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Thu, 2012-03-15 21:55John Mashey
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See No Evil At George Mason University

Image credit: Joy Brown / Shutterstock

George Mason University (GMU) has labored for 2 years on simple plagiarism complaints.  It has just written self-contradictory findings that avoided seeing plagiarism in the 2006 Wegman Report (WR) while admitting the same text elsewhere was plagiarism.

In March 2010, climate scientist Ray Bradley complained to GMU of 2.5 pages of plagiarism of his paleoclimatology book by the Wegman Report.  In May he added 5.5 pages of WR Social Networks Analysis  plagiarism  and a 1.5 -page subset in a Computational Statistics and Data Analysis (CSDA) paper.

All were based on the work of Canadian blogger Deep Climate, who kept finding more problems. The known total of 80+ pages has 4 PhD dissertations, some lectures, a patent and 7 papers.

Edward Wegman and Yasmin Said published two largely-plagiarized papers in a “peer-reviewed” Wiley journal they edit with David Scott.  Wikipedia pages they copied were better. 

In May 2011, CSDA publisher Elsevier finally forced retraction of the CSDA paper.

Sun, 2011-06-05 13:27Richard Littlemore
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Wegman Report: Not just plagiarism, misrepresentation

New Mashey Report Drills into Academic Misconduct

The 2006 Wegman Report to Congress, already under investigation for extensive plagiarism, also appears to be guilty of falsifications, misrepresentation and frabrications that could give rise to a charge of academic misconduct, according to a new report by computer scientist and entrepreneur John Mashey (attached, below).

Mashey and the Canadian blogger DeepClimate have analysed Wegman extensively in the past, primarily for the plagiarism of which Wegman is so clearly guilty. But Mashey digs deeper in the current report, questioning whether the numerous errors, oversights and misrepresentations in the report can be explained by inadvertence or incompetence, or whether Wegman and his prinicpal co-author Yasmin Said were intentionally distorting the information they were plagiarizing and, in the process, pointedly misrepresenting science.

Mon, 2011-05-16 08:10Richard Littlemore
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Wegman Paper Retracted for Plagiarism

The journal Computational Data and Statistics Analysis (CSDA) has withdrawn a paper by George Mason University Professor Edward Wegman and his student Jasmin Said for plagiarism, USA Today has reported.

The newspaper quotes CSDA editor Stanley Azen (who is denying responsibility for what appeared to be a rushed, one-man review of the Wegman/Said paper), saying the journal’s legal team has decided to pull the study because of the evidence of plagiarism from Wikipedia and textbooks.

The Wegman work is part of a flurry of “analysis” (at least one expert derides this particular paper as “an opinion piece”), that Wegman and Said conducted on behalf of U.S. Congressman Joe Barton (R-Texas), who was using the material to attack the climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann.

Thu, 2011-01-06 10:14Richard Littlemore
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GMU still paralyzed; Wegman, Rapp still paranoid

WegmanGate, SkepticGate:

Isn’t it Time to Slam the Gate?

George Mason University continues to fritter away its reputation for academic integrity by failing to act on plagiarism charges against Dr. Edward Wegman - but the indefatigable John Mashey has not rested in the long interegnum since the complaint was filed.

Mashey’s latest update is attached below and with his first edition, here. John recommends particularly the paranoic rantings of Dr. Donald Rapp (in the new Section 3) as well as Wegman’s own unfolding commentary (Appendix A 3), which continues regardless of a GMU directive that he not comment on his investigation until the beleaguered braintrust at his university decides to recognize the obvious - or cover up.

Tue, 2010-12-14 15:06Richard Littlemore
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GMU Paralyzed by Plagiarism Investigation

Update: A new verion of the Mashey report is attached, with a whole new section of juicy emails

Plagiarism charges against George Mason University statistician Edward Wegman have brought the university’s administration to an apparent standstill, according to the latest report from John Mashey (attached).

Wegman actually stands accused of having committed a host of infractions with the “AD HOC COMMITTEE REPORT ON THEHOCKEY STICKGLOBAL CLIMATE RECONSTRUCTION” that he presented to Congress in 2006. The worst, however (and the easiest to prove) is that he or his co-authors plagiarized a huge amount of material from a book by one of their targets, Raymond Bradley. In many cases, the only differences between Wegman’s lifted quotes and Bradley’s original material occurred when Wegman (or his assistants) changed the text to change the meaning.

Per Mashey’s report, Rice University received a similar complaint against one of Wegman’s co-authors, David R Scott. Rice responded immediately, investigating the charge and clearing Scott as the culprit in nine days. Nine MONTHS later, GMU has made no finding. We wait with interest ….

Wed, 2010-10-20 10:23Richard Littlemore
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Climate Audit: Is being offensive really the best defence?

In a breathless update on the tawdry Wegmangate tale of plagiarism, mining promoter and amateur statistician Stepehn McIntyre (proprietor of Climate Audit) has tried to distract from the case at hand by imagining an earlier instance of plagiarism, allegedly committed by Edward Wegman’s victim, Raymond Bradley.

For those just catching up, the blogger Deep Climate and his research partner John Mashey have produced a document that shows just how extensively the once-respected statisitician Wegman cribbed from one of his apparent victims (Ray Bradley) in a report that Wegman produced for Congress. Mashey argues that Wegman’s errors and plagiarism were more than merely unprofessional: he says that they constitute a barefaced and illegal effort to mislead Congress. George Mason University is currently investigating the plagiarsim charges.

McIntyre has chosen to run interference on that complaint not by actually defending Wegman (whose shoddy work seems increasingly indefensible) but by attacking Ray Bradley, one of the authors of the iconic “hockey stick graph” that Wegman had been hired to attack. McIntyre points out in his post that Bradley had earlier used a series of figures from a 1976 book by H.C. Fritts and, according to McIntyre, provided inadequate credit.

This, however, seems less like plagiarism and more like an effort to build good science on a solid foundation.

Tue, 2010-10-12 15:34Richard Littlemore
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Joe Barton: Misleading Congress; Misleading America

Rep. Joe Barton, already implicated in an effort to mislead Congress about the science of climate change, is obviously choosing offence as his best possible defence, renewing his slander of Penn State climate scientist and “Hockey Stick” author Dr. Michael Mann.

As then-co-chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Barton was responsible in 2006 for inviting the increasingly controversial statistician Edward Wegman to prepare a critique of Mann’s iconic hockey-stick-shaped graph illustrating a 1,000-year climate reconstruction. Although Barton has denied that he had a previous relationship with Wegman, implying that the subsequent report and hearing were not a set-up, John Mashey has documented the extensive direction that Barton provided to Wegman through Barton staff member Peter Spencer.

Mon, 2010-09-27 10:48Richard Littlemore
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Wegman, et al: Using Statistics to Mislead Congress?

The computer scientist John Mashey has called once again for the Department of Justice to investigate Edward Wegman on a charge of misleading Congress with his 2006 report on the famous and famously resilient “Mann Hockey Stick.”

In a new report now available on the Deep Climate blog, Mashey doesn’t exactly accuse Wegman and his team of lying, cheating and incompetence. Rather, he offers more than 200 pages of evidence: documented examples of Wegman and leading writer Yasmin Said plagiarizing material, padding their references, “crediting” reviewers who either never saw the report or whose comments were ignored, injecting errors into plagiarized text and failing to perform the actual statistical analsysis that the House Committee on Energy and Commerce had requested.

If Wegman hopes to maintain a shred of academic credibility, he must either sue Mashey for libel (and win) or apologize and admit that the 2006 report was a political put-up job. Given the weight of Mashey’s evidence, a lawsuit seems laughably unlikely. A charge of misleading Congress, on the other hand, awaits only the interest of the DOJ.

Mon, 2010-07-19 11:00Richard Littlemore
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Canadian journalism: sublime; ridiculous

The Post gets one right;

the Globe chooses cowardice over context

Two recent newspaper pieces throw a peculiarly Canadian slant on the scandalously unprofessional job that many in mainstream media have been doing in covering climate change.

The most shocking - and wonderful - contribution came last week from the National Post, the home of some of Canada’s silliest and most beligerent climate change deniers, including Terence Corcoran, Peter Foster, Lawrence Solomon and Rex Murphy. In an excellent critique of blindly ideological climate change denial, Post Comment Pages Editor Jonathan Kay says flatly that, Global-warming deniers are a liability to the conservative cause. Kay then dismantles several laughable positions championed by journalists he does not name - but whom he will now have to avoid in the Post lunchroom.

The second article appeared last Saturday in the Globe, under the heading: The Endless Summer. Noting that it’s “the hottest year in recorded history, the Globe offers 659 mostly well-researched words on the details of our planetary fever without once mentioning the phrases “climate change” or “global warming.” At one point, the writers, Anna Mehler Paperny and Patrick White, say, “International climate experts are at a loss to explain why these local phenomena are happening all at once.”

Really?

Mon, 2010-02-08 11:16Richard Littlemore
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Wegman's Report Highly Politicized - and Fatally Flawed

“Independent” Hockey Stick analysis revealed as Republican set-up

The purportedly independent report that Dr. Edward Wegman prepared in 2006 for the Congressional Committee on Energy and Commerce was actually a partisan set-up, according to information revealed today.

Wegman, who had presented himself as an impartial “referee” between two “teams” debating the quality of the so-called Hockey Stick graph was, in fact, coached throughout his review by Republican staffer Peter Spencer. Wegman and his colleagues also worked closely with one of the teams (and especially with retired mining stock promoter Stephen McIntyre) to try to replicate criticism of the Hockey Stick graph, while at the same time foregoing contact with the actual authors of the seminal climate reconstruction.

The Hockey Stick refers to a graph (by Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley and Malcolm Hughes) that became a defining image of the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It also became a target for Steve McIntyre and the Guelph University economist Ross McKitrick, who since 2002, at least, has been a paid spokesperson for ExxonMobil-backed think tanks such as the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and the Fraser Institute.

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