Academics criticize Cuccinelli's UVa probeTwo things:
By Michael Sluss, Roanoke Times
Richmond -- Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's demand for a wide range of documents related to the work of a former University of Virginia climate scientist has triggered a backlash from academics who consider Cuccinelli's tactic an assault on academic freedom and a threat to the state's competitiveness in scientific research.
Cuccinelli's office last month issued a "civil investigative demand" to the university as part of a probe targeting former UVa professor Michael Mann, a climate scientist who now works at Penn State University. In the document, the attorney general's office indicates it is investigating "possible violations" of the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act by Mann in pursuing five research grants while at UVa. Mann left the university in 2005. Four of the grants were from federal organizations and one was from UVa.
"This could have a damaging effect and my guess is it already has had a damaging effect," said UVa environmental science professor Howie Epstein, who collaborated with Mann on one of the grants targeted by Cuccinelli.
"That's a pretty scary thing to researchers who work at UVa or are considering coming to UVa," Epstein said. "It's just not the kind of environment you want to work in." [link]
(1) Where was Howie the concerned scientist when another of his colleagues - Patrick Michaels - was forced out at UVa by the Kaine administration? Probably in the audience applauding.
(2) The difference between the Michaels episode and the latest involving Ken Cuccinelli's inquiry into Michael Mann's work at UVa is in the fact that Mann stands accused of committing fraud, in fact, a multi-million dollar fraud, by creating out of thin air his now-infamous "hockey stick" theory of global warming. Michaels was only guilty of having an opinion that lemming climate professors and Democrat politicians didn't appreciate.
Duplicity or hypocrisy. You decide. There is no third option.