Climategate – the Last Act

I regard the Climategate incident as one of the most important events to hit science over the last twenty years.  If you want to read the full story this is a history from Fred Pearce taken from a number of his articles and a longer history again from the Guardian. It is important, not because it showed the East Anglia scientists to be fraudulent- an independent scientific inquiry certainly cleared them of this; but it shows the real problems that large computer-generated data sets have.

Recently the Information Commissioner asked the University of East Anglia to hand over the last data set that they had. This surprised me as some of the data in the set was proprietary and I assumed that the University had a solid case. This seems to be the last act in this saga.

This incident is now over. However, the impact means that scientists, certainly in the United Kingdom, have become aware of the technical challenges of maintaining large data sets and the exigencies of the legal framework that determine the conditions under which they are released.

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