Universities in MS, LA, and Texas sell research to BP – and we wonder "why Johnny can't read"

“Without academic integrity, there can be no trust or reliance on the effectiveness, accuracy, or value

of a University’s teaching, learning, research, or public service activities.”

Foreign oil giant BP is on a spending spree, buying Gulf Coast scientists for its private contractor army. Scientists from Louisiana State University, Mississippi State University and Texas A&M have “signed contracts with BP to work on their behalf in the Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) process” that determines how much ecological damage the Gulf of Mexico region is suffering from BP’s toxic black tide. The contract, the Mobile Press-Register has learned, “prohibits the scientists from publishing their research, sharing it with other scientists or speaking about the data that they collect for at least the next three years.”

I’d already picked up the Think Progress post hanging on the Editilla’s awesome new Ladder and was ready to call out Mississippi State when I ran across a Clarion Ledger story suggesting Mississippi’s Commissioner of Higher Education may have set the stage for this breech of academic integrity and involved more than just MSU:

University researchers will spend the months ahead calculating the economic toll of the BP PLC oil spill on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast communities and the state….In May, Higher Education Commissioner Hank Bounds called on the four research universities that make up the Mississippi Research Consortium to form a Deepwater Horizon Response Team to coordinate university efforts.

According to Think Progress, “Bob Shipp, head of marine sciences at the University of South Alabama — whose entire department BP wished to hire — refused to sign over their integrity to the corporate criminal” Continue reading “Universities in MS, LA, and Texas sell research to BP – and we wonder "why Johnny can't read"”

SLABBED Daily – April 11

A beautiful day here – the perfect end for a demanding week – but I’m hopping like the Easter Bunny trying to catch up.  With weeds to pull, groceries to buy, and blog posts backed up, I am so very thankful I have no eggs to dye!

One of my catch-up strategies is checking comments that posted during the week.   Wright Thompson stopped by, I see.  Politics is a sport with an open season, IMO, and since Katrina, Mississippi and Louisiana have co-hosted the Olympics that ESPN hasn’t covered – maybe we’ll see more of Wright.

I also missed the  Southsbelle and due – who both stopped by while I was “out”.  Would love to see both of them more often.  I almost missed the news Main Street has gone Wall Street but a comment from Hal gave me that OMG moment and the link to Communities print their own money to keep cash flowing.

Thanks, Hal!  Good to know the “Bunny Bucks” on Main Street have real money behind them – not like that stuff they’ve been printing on Wall that doesn’t even cover the cost of the paper.

To follow up on yesterday’s post on the termination of Ivor van Heerden at LSU Editilla had some killer links over at today’s Ladder. First up is the Katrina surge hindcast:

[vodpod id=ExternalVideo.809243&w=425&h=350&fv=]
more about “Katrina Simulation“, posted with vodpod

Continue reading “SLABBED Daily – April 11”

Stupid is as stupid does: Scientific Integrity at LSU gets a black eye

Nowdy wasn’t lying yesterday when she said I was slabbed with work. I’m also slabbed by a nasty virus that has been going around since January but not so much that the significance of Ivor van Heerden’s dismissal from LSU was lost on me when I saw the news very early this morning.  I also knew when I saw it that Editilla would be all over it and indeed it headlines today’s New Orleans News Ladder which is where we begin:

This is a Bad News Corps Victory. This bad scene probably has as much to do with Dr. van Heerden’s Storm Surge Modeling running afoul of Gerald Galloway’s, the Storm Surge Modeling Business, FEMA Flood Zone Mapping and undue ASCECORPS influence in National Flood Control Policy.

I wish I could say it was just as simple as a bad news victory for the USACE but there is more as I discovered late this morning when a reader emailed me additional background:

van Heerden was responsible for the pre-Katrina animation of Hurricane Pam, which was largely ignored by the government and the insurance industry. Every time he speaks, he (rightfully) embarrasses someone who did not do their jobs.

Although van Heerden did not become an expert for hire in Katrina litigation, other members of the L.S.U. engineering department and geology/meteorology/climatology departments did for State Farm.  This was a “too cute” move by State Farm to try and lend LSU credibilty to its bs defenses.

Evidently it didn’t take too long for enterprising lawyers to make these guys look like fools in depositions. From a PR standpoint the fact these taxpayer paid college professors were working against the very people who paid their salaries was a disaster, kind of like the Allstate Challenge at the 2007 BCS National Championship game in NOLA when former LSU kicker David Browndike was booed off the field at halftime. The readers email concluded: Continue reading “Stupid is as stupid does: Scientific Integrity at LSU gets a black eye”