Edward Wegman

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Edward Wegman, a statistics professor at George Mason University and past chair of the National Research Council’s Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics, is notable for coauthoring the 2006 Committee on Energy and Commerce Report (Wegman Report), which criticized Michael Mann's "hockey stick" finding - and which has since been found to contain plagiarized sections (including text lifted from a researcher it criticized)[1] and other weaknesses.


Wegman received a B.S. in mathematics from Saint Louis University in 1965, he then went to graduate school at the University of Iowa where he earned an M.S. in 1967 and a Ph.D. in 1968, both in mathematical statistics.

He held a faculty position at the University of North Carolina for ten years. In 1978, Wegman joined the Office of Naval Research, in which he headed the Mathematical Sciences Division.[2]

Later, Wegman served as the first program director of the Ultra High Speed Computing basic research program for the Strategic Defense Initiative's Innovative Science and Technology Office. He joined the faculty of George Mason University in 1986 and developed a master’s degree program in statistical science.[2]

Wegman has been the associate editor of seven academic journals, a member of numerous editorial boards, and the author of more than 160 papers and five books. He is a member of the American Statistical Association, a former president of the International Association for Statistical Computing, and a past chairman of the Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics for the United States National Academy of Sciences.[2]

Wegman received the 2002 Founders Award from the American Statistical Association, for "over thirty years of exceptional service and leadership to the American Statistical Association."[3]

2006 Energy and Commerce hearing - Wegman report

In 2006 Joe Barton chose Wegman to assist the United States House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee in its inquiry into the "Hockey stick graph."[4][5][6][7][8], for which he coauthored the Wegman report.

Charges of plagiarism and misconduct

George Mason University investigations

See Wegman Report for investigation timeline and further information.

In October 2010, George Mason University (GMU) announced they were conducting a formal investigation into charges of plagiarism and misconduct related to the Wegman Report.[9] In November 2010, USA Today reported that the "review of the 91-page report, by three experts contacted by USA Today, found repeated instances of passages lifted word for word and what appear to be thinly disguised paraphrases." Wegman criticized the "speculation and conspiracy theory" in the original allegations, and said that "these attacks are unprecedented" in his long career.[10] A Nature editorial in May 2011 urged progress in GMU's Inquiry "as speedily as possible while allowing time for due process."[11]

18 months after the initial allegations, the investigation has not been completed.[1]

May 2011 retraction of 2008 social network analysis article based on part of Wegman Report

In May 2011 the journal Computational Statistics and Data Analysis retracted a 2008 social network analysis by Yasmin Said, Edward Wegman and coauthors[12] (based on part of the Wegman Report[11]) because the paper used portions of other authors' writings without sufficient attribution.[13] Wegman said that he would never knowingly publish plagiarized material. The lawyer for both authors said they stand by their work.[14]

October 2011: more apparent Wikipedia copying found in Wegman-coauthored 2009 review article

Dan Vergano of USA Today writes that,

"following work by Columbia University statistician Andrew Gelman finding more botched copying of Wikipedia in a separate 2009 WIRES CompStats review article [coauthored] by Wegman, Deep Climate has released an analysis finding 13 blocks of copied Wikpedia text in the review article. ...Wegman and Said are editors in chief of the journal in which the review article appears..."[15], [16], [17]

According to John Mashey's "Plagiarism chains..." infographic (in Resources section below), "there were 2 plagiarism chains that started before [Wegman student] Said arrived at GMU."[1]

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 Dan Vergano (2011-10-05). More Wikipedia copying from climate critics. USA Today. Retrieved on 2011-10-06. “George Mason University, under fire for an 18-month investigation into acknowledged copying in the retracted study, did not reply to a request for comment on the latest news.”
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 The University of Iowa Alumni Association distinguished alumni award page
  3. ASA Founders Award winners
  4. Committee on Energy and Commerce Hearing
  5. Full Wegman Report
  6. Wegman fact-sheet
  7. Wegman's testimony
  8. Transcript of the entire hearing
  9. University investigating prominent climate science critic, USA Today, Oct 08, 2010
  10. Dan Vergano (November 22, 2010). "Experts claim 2006 climate report plagiarized", USA TODAY. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 Template:Doi
    Incomplete citation. Click here to automatically expand (or here to expand by hand)
  12. doi|10.1016/j.csda.2007.07.021}</
  13. Journal Retracts Disputed Network Analysis Paper on Climate, AAAS Science Insider, 2 June 2011
  14. Climate study gets pulled after charges of plagiarism, by Dan Vergano USA Today, article updated 5/15/2011. Accessed 6/6/2011
  15. Dan Vergano (2011-10-05). More Wikipedia copying from climate critics. USA Today - Science Fair. Retrieved on 2011-10-08. “Prominent climate science critics copied from Wikipedia again in a 2009 review article, botching the text, again, suggests a new analysis.”
  16. Andrew Gelman (2011-09-19). Another Wegman plagiarism copying-without-attribution, and further discussion of why scientists cheat. Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science (Andrew Gelman). Retrieved on 2011-10-08. “Copying from Wikipedia but introducing an error in the process...”
  17. Deep Climate (pseudonym) (2011-10-04). Said and Wegman 2009: Suboptimal Scholarship. Deep Climate. Retrieved on 2011-10-08.

Related SourceWatch articles

External resources

External articles

Wikipedia also has an article on Edward Wegman. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.