Mann is a leading climatologist and one of the founders of influential climate science blog, Real Climate. Mann’s stats ingenuity is behind what’s known as the “hockey stick graph” for temperature in the past 1000 years; everything is reasonably flat until around 1900 before taking a sharp curve a bit like the blade of a hockey stick.
This work has prominently featured in climate science briefings since 2001, making it a regular focus of attention for sceptics. In 2009, Mann’s e-mails became part of the “Climategate” controversy. Investigations into Mann in particular as well as the CRU cleared them of any charges of scientific misconduct. Mann’s taken on his various critics robustly, and is keen to build public awareness of science. As well as active work on social media and the Real Climate blog (he’s @MichaelEMann on Twitter), he offered himself for a Reddit AMA and, fed up of being called a fraud, sued for libel.
Mann won’t be the only scientist’s voice we’ll hear on the run up to Paris, but he’ll be amongst them, and will be at the forefront of fights for scientists to be listened to.