NSF Should Review Stimulus Grants to Scientist Involved in E-Mail Scandal

February 16, 2010

NSF Should Review Stimulus Grants to Scientist Involved in E-Mail Scandal

Sensenbrenner: ‘Research that doesn’t earn confidence shouldn’t earn grants from beleaguered taxpayers’

Washington, D.C. –U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., today said taxpayers shouldn’t be funding questionable climate science and called for a review of more than $2.5 million in stimulus grants awarded to one climate researcher who is under investigation for his role in the Climategate scandal that unearthed efforts by leading climate scientists to destroy data, distort research and prevent publication of dissenting viewpoints.

 “Here is another example of Washington’s wasteful spending priorities and the failure of the stimulus bill,” said Sensenbrenner, ranking member on the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. “The only job these stimulus grants save is one held by a scientist whose methods, results and reputation are highly questionable. This wasted spending by the federal government demands an investigation.”
In a letter to National Science Foundation Inspector General Allison Lerner, Sensenbrenner joined Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. in calling for an investigation into stimulus grant funds awarded to Dr. Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at the Pennsylvania State University. Mann’s e-mails were among those uncovered as part of the Climategate scandal, where correspondence between researchers and associates of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England showed efforts by scientists to manipulate data and research.
“The integrity questions surrounding Dr. Mann’s research make continued taxpayer funding of his work an unwise investment,” said Issa, ranking Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.  “Conclusions and research gained through a corrupted process can’t be trusted.  Taxpayer dollars would be better spent elsewhere.”
Mann’s involvement in the Climategate scandal prompted a review by Penn State, which resulted in the university announcing a broader inquiry into one of the charges relating to his research activity. The letter to Lerner said that despite the fact that the NSF grants were awarded prior to revelations about the CRU e-mails, the NSF should have been motivated by the Climategate scandal to conduct an independent investigation into the grants. Additionally, Sensenbrenner said that the Obama Administration has resisted any efforts at a full-scale investigation into the veracity of climate research.
“Research that doesn’t earn confidence in the scientific community shouldn’t then earn stimulus grant money from beleaguered taxpayers. This scandal is dramatically undercutting the reliability of climate science. The government should freeze these types of grants until there is a full-scale investigation that resolves these serious concerns,” Sensenbrenner said.

Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming - Republicans
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