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Sir Muir Russell to head the Independent Review into the allegations against the Climatic Research Unit (CRU)

Thu, 03 Dec 2009

Today the University of East Anglia (UEA) announced that Sir Muir Russell KCB FRSE will head the Independent Review into allegations made against the Climatic Research Unit (CRU).

The Independent Review will investigate the key allegations that arose from a series of hacked e-mails from CRU. The review will:

1. Examine the hacked e-mail exchanges, other relevant e-mail exchanges and any other information held at CRU to determine whether there is any evidence of the manipulation or suppression of data which is at odds with acceptable scientific practice and may therefore call into question any of the research outcomes.

2. Review CRU's policies and practices for acquiring, assembling, subjecting to peer review and disseminating data and research findings, and their compliance or otherwise with best scientific practice.

3. Review CRU's compliance or otherwise with the University's policies and practices regarding requests under the Freedom of Information Act ('the FOIA') and the Environmental Information Regulations ('the EIR') for the release of data.

4. Review and make recommendations as to the appropriate management, governance and security structures for CRU and the security, integrity and release of the data it holds.

Sir Muir will have the discretion to amend or add to the terms of reference if he feels necessary, devise his own methods of working, and call on appropriate expertise in order to investigate the allegations fully.

The University has asked for the Review to be completed by Spring 2010 and this will be made public along with UEA's response.

Announcing the Independent Review, Professor Edward Acton, Vice-Chancellor said: "The reputation and integrity of UEA is of the upmost importance to us all. We want these allegations about CRU to be examined fully and independently. That is why I am delighted that Sir Muir has agreed to lead the Independent Review and he will have my and the rest of University's full support."

Sir Muir Russell, Head of the Independent Review, said: "I agreed very willingly to Professor Acton's request to undertake this Independent Review. Given the nature of the allegations it is right that someone who has no links to either the University or the Climate Science community looks at the evidence and makes recommendations based on what they find. My first task is to scope the project, gather the information I need and source the additional expertise that will be required in order to investigate fully the allegations that have been made. Once this has happened I will be in a position to confirm timescales for publishing the review."


Notes to Editors:

1. On Tuesday November 17, a substantial file including over 1000 emails either sent from or sent to members of the Climatic Research Unit ('CRU') at the University of East Anglia, was downloaded on the RealClimate website, together with meteorological station data used for research by CRU into the rate of the Earth's warming, particularly over the past 150 years, and other material.

2. A police investigation is currently underway into the source of the theft.

3. Professor Jones announced on December 1 that he will stand aside as Director until the completion of the Independent Review to ensure that CRU can continue to operate normally and the Independent Review can conduct its work into the allegations. Professor Peter Liss, CBE, FRS is now the Acting Director.

4. The Review will be provided with appropriate administrative support and have access to, and the full collaboration of, university staff.

5. Sir Muir Russell KCB FRSE was Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow from 2003 to 2009. During that period he was Convener of Universities Scotland, a member of the Universities UK Main Board, a Trustee of the Universities Superannuation Scheme, and a member of the UCAS Board.

Sir Muir graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1970 with a First in Natural Philosophy (Physics) and took up a career in the civil service, assigned to the Scottish Office. His civil service career included a period in Whitehall as Head of the Home Affairs Secretariat of the Cabinet Office (1990-92). He was appointed Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Office in 1998, following open competition, and was the first Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Executive following the establishment of the Scottish Parliament in 1999.

Sir Muir was awarded the KCB in 2001, and became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2000. He has honorary degrees from the Universities of Strathclyde, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Sir Muir currently chairs the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland. He is also a Trustee of the Glasgow School of Art, a Member of the Board of the Moredun Research Institute, and the Chairman of the Dunedin Concert Trust.

Click here for previous press statements concerning CRU.