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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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University of Virginia Fights the State on Scientist Subpoena
28 May 2010 12:43 pm
The University of Virginia (UVA) decided yesterday to fight Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's subpoena of documents related to Michael Mann, a climate scientist who worked at the state school from 1999 to 2005. The Washington Post reports that the latest turn in the struggle—a fight in which 800 scientists across the state sided with UVA—breaks new legal ground. Mann is now a professor at Pennsylvania State University, where one panel cleared him of wrongdoing in an initial investigation of Mann's role in a series of hacked e-mails from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom. Another panel is investigating other aspects of his climate work. From the Post today:
Although Virginia universities have at times tangled with political leaders in Richmond, several experts said legal action is a rare challenge by a public institution of the state's top law enforcement officer. It comes in response to the equally unusual action of a state attorney general using the legal process to compel his own client to produce documents.
Cuccinelli issued a civil investigative demand, essentially a subpoena, under a 2002 state statute designed to catch government employees defrauding the public out of tax dollars.
"It's a rarity, and it should not happen often," said former attorney general Jerry Kilgore (R). "The universities are state agencies, and they're your clients. And attorneys general do everything they can to avoid being on opposite sides of their clients."
Mark Rozell, a public policy professor at George Mason University [in Fairfax, Virginia], called the conflict an "extraordinary situation" and one that will be closely followed by First Amendment scholars nationally.
Cuccinelli has sought information about five grant applications Mann prepared before leaving the university, as well as all e-mail between Mann and his research assistants, secretaries and 39 other scientists across the country.