The transcripts for the questioning of Science minister David Willetts by the Science and Technology Select Committee are now available here. The extract relating to Climategate is as follows:
Q46 Graham Stringer: What lessons can be learned from the leaked emails from the University of East Anglia from the Climatic Research Unit there? Has that damaged the image of British science?
Mr Willetts: We have now had three inquiries into that episode and on many of the allegations I think the UEA and the research community there have come out essentially cleared of any of the allegations that were made of them but, equally, there are some lessons. Not everything was right, including proper data-keeping. The Government attaches a lot of importance to transparency, making sure that research data are accessible to the wider public as easily and quickly as possible. The latest investigation suggests, as I understand it, that most of their raw data could be accessed, I think the phrase is, within two minutes, but it is very important and people think that it is absolutely clear that that kind of data should be accessible and perhaps a certain defensiveness got hold amongst some scientists at the UEA precisely because of the criticism and attacks they were under from sceptics on the blogosphere. Instead of advancing forward and wanting to engage, it made them think, "What is this mischief maker doing and why the hell should we correspond with that?" I think there is a lesson for all of us in that.
Q47 Graham Stringer: Finally, is the image of British science damaged by this episode?
Mr Willetts: I hope not. Clearly the initial reporting of the original concerns went round the world, but we have now had three investigations covering different aspects of this, and although there are lessons to be learned I think they show that when it comes to the conduct of the science the work that was done at UEA, as I understand it, has passed muster when assessed by independent experts to check whether anything went wrong. My view is that their scientific work stands. There are lessons about how they engage with members of the public and others coming to them asking for data and information about what they are doing.