A detailed investigation into the genesis of the 2006 Wegman Report — much beloved of climate sceptics because it was critical of the “hockey stick” paleoclimate reconstructions of Michael Mann (et al) — has shown it to be deeply flawed, stuffed with poorly-executed plagiarism, and very far from the “independent, impartial, expert” effort it was presented as to Congress. The new 250 page study, Strange scholarship in the Wegman Report (exec summary, full report) by John Mashey (with considerable assistance from Canadian blogger Deep Climate) finds that:
- a third of the Wegman Report was plagiarised from other sources, without attribution
- half of the references in the bibliography are not cited in the main text, and one reference is to “a fringe technology publication by a writer of pseudoscience”
- a graph of central England temperatures from the first IPCC report was distorted and misrepresented
- the supposedly impartial Wegman team were fed papers and references by a member of Republican Congressman Joe Barton’s staff
- Wegman’s social network analysis of the authorship of “hockey team” papers was poor, and did not support the claims made of problems with peer-review in the field
This seems to happen a lot. If a scientist plagiarized so much of their work, they would not be doing science for much longer. But I expect the denialist community to still give the Wegman report all the respect they think it delivers.