June 26, 2004
Director, National Science Foundation
National Science Foundation
is my understanding that the National Science Foundation policy require
compliance by its divisions and grantees with data archiving obligations set out
in the July 1991 U.S. Global Change Research Program
(USGRCP) Policy Statement, DMWG Policy on Data from Federal Grants (1997)
and USGCRP DIWG Data Guidelines (6/5/02). I presume that the National Science
Foundation has its own policies, additional to the above.
writing to express my concerns over apparent failures of your Paleoclimate
Program to enforce compliance by its grantees with archiving obligations. I have
noticed the following significant non-compliance by NSF grantees:
made specific requests to each of these NSF grantees for information and have
either been refused or my requests have not been acknowledged.
in one case, I copied an officer of the Paleoclimate Program in a request to
Michael Mann for residuals from his “experiments”. Prior to any actual
refusal by Dr. Mann, the officer intervened to tell Dr. Mann that he did not
have to disclose his residuals.
also asked the Paleoclimate Program for assistance in obtaining source code from
Dr. Mann. He adopted the position that such code was his personal property
and that Dr. Mann had no obligation to disclose the source code, despite
being funded by NSF.
there is considerable policy interest in climate change and much of the debate
is fuelled by contributions of the above authors, all of whom are cited by IPCC.
One would expect that these authors would have an exemplary record of making
their data and results publicly available. It is disquieting both that they have
not done so and that the Paleoclimate Program of NSF has failed to ensure
that they carried out these responsibilities as NSF grantees.
you for your consideration. I have taken the liberty of copying this
letter to Aloysius Hogan of Senator Inhofe's office, who I anticipate will
endorse this inquiry if my being Canadian would otherwise affect proper
consideration of this matter by NSF.
the same time, I wish to commend NSF for its many excellent programs, including
its role in initiating and supporting the excellent data archive at the
World Data Center for Paleoclimatology.