Edward Wegman


Edward J. Wegman

Credentials 

  • Ph.D., Mathematics, University of Iowa (1968). [1], [2]
  • M.S., Mathematics, University of Iowa (1967). [1], [2]
  • B.S., Mathematics, St. Louis University (1965). [1], [2]

Background

Edward Wegman is a statistics professor at George Mason University, and past chair of the National Research Council’s Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics. He is also a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and a Senior Member of the IEEE[1]

Wegman contributed to the 2006 Committee on Energy and Commerce Report investigation inquiring into the Michael Mann's Hockey stick graph, in what became known as the “Wegman Report.” Wegman received criticism on more than one occasion for allegedly plagiarizing sections of the report. [3]

Wegman has been a program chair of the Interface Foundation of North America, Inc., which is the host organization for the Symposia on the Interface of Computing Science and Statistics. He was once a Senior Member of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). [4]

Stance on Climate Change

2006

The following is from Wegman's written testimony before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce: [5]

“We were not asked to assess the reality of global warming and indeed this is not an area of our expertise. We do not assume any position with respect to global warming except to note in our report that the instrumented record of global average temperature has risen since 1850 according to the MBH 99 chart by about 1.2º centigrade.” [5]

Key Quotes

Below is an excerpt from the Wegman Report: [6]

“Overall, our committee believes that Dr. Mann’s assessments that the decade of the 1990s was the hottest decade of the millennium and that 1998 was the hottest year of the millennium cannot be supported by his analysis.” [6]

Key Deeds

July 27, 2006

Testified at a hearing on “Questions Surrounding the 'Hockey Stick' Temperature Studies: Implications for Climate Change Assessments - Part II.[7]

July 19, 2006

Testified at a hearing of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce (Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations) where he presented his findings from the investigation into the hockey stick published by Michael Mann. [9]

Wegman notes (PDF) that “We were not asked to assess the reality of global warming and indeed this is not an area of our expertise.”

July 14, 2006

The Wegman Report, officially titled the “Ad Hoc Committee Report On the 'Hockey Stick' Global Climate Reconstruction” was released.

It was commissioned by Congress as an investigation into the “hockey stick” graph published by Michael Mann and used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) prominently to illustrate the reality of climate change. The Wegman report was highly critical of Mann's graph.

Wegman was later accused of plagiarizing sections of the report, largely from one of the graph's original authors, Raymond Brandley.

Although the George Mason University is investigating the report, they have not yet acted on the charges. Nature recently questioned why George Mason University has taken over fourteen months in their review. 

A report by John Mashey found Wegman's report to be guilty of falsifications, misrepresentation and fabrications that could give rise to a charge of academic misconduct. The Wegman report was initially accepted in 2008 in the journal of Computational Data and Statistics Analysis (CSDA). Following complaints to the CSDA, it was later retracted due to possible plagiarism from Wikipedia and textbooks. [8]

Deep Climate summarized in 2010[11]

In both the original Wegman report and a subsequent follow-up paper by Yasmin Said, Wegman and two others, the background sections on social network research show clear and compelling instances of apparent plagiarism. The three main sources, used almost verbatim and without attribution, have now been identified. These include a Wikipedia article and a classic sociology text book by Wasserman and Faust. But the papers rely even more on the third source, a hands-on text book that explores social network concepts via the Pajek analysis software package – the same tool used by the Wegman team to analyze 'hockey stick' author Michael Mann’s co-author network.”

Further analysis by Mashey, referencing reporting by Dan Vergano in USA Today, also notes a “serious breach of peer review” when Wegman sent his article to Editor-in-Chief Stanley Azen, a long-time close friend and colleague. [12], [13]

“[Azen] did only a cursory personal review, without relevant SNA expertise. He accepted it with no revision in 6 days, quite unusual treatment, especially of a poor article trying to cast doubts on the quality of peer review in climate science, with no evidence of wrongdoing,”  Mashey commented. [12]

Affiliations 

  • George Mason Universtiy (GMU) — Statistics professor (since 1986). [1], [10]
  • Interface Foundation of North America — Founder and treasurer (since 1988). [10]
  • Office of Naval Research — Senior executive (1978 - 1986). [10]
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — Professor (1968 – 1978). [10]

Social Media

Publications

Wegman has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals in the area of statistics. According to a search of Google Scholar, he has not published any articles in peer-reviewed journals on the subject of climate.

Related DeSmogBlog Posts

Resources

  1. Faculty Profile: Edward Wegman,” George Mason University Department of Computational and Data Sciences. Archived November 27, 2019. Archive URLhttps://archive.ph/PXSKe

  2. Edward J. Wegman,” Statistics at George Mason University. Archived December 27, 2008. Archive URLhttps://archive.ph/RPqyH

  3. Dan Vergano. “Experts claim 2006 climate report plagiarized,” USA Today, November 22, 2010. Archive URLhttps://archive.ph/d12RC

  4. A Brief History of the Interface Symposia,” Interface. Archived November 27, 2019. Archive URLhttps://archive.ph/3iHGk

  5. “Report on the 'Hockey Stick' Global Climate Reconstruction” (PDF). Testimony of Edward J. Wegman. Archived February 28, 2008, from the Committee on Energy and Commerce website.

  6. “Report Raises New Questions About Climate Change Assessments” (PDF). U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce.

  7. Summary of Hearings on Climate Change (12-8-06),” American Geosciences Institute Government Affairs Program. Archived November 27, 2019. Archive URLhttps://archive.ph/zbZ9Q

  8. John Mashey. “John Mashey on Strange Scholarship in the Wegman Report,” Deep Climate, September 26, 2010. Archived November 27, 2019. Archive URLhttps://archive.ph/JCCgM

  9. Hearing: Questions Surrounding the 'Hockey Stick' Temperature Studies: Implications for Climate Change Assessments,” Committee on Energy and Commerce. Archived July 30, 2008. Archive URLhttps://archive.ph/blgHw

  10. Edward Wegman,” LinkedIn. Accessed November 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  11. Wegman and Said on social networks: More dubious scholarship,” Deep Climate, April 22, 2010. Archived June 16, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/ocqCB

  12. John R Mashey. “Strange Tales and Emails: Said, Wegman, Sharabati, Rigsby (2008)” (PDF), DeSmog, May 26, 2011. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  13. Dan Vergano. “University investigating prominent climate science critic,” USA Today, October 8, 2010. Archived June 17, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/WTdAK

Other Resources