Face-off: Casteen to fight Cuccinelli climate inquest
Lamenting that the controversial climate inquest launched last month by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has "sent a chill" through Virginia colleges and universities, UVA President John Casteen announced Thursday that the University of Virginia has filed papers in Albemarle Circuit Court to fight the inquest.
Remarking that Cuccinelli's Civil Investigative Demands, or CIDs are sending "a chill that has reached across the country and attracted the attention of all of higher education," Casteen, in a prepared statement, portrays his stand on the issue as a defense of academic freedom.
AG Cuccinelli, however, portrays it as a potential swindle.
"This is about rooting out possible fraud and not about infringing upon academic freedom," Cuccinelli said in his own statement, issued eight days earlier.
At issue is about half a million dollars in research grants obtained over several years by then UVA climate researcher Michael Mann, who is now at Penn State University. Mann's most famous contribution to popular climate science is the so-called "hockey stick graph," which portrays global temperatures as spiking, like the blade of a hockey stick. However, after the unauthorized release of emails from a British climate center, the motives of the some researchers, including Mann, have come under question.