Renowned climate scientist Michael Mann is awarded $1 million in a defamation lawsuit.

On February 9, 2024 at 5:30 AM EST, a jury awarded climate scientist Michael Mann $1 million in a lawsuit against two conservative writers who had compared his work on global warming to that of a convicted child molester. Mann, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, gained recognition for his “hockey stick” graph depicting a warming planet. However, his work also attracted skeptics, including the two writers he sued for damaging his career and reputation in the U.S. and internationally. After the six-person jury delivered its verdict, Mann expressed his satisfaction, stating that it was a good day for science. The trial, which took place in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, stemmed from a 2012 blog post by Rand Simberg, a fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, comparing investigations into Mann’s work to the case of Jerry Sandusky. Mann’s research had been investigated after his emails were leaked in 2009, but no misuse of data was found. However, the attacks on his work continued, with Simberg and another writer, Mark Steyn, making false statements about Mann’s research. The jury found that both writers acted with malicious intent and awarded Mann $1 in compensatory damages from each writer, as well as $1 million in punitive damages from Steyn. Steyn plans to appeal the punitive damages, stating that it should undergo due process scrutiny. Throughout the trial, Steyn represented himself, but stated through his manager that he would be appealing the decision.  

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