While the entire Penn State community was consumed with college football's National Signing Day, another big campus story took a new twist. And we aren't talking about Joe Pa's up-for-auction glasses.
A Penn State inquiry panel investigating "Climategate" professor Michael Mann dismissed three of the four claims against him, the Daily Collegian reports. After reviewing more than 1,000 E-mails, the panel said in a 10-page report that there was no substance to claims that the meteorology prof falsified or supressed data, intended to delete or conceal information, or misused privileged or confidential information. The panel could not, however, make a definitive finding on the fourth allegation, which said that Mann undermined public trust in science. Further investigation into that claim will come.
"I am very pleased that, after a thorough review, the independent Penn State committee found no evidence to support any of the allegations against me," Mann wrote in a statement on Wednesday. "This is very much the vindication I expected since I am confident I have done nothing wrong."
The announcement of the investigation in November prompted a wild response from both sides of the climate change debate. At this point, it's hard to tell if Penn State's findings will change anyone's opinion of Mann or the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England.
Five Penn State faculty members from a variety of departments will investigate the fourth claim against Mann, and the investigation is expected to take about four months.
"We have full faith in their ability to undertake this task, knowing the enormous importance that scholarly activity and research play in their own lives—at Penn State and in the world," Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers said. "They understand the responsibilities of scientists, have impeccable credentials, have no conflict in this issue, and are well respected."
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