Michael Mann's hockey stick graph has been validated with some minor corrections years ago but conservatives funded by fossil fuel interests are still hounding Mann to release emails dating from the time he worked for the University of Virginia. This being a public institution, these groups claim the right to read his emails since his salary was paid by the taxpayers of Virginia.
A judge ruled that his emails are protected from public scrutiny under the Freedom of Information Act because they represent
the churn of intellectual debate, evolving research, suddenly going up a dead end in your paths of inquiry, having the ability to come back, all this is part of the intellectual ferment that is protected.
and that they are Mann's proprietary material and proprietary means
a thing or property owned or in the possession of one who manages and controls them
The Virginia Supreme Court has agreed to rule on whether the state’s FOIA exempts unpublished academic research from being disclosed to the public, even after it’s been concluded or has been released elsewhere.
Allowing public access to emails in which hypotheses, ideas for research, opinions about other researchers and, yes, probably some political sniping might occur would tremendously hamper the free flow of thoughts and ideas among academics and set back the progress of research, which presumably is exactly the result that the conservative groups want.
Or are they seriously looking for inappropriate manipulation of data?http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/local/wp/2013/10/09/prince-william-foia-case-on-global-warming-headed-for-virginia-supreme-court/