"A Virginia Circuit Court is hearing oral arguments today in the fight between Virginia's Attorney General and the University of Virginia over the records of a former professor.
Back in April, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli demanded documents from the University of Virginia. A lot of documents, basically anything hand written, taped, typed, emailed, recorded or even drawn that mentions Dr. Michael Mann.
Mann is one of the world's leading climate scientists, and received several government grants during his time at the university. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says 'there may be problems in terms of whether the money was spent on what it was requested for that's where this is directed.'
Cuccinelli declined to be interviewed for this story, but on WAMU's Kojo Namdi show he explained that he's a skeptic of climate change and believes Mann committed fraud in using government grants for his research. The University refused to turn over any documents.
'It really undermines academic freedom at it's core,' says Brenda Ekwurzel, a Climate Scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists. It is one of four groups filing an amicus brief in support of the University.
'This really harkens back to the days when Galileo discovered that the sun is the center of the universe instead of the earth and he was persecuted,' she says."
Numerous studies have cleared Mann and upheld the validity of his work.
Sabri Ben-Achour reports for WAMU-FM, D.C. public radio, August 20, 2010.