11 July 2010

Southeastern Legal and NSF

The Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF) (Sourcewatch) is part of a petition to EPA to reconsider the Endangerment finding on carbon dioxide. Presumably in support of that, they sent 8 separate (but identically worded) FOIA requests to NSF regarding the grants, data and policy implications of the work of 8 scientists and co-workers and their universities, specifically:

  1. David Archer (U. Chicago)

  2. Malcolm Hughes (U. Arizona)

  3. Lee Kump (PSU)

  4. Michael Mann (PSU)

  5. Ray Pierrehumbert (U. Chicago)

  6. David Rind (NASA/Columbia U.)

  7. Gavin Schmidt (NASA/Columbia U.)

  8. Eric Steig (U. Washington)

Each request was similar to this one, except with the name and institution replaced:

10-186F 5996

Note that NSF is not a data repository (request 1), nor a custodian of policy advice from scientists (#3) - and certainly not that given to other agencies - and so most of this information is not going to exist at NSF. The extension of the vague requests to the entire university (#4) will also likely fail as being impossible to respond to.
Much of the information on awards, grants and funding to all NSF recipients (#2) is already in the public domain.

Issues: Prior existence of records, broadness of response

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