Friday, January 22, 2010

British Parliament announces independent inquiry

This looks interesting. Perhaps the internal investigation at East Anglia is deemed not  enough:

The Science and Technology Committee today announces an inquiry into the unauthorised publication of data, emails and documents relating to the work of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA). The Committee has agreed to examine and invite written submissions on three questions:

—What are the implications of the disclosures for the integrity of scientific research?

—Are the terms of reference and scope of the Independent Review announced on 3 December 2009 by UEA adequate (see below)?

—How independent are the other two international data sets?

The Committee intends to hold an oral evidence session in March 2010.


Leigh Jackson said...

Entirely appropriate for this Committee to probe the CRU. Scientists need the trust of Governments and the public. Face to face, free and open questioning of the scientists concerned cannot be a bad thing.

eduardo said...

Reiner, can you provide some background about what these enquiries are like in the UK?
Are they comparable to Congressional Hearings in the US?

Leigh Jackson said...

My impression of Congressional Hearings is that they are more high-powered and perhaps investigative than Parliamentary Committees.

Non-governmental MPs have an opportunity to quiz leading scientists for themselves, allowing them to form an independent view from that of the Government and to act as an information conduit to their repective parties.

The committees public hearings can also be a useful source of information for the public. The questions can range from the technical to the normative.

You can get a flavour of the work of this committee here:

Leigh Jackson said...

Oops, lost the url, I'll try again.

@ReinerGrundmann said...

Not sure if the US Congress hearings have more power, they are probably more open and confrontational. And I am not sure that Congress would "invite written submissions from interested parties". For Congress Hearings, there are usually invited witnesses as far as I know. Here we need the expertise of a political scientist who does comparative work on UK/US.

Also, I should not have used the term INDPENDENT INQUIRY in the title of the post as these are certainly much higer profile than the Science and Technology Select Committee.