‘Climategate’ inquiry mostly vindicates scientists

An independent report into the leak of hundreds of eMails from one of the world’s leading climate research centers on July 7 largely vindicated the scientists involved, saying they acted honestly and that their research was reliable, reports the Associated Press. But the panel of inquiry, led by former U.K. civil servant Muir Russell, did chide scientists at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit for failing to share their data with critics. “We find that their rigor and honesty as scientists are not in doubt,” Russell said. “But we do find that there has been a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness.” Russell’s inquiry is the third major U.K. investigation into the theft and dissemination of more than 1,000 eMail messages taken from a back-up server at the university. They caused a sensation when they were published online in November. The stolen correspondence captured researchers speaking in scathing terms about their critics, discussing ways to stonewall skeptics of man-made climate change, and talking about how to freeze opponents out of peer-reviewed journals. The furor over the eMails fed the notion that, at worse, a closed community of climate scientists was systematically exaggerating the threat of climate change, or at least giving skeptics’ arguments the collective cold shoulder…

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