B&O's evidence submission also suggests the latter.

  The questions are important, as is why would Boulton have spent the time to mess about with the paragraphs anyway? The answer may lie in the only paragraph break that B&O do not correct in their version of Boulton's version of my submission. In paragraph 42, not only did Boulton remove the paragraph break at the end of it in my text, but also the double quote mark (") that began the next. Why this would be of great advantage to B&O's reply is explained in detail in a document in which I have identified, within my full submission, that text upon which B&O were invited to comment, and added B&O's rebuttal comments and my replies and observations. It is available at:


  When B&O's responses to my emasculated submission are considered in the context of my original submission and my responses to them are taken into account, I believe most objective observers will conclude that neither B&O nor the Russell Review have begun to answer the allegation that I made.


  I feel sure that many who witnessed the public evidence sessions you and your predecessor Committee held on Climategate are left with the feeling, as my MP Mr Boswell, hypothetically, put it that "something fishy was going on". The reputation of UEA, and more importantly British Science, and even more importantly the British tradition of natural justice will not be restored so long as the Russell Review remains free from the criticism of your Committee for its scandalous lack of rigour and honesty in dealing with my submission.

David Holland MIET

9 December 2010

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