[Virginia AG] Cuccinelli has launched an investigation into one of the climate scientists who was embarrassed by last year's Climate-Gate controversy -- and in doing so, he may be challenging long-held norms about academic freedom.
Last month, reports The Hook of Charlottesville, the AG requested "a sweeping swath of documents" from the University of Virginia, relating to the climate research work -- funded through state grants -- of Michael Mann.
Mann worked at the university from 1999 to 2005, and now runs Penn State's Earth System Science Center. If he were found to have manipulated data, Cuccinelli could seek to have the research money -- plus damages -- returned to the state.
It's not clear that there's much evidence of that, however. The climate-gate emails showed some scientists discussing ways to keep views skeptical of global warming out of peer-reviewed journals, among other things -- but they did not show outright fraud. Nor did they undermine the broad expert consensus that man-made warming is occurring and must be addressed.
Mann's work is currently being investigated by Penn State. In a recent USA Today story, he defended it, saying that though errors might exist, they were not fraudulent.
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