Spurious investigation of UVA scientist sends a chilling message (2010)
In May 2010, Union of concerned Scientists (UCS) reported that the University of Virginia was calling for an end to Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s investigation of internationally respected climate scientist Michael Mann. Cuccinelli has a reputation as a hero among conservative tea party activists, and provided no evidence of wrongdoing to support his investigation.
Although Cuccinelli claimed that he is not “targeting scientific conclusions,” some have noted the similarities between this investigation and tactics used in the past by tobacco companies to discredit findings that showed the negative health effects of smoking. A UCS statement has declared that “[s]cientists must be able to do their work free from political intimidation. Many of our nation’s best scientific discoveries have happened when scientists took risks. Attorney General Cuccinelli’s subpoena stifles the spirit of innovation that drives economic growth.”